Sunday, July 5, 2020

Serenity Gardens (06.29.20)

Enjoying a great evening at Serenity Gardens in Second Life. Photo by Kat.

You know how, for all these years of doing live shows in Second Life, I've almost always managed to pop up a blog post within a day or two afterwards? It's not always exactly about the show I just did, though that's always part of it.

So why, wondered no one, has it been almost a week since my last show and I'm just now getting around to writing something? No reason at all. Nothing unusual has been happening, beyond the unusual aspects of pandemic and civil unrest and everything else that the year 2020 has represented. Here's the weird thing: for a lot of folks, it's been a holiday weekend, with a good number of people taking days off work at the end of last week coming into Independence Day on Saturday. But me? Not so much. I was busy as could be all throughout last week, and then spent much of the weekend just relaxing, which felt necessary. One thing I did not do, very purposefully, was to put myself in a situation where COVID-19 transmission was a likely (or even possible) occurrence. 

Why Don't Enough People Wear Masks?
Something you've probably seen many times in recent days are photos and video footage of people partying and having fun. Things like that in a typical year might put a smile on your face, but in the midst of a pandemic, it's horrifying. There were young people dancing closely at lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin, families packed together at beaches and political events, and more. And in almost all of those pics and vids, from Trump's event at Mount Rushmore to gay men dancing at Fire Island to rich folks partying in the Hollywood Hills, barely a mask could be seen.

I could be disingenuous and pretend that I can't imagine why these folks would be so cavalier in the midst of a global health crisis, but let's be real here. We all know the reasons.

• Some people think COVID-19 doesn't exist and is some kind of hoax meant to allow the government to control them.

• Some people think that the very act of wearing a mask is some kind of political statement that doesn't align with their beliefs.

• Some people find the actual wearing of a mask to be so inhibitive of their ability to breathe (or, more likely, don't like the way they look in one) that they claim they can't wear one.

I'll try to be nice, but the name for all of those people is this: stupid and inconsiderate assholes. Here's what's going to happen: more and more people will continue to contract the novel coronavirus, hospitals will be overwhelmed, and local/state governments will be forced to go back to a full shutdown situation. If an overwhelming majority of people could either isolate themselves or use masks along with strong social distancing and great hygiene, we'd kick COVID-19's ass in a month or two.

A few images of people on July 3/4, 2020 who are completely ignoring social distancing and mask wearing. What will happen is this: these people will be heading home, and many of them will a) get sick themselves and b) pass it along to people at work, elderly relatives, neighbors and more. And then those people will pass it along to others. This is why it will end up taking years to get past this pandemic. History will not look kindly on these folks.

But we all know that's not going to happen. The United States has now passed 3,000,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and over 132,000 people have died of it. That might be the tip of the iceberg; the deaths might be being underreported, and by the time we get done with this godforsaken year, over a half million Americans might be dead from a disease that could have been manageable.

So what did I do on the 244th birthday of the USA? I stayed home and did stuff with my family. That included the fun task of cleaning our home and preparing it for a new furnishing arrival in the form of a new sectional sofa that Kat had chosen awhile back. It's in our freshly-cleaned living room now and looks great. We did have some neighbors holding reasonably-sized parties, and I was happy to wave at them and wish them a Happy 4th from a good distance away.

The Show
Ah yes, the show. I was a little concerned going into the show; my throat had been problematic for a couple of days beforehand. I never really considered canceling the show, but I had a feeling that my vocal power and range might be impacted. So, I carefully put together a set list of songs that were more on the mellow end of things, and it all worked out just fine.

Why remind people about the pandemic when they're trying to escape real life? Because it's too damn important to pretend it doesn't exist in any life. I'll keep wearing a mask for as long as I feel compelled to wear one in public in the real world, and that might be a long time. Photo by Kat.

We had a nice crowd at Serenity Gardens, and I'm always glad when some of Grace McDunnough's crowd sticks around for my show. While Grace and I aren't identical in our styles or repertoire, I feel there's enough vibe crossover between our respective sounds that her audience is able to enjoy me, and mine her.

Enjoying some chill tunes and some fun people at Serenity Gardens. Photo by Kat. 

The other thing I wanted to mention about this show: at the moment I was strumming my first chord of my first song, I started hearing some commotion going on downstairs in my kitchen/living room area. I sent Kat down to do some reconnaissance, and it turned out we had a random visit from a plumber who stopped by to continue work on something he'd started months ago but abandoned, presumably due to COVID. Anyway, despite some drilling and banging noises, it didn't impact my show at all, and honestly, many worse things could have been going on to derail my show in some way. This wasn't one of them.

Serenity Gardens set list...
Things Behind the Sun (Nick Drake)
Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts)
Invisible Sun (The Police)
*Barely Breathing (Duncan Sheik) 
Norwegian Wood (Beatles)
Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie)
Carey (Joni Mitchell)
*Prelude to Pickles (Zak Claxton)
Pickles (Zak Claxton)
Doin’ Time (Sublime)
Hand in Pocket (Alanis Morissette)
Blew the Dust Away (They Stole My Crayon) 
Bein’ Green (Kermit the Frog)

*Indicates the first time I've done this song in SL.

Massive thanks to all who hung out at this show. It was a good one! Special thanks to the following who helped support the show...
hynesyte Harbour, AaronCabottJones Resident, Sesh Kamachi, Christine Haiku, Jaron Metaluna, Pato Milo, Alex Zelin, Trouble Streeter, Kat Claxton, Grace McDunnough, rosea3162 Resident, Nina Brandenburg, my excellent manager Maali Beck, and the fabulous team at Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde!

No comments: