PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Burned Out

The PopCulteer
March 20, 2020

This was to have been a lengthy essay that would chronicle the timeline of how ToyLanta was postponed, and how the whole world has come crashing to a pause due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

However, I have always intended for PopCult to be a bit of an escape from the real world. I also don’t want to make this a political blog, although I think any intelligent person knows whose inaction and ineptitude got us to the point where we are now. At least we get to see more of that “Infectious Disease” sign that cracks me up for some reason.

A week ago I struggled to write a post meant to promote ToyLanta, but I was pretty well convinced then that it wouldn’t happen.

To be honest, I think I knew it in my heart a week earlier, because I hadn’t actually done anything to prepare for the trip. Normally I have toys picked out for the Lobby Swap, and have PopCult written a week in advance and The AIR scheduled all through the trip.  This time that was not the case.

Once ToyLanta was canceled, I told people that Mel and I were going to Georgia anyway, but I think that was just a bit of self-denial that allowed me to land softly on the side of common sense by last Sunday morning. It would have been foolish and reckless to make the trip considering the state of things.

My clients considered me a bit of an expert on the matter because I told them all about the Coronavirus back in January when I decided not to attend The International Toy Fair in New York.  To explain, my paying gig is consulting and freelance writing, at the moment, for a variety of businesses around the world. Since everything blew up a week ago last Wednesday, I have been putting in 15 hours a day, minimun, writing press statements, consulting with clients, talking a few people off the ledge, and basically just bending over backwards to help everybody figure out how best to cope with things.

And I’m coped out. I need a to walk away from the computer for a few hours. I’ve got to practice a little self-care. As someone who is immuno-suppressed, this is a pretty big deal, but I’m prepared to deal with it.

I’m pretty sure that nobody is reading this blog for guidance on how best to deal with the extreme situation we find ourselves in this day. Our worst fears of how this administration would turn out have been exceeded. Those of us who’ve read dystopian science fiction for our whole lives have a pretty good idea where this is headed. But you folks come here to get away from all that.

Over the next few days I’ll be telling you about more special things happening on the web, or books you can order to read and movies and TV shows that you can watch to help you get through this time of social distancing.

Right now I’m going to plug VirtualToyLanta, the Facebook-based online substitute for the real-world ToyLanta, which was to have begun today. Go to the page. Join the group and watch as everyone puts on a brave face and tries to give you some form of the cool toy show that isn’t going to happen this year.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting all sorts of footage of past ToyLanta and JoeLanta conventions, and I’ll have links to everything in that group.

At this moment things have quieted down. New routines are being established, and I’m caught up enough on different projects that I can walk away from the PC for a while.

I’ll be posting fun stuff here all weekend long. But first, i need some rest.