THE ADVOCATE V O L . 8 0 P A R T 4 J U L Y 2 0 2 2 489
T he world has not been kind of late. Mass shootings, mass
destruction stemming from wildfires and floods, devastating
heat, the carnage of drug overdoses, disease, war … we don’t
know about you, but for now, what we see on the news and
out the window is not something we want to write or read more about. For
the next few pages, instead, we retreat to, and spend some time in, the
lighter side of the digital world.
Digital forms of communication have been immeasurably useful in
many contexts over the past 27 (but who’s counting?) months. This has
been so not simply “at” work, but also at the Advocate. Many of you have
accessed the digital edition of the Advocate available on our website. In 2021,
the Advocate’s tweets were viewed nearly 450,000 times in total. Through
them we have been able to share in a timely manner the many, many court
notices issued about COVID-19, as well as less serious fare.
The utility of digital communications does not lie simply in allowing us
to communicate. We at the Advocate also value the fact that their nature and
operation have provided some much-needed moments of amusement. This
is so even if the humour is sometimes best appreciated after the consternation,
frustration and panic of experiencing a mode of digital communication
go awry have passed.
Most of you will recall the wonderful episode of the cat filter, which
occurred far deeper into the pandemic than we’d come to assume: February
2021, after we had already experienced months of struggles with overburdened
teleconference numbers and experiments with Zoom. The hearing
was beautifully described at the time in The New York Times:
“Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings,”
Judge Roy Ferguson, presiding over the case, begins by telling Mr. Ponton
Ray Ponton, the litigator and good sport in the video.
“Augggh,” an exasperated Mr. Ponton responds, as his kitten face looks forlornly
at the corner of the screen, its eyes seeming to be full of terror,