Insert Foot: Covideos could be the new selfies

Insert Foot, Zoom, COVID-19, coronavirus

Insert Foot and the COVID-EO.

If I understand this right, live shots from a laptop pointed at your face is the new selfie, thanks to the Covid.

That’s what I call it, and that’s what I’m going to call it. It’s not intended to be disrespectful. It’s just that I’ve written “COVID-19” so many times the past five weeks, an outline of the words explodes inside my eyelids every time I blink. I dream about COVID-19. If I had another child, I might accidentally name it COVID-19.

That could too happen. Ask my ex-wife. When it came time to name our daughter, Olivia, I was so tired (right–I was the one who was tired), I wrote “Olva” on the birth certificate.

So, back to the point I wasn’t making very well: I prefer “the Covid” in less formal settings. And you really don’t get less formal (cheap) than one of these columns.

Regarding the Covideos (patent pending) we’re seeing all over the place: I don’t like them much. But they beat real entertainment gatherings at which one could spread or contract a deadly disease and die. And that isn’t entertaining at all.

Have you found yourself recently watching hastily arranged programming during which someone does their best not to look like they just fell off the couch? Do you peer past the newscaster/Disney singer/Charlie Watts to see what kind of house they have? Well, yeah … it does look nicer than yours. We’re peasants. No one lets us be on TV.

But we naturally think we’re getting a peak into someone’s private life. And they’re all big, BIG readers, apparently, with LOTS of BOOKS and walls FULL of awards.

The covideo is the new resume. It’s the new bumper sticker. Because what’s in the video is how we now represent ourselves. Notice how many people aren’t screaming at the kids or kicking their cats, which is how we now judge people.

“Oh, whoops, how did all those local daytime Emmy awards get jammed onto that shelf right over my left shoulder?” “Who put that photo of me with a famous person who could, by happenstance I suppose, accidentally be mistaken for my close, personal friend, on that wall there? I didn’t even see that!”

But enough about TV newscasters.

I had a framed print of a 19th century piece of art I won’t name (“The Floor Scrapers” by  Gustave Calillebottesomething) when I did my regularly scheduled biweekly video summit with my pals over music our children make fun of.

Did you see that? See how I just slid that right into the conversation? I tried to impress you because I have a framed replica of some European, or probably French, guy’s painting on my wall.

A-Ha! I’m onto me!

That’s what humans do. We want to impress you while simultaneously pretending it’s no big deal.

I actually moved my laptop during the conversation (Now I’m rationalizing because I still care what you think) because, as you know, French art doesn’t go with lively discussions among middle age professionals regarding the best heavy metal guitarist in Japan 35 years ago. France and Japan aren’t even in the same state.

I was trying to impress them but not letting them think I was trying to impress them. Which, I hope, impressed them. And speaking of being impressed, if there was a channel that just played Charlie Watts at home doing whatever Charlie Watts does all day, I would give up everything I own and probably my children and all the money I won’t ever make, just to watch for two days.

One thing about covideo conferencing I do like are the fake scenes you can put on the screen behind you, so it looks like you’re somewhere fabulous if you don’t happen to have shelves full of large, coverless books that look difficult to read.

You can have an outer space background. You can be on a tropical island. You could be milking a cow on an island space farm … maybe. You can even use a photo from your desktop of you (me) and other guys on the call doing things you (we) couldn’t legally do at another guy’s 16th birthday party a long time ago. Which was a little surprising and made me hope he doesn’t use that for work meetings …

Life is changing, and we still have to let the world see us, somehow. We might as well have some fun doing it and, if someone becomes extremely impressed at what they believe your life may or may not be like, all the better. I think.

Follow music critic Tony Hicks at

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