August 25th, 2016
I very rarely comment on current events on social media (or in person, actually). It’s not that I don’t care, but that I care in exactly the manner everyone else does, and have very few original insights that anyone needs to hear about. I am as worried about Trump, ISIS, and zika as most of my friends, and I too would like Canada to win lots of Olympic medals and for the heatwave to abate a bit. Me personally reporting this thoughts on Facebook would help no one. I’m definitely not shy–if I had a thought I hoped no one else had had, or even a joke, I would share it. But mainly I don’t. I have better luck having original insights about my own life, as fewer people have had the chance to think about it–that’s why most of my social media presence is so me-specific.
I also have missed a number of cultural phenomena that people like to discuss–I never saw Breaking Bad and now I’m missing Stranger Things, I have promised myself I won’t get Pokemon Go until my book is done, and I don’t eat beef so all those impressive hamburgers are lost on me. When Prince and David Bowie died (to cite recent examples), I was sorry as I am when anyone walks offstage before their time, but their music didn’t mean much to me personally. I’d be hard pressed to think of more than one or two songs by either. So I kept my mouth shut.
The Tragically Hip thing is different because I genuinely care about the band in a personal way–not a huge fan, but I know their songs off by heart and they mean stuff to me in my life other than just what the words say. I know, that is an extremely childish way of expressing it, but I do think a lot of us feel that way–unique feelings, felt in exactly the same way.
So I watched the whole show on television with a few friends and it was a lovely experience–sad but hopeful, inspiring and interesting, and full of music I like. It was a lovely experience that a third of the country had, apparently. And that kind of solidarity, solidity, was kind of great–I read all the tweets and statuses with a little joyful me-too in my heart. It was nice to be a part of this feeling for once, even for a sad reason, even when I had nothing new to say. Sometimes it’s great to just cheer along with the crowd and not worry about what anyone thinks of my individual voice.