WHAT’S GOING ON?

The answer to the above headline could be tallied as “Too much yet not enough!”

As 2020 is staring to wind down, although there are some eight or so weeks (give or take a few days) left in the calendar year, there has been a lot of questioning that’s been going down, from the recent election that is complete with a few sore losers in the bunch, to how and where the holiday season is going to look like! People are feeling good, bad, concerned, anxious, confused, well heeled, and in all point in between. These are the best of times as well as the worst! (That phrase may be the most quoted extracted from the pen of Charlie Dickens for this season verses the oft noted line “Bah Humbug!”) This is the moment to say “What if”?” “What’s happening?”, and the modern classic “WTF??”

This writer doesn’t have to quote upon the current status of these times. After all, this is what’s been fueling social media for the past few months. Just about anyone who is savvy enough to post, tweet, Tic-Tok, and to stream audio and/or video contact has giving their mark to the things that matters. (To the poster, anyway!)

But those elements just scratch the surface. There are a lot of things that are noted, but not necessarily for the entire public to become aware. Those folks do have their say, that’s true. Some are just expressing those notation louder than others.

It’s not too surprising to note that there are the good and the not-so-hot to ponder upon. Recently, The Ad Council, an organization based in New York that distributes and supplies those public service announcements (PSAs) to audio and video based media outlets for decades, recently teamed up the the German based skin care company Beiersdorf on the state of loneliness among people throughout the globe.

Their study was conduced from late July through middle August of this year asking those aged eighteen and over based in Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, he United Kingdom (England), as well as the USA on their status of feeling lonely and living in isolation. The study itself, entitled Loneliness, Isolation, and Human Touch: A Global Perspective in the Era of COVIG-19 presents a topic on how those are taking their status of being alone in the times where gatherings are the norm, if not something that is usually taken for granted, unless when those gatherings are altered in a drastic method, if not totally gone for good–or it appears to seem that way!

For those that hold an interest in reviewing the report, visit https://www.adcouncil.org/loneliness for the complete details!

One thing about isolation. Video viewing has seen a major change in how content is obtained and consumed. All of the streaming players has shown major increases in subscribers for this year compared to the year before. From the the channels with “plus” in their names, and the one that offer different levels of subscription (free with commercials, fee without ads, etc.), there has been more content to look at (or to not view) in the comfort and privacy of their home, their place of employment (either at home or not at all), and anywhere else where internet access is..well..accessible! Since movie houses are either making themselves available with limited seating or not all all, (with the content available to boot), one has to keep themselves busy and occupied. Granted, usually video viewing is associated as a solo activity. But many folks have arranged group viewings either in person such as inside of one’s home base with others known to the hosting party, or through virtual means. (Zoom, anyone??) Even this writer participated in a few of those group watching parties through Zoom. However, usually the material that’s being viewed tended to be rather of poor quality. Not so much via content wise, but the fact that the video was jerky, and the sound was cutting in and out, if not totally synced to the picture! But one has to give credit to the people that attempted to arrange such group viewings. It’s best suggested that one views the material on their own, and to “gather” afterword to discuss what was watched–or not!

Of course, that isn’t just the only tale of media based content failure. A few weeks ago, Quibi, the steaming channel that was arranged through Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katenzberg, two of the many media moguls out there, finally has met its match by pulling the plug! When the service was announced at the beginning of this year at the CES convention is Las Vegas in January with a Super Bowl TV spot to match, it was toted as a unique video service for those who desired to view content that ran in short segments, usually at twenty minutes or less! It was the thing to view while out and about with their phones to keep themselves busy while waiting in line at the bank, the supermarket, or the local coffee shop, perhaps sitting in a waiting room of some kind awaiting for their turn to be served or serviced, or at anyplace else where these same folks would become idle for just a few moments! It was going to start its programming later that Spring with a free trail offer! If one like what they see, then they would be willing to take a subscription! That’s how it was suppose to function anyway!

But when the CES took place as well as the running of the Super Bowl spot, it was in January and February, 2020 “BP”. (Before Pandemic). In middle March, all hell broke loose! Today, people are watching too much longer video while decorating (or re-decorating) their homes while cooking anything and everything from soup to nuts! That includes the kitchen sink! (Cleaning it, galvanizing it, or replacing it!) One has to keep busy while hunkering down, y’know!

This writer is fully aware that folks already had their fill to what’s going on, so we’ll finish this article for now! Interestingly enough, Rolling Stone magazine recently released their revised listing of the top one hundred record albums of all time created in the so-called rock era from 1955 to the present. According to those taking the survey that came from those people connected to and in the music industry of some sort, they picked as the number one album, Marvin Gaye’s 1971 release “What’s Going On?” Perhaps that album, although it’s pushing fifty years since Motown Records (under the Tamla label) made it available, still holds its significance in today’s age as it did back in its era! One can still find that album as Universal Music, the company that owns the Motown library, has it available as a streaming source, a physical CD, or even on reissued 12” vinyl! Place that record on your turntable, your CD player, or your iPod (if you still use one) and enjoy!

After all, what else one can do while working at home or creating their umpteenth batch of sourdough starter–if not repainting the bedroom walls!!
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