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Gustav Yegorov
Gustav Yegorov

Life Goes On



By the second season, the writers began to expand the show's scope beyond Corky, and the third and fourth seasons centered on Becca and a new character, Jesse (Chad Lowe), a junior who met Becca through the school's theatre department. As they become friends, Jesse told Becca he was HIV positive. Tyler became less prominent in Becca's life and was jealous of Becca's closeness with Jesse. His character was written out and he was given the memorable sendoff of dying in a car accident with Corky as passenger.




Life Goes On


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Much to the surprise of those around them, Becca and Jesse began a relationship despite his HIV. The writers explored life with HIV through Jesse's character, and the difficulties the disease causes with romantic relationships. The relationship between Corky and Becca, previously portrayed as close, was also explored, as Corky briefly turned his back on his sister for dumping a mutual friend to date Jesse.


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Life Goes On was initially set in the suburbs outside of Chicago, Illinois. In the early seasons, it centered around the family's middle child, Corky Thatcher (Chris Burke), who has Down Syndrome, but the show switched gears later on and treated Corky like any other character. The family also included mother and father Drew Thatcher (Bill Smitrovich) and Libby Thatcher (Patti LuPone), as well as eldest sister Paige Thatcher (Monique Lanier and Tracey Needham) and Martin as Becca. It was a groundbreaking series for looking at how a family with Down Syndrome interacts in everyday life. It also tackled a very serious issue later, including a main character, Jesse, who was HIV positive. The show had one episode set 25 years in the future, where Pamela Bellwood played a 40-something-year-old Becca. In that episode, she reflected on Jesse's death and all the other memories in her old house. It is not clear if a revival would consider that episode canon since it has been more than 25 years since the show went off the air.


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In the aftermath of the 1990 earthquake in Iran that left fifty thousand dead, Abbas Kiarostami returned to Koker, where his camera surveys not only devastation but also the teeming life in its wak...


Elena Buntova, along with other scientists, answered the call of Chernobyl for a completely different reason than the liquidators. As doctor of biology, she came after the accident to study the effects of radiation on wildlife. She never left.


My friend Nick died in March of last year, of an illness unrelated to Covid. It was devastating, for me and for many others. In the time since I have had that interesting experience, as you all have, of discovering ways that you miss someone that you would not have predicted. One petty thing: there was no one else I would rather share a little private mockery with, about someone we found pompous or fake. Nick was well read and well spoken and authentically himself. He was always a consummate \u201Cjust add water\u201D type socially, someone I could take along to anything and trust that he\u2019d be outgoing and comfortable with whoever I was meeting. He was, like me, a love-it-or-hate-it kind of guy, one who inspired intense feelings and could be very difficult at times. But that\u2019s my favorite sort of person, the kind who isn\u2019t blandly likable and safe to know, but rather extracts a cost to be close to and then repays that cost with rare and complicated gifts of personality. Lately I\u2019ve just been missing the ability to reach out to him as someone who was there for so much of my life, and who had his unique sensibility, his own weird way. Nick was fearless and confident and tortured and gentle and sharp, and I miss him terribly.


What people of this school demand is not sound public health policy or compliance with common-sense Covid regulations, much less an end to the epidemic. (That would end the fun.) What they want is for the world to stop. They want Covid to matter so much that we all look around and realize that something is fundamentally out of order and thus grind human life to a halt, in much the same way that they said \u201Cthis is NOT normal!\u201D when Trump was elected, as if that were true, as if the world would care if it was. And thudding around in the background is the palpable sense that they are attached to this condition that they say frightens and disturbs them, that they need it, as they imagine that finally something has come along so extreme and so wrong that it will arrest the world\u2019s progress, stopping the ride so they can get out and cluck their tongue at the ridiculousness and injustice of it all.


But the people are voting with their feet. They\u2019re going about their lives, fitfully but unapologetically. I look around and New York is awake and alive. And the question as to whether all these people returning to normal is good or responsible or sound public health practice just isn\u2019t relevant, isn\u2019t meaningful. People were not going to rot in their houses forever, and this was and remains a statement of fact, not of value. The world is reawakening. Whether it should reawaken is angels dancing on the head of a pin, a trolley problem, a dorm room pass-the-bong puzzler. It can\u2019t be answered and doesn\u2019t matter. Time only spins forward, for good and for bad, even during a pandemic, even when THIS. IS. NOT. NORMAL. No time stays special forever, and people like living life. It\u2019s no more complicated than that.


I look at athletes who have recently taken breaks to address their mental health - Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, Ben Simmons. I\u2019m glad for them, that they felt empowered to take that time, and I hope they all get the rest and treatment and consideration they need. But I also want to tell them that the world never slows down for your mental illness, and the way it spins on while everyone is telling you to focus on yourself is disheartening and hard. \u201CTake all the time you need,\u201D people always say, but when someone comes back from taking the time they need they\u2019ll find that their workplaces and social circles have gone on without them nonetheless, and challenges and setbacks will afflict them because of it, like soldiers coming home from war to find that all of the ribbons tied to all of the trees didn\u2019t stop the world from marching on. I would give those who need time all the time they can use, but it\u2019s not mine to give. None of us can make the world stop for others. And so true compassion requires that we say to them, \u201Cyou must take the time you need, but the world tumbles on regardless, and if you take all the time you want your life will not be the same when you return.\u201D As sad and unfortunate as that is, that\u2019s life, that\u2019s how it works, for me and them and everyone else.


Find a newspaper from ten years ago and you will be confronted by conditions and events that seemed transcendent and unchanging and which now could not seem more trivial and pointless. Those events that have true, permanent consequences and deep human stakes stay important but can\u2019t remain vital, not the way they once were. Even the Holocaust, if we\u2019re being honest, has receded from its singular and unique role in our civic imagination in my own lifetime. There are vast industries devoted to ensuring its memory does not fade, and for good reason. It\u2019s essential that we try to keep it alive in public consciousness as much as we can. But public consciousness is a distracted and fickle thing. Younger generations simply can\u2019t absorb the feelings that accrued to those who occupied a world where most people held it in present consciousness. When I was a child in the 80s a survivor came to school and talked about it, and that was someone who was in the camps as an adult and could comprehend them with adult eyes. Now all the survivors who are left were children then, or near enough, and soon even they will be gone. And while we will light the candles and whisper at the memorials and teach the children, in time the victims will seem no more real than those of Genghis Khan. That\u2019s just how history works.


And my heart rebels. I want the world to stop every time I see that a baby bird has dropped from a tree, to demand that everyone stop what they\u2019re doing and comprehend that injustice. At the same time I know that the world will never stop, not for war or genocide or plague. That\u2019s where we live, between our feeling hearts that see every life and death as sacred and our thinking minds that can't help but render all of it ordinary over time. Covid is a very big deal, a true international emergency, and our systems of governance must direct an effort of shared sacrifice that only the people, communally, can realize. You must take care. (Please, get vaccinated.) But a response to the pandemic that demands that the world stop, that everyone climb into their holes forever and act like life will never go on, is bound to fail, a fundamental misunderstanding of our nature. We can demand certain restrictions and behaviors, but the demand that the world stop will generate only resentment and resistance, and not just from conservatives or anti-vaxxers. You cannot declare that all of time will be special from now on. That was another lesson of 9/11, that there is no such thing as constant vigilance, that the concept is a contradiction in terms. Abnormal becomes normal. Life goes on. 041b061a72


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