You Joke or You Cry
Heard any good news lately? Join the club. We’re in this together, remember? All of us anxious, scared and bored out of our minds. But you know what they say about tough times: they bring out the fighter in you. So, with the gloves on, let’s go into the new year throwing a few punches.
This isn’t an incitement to insurrection in the usual sense of the word. The aim is to push back against the darkness and let in some much-needed light. Securing a vaccine is one thing. But having a winning attitude is more than half the battle. Seeing hope instead of misery, trusting that things really will turn out for the best, is how we’re going to win this one. Who needs more depressing statistics anyway? The pandemic is already bad enough. Instead of coronavirus hotspots, let’s identify the bright spots. Or, as TV’s Mister Rogers would say, let’s look for the helpers, the people who are injecting some positivity into these negative times.
At York University, you don’t have to look far. Academics and alumni alike are working on the front lines, coming up with solutions to pandemic problems like supply chain management and respiratory distress caused by the coronavirus. Others are behind the scenes, applying artificial intelligence to disease management, for instance, or investigating the social inequities that make some communities more vulnerable than others in times of crisis.
Art also continues during the pandemic – despite the shutdowns – consoling, entertaining and reassuring us with creative acts of resistance. Comedy is its own weapon, and Aurora Browne, the York theatre grad who is the focus of our Winter 2021 cover story, wields it with lethal precision. Her brand of satiric humour, as seen on the hit Canadian comedy series Baroness von Sketch Show, slices acerbically through the nonsense, revealing an escape hatch through laughter. It’s the kind of relief we all crave right now, and a certifiable mood-lifter. More, please! ■