Thursday, March 26, 2020

Musings in a Time of Crisis VII

Never waste a good crisis.
~ Andrew Wolstenholme
"Wolstenholme Report" (2009)

Every little thing counts in a crisis.
~ Jawaharlal Nehru
First Prime Minister of India, Independence Activist


Some of us have returned to blogging for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. I've read posts by quite a few friends who say they cannot write, though they try. None of us should worry too much about what we write. The point is to write and in writing to feel connected.

Have you ever noticed how often someone will respond to a posted poem by saying, "This is just what I needed today"? #ShelterInPoems #ArtCanHelp #PoetrySaves

Never have so many made so much Web content free (The New York Times mostly excepted; its coverage of the Coronavirus is very good, so just register to receive it). Of course, as Robert Farrar Capon might say, there's no telling what attracts the "loving eye".


Artists, poets, and writers generally are devoted to the practice of social distancing. It is the only way we get anything done. Increasingly, I have to admit, the thought of receiving a friend's hug at the end of this crisis is what gets me through my day.

No one who has used FaceBook for any length of time was surprised a week ago by the number of conspiracy theories that popped up about the company's plot to keep our Coronavirus posts from being seen. So much of we posted was marked "spam" or "against community standards" and taken down. FB attributed the entire issue on a "bug" in its anti-spam program but declined to confirm that it was because the company had sent home its scores of employees who spend their days looking for content that violates those "community standards". It did apologize, at least to me, though not publicly, and restored the disappeared posts. Was the lesson that artificial intelligence is no substitute for humans learned? Update: some of my posts and opinions, no matter how eloquent or artfully the latter are phrased, continue to disappear.

Could it be true? Did those "men" who troll FB, always in search of a new "friend", who have posted photos only of themselves, have taken a hint that the pandemic is not the time to let us know how good-looking they think they are? As soon as I wrote this, I took a look at FB to find I'd had several of these "friend" requests. The e-mail spammers (bots?) also are still out in force, offering every kind of action one might imagine. Talk about a mass deletion!


The White House press conference, meanwhile, has reached news-lows, Anthony Fauci excepted. The unanswered question is, where is Stephanie Grisham?


Cats and dogs always grab the limelight on FB. Some are even speaking directly to us these days. The two dogs of friends from the art world make regular appearances online; sometimes they dress for the occasion. A headline spotted earlier in the Daily Dog: "Humans Stay Home: Dogs Overjoyed". I do miss my sweet boy Jack, the best Westie I've ever owned.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Thanks for your reports and comforts during this strange and difficult time!