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 …

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 …

Masks Have a Rich, Deep History Tailor-Made for Californians | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Masks Have a Rich, Deep History Tailor-Made for Californians

The State’s Highly Polarized Debate Over Face Masks Is Dumb and Dull, and Forgets That Masquerade Is About ‘Fun and Finding Light in Darkness’

Agoston Haraszthy didn’t hesitate to wear masks. A Hungarian immigrant, he became San Diego’s first sheriff by portraying himself as a military colonel. Then, he sold himself as a metallurgist …

California’s Powerful, but Obscure, Answer to the COVID Jobs Crisis | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California’s Powerful, but Obscure, Answer to the COVID Jobs Crisis

You May Never Have Heard of Your Local Workforce Development Boards, but They Know How to Move the State Forward

We can bring jobs back to California, and we can do it right now. The latest employment numbers should provide the sense of urgency. An additional 287,354 new unemployment insurance …