Parents who post about how hard it is to have their school-age kids around all day, but who are actually emphasizing the innovative teaching techniques they’ve employed, and their children’s eager receptiveness to outside-the-box education. “The students in my modern art class (aka my kids, ha, ha) came up with these Jackson Pollock imitations. A bit of a mess, but we might just have some budding abstract expressionists in our midst!”

Lists of songs to help with the sheltering process. Clearly the goal is to convey the refined but also insider-quirky tastes of the poster. Lots of links to episodes of Soul Train, one-hit wonders on MTV, and so on, sometimes with a cross-generational component to stress familial cohesion. “The kids and I danced to this for 15 minutes this morning!” Also numerous postings of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (as in, we’re all Major Tom?).

Lengthy descriptions or pics of complicated meals/desserts. “Finally made that Queretaro Green Mole in the Rick Bayless cookbook. AMAZING!” These posts offer shots of the finished product, but they’re also careful to give us a glimpse of the stainless-steel measuring cups from Smithcraft, the hand-sewn aprons from the Heath Factory in Sausalito, etc. that make the process that much more pleasurable and satisfying.

Video clips/pics of children/pets interrupting home office Zoom meetings. The goal seems to be dual in nature: (1) indicate a successful white-collar job that allows for distance work, (2) suggest that the parents/pet owners aren’t rattled by such intrusions—in fact they can see through to the inherent specialness of such moments, work be damned.

Pictures of glasses of wine, etc. with clever tag lines such as, “My Kind of Disinfectant.” The message here seems to be something along the lines of, “I’m giving it all I’ve got, but because I’m amazing, I’m also able to just relax at the end of the day.”

Posts that provide a link to an article about the latest pandemic outrage from Trump, McConnell, Barr, et al, accompanied by the one-word tag line: “This.”

Eulogies for famous people who’ve died from the virus. The runaway winner at present is John Prine (so see #9, above). Apparently, it’s important to post a YouTube link to your favorite Prine song, and to thus convey your own rough-around-the-edges but sensitive, “Tryin’ to hide my sorrow,” sensibility.

Pics of being in a line of cars at the local farmer’s market. The artsy version is to include the edge of the picture-taker—protective face mask in place—in the rear or side view mirror (see #1, below). The implication here is that, when you strip all the shit away, this FB poster is at heart a fucking survivalist.

Workout images/lists. Here we’re likely to see a flat-screen TV with a fitness coach, and in front of this the worker-outer in flattering tights, tank top, etc. Also expect lots of numbers denoting miles run, sit-up reps, and of course general reflections on pain and satisfaction. “It’s not the same as being at the gym, but Shelly’s CrossFit class on Zoom kicked my ass today, big-time!”

Selfies of people in their protective masks. Usually it’s one person per pic, but sometimes—strangely—it’s a couple. Regardless, these are without exception relentlessly serious in posture and tone. They’re also intolerable, and depending on the person and the number of above infractions, they may well merit the following Facebook-instituted penalties: “Hide Post,” “Snooze [X] for 30 Days,” or even the dreaded “Unfollow.” The nuclear option is to quit Facebook entirely, but we all know this isn’t going to happen.


And now a quick joke...

2020 has helped me understand the plot of Planet of the Apes better. I could see being so fed up with human leadership that you’re like, “Maybe we give the monkeys a shot.”