“Always something happening and nothing going on…
Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Strange days indeed — strange days indeed”
Nobody Told Me, John Lennon.
SINCE we went into lockdown to escape one virus, we’ve been infected with another.
My phone is constantly pinging to signal the arrival of the latest of those daft little videos everyone’s sharing to keep each others’ spirits up. Memes. What a stupid word; funny and cute-sounding yet full of a sense of underlying mindless idiocy. Makes me think of Minions – which I love, by the way (just in case you were going to suspect me of humourlessness).
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many of them (memes, not minions!), coming in from friends and family almost constantly; even my usually serious-minded brother is sending them almost daily.
I think it’s nice that people want to help each other smile through these weird times, I really do.
But I saw one this morning that made me think again: a very small girl sits on the floor, crying and holding a plastic gun. She turns it round and accidentally presses the trigger, ‘shooting herself in the head’ with a plastic projectile. All this beneath the caption “Day 3 of quarantine”.
I snorted in laughter at the underlying joke. Feeling suicidal now? Imagine how bad it’s gonna be further down the line.
It was funny.
But then I began to wonder…
Was it a set-up? Was the kid given the plastic gun and filmed in the hope of creating this meme, or was it just hilarious coincidence? Why was the kid crying? Who was filming instead of comforting her? Am I laughing at simple comic timing or low-level child abuse for the purposes of entertainment?
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m thinking too much.
Maybe it’s the silence out there, driving us all inward.
Strange days indeed.