If you’re reading this, COVID-19… the ‘Rona… has affected your life.
You’re cooped up inside. You’re not changing clothes as often as you should, but who cares. You’re exhausting your to-be-read stacks and streaming queues. Frantically cleaning up the background area of your room before a video conference you forgot about because what the hell day is it, never mind time. You’re evaluating your preparedness, secure in your pantry shelves or panicking a bit. You’re trying to get a food delivery window…again.
You’re cheering on medical workers every night at 8:00 from your window. You’re hand-crafting some masks for yourself or to donate. You’re supporting your favorites — authors, artists, musicians, cosplayers, indie pro wrestlers, non-profits, animal shelters, recovery funds in various imperiled trades — with donations. You’re checking in with friends and relatives more often. You’re checking your temperature…again.
You’ve lost gigs, perhaps your full time job. The industry you once relied on is in the process of collapsing into a hole it’ll probably never climb out of. You have friends in better shape and friends in worse shape than you when it comes to future solvency. You’re watching which of your favorite shops and pubs and restaurants have already closed for good. You’re trying and failing to not look at your retirement account or bank balance…again.
You’re concerned when that friend or loved one doesn’t answer the phone or return a text right away. You realize you yourself did the same to someone else. You want a test but can’t get one. Maybe you tested positive and are in recovery, feeling better than the day before. Maybe you’re tormented you can’t dab a cold towel on a loved one’s forehead for fear of catching what they have. Heaven forbid you’re trying to plan a funeral, or wondering where the mass grave is the people in hazmat suits just took a loved one to. You’re on hold with some hotline…again.
Regardless of any state of the above you’re in, you feel helpless. You drown the undulation of anxiety, panic, malaise, boredom, and a dozen other new emotional states this has all brought on with booze or junk food or porn or video games. You tick off the days because that’s all you can do. You watch too much TV. You watch some old 1980s ninja movies you’ve seen too many times to remember…again.
And that’s why you’re here now reading this I guess. You’re looking for recommendations for new reading. New watching. Trying to figure out the name and origin of some fragment of a show that imprinted on you as a kid or that a pal had a bootleg of in college. Any of those would help right now, am I right? We’re in all sorts of different states right now, ranging from manageable but not particularly good, to tragedy, to collapse. And we need some method of going on.
If Vintage Ninja is any part of that, and in the past weeks I’ve been told it is by several of you, then just the thought of that brings a tear to my eye. I’ve been helping folks find this old movie they sort of remember, pointing others in the right direction who finally have downtime to discover old 60’s Japanese ninja cinema, helping an artist or two make some much needed sales. I’ve been posting “A ninja a day keeps the virus away” images on social media for weeks now and will continue to do so.
For anyone who cares, I’m in good health, have been successfully quarantining for a month now, am well stocked and lucky enough to still be employed. I’ve never had more free time available, but this whole thing has me so scatter-brained and/or unmotivated I haven’t done nearly enough of those ‘someday’ projects I should. Starting to turn the corner on being more productive though…
To that end, I have more than a few new articles sitting at about 70-80% done each, and climbing, so new content will be coming! Knowing you’re all out there, knowing we’re all in the same boat, knowing we’re all turning to those old movies we love and the genre that’s gotten us through all sorts of other times, good and bad, in our lives to help get us through however long this all continues is in itself a good feeling.
If any of you want to reach out, for a rec or help finding something, or just to say hi from your own version of this whole pandemic life, now’s a great time. We all need it don’t we!
Via Email — firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll end on a possibly relatable tale. As I get used to a near, and probably far to some degree, future of wearing masks in public, I remembered the bottom half of a mail order ninja hood I had hanging around, and voilá, it works just fine! If you have one of the old 2-piecers from the 80s, the inner balaclava-like deal works as well, although you may want to cut the top half off. Seriously peeps, that old ninja stuff in the closet could provide all sorts of safety mask solutions that could save yours or someone else’s life now.
Now, I’m gonna go watch Revenge of the Ninja…again.
Stay healthy everybody!
Keith J. Rainville — from Los Angeles, California — whatever day it is…