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Shelter and the Extrovert

This left-tinted article alleges something I long suspected: Ellen DeGeneres is a nasty person. "[C]omedian Kevin T. Porter solicited stories from service workers and Hollywood peons who had experienced run-ins with DeGeneres, whom he called 'notoriously one of the meanest people alive.'" Although Hollywood stars have always presented a false persona to the public, I suspect the cover-up on this one is related to her lesbian status. No one in the mainstream media, much less the celebrity mainstream media, wants to "out" a lesbian for behaving like a, well, lesbian.

But that's not why I linked to that article.

I'm linking to that article because it's funny and highlights the ridiculousness that is celebrity culture. The gist: Celebrities are urging people to shelter-in-place just like they are, assuring everyone that we're in it together . . . while shooting the videos from their mansions, complete with fitness gyms and swimming pools.

Folks stuck on the eighth floor of their 800-foot apartments are outraged.

Good for those folks, but I can't understand the outrage. This is nothing new. Are these folks just now catching on that celebrities are moral troglodytes, often with scarcely enough grey matter to count their own money?

"But her breasts are so big. I thought she'd have genuine insight into the human condition."

Nope, those two don't equate, People magazine and the Democratic National Conventions notwithstanding.

The whole thing reminds me of something I've been reminding me of (yes, that sentence makes sense, even if inartful): Don't judge. Don't presume. In these troubling times, you really need to walk that metaphorical mile in another person's shoes.

Me, I'm digging the shutdown. I don't have a fancy fitness gym and swimming pool, but I have a pretty big house that sits on over an acre, complete with a greenhouse and cold frames and 10,000 square feet of (soon to be) tillable land. The lockdown has hit in the early spring, which is precisely when I need extra time to work outside. I have a wife and three kids on "lock down" with me, so I have plenty of human companionship.

And I'm mostly an introvert.

Which means I get energy and consolation from quiet time. Alone time.

The extrovert, on the other hand, gets energy and consolation from being with people.

Even though we're opposites, I can easily empathize with what the extrovert is going through. For me, the 12 days of Christmas are brutal. The first couple are outstanding (I am, after all, only mostly introverted, plus I love Christmas and love my family), but by Day 4, I want to shoot those calling birds and, by Day 6, I am strangling those laying geese.

My battery gets worn down by all the together time. I'm spent because I've had no alone time with which to recharge. The whole thing is easily remedied by doubling down on prayer and study time during those days, then jumping back into the Christmas fray.

But the whole shelter-in-place thing isn't easily remedied for the extrovert. For them, the best they have is videoconferencing with their friends and family, virtual cups of coffees over Skype, chat rooms.

I can't imagine it's remotely sufficient. Their batteries must be draining down, and along with it comes sincere gloom and despondency.

Part of me wants to grab them by the lapels and yell, "Now you know how I feel when you constantly intrude on my alone time!" but my arms aren't six-feet long, so I can't do that.

And another part of me feels genuinely bad for them. Even J-Lo's quarantine in Alex Rodriguez's palace couldn't take away their pain.