When we focus on the things we all have in common, instead of the things that tear us apart, perspective shifts and the world becomes easier to navigate.
All the things we took for granted before coronavirus: a smile from a stranger, handshakes, bro hugs. The ability to read people’s facial expressions as we engaged in conversation.
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Today, people dodge you as you walk outside as if you’re about to lunge at them for an open-field tackle.
The virus has stripped simple things away from us – things that made us feel human and connected to one another.
The Masks We Wear
We wear the mask that grins and lies,It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—This debt we pay to human guile;With torn and bleeding hearts we smile…– Paul Laurence Dunbar, “We Wear the Mask”
Let’s be real for a second.
The 21st Century offered us a multitude of new ways to isolate ourselves behind the thin screen of tech. Whether it started with the iPod, the iPhone, or the GameBoy, we’ve been social distancing for a while now.
We weren’t neighborly or chatty with strangers before coronavirus. We’ve been wearing masks before this whole thing went down.
The mask of stoicism. Of happiness. Of apathy or push-button activism. Now is a time to deeply reflect on how we want to be in the world after this crisis is behind us.
“What if this becomes our new normal just like the airports?” asks Sung in the latest episode of his podcast, Sung’s Garage. “I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s good for us.”
Sung, Racer M, David, Anderson, and Cory zoomed to talk about movies and TV, but the topics quickly turned toward more authentic conversation.
“The Chinese Virus.”
It’s technically accurate, right? COVID-19 came from a wet market in Wuhan. If we label this crisis “The Chinese Virus” at least we’ll always remember who to blame.
Anderson says, “Asians are seen as monolithic when in fact we are incredibly diverse. Asians are viewed as the other.” The status quo must be maintained by focusing on our differences instead of the things we all have in common.
Whether it’s the Chinese Virus, the Spanish Flu, or the Black Plague, clearly it’s someone else’s fault – some outsider – some other.
We’ll save the topic of Asian Murder Hornets for some other time.
“My whole demeanor is apologetic,” Sung says, explaining how it feels to go out in public as an Asian-American in the age of social distancing. “Why do I have to walk on eggshells? Why should I be afraid to cough?”
Should we be so surprised at the uptick of racism toward Asian-Americans during coronavirus? Not really. Does that mean we shouldn’t be furious about it?
“Racist people are always going to exist,” Cory says. “This crisis will serve as a catalyst for racist people to justify the hatred and bigotry they already feel. But 99% of us are not like that.”
Things We All Have in Common
What if, instead of focusing on the things that divide us, we focused on things we all have in common? Stuff we can all agree on like the unblemished filmography of Tom Cruise, Fast Food guilty pleasures, and Milli Vanilli.
This week’s episode of Sung’s Garage may have started with a somber tone, but during times like these we need talks like this because it’s no good to hold the emotions in.
As soon as the guys got over the hurdle of current events and general malaise, they shifted gears and focused on everything from Chun-li to Robocop 2.
Exclusive Breaking News that you can only find at Sung’s Garage: Massive data breach of major Hollywood studios!
Top secret slates of major studios have been leaked. Our in-house team of hackers and digital sleuths have revealed massive tentpole movies greenlit for production in 2021. Looks like we’re getting a lot of remakes!
Jason Statham, Gemma Chan
Budget: $177 million
Jayden Smith as Fab, Justin Smith as Rob
Budget: $90 million
Bryan Cranston, Ethan Hawke
Budget: $10 million
Zendaya, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Holland
Budget: $8 million
Ryan Reynolds, Benedict Wong (in White Face) / Michael Jai-White / Joel Grey (reprising his Golden Globe-nominated role as Chiun)
Budget: $3.5 million
Budget: $289 million
You heard it here first!
Thank You For Reading!
Big shout out to all the essential businesses out there and everyone still working. To all our medical professionals, thank you for all you have done and continue to do on the frontlines of this pandemic.
To everyone who follows Sung’s Garage we thank you for being with us during these times. Wishing you all the best in life, in health, and in happiness. Let’s focus on the things we have in common. THANK YOU!!!