We are seeing so many things that we have never seen before. And many of them are strangely connected. As we sat down to enjoy the Premier League game between Manchester City and Burnley, trying to decide whether we wanted it with fake crowd noises or without, we found ourselves looking at a light plane overhead, trailing a banner with the racist message: 'White Lives Matter - Burnley'.
After the game, Burnley's captain, Ben Mee (or #MeeToo as you might call him), made a laudable attack on the racists, demonstrating one of the recent themes of our time: the fact that sports people are providing the kind of moral leadership which is absent in the once-great countries in which they are making their interventions.
On the whole, there are roughly three things going on in the world, or at least the TV world, which is effectively the same thing: there's the pandemic, and the Black Lives Matter movement, and the decline and perhaps the fall of the American empire.
And they are intersecting all the time, even on a night when you might imagine that you'd be looking at nothing more than another few hours of top Premier League action. Yes, it is indeed 'top', and I will not hear a word against it. Some are cribbing that it is not 'top' at all, that the lack of a crowd is draining some essential element of 'topness' from the games. But I reject all that cribbing, I spurn it.
We have lived through months when the idea of watching a game of 'ball in any circumstances seemed like an impossible dream, which it might have been if some of us hadn't made a proper assessment of the possibilities, and made the arguments. In fact, I would like to pay tribute to myself in that regard, to note my contributions… but I will leave that to others.
What we have now is the best version of the game that is currently available to humanity. And that is fine by me, and it should be fine by everyone else too.
If it was a soap opera - and of course it has that going for it too, especially when Roy Keane is in the studio - it might be compared to episodes of Coronation Street in which you just have the actors in a rehearsal room, reading the lines to one another, albeit fully in character and giving it all that they've got, or at least all that they can. But if you were a Coronation Street fan, and this was as good as you could get, you'd watch that, wouldn't you?
Or if I could put it another way: what the hell else would you be doing?
Interestingly if the top sporting events of these times are looking a bit, shall we say, sparsely furnished, Claire Byrne Live seemed to be going in the opposite direction in its studio discussion about the opening up of pubs and restaurants.
To illustrate the issues facing publicans and restaurateurs such as Cliona Ni Chualain, they created a shebeen which was really quite a beautiful little place in its own right, rich in period detail and inviting in its ambiance, to the extent that it must have gone hard on them to take it all down at the end of the night.
Hopefully it is still there, with RTE employees availing of it - certainly there was a time, a more bohemian age perhaps, when you wouldn't doubt that some of RTE's finest would be in there drinking and dancing and playing the melodeon long into the night.
But that was a long time ago; then again, it seems that everything was a long time ago. Indeed it's amazing to think that there were years and years when you'd hardly even think of turning on CNN, except maybe on the night of an election.
Now in these months of confinement, we have the entertainment option of following the pandemic as it relates to the United States, where about 125,000 have died, and the president hardly even mentions it any more.
Last Sunday we woke up to the news that his rally in Tulsa had been a disaster for him, and that he'd made a 'joke' about slowing down the testing for the virus, because it was making America - by which he means himself - look bad.
This was another thing we'd never seen before: a president 'joking' about a move which would inevitably lead to the killing of thousands of his own people.
And it's just another day on CNN.
Sunday Indo Living