Fifty-Two Thoughts About 2020

Presented in a Larry King USA Today brain dribblings format.

  1. Surviving this year would have been impossible without pets. 

  1. Did I plump up my pets to match my own quarantine weight gain? Maybe. I don’t regret it. It made it harder for them to escape my love. 

  1.  How is there still no elegant solution to the combination of wearing glasses and a mask? If any of the sprays worked, I’d see people using them. Instead, I don’t see anything, because my glasses are fogged up.

  1. I learned this year that I can get sick of my own cooking, even the new things I learned to cook because I was sick of my own cooking. 

  1. I enjoy inappropriate musical choices in advertising. This year had some doozies, including “Baby I Got Your Money” for LG washing machines and “Dream Baby Dream” for The Gap. “I don't have no problem with you fucking me/but I have a little problem wit you not fucking me” screams “more efficient spin cycle!” 

  1. If you’re part of a couple, have you started to develop your own language during the pandemic? My wife and I communicate with each other like Jodie Foster in Nell at this point.

  1. Our political system is so broken in so many different ways it’s hard to know where to begin. So we don’t begin at all. Must be nice to be a Republican and believe that’s the right choice. 

  1. The bastards are going to get away with it, as much as the heart yearns for show trials or to put the worst of them in the stocks. 

  1. I lived through 9/11 in New York City. The numerical comparisons are asinine because “9/11s” are not a unit of measurement. 

  1.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand the hell of this March in New York City. 

  1.  It’s a disgrace that the closest analogue is “Los Angeles in December of 2020”.

  1.  College kids and 20-somethings want to party. They will not take responsibility. We cannot expect college kids to do the right thing. Have you ever seen a freshman dorm room at the end of the semester? 

  1. Every single cable news anchor should be shot into space. 

  1. Ditto Claire McCaskill and Rich Lowry. 

  1. Ban cable news.

  1. Actually, ban almost all news. Holograms of Robin McNeil and Jim Lehrer can tell the nation what happened at 630 p.m. every night and that’s all we need to know.   

  1.  Facebook is a cancer on our society. If it disappeared tomorrow there would be no meaningful negative impact to the world at large. 

  1. I’d have to find a LOT of new logins, though.

  1.  The UI for every streaming service is so bad that it must be an experiment. 

  1. I would pay more to, you know, find shit on there instead of being pushed to the infinite scroll.  

  1. What I miss most about movie theaters is paying undivided attention to a thing and talking about it immediately afterward. 

  1.  Restaurants were less about the food than I thought. And I love food and eating it at restaurants!

  1.  People who are angered by the “woke” contingent are a far bigger problem than the woke contingent themselves. Language and how we use it means something. Statues don’t. 

  1.  How many times will we have to remind people that we live in a society? And if you don’t want to act like we do, maybe you shouldn’t reap the benefits from it. 

  1.  That means you, DoorDash. You too, whichever Paul brother you are.  

  1.  Ban whataboutism in 2021. Ban whataboutism forever. 

  1. It felt good and right to protest this year.

  1.  Things cost money. Tax cuts have a cost. Funding the police has a cost. There are plenty of things we as a society should fund that help more people than the things we pay for now. 

  1.  It’s not that “Defund the Police” is a bad slogan, it’s that it scares the people whose funding will be reallocated. 

  1.  A police force that is fair, equitable and just to all the citizens it serves and protects would be a great selling point! Someone should try it. 

  1.  I can’t convince climate change deniers to believe anything because they’re busy dealing with their brain gremlins, but can’t we all come around to the idea that we should be funding the shit out of our national parks, state parks, and other natural public spaces? A no-brainer for no-brainers. 

  1.  If you say that you’re afraid of socialism, you should be forced to say what you think socialism is first. 

  1.  I, for one, do not fear Denmark.

  1.  Oregon made $175 million dollars in taxes from cannabis sales in 2020—remember, that’s from a population of less than five million. Imagine how much more that could fund if dispensaries were allowed to, you know, easily take debit cards and use banks. 

  1.  Pay college athletes. 

  1.  Don’t kill dorky college sports programs. Dorks like me rely on them! 

  1.  This is the first year in a long, long time that I have not taken a flight or stayed in a hotel. Travel was my profession for many years, but in 2020, it didn’t appeal to me because the things that I like about travel weren’t available. 

  1. Why are you at the airport for a vacation if nothing about the experience is going to be enjoyable?

  1.  The airlines are going to be fine. They don’t need any more money unless everyone becomes committed to walking in 2021. 

  1.  We haven’t collectively grieved over what’s happened and what’s still happening. You don’t need a therapist to see that’s going to remain a problem until we do. 

  1.  If you haven’t yet, buy that better chair for your home office. It’s gonna be awhile. 

  1.  Peloton is absolutely a cult and I understand why now. 

  1.  I love the weird asides that Peloton instructors make during classes. They’re easter eggs of insanity that make the experience more human at a time when humanity is hard to find. 

  1. People who insist that everyone return to the office as soon as possible are broken inside. 

  1. Leadership is leading by example, not just saying the right things. Have no governors or senators watched an episode of Undercover Boss?

  1. Local newspapers are a public utility, not a resource for PE to strip mine. 

  1.  The New York Times is imperfect and we must accept that. 

  1.  The New York Times absolutely, positively does not need an opinion section.

  1.  Sorry, Dodgers fans: that one wasn’t really for all the Tostitos. 

  1.  I’m good without any more articles about sweatpants in 2021. 

  1. Joggers, though…

  2. Love your people. Time with them is precious.