Surviving Quarantine: An Exploration in Media
More often than not, I set out to write an article with well thought out intentions and, at the bare minimum, a general idea of where the piece is going to go. This article was going to be a review of new albums and films that have come out. With all respect to the artists dropping fantastic albums, particularly the Weeknd with his drug and love-fueled After Hours and Childish Gambino’s return to glory with his surprise release 3.15.20, and the movies I’ve considered watching but probably won’t actually get around to seeing: The Hunt and The Invisible Man are just a few — this article isn’t a review. Rather, I’d like to expand upon the media I’ve been devouring in the past few weeks, both old and new. The following is a brutally honest catalog of the content keeping me vaguely content during quarantine.
An obvious start is Tik Tok. That’s all. No specific pages, no specific trends: just Tik Tok. At best, the app is Vine 2.0 and at its worst is Musical.ly 2.0; the content encompasses everything from lip-syncing to comedy skits and makeup tutorials. Tik Tok is quite literally Musical.ly 2.0 as the app was revamped in 2018 after being bought out by Bytedance, a Chinese technology firm. I have been lost in the sauce of my For You Page, the equivalent of Instagram’s “explore” page, which continues to surprise me with its ability to condense my personality into an algorithm. Tik Tok is perfect for our current bizarre climate. The platform is full of videos from millennials and Gen Z-ers who are similarly navigating life in corona induced quarantine. Tik Tok also offers a plethora of dances for viewers trying to get out of bed and try their shot at becoming the next Charli D’Amelio. Don’t knock renegade ’til you try it.
An activity that’s proven to be far more entertaining than I anticipated is rewatching movies from my childhood. I began this journey of rewatching animated films in my dorm room (rest in peace to High Rise 604 and all of its amazing memories) on a cloudy Sunday afternoon. After flipping back and forth between Flushed Away and Over the Hedge on Amazon prime, my roommate and I decided to watch Over the Hedge. The film was much worse than I remembered and the animation style was nearly painful to the eyes. At home, I decided to take a second look at Ratatouille and expected it to be just as disappointing as Over the Hedge. However, Ratatouille is still an excellent film. The animation isn’t mind blowing, but the story feels real and believable even if it is about a rat cooking French cuisine through his scrawny friend named…Linguini. Next on my watch list is Shark Tale, a movie that defined my youth, so stay tuned for a more comprehensive review.
Podcasts have proven to be an incredible means of escaping from reality. Walking around my neighborhood is one of the only quarantine activities that get me outside and moving, and podcasts are great companions when your family has become too overbearing. For amusement and familiarity, I’ve taken to Cody Ko and Noel Miller’s Tiny Meat Gang. You may recognize their names from YouTube or Vine as the two have carved a niche for themselves as “short kings” who not only critique pop culture but also create original content ranging from the podcast to multiple rap albums. The podcast is more or less an hour and a half of banter that’s sure to make you chuckle. I’d also highly recommend My Brother, My Brother, and Me, a self-proclaimed “advice podcast for the modren era.” Yes, you read that right: modren. The titular brothers, the McElroys, attempt to find answers for not only listeners’ submissions, but also absurd Yahoo Answers questions such as “”HOW COME MY DOG SOUNDS LIKE IT SAYS “LAMP” WHEN IT BARKS?” and “Can you help me stop thinking about Sonic the Hedgehog?” The show often veers off course, leading to some great original content from brothers Travis, Justin, and Griffin.
As the days progress, I intend to write and publish more articles documenting my slow descent into madness and media consumption. If you have any suggestions for content to review, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Times are tough, but the arts, at the very least, are means of escape, and at best, a way to comprehend the world around us.