“What day is it?” you ask, briefly emerging from the fugue state you’ve slipped in and out of since mid-March. You’re in good, albeit confused, company. We are now more than five months into a relentless pandemic and fewer than 70 days away from the general election – a stress-inducing combination of factors that has made losing track of time such a widespread phenomenon that multiple publications have consulted with professionals to figure out what the heck is going on. We humbly recommend turning to another expert, of sorts: filmmaker David Lynch.
The “Twin Peaks” co-creator has been uploading daily Los Angeles weather reports to the David Lynch Theater’s YouTube channel since mid-May, returning to an occasional hobby of his from the mid-2000s. He sits in what appears to be a basement but could very well be a bunker, surrounded by random objects, including a landline telephone and, in typical fashion, a damn fine cup of coffee. He looks into the camera stating the date and day of the week before moving onto business: “Here in L.A., some heavy fog moved in last night – hopefully, it’ll be lifting soon,” he says in Monday’s video. “Very still right now, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 21 Celsius.”
Then, he pivots. “Today, I’m wondering: What will happen next?”
The videos amass thousands of views, the comments sections filled with earnest answers to Lynch’s words. “I don’t know what will happen next. I only know tomorrow’s weather report,” reads one response. “No one knows David, but we can all get through whatever comes next so long as you keep posting,” says another. Another describes Lynch as “the man providing the world with a sense of stability and structure.”
Stability and structure aren’t always associated with Lynch, an artist known for the uncanny elements of his work – well captured by the Red Room and its dancing, backward-talking little person from “Twin Peaks,” which premiered in 1990. The murder mystery series “took a familiar genre and made it feel foreign,” reads a 2015 Atlantic piece detailing a viewing experience not unlike how it feels to wake up in your own bed, but in a world that feels as though it has fallen off its axis.
Those stuck at home might find this a wise time to catch up on Lynch’s body of work, from the original two seasons of “Twin Peaks” and its Showtime revival to films such as “Blue Velvet,” “Inland Empire” and his cult classic debut, “Eraserhead.” Lynch, a most prolific vlogger, has even released a few shorts to YouTube in the past few months that strike the same precisely bizarre tone of his longer projects. All 12 minutes of his July windowsill drama “The Spider and the Bee” are set to spooky music reminiscent of composer Angelo Badalamenti’s “Twin Peaks” soundtrack.
But those creations don’t soothe troubled spirits like Lynch’s weather reports, which are primed for a YouTube rabbit hole. There’s a balm-like quality to his steady voice and the endearing way he pronounces “Monday,” which the New York Times would attribute to the “flat folksy accent of his native Missoula” (a description pulled from a 2006 article aptly titled “David Lynch’s Shockingly Peaceful Inner Life” – he also spent part of his childhood in Spokane and Sandpoint). Your ears grow accustomed to hearing dates like July 4 read quaintly as “July four,” your eyes lulled by the blue and gray filters overlaying the images.
Once you’ve made it through 2020, why not dip into the archives?
Lynch still manages to make mention of this serotonin-boosting weather in his most recent videos, even if it happens to be a dreary day. On “July 25,” he looks out at the gray, cloudy, foggy gloom surrounding him.
“Once this burns away, per usual, we should be having those beautiful blue skies and golden sunshine once again,” Lynch reassures the public. “Everyone, have a great day!”
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