Brian Carother's livestream

I hopped in the shower before joining the interview as if they could smell me through my laptop. I also sang.

The Pittsburghers I know are all trying to figure out the new direction they need to take given our new quarantine lifestyles, many of us being laid off and put into situations of great struggle. I don’t think it’s been easy on any of us.

And we’re all on social media.

Isn’t it interesting how everything is contextual? The other day on YouTube I’d seen a interview with a talking head doctor explaining how, under normal circumstances, washing and sanitizing your hands as much as we are right now is unhealthy. There are many germs that are healthy for us and allow us to have strong immune systems. But during the reign of Covid-19, while the coronavirus is sweeping the world, that’s exactly what the doctors are telling us to do: wash your hands, sanitize all the surfaces, etc. etc.

And so our perspective of how things are and what should be done has changed. And we miss handshakes and high-fives.

And social media is usually frowned upon for all it’s downsides. But now, it looks like we’ve got a newfound appreciation for it. Because everything is contextual to what’s around it.

It’s natural for us to lean towards social media despite it’s shortcomings, we can’t do things the same way as before and we’re social animals: we need connection.

Many - myself included - are using this as an opportunity to begin producing content and see what opportunities come of it. Adaptation at it’s finest. Actually, I’ve been trying to get back into it for the past few months and this extra push is doing me some good.

Our community is getting more tightly knit and we’re getting to know each other more in this time. The name of the game is collaboration. Push, push, push. I’ve seen glimpses from those in the arts community and the general sentiment is “relax, process” - which definitely has it’s place. No one should feel obligated to produce work and be motivated during a pandemic. Hell, I did something similar to that for like a year plus - only occasionally pushing my work out when the opportunity felt right. Also juggling ADHD, freelance work, family life, being with friends…

But notice I said “no one should”. Strictly from my observations, artists are used to sliding up and down Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. As a reminder, the top of the pyramid is creative fulfillment and bigger picture thinking. The base is physiological: food, water, shelter, etc.

But what we’re getting with this pandemic is a huge shift to the bottom of the pyramid and this I suspect is breaking many people’s illusions of what should be and replacing it with what is. Sometimes the world tells us to adapt or go kick dirt. That’s what happened to me and my vision is still adjusting. So I’m gonna try my best to work and continue to strive for greater during this time.

Which means further making myself an asset, taking time to understand nuance in business/video/art, reading. It means disseminating my ideas, sharing my thoughts and lessons I’ve learned.

I also have to exercise often and keep my body moving. I’ve found that it complains to me if I work from bed most of the day and to my dissatisfaction, it looks like I’ll have to start switching it up. The observation I’m sure you’ve made about life by now is that there are many false friends with diminishing returns: chilling in bed turns out to be one of them. Quarantine edition!

So yes, I hopped in the shower for a livestream interview that turned out to be 5 minutes. Which was most likely cut short because since the beginning of me hopping on the cast, my Surface laptop decided to activate the infrared camera used for face detection instead of the regular one. The video of me was showing up entirely black and white. And the infrared light fazed in and out. So, I was completely blackened out for half the stream. Think of when the news interviews some anonymous whistleblower and has to keep their identity a secret. That’s how I looked.

It’s tech malfunctions like this happening that force me to hear from my friends who have Apple products about how much better their products are. The worst thing is that it’s old news that’s not even true anymore. And they know it. Apple doesn’t innovate or lead with quality, seems to me like they needed Steve Jobs.

But I’ll be damned if the thought isn’t in the back of my mind that maybe I own a buggy piece of shit. Most of the time it’s great though, much like my interactions in the Pittsburgh community.

The whole point of doing an interview actually isn’t for me to gain any popularity from it, although it does add to my perceived momentum and name awareness which I feel is important. I’m actually just doing it to show up - as one does in a community - to say hello, share stories and experiences and so on.

We can actually help each other’s careers through the actions we take.

I’d been scrolling through my newsfeed when I saw Sally Wiggin (former news anchor) on the show, who was a real treat to watch and listen to.

Previously, I only knew her name from TV and word of mouth. But it hadn’t occurred to me to learn more about a news anchor I hadn’t met. Which is probably true for all of us. I always thought it was weird that some people have a favorite news anchor. How do you appreciate their personality while they’re telling you the weather?

This is the exact opposite of what we get to hear from Sally, however. She showed up and gave us something really tangible and interesting. Stories ranging from almost getting carjacked to her obsessive (and in my opinion during these circumstances, justified) sanitizing routines. Here’s a link to her interview: https://www.facebook.com/brian.carothers/videos/10218882540787323/

I can’t link to my interview because to add to the other complication, it’s not showing up. But maybe it’ll reappear, and if it does it’ll be on my Facebook.