Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Ides of March

If the current weather forecast comes to pass, on Wednesday morning—the Ides of March—I could have a foot to a foot-and-a-half of snow on the ground to shovel. And while I am well aware that New York City has had major snowstorms—blizzards in fact—in the month of March, I have been lulled into a false sense of security that this winter was going out like a lamb. I incorrectly assumed that earlier-than-usual flowering daffodils were harbingers of more serene weather tidings.

But then again, it’s the year 2017—where super-strangeness appears to be the order of the day. If I were a boy right now, I’d be super-excited about the impending big snow. And I wouldn’t, too, be concerned about a super-unhinged man living in the White House—a guy who just seems to double down on his unhinged persona with each passing day and tweet. The best part of being young, I suppose, involved not worrying about unpaid bills, serious illness, and the happenings in the wider world.  Politics, for one, ain’t what it used to be—not by a long shot. Nowadays, partisanship trumps—pardon the pun—reality. We live in a world with infinite virtual soapboxes—available to everyone, every day, and always.

I noticed recently that the IMDb website had cast asunder its discussion boards. While I never participated in any of them, I frequently perused threads. There was a lot of interesting stuff to be gleaned there—non-confrontational opinions, civilized give-and-take, and compelling trivia—but also bushel loads of bile. I sometimes think that we have been unmasked by today’s technology.

Speaking of which, I’ve been watching HBO’s Deadwood series via Amazon Prime. Admittedly, the series took a little while to grow on me—the vilest of bile factor on the small screen—but I eventually acclimated to its unrelenting brutality and relative absence of humanity. For sure, it depicts a beastly time and place—man’s inhumanity to man, and especially to woman. And I’d like to think that we’ve come a long way—a long way. But then I log on to Facebook, read commentary on news sites, and tune into cable news programs. It's enough to make me say and mean it: "Let it snow…let it snow…let it snow."

(Photos from the personal collection of Nicholas Nigro)

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