YoC.8: Covid and Raimonds Pauls

YoC.8: Covid and Raimonds Pauls

Positive

Unfortunately, I finally caught the Covid, so my weekend plan to see Raimonds Pauls, one of Latvia’s most popular musicians, was dashed.

I gave my ticket to Lara, my best British friend, and she went and sent me some photos and videos, so I can share a bit of the experience despite being stuck at home. It was great to have my friends Lara and Renārs who both brought me some groceries to help get me through my week of quarantine.

About Covid

I thank whoever is responsible for my bout with Covid being almost symptom free. I told my doctor that I tested positive, so she put me on a 9-day work note, meaning that I would be paid for not working for those days that I was sick. However, I really didn’t feel bad, and since I work from home, I asked her to end the note early because I was actually a bit bored.

I had no temperature. Just a tickle in the throat, and I was a bit tired, but really hardly noticeable.

This means that either I am resistant and strong, or my standard health is so bad that I could have Covid and hardly notice. I am going to guess it is the latter.

Culture via Television

Since I didn’t get to do anything really cultural, I want to write a bit about my experiences watching old American television series.

Barney Miller

I can’t really explain what started me on this road, but I had this idea to watch Barney Miller, and I was able to find the entire series in one download. The series began in 1975 and ran through 1982, so this was a huge part of my childhood. I remember watching episodes with my mom and having her explain some of the jokes and references.

I find some comfort in watching the old series because I can work and do other things. I don’t have to pay close attention, and I can get the feel of the time period. I was absolutely amazed at how so many of the topics and issues in Barney Miller are still relevant today. There were plenty of episodes dealing with race, homosexuality, and women’s rights.

The character of Barney, the Captain of the 9th precinct, a fictional police station in New York City, was always sympathetic and liberal in his humane treatment of everyone who entered his office. It was also fun to see so many guest appearances from actors I recognized.

Northern Exposure

This show is from the early 90s, and I remember watching in college and in my 20s. It follows Doctor Joel Fleischman as he goes from New York City to the tiny fictional town of Cicely, Alaska. I know that I am not a Jewish doctor displaced, but the “fish-out-of-water” plots kind of hit home as I make my way here in the Northern town of Riga, Latvia.

The series was great for the first few seasons, again dealing with lots of topical issues, but the last seasons, after Joel left the show, had me wondering why I was still watching. I did not finish the series because it just lost the center.

Boston Legal

My current series of choice has taken me back to the early 2000s. I watched Boston Legal sporadically, but I remember a lot of the episodes. It features James Spader as Alan Shore and William Shatner as Denny Crane, playing two high-priced, powerful lawyers. They represent the liberal and conservative mindset, and Shatner does such a great job in his role.

This show is peak pre-meetoo, and the lechery of the characters and the “male gaze” of the camera work is hard to watch at times. What is interesting is that they reference the sexual harassment constantly in the show, but despite this self-awareness, the show just continues to dehumanize women. It is very problematic, but interesting to watch from my modern perspective.

Of all the shows, this one really deals with topical issues head-on through Alan Shore’s sermonic closing arguments. Watching these once a week as the show happened would have been great, but watching one episode after another, they get a bit exhausting.

I really like the self-references that the show mixes in. One episode mentions Klingons, and Shatner reacts almost as Captain Kirk. It is a lot of fun.

If you have ideas for other shows that are good to go back and watch, I would love to hear. I am thinking of going back to the 60s to see what I missed. What shows from that era hold up and have substance?

Raimonds Pauls

Raimonds Pauls is a legend in the world of Latvian music. I learned of him when I bought a few Latvian albums and found that he had written almost all the songs. He has been popular since the 50s and 60s, and is still beloved today. He was born in 1936, so he is 87 years old. I really wanted to see him perform because who knows how much time he has left! I know that sounds gruesome, but hey, it is true.

Here are some photos Lara sent me, but they only show the singer and not Pauls who was playing piano. Oh well. You can see him on youtube to get a feeling. Old-fashioned, but melodic.

Lara said she enjoyed the show despite the singer being a bit of a crooner in tight pants.

And a video of the singing:

Photos

Side note:

I feel like this whole blog post has been a side note. I am hoping to bring you higher-quality content once my illness is over and the weather turns a bit more springlike.

I hope all of you are well!

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