Artist in Residence Quarantine Diaries Episode 6: The Times, Are They A-Changin’?

So here we all still are, still largely in we-ain’t-going-anywhere-just-yet mode (aside from the guys who apparently think that wielding an assault rifle on the steps of their state’s Capitol will somehow get them a haircut by a disposable barber whose survival in a pandemic is utterly irrelevant so long as they, the gun-toters, get what THEY think just being alive here and now and as themselves entitles them to. An entirely different can of moldy worms, that, and a discussion for another time… but…). Most of us are trying hard to stand still, and wait while the disaster (which is still moving) passes us by. But in the meantime, we may be standing still , but the world around us is still turning – and with it, history rolls forward… or does it…?

I mean, are we going into the future? Or have we time-warped back into the 1960s?

Look at the “I need a haircut” crowd – we have “long-haired hippies” or people who fear that they might be perceived as such so they take steps to ensure that they are very definitely not on the side of love and peace.

We have RACE RIOTS in plethora of cities, rising over the death of a one-too-many black man at the hands of police ultraviolence, *dying on video* under the knee of an officer of the law pressing down on his neck.

We even had a Cape Canaveral space launch with humans again, after nine years (that, at least, gives me joy. They started “ten… nine… eight…” and I sobbed, watching from across the nation over here inthe PNW. We were finally GOING BACK…)

There’s bandanas being worn (admittedly as pro forma Covid masks, but still.)

What next, a return of tie-dye, miniskirts and bell bottom trousers? Will we be going to San Francisco to wear flowers in our hair?

Are the times a-changin’, or are we just circling back for another go round on a track we’ve run before? How many times does that need to be done? Is the answer blowing in the wind?

I’m watching everything old become new again – they marched in Selma and now they’re marching again for more or less the same reasons all over again – there’s thousands and thousands of dead Americans (Vietnam, then, Covid now) – there’s fires in the streets – there’s rockets going up into the black with human beings aboard.

Are we adrift in history? Or are we really just doomed to repeat it…?



About Alma Alexander

Alma Alexander's life so far has prepared her very well for her chosen career. She was born in a country which no longer exists on the maps, has lived and worked in seven countries on four continents (and in cyberspace!), has climbed mountains, dived in coral reefs, flown small planes, swum with dolphins, touched two-thousand-year-old tiles in a gate out of Babylon. She is a novelist, anthologist and short story writer who currently shares her life between the Pacific Northwest of the USA (where she lives with her husband and two cats) and the wonderful fantasy worlds of her own imagination. You can find out more about Alma on her website (, her Facebook page (, on Twitter ( or at her Patreon page (


Artist in Residence Quarantine Diaries Episode 6: The Times, Are They A-Changin’? — 2 Comments

  1. Alma, as always, you are spot on with your broad view of culture! I do feel we have gone back to the polarization of the 60s, with the protests, so many deaths, and corrupt U.S. Presidents Nixon/Trump. I hadn’t thought about the return to long-haired pseudo-hippies without haircuts, ha ha! I just wish we could have that Peace and Love someday. Perhaps in an alternate dimension.

  2. Light-hearted sidestep: tie-dye really is having a bit of a revival.

    A week ago Dutch TV news for kids had an item about two Dutch girls who have started an international online shop in tie-dye clothes, which they dye themselves after school. They saw some old tie-dyed shirts of their parent’s and liked the look, and the idea of something fun to do at home. They started dying their own Tshirts, and when lots of people liked those, they started a small shop on Instagram. First they only sold a few to friends and classmates, now they even have international customers.

    The kids and interviewer speak Dutch, but with the YouTube subtitles on it might make some sense: