By Daniel Dunaief
I am a journalist, which means I know a tiny bit about numerous subjects, but I am out of my depth once the questions dive below the surface. Oh, sure, I can play the journalistic game, where I throw around some terms, but I’m certainly not qualified to answer the best questions I could ask. Nonetheless, given the quarantine and the difficulty of getting people who are informed, funny, or funny and informed on the phone these days, I’m going to interview myself about the state of the world.
Question: How do you think we’re doing?
Answer: Well, that kind of depends. If we’re talking about humans in general, I would say we’re struggling. We were struggling before, but this virus has pushed us deeper into our struggles.
Question: Are we any better off today than we were yesterday or maybe last week or the week before?
Answer: Yes, yes we are.
Question: Do you care to elaborate?
Answer: No, no I don’t.
Question: Come on! You can’t just ignore me. I need to know.
Answer: No, you don’t. You’ll read what I write and then you’ll move on to the comment section of other articles, where clever people share their witticisms.
Question: Wait, how do know about the satisfaction I get out of some of the better comments?
Answer: Are you really asking that question?
Question: No, let’s get back on topic. If we’re better off today than we were yesterday or last week, will that trajectory continue? If it does, are we going to be able to live our lives with a new normal that’s more like the older normal, or will we have to wear masks and practice the kind of safe distancing that makes people long for the days when Jerry Seinfeld was annoyed on his show by a “close talker,” who, in the modern era in New York, would probably get a ticket for his close talking habit?
Answer: You had to pander with a TV reference, didn’t you? Don’t answer that! Anyway, yes, the trajectory looks better than it did, but there’s no guarantee it won’t change. You see, it’s a little like the stock market. Just because a company’s past performance is solid or impressive doesn’t guarantee anything about its future.
Question: Right, right. So, do you think my kids will ever get out of the house again?
Answer: You buried that question down low, didn’t you? Well, yes, I think they will return to a version of school that may also be different, but that also has some similarities to what they knew.
Question: Oh, good. Wait, so, you don’t really know, do you?
Answer: I do know that schools are pushing hard to solve the riddle, the conundrum, the enigma, the total ##$@!$ fest that has become the modern world. I know that parents the world over would like to go to the bathroom without someone following them into the room. I know that people would like to talk on the phone without worrying that their kids are listening, that people need adult alone time, and that the Pythagorean theorem isn’t going to teach itself.
Question: What does the Pythagorean theorem have to do with anything?
Answer: It’s out there and it’s on the approved list of things to learn. Are we almost done?
Question: Yes, so what do you think about the election?
Answer: I think it’ll happen in November and it’ll be an interesting opportunity to exercise our democratic rights.
Question: Who do you think will win?
Answer: An old man.
Question: Which one?
Answer: The one who yells at us through
Question: They both do.
Answer: Then I’m going to be right.