Social media is coming in handy during all this isolation, but 'Starch Madness' is simply too much.

People love to rip on today’s technological capabilities for making us feel more isolated and apart than ever, even if the original intention when all of these gadget-ory marvels were invented was to bring people together, and in the process make the planet on which we reside seem smaller.

It’s a societal moment in time that has just about every experience no matter how mundane and minuscule being recorded by parents, kids, friends, relatives, bosses, coworkers and complete strangers and shared with the masses.

“Yum! Can’t wait to eat these chips and queso!” (With photo of chips and queso.)

But when everyone is basically ordered to stay home because of a viral pandemic, technology can be a wondrous thing. Maybe even the most important thing. Maybe.

Some of it is just innocent fun, simply efforts to engage friends and family online. One guy posted a link to his favorite song and asked people to reply with links to their all-time favorite song. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, other than it further cementing the fact that if someone put a gun to my head and demanded that I name one song my absolute favorite of all time, I’d stutter and stammer and struggle and squirm, turn red-faced and get sweaty, and then I’d be shot.

But other techno-outreach efforts are a bit much. Like, enough with the posts requesting people to post things like their current mood and then the last thing they ate, and whatever the combination of words is, that’s your “quarantine nickname.”

You know people are fudging the truth in response to a request like that. The last one of these posts I came across last weekend, I was feeling a bit sluggish because I hadn’t slept well the night before, and we had just finished devouring a baby-back ribs feast I’d meticulously marinated, seasoned and baked over the course of two days.

So do you think, had I in fact replied, I would have typed something like “Tired Ribs”? No way. That’s not witty or entertaining in the least. Had I decided to participate, I would have taken my time and searched the furthest reaches of my mind to find the most clever answer possible that would have been the most certain to pile up likes, loving red hearts and laughing memes. Like “Horny Macaroni” or “Angry Pudding” or “Lonely Polska Kielbasa” or “Nervous Fig Newton” or “Depressed Toaster Strudel” or “Sad Deep-Fried Pork Rinds.”

On social media, accurate depictions often give way to inspired, even desperate attempts for widespread acceptance and acclaim. Add a pandemic and the resulting countless hours stuck at home, and you’re going to inevitably end up scrolling through your Facebook feed and coming across someone with “Hopeless Cinnamon Toast Crunch” as their quarantine nickname.

It’s who we are and where we’re at, so we might as well own it, right?

But, still, people are really starting to reach. Someone posted a scenario earlier this week about a burglar breaking into your house and stealing all of your spices. You can only buy five to get you by until the end of the quarantine, so which five do you pick? (She excludes salt and pepper.)

Someone replied with the nicknames of the five Spice Girls, and at that moment, you drop the mic and end it.

This morning, I came across “Starch Madness.” It involves a massive bracket much like the NCAA basketball “March Madness” brackets, only the 68 slots are filled with different types of starches. Yes, there are play-in games.

“Which potato will win?” the creator of Starch Madness excitedly wondered.

Isn’t the better question, “There are 68 different kinds of potatoes?”


More madness

I was going to continue with more quirky social media phenomena that have emerged in this COVID-19 age, but it seems like a bunch of meaningless fluff when we continue to be led through this mess by President Donald Trump. It seems like one is not doing one’s duty if that duty doesn’t involve continuing to shine the spotlight on this man’s sheer inability to be an intelligent, mature, empathetic human being tasked with leading a nation.

First off – and, thankfully, this already started happening earlier this week – the TV networks and cable news channels have to stop airing Trump’s daily briefings live and in their entirety. Much of the briefings are turning into, basically, campaign rallies for Trump, as his minions stare longingly at him and heap praise upon him and he blathers nonsense that is not only often false and incoherent, it’s sometimes dangerous to the well-being of the American public.

Forget impeachment, he needs to be declared unfit for office and removed via the 25th Amendment.

Secondly...oh, who needs a secondly? Just watch the guy. Listen to him. Read his 3 a.m. tweet-storms. You know he’s unfit for this office, because he’s shown it since a couple short days after being elected and he’s continued to provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt in the years since. Trump has only made the case against him more ironclad since the moment the world was first introduced to something called the coronavirus: He is the last person who should be President of the United States. The last person.