Hope and the “new normal”

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”

A prediction made in 1962 by Decca Records about a band that went on to do very well with guitar music. Young lads from Liverpool. John Lennon on rhythm guitar, George Harrison on lead guitar, Paul McCartney on electric bass guitar and Ringo Starr behind the drum kit.

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM in 1943 so nailed it when he said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

And…

The president of the Michigan Savings Bank in 1903: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty–a fad.”

Since I apparently own one of the five computers Watson wrote about, I searched for an old TV ad featuring a guy talking about the future and saying he was promised flying cars. Where are the flying cars?

Couldn’t find it but my point is, prognosticators are often, very often, wrong.

Recorded music would be the death of live concerts. Television would mean the end of movies. Home video meant bye bye movies. Home taping would kill the music business.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

And now…

I’m an avid reader. I subscribe to the Toronto Star, Washington Post and MacLean’s. Every damn day, for better or worse and it’s usually the latter, I submerge myself in a sea of newspaper and magazine articles and opinion pieces and cringe and curse.

Mostly due to three words.

The.

New.

Normal.

This is what (concerts, sporting events, dining, shopping) could look like in the coming months and years.

Say farewell to (handshakes, hugs, bake sales, petting someone else’s dog).

And to all that, in the words of Kurt Vonnegut…

Go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.

In the word of Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Teresa Tam: “So…”

She’s brilliant, no offence intended but TT answers almost every question with: “So….” 

I can see her on a date when the suggestion is “my place or yours” and she replies with…

“So…what you are proposing is taking this to the next level?”

Some of the new normal predictions will come to pass. Most won’t. Will my tennis opponent and I serve with our own can of Wilson balls? Maybe. You can scoop the loose ball with your racquet and hit it back.

I live in the tourist town of Wasaga Beach. It’s Victoria Day Monday, usually the end of our first unofficial beach/summer weekend. Thousands of tourists, brave souls swimming in 16C or cooler temperatures. Burger King doing great business. Beachfront bar patios packed.

I walked the beachfront on Saturday. Last summer, high water levels reduced the sunbathing beach to 50 feet or less. Same this year, but that meant the sand had blown across the main beach road to create an even bigger beach.

Which would have been filled with families and bikini-clad females.

And I would have sat on the patio at the Dardanella, Sandbar or Bananas enjoying the incredible atmosphere and scenery.

If I could wave a magic wand, I’ll be on one of those patios in June, and playing tennis.

And having a few beers on the patio at Chuck’s Roadhouse. Our version of Cheers. Not everyone knows your name but many do. They have a great staff and I miss them all.

So….

New normal? We’ll see. Some things will improve. Please God, treat those in seniors residences with the compassion, dignity and care they’ve earned by living through wars here and abroad. As much as we’ve praised Doug Ford for doing what a leader should do and are pretty much blown away that he is now the magic genie for putting lives ahead of dollars, well…he will be all about the dollars when this is over.

At least the crack mayor’s brother wasn’t Harold Camping.

The boys and girls crying wolf will be wrong. Some will get it right but that may be a matter luck rather than insight or intellect.

The evangelist was “99.9” percent sure the world would end October 21st, 2011. When the San Francisco Chronicle asked Camping to explain why his prediction didn’t pan out, he said, “I’m like the boy who cried wolf again and again, and the wolf didn’t come. This doesn’t bother me in the slightest.”

One of my favourite authors is Mark Manson, who gave us “The Suble Art of Not Giving a Fuck,” and “Everything is Fucked.”

And the subtitle of the latter is, “a book about hope.”

Cheers to that.

In these “troubled/difficult times” when we are “in this together and you can still buy a new Toyota” and people barely making ends meet on a living wage are now called heroes…

We will define the new normal. I’m getting the CERB. You know, the socialist benefit that allows people to sit at home, not work and watch Netflix. My only paycheque is $200 US a month for my radio show. 

Blow it out your privileged ass, Andrew Scheer. And why are you stlll here? We sent you and your ideas packing and yet you torment us. You’re like snow in April. Be gone.

We are the new normal. Or the normal with adjustments that don’t include your entitled views.

You are that Decca executive. Out of touch. Not us. 

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