chainsaw_headerThis week’s column is a Chainsaw Classic from June, 2020. Saw will be back next week with something new!

Over the past couple of months a quote from the now cult-classic film Frank Miller’s Sin City (circa 2005, based on Miller’s graphic novel of the same name), has been looping on repeat through my mind. It’s from Part 1; Scene 4 — “The Big Fat Kill” at the tar pits, where Dwight McCarthy (played by Clive Owen, one of my favorite actors) has taken a classic T-bird trunk-load of bad-guy bodies to dispose of and is attacked by ex-IRA mercenaries. He’s almost victorious in the gunfight, when a previously unseen merc tosses a grenade near his feet. Just before Dwight and the T-bird are blown into the tar, there’s a quick, close-up zoom, to capture his surprised expression, as he thinks, “And everything seemed to be going so well…”

Yes, yes it did. Then a grenade inscribed 2020 bounced off the side of our bright red, high-top Chuck Taylors (the preferred footwear of Mr. McCarthy from above) and they weren’t anymore. As hell casually, unsuspectingly broke loose and then rapidly spread like wildfire around the world.

There was this virus in China… then in Italy. And then it was still something foreign, an unfathomably unreal horror overseas. Then it was HERE, there… everywhere and quite fathomable… or ignorantly, blissfully dismissed. Then it became an ongoing pandemic. We stayed home; social distanced, anti-social distancing was easier. Worked from home or lost our jobs and collected unemployment; homes became schools and parents became teachers. Toilet paper was hoarded, hand washing became (as it should have been) the norm and custom face masks became the go-to accessory at the dawn of the 21st century.

And just as we came to grips with a possible pandemic end… one man’s life rocked the world. We won’t go into what does and does not matter, as there has been enough but never enough of that. But on the lukewarm heels of viral Armageddon it ignited a fresh spark.

Protests for peace mixed with riots of malcontent; common ground was desiccated with wanton vandalism, peaceful offerings mingled with violent misgivings. At its pure true core there were a lot of hopeful people coming together with good intentions for a good reason. In the midst of a pervasively invasive, easily-contractible virus that spreads through basic human interactions.

If this doesn’t sound like the introductory chapter for a zombie apocalypse, it at least bears some resemblance to the plot of 28 Days Later. That said, we can find some consolatory comfort in that people haven’t started eating each other… yet. Yet? Yes 2020 is just getting warmed up and we’ve already been promised another round of communicable disease come September.

Well at least we can find some comfort that that’s two and a half months away. Which provokes the question of — Until then, what’s next on this super-fun nightmare agenda? This year is like a rapidly rolling, ever growing snowball, on a one-way trip to hell. Of course a snowball doesn’t stand a chance there. But when it melts… you’re still in hell.

At this point would an alien invasion actually surprise anybody? Anyone? Perhaps a vegan-vampire cult uprising and ascension to political power is in store? Keep an eye on those who enjoy their chocolate flavored soy milk a little too much. Maybe, we’re due for a plague of locusts or some other biblical event…like a shark-nado?

Are we not taking anything seriously now? Better question — how can you? Our world has gone, and is still currently in the process of going, insane. Why not adjust our mentality to match it? Why not succumb to the madness? Why not view everything 2020 has to throw at us with a mentally unstable, teeth-gritted, eye rolling “Now what?”

Because we can’t, or rather we can and sometimes do, but we have to understand we can’t get lost in the whirlwind. It’s okay that when it all seems like too much to take in, that we don’t take it all in. When the point is reached that maniacal laughter seems the best response perhaps it’s best to take pause and understand the world will keep spinning without us — “Stop the ride, I want to get off.” With the understanding that we will have to get back on eventually and will be held accountable when it comes to an end.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me directly at [email protected].

Hope to hear from you, until then try and stay focused. See ya!