Wrapping Up 2020
Posted on January 1, 2021
Now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to wrap up the last 12 godforsaken months. I can’t say I have very high hopes for 2021, but in the meantime, I guess I should take some inventory.
For one, I graduated college this past May. At long last, I officially have one major, two minors, and a certificate to my name. It was a bummer I didn’t any sort of commencement (not like I really cared), but hey, now I have a diploma. On top of that, I also moved out of my college house — four very fond years in that dump. I couldn’t have picked a worse time to graduate, especially as a musician; life as a musician is never easy, least of all now.
There’s a lot of anxiety from working–class performers about the future, with important venues like restaurants and theaters holding on for dear life (it’s estimated that 30 percent of all restaurants in the US won’t make it out of the pandemic — over 100,000 have closed already). All we can really do is be patient and take some solace in the hope that, even if a business closes, it’ll be replaced because people still want to go out to dinner and see live bands. I guess if those whiney nutjobs who protested the lockdowns did anything productive, it’s that they reassured us that a lot of people want to go out to dinner.
I should probably take the opportunity to evaluate the international responses to the COVID–19 pandemic. You may have heard stories about New Zealand filling stadiums this past October. Or perhaps you spotted something about the UK paying up to 80 percent of wages during this crisis. Maybe even tales of Canada giving citizens 2000 CAD every month.
Well, unfortunately for me, I live in a wasteland known as the United States of America, which has bungled every part of this pandemic.
It’s bad enough that we did nothing to stop the spread of the virus, aside from banning travel from ChynuhTM, even though (by that point) the virus was already in the US, as well as hundreds of other countries that received no travel restrictions. The truth is the US government has done absolutely nothing for its citizens. In addition to letting the virus run rampant, all it could do was a means–tested, one–time $1200 check; that’s chump change for most of the country, especially for those who need to keep these venues open, or for the musicians and other folks who have lost all their work.
But don’t worry, your tax dollars were well spent in giving billions to companies like Boeing so they could turn around and lay people off anyway. Or maybe it was all that veto–proofed money that was given to the Pentagon because war is totally the biggest threat to America right now. Don’t forget about all the dough spent on making the stock market look pretty.
After months of mucking about, 300,000+ COVID deaths, and an eviction/unemployment crisis, we get… 600 bucks. And that’s it. Friendly reminder that most members of congress make about 200 grand a year. Are you a proud American yet?
It’s exhausting and depressing to see how ill–equipped the US government is to do anything productive, even in times of crisis. If a volcano erupts somewhere and levels part of the country, are we just gonna see more corporate bailouts while the rest of us get buried in ash?
At this point the only deliverance Americans can hope for is the vaccine. Of course, I expect this country to louse up the vaccine delivery as well. I’m not huge on Biden but I think he’ll at least try to be productive during this pandemic. All the while, we still have to deal with the fallout of the previous administration, who apparently declined to pre–order one of the vaccines for Americans because... reasons (perhaps Trump knew that when the vaccines launched he would be too busy pardoning war criminals). Not to mention all the morons in this country who just won’t get it.
Like I said, depressing and exhausting. Everything just feels so hopelessly partisan. Well, not everything — our Democratic house guaranteed that the defense bill would survive, while pretty much every Democratic senator gave up the fight for 2 grand when the turtle boy decided to further cement his legacy as a useless human being. Ain’t life grand? Life in America anyway. I really appreciate Sanders for trying to get us 1400 more dollars, but one–time payments just don’t cut it. Talk about kicking the can down the road.
It’s tough to say when things will get back to normal. America will hands down be one of the last countries to come back to life. And I don’t know how we’ll all navigate the debris of these United States after the fact. I get that we have to take it day by day, but 24 hours feels like a lifetime lately. It hasn’t even been a full year since this all started.
I should have known things would be bad when Activision decided to release a half–assed MW2 remaster back in April. Why are the people in power so, so dumb?
I guess I shouldn’t be too gloomy. After all, I launched my own website in 2020, which has long been a dream of mine. And my band is very close to finishing our debut EP. It’s mixed and we have a date with a mastering studio, so all we need now is to get a few more things to fall into place, like artwork.
I’ve also got my own studio up and running, another long–time goal of mine. Session work has been admittedly scarce, but I guess that means there’s nowhere to go but up. Right?