Producer pally (reacting to yesterday’s “The Draining“): “Sheesh. Can you start your column with a more depressing headline and opening? Are you trying to drive readers away? Give us a break!”

HE to Producer Pally: “So the recipe for vigorous readership is fantasy, nostalgia, sweet music, re-voting past Oscar competitions, fairy tales and the like? We’re living through a cross between a Steven Soderbergh and a George Romero film — an open-ended pandemic nightmare with bumblefuck zombies howling about Gretchen Whitmer — life in a vast, shrouded minimum security concentration camp with wifi and streaming at home.

“On one hand I’m happy and counting our blessings — Tatiana and I are both healthy, working hard, taking occasional walks and watching a lot of streaming, and on the other hand I occasionally dream about snorting heroin. Because ‘life’ (that once-familiar state of natural being that occasionally included joy and rapture and various states of wonder **) has basically stopped.

Producer pally: “Stop the drama. It’s easy enough to find the middle ground without declaring an apocalypse.”

** As well as grimacing as young wine-drinking women shrieked with Irish banshee laughter in restaurants and bars…that was part of the symphony back then.