- Glenn Sonnenberg
Musings from the Bunker 3/22/20
Happy Sunday, everyone!
What’s this all about? This is a labor of love—a love of ideas and a love of friends. We all need to connect, keep our minds busy, dial down the anxiety, and stay motivated. Given that we are all on “news overload,” don’t come here expecting more of that—I’m not a scientist or a journalist. I’m also not going to try to proselytize you to “my way” of thinking. Let’s leave that for geniuses like Lou Dobbs. Instead, the focus here is just what the title says—“Musings.” That can take the form of book recommendations, reflections, inspiration, jokes, crazy ideas/connections, movies and TV, ideas for staying busy and productive, and what you folks send in. Trust me, I have a lot of material.
Thanks for the many jokes, memes and videos. I can’t publish them all but you can expect a few each day. I’m developing a nice backlog.
I am not very technologically proficient. If you are getting more than one copy of these Musings, let me know and I’ll try to fix it.
If you have anyone to add, let me know that too.
Is Virus Response the New Generation Gap?
Now that many states, including California, are finally under lockdown, except for those providing essential services and those in essential industries, we seem to have entered a new phase. Response to the interruption of one’s life—first by social distancing and then by lock-down—seems to vary by experience, politics, religious practice, socio-economic status, facility with statistics, and other variables. But none seems as pronounced, and not dependent upon economics or ideology, than the differences among generations.
We’ve all seen the partying and seeming indifference from some college-age kids. We can only hope these young folks eventually will have the moral fortitude and physical stamina to skip bottle service and rave parties for a few weeks.
I wanted to understand whether this behavior is fueled by ignorance or craven self-interest, so I asked a Millennial (not related to me), noting that it seems many in his age cohort are taking the situation lightly, at the expense of others. He replied that I was wrong in identifying the culprit, that his generation means serious business. They’re on the “escalator of life,” working hard/getting ph.Ds/dating/marrying/starting families. Rather, it is the Generation Z cohort that should be the focus of our approbation.
On the other side of the spectrum, how many of us have been counseling parents and the elderly about the importance to stay inside and practice self-isolation? They seem to care less than many of us.
What makes different people of different ages respond so differently to the moment at hand? Perhaps there is a way to succinctly generalize the attitude of each generation:
Greatest, born 1901-1927, let’s keep partying until we can’t
Silent, born 1928-1945, we’ve lived through a lot; this won’t get me
Boomers, born 1946-1964, what am I going to do if I’m not at work?
Gen X, born 1965-1979, huh? As long as Med Men is still open for business I’m good
Millennials, born 1980-1996, I don’t mind working but you’re really impinging on my social time
Gen X, born 1997-2013, let’s keep partying until we can’t
The way in which the oldest and youngest seem to have the most cavalier attitude probably stems from the former feeling they’ve lived a lot and don’t want to stop, while the latter feel like the party’s just getting started. The fact is that there can’t be partying—either on Florida beaches or in Florida nursing homes. As the CDC gloomily noted, 38% of all hospitalizations are of those between the ages of 25 and 54. I’m pretty sure this virus doesn’t discriminate based on coolness.
Chores worth doing
I suspect that most of us are amongst the “non-essential” jobs the Governor talked about and, therefore, will be spending a lot of time at home. Even if working remotely, there will be time. So let’s be productive. Here are a few suggestions I’ve heard:
Census. Ed Nahmias reminds us that the census is ongoing. The process is simple and is done on-line. Let’s just do it. This may be one of the last things government successfully can execute on a large scale.
Pictures. Several people have indicated that they finally will be going through their photos to cull the 7th and 8th pictures of the same thing and organize their folders/albums
The Garage. Come on, there’s stuff in there we don’t need…
Gardening. Especially now that gardeners aren’t coming to the rescue for a while…
Preparing new recipes.
Organizing the closet or other in-home repository of detritus
Learning to cut your own hair and/or trust a family member…good luck with this! Maybe I’ll try one of those comb-through hair clippers popular in the 60s…
Reading my rants.
And then there’s always taking care of our pets, who probably are not used to all the stimulation of having everybody home at once:
Our dog will be musclebound before this is over, as each of us, whenever looking to kill some time, grabs the leash and drags him around the neighborhood.
If you have a good idea for something we all should be doing while we’re at home, send it through for a later Musing.
Books on Hold Today
I have several lists coming out in the next few weeks (I’m compiling a few now), so no lists today—it’s Sunday!
I’m hoping everyone can help with the following book lists in the coming weeks:
Books that bring comfort and entertainment
Books that make us nostalgic for an era we didn’t experience (let’s keep it in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries for now)
Biographies of the famous
Biographies of the not so famous
Send me your suggestions, please, starting with historical fiction!
Food and Drink
Chris Maling suggests occasionally including “what are you drinking today?” He offers his St. Patrick’s Day meal, pairing corned beef and cabbage with a Melville 2009 Sandy’s Vineyard Syrah. Me, I think chicken tacos paired with just about anything… If you have something to share, send it.
Speaking of Wine, here’s Andrea Cayton’s wine tour:
Tom Brady is a now a Buccaneer and the Tokyo Olympics may be postponed
Wishing you a great Sunday and week ahead,