It’ll Do That To You

I feel pressure when the truth is I haven’t any responsibility today. Maybe the pressure is knowing, based on experience, that something will come up, it always does. Something horrible. And it’s the waiting the causes the pressure.

I’m trying to figure this out. The dust hasn’t settled yet.

It may have been Lenny Bruce who declared the end of Vaughan Meador’s career after USA President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Meador had become an overnight sensation (think viral) with his satirical, spot-on impersonation of Kennedy, the Boston accent, the whole bit. Meador’s comedy album, The First Family, spoofing the White House occupation by the Kennedy family and administration, went straight to the top of the charts. (With a bullet. Ouch.)

But having lost its main character, Vaughan Meador’s act disintegrated like—well, watch the uncensored Zapruder footage, and that’s what happened to Vaughan Meador’s career. No more Ed Sullivan show for you. Again, according to, if I recall correctly, Lenny Bruce.

Which prefaces, all of it, my self-diagnosis that Covid19 has destroyed my career.

The last 100, 115 years would be a common experience recognizable to four or five what we call generations of record keeping mammals, privileging white Westerners especially early on, but no doubt increasing in the commonality (globalization!) up until today.

But everything’s different now. Unlike other crisis I’ve seen in my life, which covers nearly 70 years, this is different. Like things will change, and not merely incrementally, but with fancy language and very little action.

But I’m having to reinvent myself. My thought processes were nurtured in and by that old era. My artwork is set in it completely, like the phrase set in stone. My art was on its way out in popularity anyway, both in its form and the fact that reading is in decline, but this negates even the slightest hope of popularity and deducts any archival value; no specials collections here.

It sneaks up on you, but hopefully not like cars would sneak up on the bus driver while he was driving his bus, causing him to constantly be careening and screaming to the passengers Did you see that? Came right on into my lane! Like he was having to dodge an onslaught of attackers. I heard later he went out on medical leave and placed on disability.

But somebody born today will look back on that period before the virus and barely recognize cognates to the culture she inhabits.

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1 thought on “It’ll Do That To You”

  1. Take heart, my friend. Reinvent your career and re-bloom. We’ll all have to do so – I too am an artifact.

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