Art in the Age of Quarantine

Well shit’s looking pretty grim my friends. Folks are dying, the stock market is in the toilet. Open mics are canceled. OH GOD THE OPEN MICS ARE CANCELED.

If you aren’t a comedian, this is probably a relief. But for a very small percentage of the population, in these early days of the global pandemic that’s the worst part. Granted we’re the worst society has to offer; drunks, narcissists, that guy at work who’s always tired and can’t stop saying fuck in front of the boss… You know, comics.

I’m writing this on a Tuesday and by the time I post it next Sunday, maybe everything will have changed. Maybe everybody will know somebody who’s been infected, maybe I’ll be showing symptoms myself, or maybe… maybe if we are all very, very lucky somebody figured a way out of this mess. But right now, if I’m being brutally and ashamedly honest, I just miss going out on a Tuesday night and talking about my dick.

Because I’m selfish, or maybe just broken.

I feel like I should bring up that I’m a nobody. There are seasoned comics all over the country that just lost their only source of income and I am nowhere near paying my bills through stand up. But still, I had plans. I was going to go on tour this summer, maaaaaan! Probably… I mean I was going to start booking dates this week… honest I was. No really! At least three people out of state wanted me to come do shows in their towns and only two of them were related to me. I guess that’s not going to happen now.

But I digress.

It’s tough all over, and God knows, my passions are nothing if not frivolous in the face of plague and economic collapse, but doing silly stupid ART is how I make it through the day. And if I may be disgustingly pretentious for a moment, I feel like I was getting to a place where maybe my art could help get somebody else through their day too.

The good news is I still have outlets. I have writing. It’s something I try to take as seriously as stand-up and now I’ve got nothing but time to write and I may finally tackle the final edit of my first novel, something I’ve been avoiding for basically a year now.

Already I’ve seen such an amazing outpouring of art from artists locked indoors across the planet. Maybe you are one of them, and if you aren’t, why not? It looks like we’ve got nothing but time, right now. I bet you have story to tell or poem to… Rhyme… I guess.

Look I’m well aware this is a sappy post without my usual snarky self-aware venom. Honestly, I’m not even sure I want to put this anywhere a human being can read it. But fuck it, in times of crisis maybe we need a bit of unironic romanticism.

To that end, my one hope for this gigantic shitsickle of a year is that great art is made in the midst of all the pain. And the drunk, narcissist who sucks at his job in me hopes he can be a small part of it.

Thanks for reading Art in the Age of Quarantine! If you enjoyed it hit that like button and leave a comment. If you’d like to check out more of my weird stories and musings about life, the universe, and the meaning of existence, then subscribe to mindful of madness. You can also find me on twitter @drewjokeringram or on Instagram @andrewingram88. Thanks, my self-esteem depends on you.

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