Wednesday, November 25, 2020

In Laman's Terms: Being Thankful In 2020

"You know, I'm something of a turkey carver myself."

In Laman's Terms is a weekly editorial column where Douglas Laman rambles on about certain topics or ideas that have been on his mind lately. Sometimes he's got serious subjects to discuss, other times he's just got some silly stuff to shoot the breeze about. Either way, you know he's gonna talk about something In Laman's Terms!

Well, here we are, Thanksgiving 2020 in the age of coronavirus.

I've never been much of a holiday gathering person, mostly because my form of autism makes me extremely vulnerable to loud noises and crowds. Naturally, then, these events where people are crammed into small spaces for holiday celebrations haven't quite been up my alley. Still, it's hard not to notice the absence of these long-standing staples this year (or, at least, we should, nobody should be doing big gatherings this year considering spiking COVID-19 numbers). Like so many things that have come to a halt in 2020, something that once seemed permanent has now had its fragility reinforced. Nothing sticks forever. Nothing is invulnerable. Not even big Thanksgiving dinners. 

But that doesn't mean another staple of this holiday has to also go in the trash. Yes, I'm talking about the experience of expressing what we're thankful for. Isn't that the whole point of Thanksgiving, beyond just making a holiday that dilutes the horror of American colonialism? In that spirit, this week's In Laman's Terms will dig through the muck of 2020 and find some things worth celebrating. While it's been a rough year, for me personally, there were things worth celebrating. Even just on my writing career, this has been a big year for yours truly. I've been published in a variety of outlets for the very first time ranging from The Mary Sue to Offcultured to FilmDaze. Oh! And I got my own Rotten Tomatoes page! How dandy!

I'm going to always be grateful that this increase in my writing coincided directly with the pandemic. Once everybody was confined indoors, having paid writing gigs to focus on ensuring that I didn't go out of my mind with anxiety. I could concentrate on writing about frivolous matters related to cinema rather than contemplate about everything related to the ongoing pandemic. 

Speaking of things that have ensured I don't go ballistic over the course of the pandemic, I'm thankful for family and friends. Virtual meetings with loved ones have reaffirmed the importance of these individuals in my life. Heck, I've even managed to develop some true-blue friends in the course of these last eight months. In times of woe, connecting with others remains just as important as ever and I'll be holding onto that thought until long after the pandemic is over. 

Of course, it isn't just coping mechanisms for the pandemic that I'm thankful for in 2020. Essential workers, medical personnel, retail workers and other individuals who have been out there in the thick of this pandemic for everyone else, goodness knows how grateful I am for them this year. Meanwhile, I'm also grateful for some more light-hearted matters this year, like how Fiona Apple and Taylor Swift both dropped killer albums in 2020. BoJack Horseman, Schitt's Creek and Star Wars: The Clone Wars all got perfect series finales. And the movies! Even with movie theaters closed, 2020 has still delivered a killer line-up of movies that have reminded me of the importance of this medium.

And then there's you, dear reader. Whether you've been reading this site for years or just stumbled upon it now through a Google rabbit hole, thank you for reading Land of the Nerds. As this month has indicated, my commitments to Graduate School and other paid writing gigs means that Land of the Nerds writing will not be as plentiful in the future as it was in the past. But I'll be jotting down thoughts on movies on this website until the end of time and, if you'll join me on that, well, I'd be thankful for that too. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Be safe, stay indoors, wear a mask, enjoy some good food, and even better movies. Even in a year as tough as this one, being cognizant of things to be grateful for does make getting through the next few months of this pandemic feel a touch more bearable.

Oh! I almost forgot! How could I leave off the thing I'm most thankful for in 2020?? Getting my pug, Reggie! I've wanted a pug for as long as I could remember and now this cutie is my pet!! I'm so lucky and happy!

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