Don’t Be Ashamed to Admit It: You Miss California Traffic

The Commute May Be Lousy, but Gridlock Is Also Good for Us

Admit it. You miss me, don’t you?

No? OK, maybe you’re not ready to recognize how much you need me. I understand.

I know you’ve never liked me, and for that I’ve never blamed you. You Californians like to live your lives fast, and I’m all about slowing you down. So I try not to let it bother me that you complain about me more than drought or Donald Trump.

I understand that I make you late to school and to work. I lengthen brutal commutes that keep you behind the wheel for …

Looking for Jazz Uplift Under Lockdown | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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 …

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 …

I Love ‘Newsom at Noon,’ but It Needs a New Star | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I Love ‘Newsom at Noon,’ but It Needs a New Star

Let Nonpartisan Scientists and Doctors Lead the State’s Daily COVID-19 Briefings

Dear Governor,

Your lunchtime COVID-19 briefings—“Newsom at Noon”—are must-see TV.

No California governor has ever had such a regular, closely observed platform, and you are making the most of it. Your …

How Pirates, Criminals, and COVID-19 Benefit Shy Sea Turtles | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Pirates, Criminals, and COVID-19 Benefit Shy Sea Turtles

Human Scourges Are Godsends for Marine Creatures Who Need Solitude

When I read in the news that sea turtles are thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic, I was not surprised. After all, the reasoning was sound: Fear of the virus has …