Thinking back to what life was like before March feels damn near impossible. It is hard to find the words to describe how those first few weeks felt.
As we crawled into whichever foxhole would have us and bunkered down for however long the foreseeable future would be, it was nearly impossible to understand what the ramifications would be to the world as we knew it.
Suddenly, almost overnight, folks had an unparalleled amount of free time.
As we waited out those first few weeks, and the months that would follow bearing a similar routine, we tried anything we could to keep ourselves busy. Yeast flew off the shelves as novice bakers donned their aprons and felt emboldened enough to venture into the world of homemade focaccia and other artisanal bread. Puzzles, board games, and video game consoles soon became extinct.
People fleeted into any hobby they could find that could and would serve as a distraction from the world that we were no longer allowed to go out into.
While the obvious explanation for this massive movement in hobbying is a sharp influx of free time, there is another resounding factor that shouldn’t be downplayed: our primary sources of distraction are withholding art.
George Bernard Shaw wrote it best when he said, “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” While we don’t necessarily think he was directly referencing that the only blockbuster to come out since quarantine began was another lightly semi-autobiographical Pete Davidson film, we do think GBS might be a bit flabbergasted by the meager attitude of major studios.
Mega movies like Christopher Nolan’s Tenet were pushed out further and further. There is a palpable sense of unease when a digital rollout is suggested. While you can argue the challenge of properly replicating the movie experience at home, cinema isn’t the only industry holding back.
Artists in the music industry are frustrated as their albums remain in limbo. A decision that stems directly from being unable to tour their music.
So how are we getting on with this apparent lack of art?
Simply put, mass consumers are becoming mass producers. We’re picking up any instrument, camera, or design software we can get our hands on and broadcasting it on the platform that has become native to our majority: the internet. Every day people are filling the content crater that has been created.
We’re bringing art to political movements, to social issues, and to other good causes. We’re injecting these movements with beauty and hope.
We make art to make a change. To make a change in our daily lives and the way we think. To make a change to our world so it may be a brighter one for us to step back out into.