Looking for Jazz Uplift Under Lockdown

A Music Critic Considers the Power of Time-Honored Rituals When They Can’t Happen as They Should

Three days after the September 11 terrorist attacks I left my Brooklyn home, tracing backward the trail that thick billows of smoke had blown across the East River, to hear saxophonist Charles Lloyd at the Blue Note, in Greenwich Village. Two weeks earlier, I had interviewed Lloyd on a park bench in the shadow of the Twin Towers. He described his compositions as “tenderness sutras” and his performances as rituals offered in the face of complacency and conflict. Sitting in that club, those towers now gone, I listened closely. I …

More In: Essays

Building an NBA Team to Lose | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Building an NBA Team to Lose

The 76ers Sacrificed the Present for the Future, but Was ‘the Process’ Worth the Price?

Last February, while in Boston for MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, I found myself sitting at a bar table alongside Sam Hinkie, the former general manager of the NBA’s Philadelphia …

Seeking a New Kind of Leader for the ‘War’ Against COVID-19 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Seeking a New Kind of Leader for the ‘War’ Against COVID-19

Military-Inspired Political Charisma Doesn’t Work Anymore

When COVID-19 began its surge in March, politicians worldwide rushed to cast themselves in a familiar role. Donald Trump described himself as a “wartime president.” Emmanuel Macron of France solemnly …

Quarantine Won’t Be Forever, but Pandemic Humor Is Timeless  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Quarantine Won’t Be Forever, but Pandemic Humor Is Timeless 

A Century Before TikToks and Memes, the 1918 Flu Inspired Rhyming Poetry and Skeptical Satire

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, as society shut down and social distancing became the new norm, user-created media content about life during the pandemic exploded. Today’s technology makes it easy …

The New Faces of Climate Justice | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The New Faces of Climate Justice

My Environmental Students Are Diverse, Motivated, and Love Humanity, but the More They Learn, the More They Despair

According to polls, Generation Z—people born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s—share some startling characteristics. Surveys show that they are more lonely, depressed, and suicidal than any previous generation. They …