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Shaka Smart is Back, Let’s Talk About Something Else

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Ulysses S. Cocksman

As reported by Brian Davis, (I don’t recall who had it first, so apologies if I missed your tweet) Chris Del Conte put any lingering doubts to rest about who will be coaching at Texas next year. It’s probably not surprising; the economy is more volatile than a herd of incels on Spring Break and getting a donor to fork over $10.5m (plus assistants, plus costs for the new coaching staff, etc.) in this situation for a sport most Texas donors don’t really care about was a tall order even for the resident burnt orange rainmaker. The premature end of the season left Texas fans with more questions than the Lost finale - timely reference, you’re welcome Gen Z - and without a definitive resolution one way or the other the status quo won out. The increasingly likely Greg Brown commitment to Texas probably helped as well, whether it should have or not. I bet Pretend We’re Football is going to have boffo ratings next year. We’re going to be sponsored by Juul N95 Masks, Inc. Get $5 off your next vape mask if you mention Will Baizer!

All of that seems like something from another era when the fate of Shaka Smart mattered a lot more; right now the world is in a really weird place. Without getting into the politics of the situation - please don’t get into it in the comments, either - this is going to be a time you talk to your children and grandchildren about ad nauseam. I know this because my grandparents did it to me regarding The Great Depression; they will get sick of hearing about it, but I’m starting to understand why it was never far from their thoughts. I have spent most of my adult life preparing financially for a major economic downturn; saving money in a rainy day fund, keeping my debt as low as possible, sticking in a well-paying job as much as I can, and so on. Call it a positive side-effect of a brain that constantly ruminates, but I’ve thought through most financial dilemmas. Still, holy shit. This isn’t something most people could have planned for, it’s tough for everybody. I heard Jeff Bezos had to sell the big yacht he carries his smaller yachts around in. That yacht is now a sovereign nation near South America, led by a man named Deacon. I’m sure it’s fine.

Life is stressful for everybody right now. For some, the stresses are way more immediate than whatever stress dream my brain is currently cooking up for me at 3 AM; I’m lucky to be in the position I’m in, there are doctors and nurses and support staff who are very literally in the shit right now. There are cops and janitors and cooks and delivery drivers who are all facing some incredibly tough situations an order of magnitude beyond anything I can imagine. They have husbands and wives and kids and parents who probably aren’t sleeping well right now, knowing the danger their loved ones are facing to help others and keep food on their tables. Small business owners are dealing with an existential threat to their livelihood and having to make incredibly tough decisions about their staffs, who are also probably not setup to deal with an extended financial drought. The only thing that’s loving this situation are your dogs; they are fucking ecstatic everybody is home. I haven’t ever seen this many dogs getting walks in my neighborhood, we’re going to have a massive drop in dog diabetes over the next few years because their cabin-fever owners are in need of fresh air. Sure, our economy is cratering, but our dogs are going to be fucking yoked.

There are few people who can make a major difference in the world’s current state, and most of them are busy as hell right now. For the rest of us, it’s time to listen to the experts and pick up the slack where we can.

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands. A lot.
  • Stop hoarding toilet paper. There’s enough to go around if you buy amounts your household normally needs and not what the staff from Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park goes through after eating the pizza they make from Walmart truck leftovers.
  • Call your friends & family. They might really appreciate a friendly voice right now; you can setup group video chats through Zoom or use Discord and have a social distancing party. My girlfriend did this with her friends last night and they were drunk as hell by the end. They also all felt better. Emotionally, I mean; they were dragging ass all morning. And by they, I mean me.
  • Tip your delivery drivers big. They’re doing something considerably more dangerous than normal right now, and they’re probably not getting health benefits from their job. If you’re able to, make it rain from a socially-acceptable distance.
  • Unplug from social media for a bit. Twitter, Facebook, and all the others are like standing under Niagara Falls and looking up, except instead of water it’s an unending flow of bad news. If you need, use the digital wellbeing settings on your phone and put timers on them so you get cut off after awhile. I did that with Twitter and it helps. If you have a patio or a backyard, leave your phone inside and go sit out there and just do nothing but stare at the clouds for a bit. It’s still springtime, go enjoy it for awhile; the social media deluge of death & disaster will be there when you get back, I promise.
  • If you can maintain distance from other people, walk your dog. It will enjoy it, and you probably will too.
  • Seriously, stop fucking hoarding toilet paper.
  • If you’re good at sewing or have a 3D printer, hospitals & emergency workers are happy to take donated masks and face guards.
  • Food banks are getting hammered, so if you can donate cash or canned goods to your local food bank, they will be very appreciative.
  • Make sure you’re registered to vote. Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, you’re seeing a stress test of the competency of those we rely on in dire times. Take note and remember their performance (good or bad) when you go to the polls in November.
  • Be nice to each other. We’re in a generational world-altering event, everybody’s feeling the weight. So go easy on each other. Unless they’re Sooners, obviously.
  • I’m kidding.
  • I think.

We all see a unique slice of what’s going on in the world right now, and we all see groups who are in need. If you know of a place that could use a helping hand, drop a link in the comments. If you’re in the position to help, I know these places could really use it.

North Texas Food Pantry

Dallas Food Banks

Shea Serrano has been sending cash to people in need, check out his tweets/mentions if you want to help someone directly.

Augie Garrido was famous for saying that adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it. This is the time to reveal your better self; be good to each other, every little bit counts right now.