Fellow Creatives, What Would Your Contributions Have Been to a 2020 Time Capsule?

Joel Eisenberg

Addressed to the artists of the world as a plea for original thinking.


Courtesy of the Glendale Public Library

I am aiming for a sequel to this article.

If successful, the title will be: Fellow Creatives, How the Hell Can We Find Our Way Out of This Quagmire?

I am not kidding. Please leave comments; I will make a determination from there based on your feedback.

When my close friend gave birth to her first daughter, I bought her and her husband a time capsule to celebrate the occasion. My parents received the same from friends when I was born. When opened years later, I saw a lock of hair from my first haircut, my first drawing, an early 8mm film of my mom pregnant …

I have to admit the reveal, which occurred when I turned 21, punctuated the impermanence of life even at that young age.

Over the years, my friend added items into her daughter’s time capsule that they will open when the daughter turns 25, 10 years from now.

My friend is already expressing nervousness for the same reason.

And then there was 2020, the year of the novel coronavirus.

The year when life’s impermanence has become more punctuated than ever for most of us.

So as for 2020, what would you have incorporated in a time capsule? What would matter to you? For me …

  • A video of Donald Trump downplaying the growing pandemic;
  • A screenshot of the most recent U.S. death toll;
  • An autographed football or baseball from a notable game played in front of tens of thousands of people;
  • A Playbill from a Broadway play;
  • A face mask;
  • Plastic gloves;
  • A printout of a Facebook post calling those who wear masks “communists,” while celebrating those parading around town armed and cosplaying as characters from the movie “Red Dawn” as they defy stay at home orders in the name of “patriotism” and the cause of “civil liberty”;
  • A copy of the last porno feature filmed that year (hell, for history’s sake);
  • Quotes from Dr. Anthony Fauci about the true dangers of Covid-19;
  • A selection of books about the pandemic;
  • A selection of school essays up to Grade 12 (representing the last grade I taught as a special education teacher) about the state of the world today;
  • Photos of myself and my family in Zoom, Facebook Live, or Skype calls;
  • A bottle of Hydroxychloroquine tablets;
  • A copy of the 2006 film “Children of Men” (and P.D. James’ source novel) to determine prescience once this time capsule is opened; ditto a copy of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” novel, and George Clayton Johnson and William F. Nolan’s “Logan’s Run” novel for the same reason;
  • Ticket stubs from the last film my wife and I saw in 2020;
  • A script for a new project I’m working on related to self-isolation.

What would best represent your emotional and physical response to our global pandemic? I’m curious as to your honest thoughts.

Meantime, for some of history’s most notable time capsules, see here.

Three additional questions:

  • What year should we open the 2020 time capsule, and why?
  • Would you want to be present, and reminded of this maddening year?

Let me know where you stand on all counts.

Thank you for reading …

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA

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