There are certain cultural totems that I relied upon heavily during those dark spring and summer months of 2020 that trigger repulsion in me now. I’m done with orzo forever because during that time I ate orzo with lemon and basil two meals a day for weeks. I can’t listen to the Fiona Apple album Fetch the Bolt Cutters because it brings back memories of laying in a dirty bathtub beside a waterlogged iPhone speaker, wondering if I’d ever be able to go outside again. The sight of tie dye makes me nauseous; I can’t look at the technicolor vistas of Paper Mario without muttering something anti-Italian under my breath.
But nothing makes me sicker than a certain documentary program that gripped the entire nation by our fashion mullets for a few days in March. I’m talking of course about Tiger King, the Netflix docuseries about big cat parks, plural marriage, and alleged murder-for-hire schemes.
The season 2 trailer dropped this morning, a year and a half later, and it elevates the drama of season 1 considerably. Joe Exotic, the series’ antihero, calls from prison. The other guys at the zoo are buying custom chains. Carole Baskin drives a golf cart. Tigers. A Broadway tune previously utilized pretty effectively in a different brainless quarantine fave. Something about Costa Rica?
And yet. I cannot do this again. I cannot return to this hypnotic chain-linked Weird Florida jungle imagery. I refuse to engage in any academic debates about teeth and class. No more GIFs and no more It Me-ing anyone involved. We’re vaccinated, we’re trying to build back better, and we’re relying on ourselves again. We’re not Googling anyone’s wives. We’re done here.