It’s no secret that we, as a nation, are embroiled in difficult times. Anarchists are hell-bent upon a course of action that will result in the dissolution of our great country, if they are permitted to prevail. COVID-19 is far too familiar to all of us, and our daily lives are impacted by it as much as anything in history has ever affected us before. The responsible citizens among us are doing what we always do in times of crises, playing by the rules, trusting our government, and generally doing the right thing. How’s that working out? I’m not sure. Only time will tell.
One of the offshoots of the Corona Virus pandemic, is the deterioration of spirits. Suicide rates are through the roof. Friends are unable to fraternize with other friends; grandparents are denied the joy of hugging and playing with their grandchildren. Television is replete with nothing but bad news (regardless of your political persuasion, or your choice of news outlet).
Like everyone, I have resorted to binge-watching broadcast TV and cable TV movies and series. But now, even those outlets have become tarnished with the negativity of dystopian content. What to do? What to do? Well, I may have found the answer. Forget about the latest releases; instead, go back in time to a place in our history that best reflects your deep-seeded beliefs and convictions. In my own case, the era that makes me smile with positive remembrances is the ‘50s. I don’t contend that the ‘50s were perfect—far from it. But there was an innocence, a sense of anticipation, a belief that things were looking up, and had only one way to go. That, to me, was the ‘50s.
Perhaps nothing represents the ‘50s better than our national pastime: baseball. The Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees were perennial rivals, and a day at the ballpark (usually a doubleheader) was just what the doctor (or perhaps the therapist) ordered. Unfortunatley, that outlet for our pent up anxiety and depression is not currently available to us at the moment. But, there are a whole host of movies about baseball, including Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, and Major League. If you go back a little farther, you’ll find such gems as Angels in the Outfield (1951), The Pride of the Yankees (1942), and Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949).
But if you really want to get the feel for a bygone era that may or may not ever surface again, set aside a week’s worth of viewing time, and settle down and watch Ken Burns’ prize-winning PBS documentary series, Baseball. It’s 18-1/2 hours long, and broken into 9 innings. I especially enjoy Innings 6 and 7 (the ‘40s and ‘50s, respectively), and watch those particular episodes over and over. Perhaps I am especially drawn to that moment in baseball history because that’s when I was growing up in Brooklyn, and possessed of “Dodgers Fever.”
If watching Baseball can’t bring you out of your funk, I suggest there’s probably nothing out there that will work. But don’t take my word for it, make some popcorn, pour yourself a cold beer, and give Inning 6 a try. I’ll be very surprised if you’re not able to forget about the anarchists and COVID-19—even if only for an hour or two.
What? Are you still there? Go! Go! Be happy. Enjoy yourself. Do your part . . .