Culture

Love in the Time of Coronavirus: The Series, the Call for Papers

#Coronavirus #COVID19 #Pandemic: Love in the Time of Coronavirus is a new and hopefully short-run PopMatters series of art and life and the art of living in these times of global health crisis.

Good Readers: We have started this special series because we are receiving many personal communiques from PopMatters' contributors and interesting articles about life in this extraordinary time of global pandemic.

If you are interested in contributing to this special series, please follow our submissions process, here. (No emailed articles, please.) We are accepting short entries (500 words minimum) and of course, the long-form essays PopMatters, est. 1999, is known for.

Personal observations and experiences are welcome — but please, keep that smart cultural critique at the forefront. What we are looking for in this series is broader cultural criticism with elements of the personal experience. Articles hinging on outrage, angst and anger and political diatribes will probably not be accepted -- social media and news commentary are better platforms for that. Instead, take an informed cultural/political/personal look at life in these times of COVID-19.

We're interested in art and life, and the art of living, in these times of a global health crises.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, be well, be safe, and spread love, but only love.

Note: We don't exclude readers with a paywall. That's one of many ways we send love to you. Send PopMatters a little love back at no cost to you. It's simple: don't ad block. If you're not seeing ads, type "How to whitelist website" in your browser and follow the instructions. Thank you.

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.

Read Jana Fedtke's article.

Confinement and Escape: Emma Donoghue and E.L. Doctorow in Our Time of Self-Isolation

Skitterphoto (Pixabay License / Pixabay)

Emma Donoghue's Room and E.L. Doctorow's Homer & Langley define and confront life within limited space.

Read Christopher John Stephens' article.

Solitude Stands in the Window: Thoreau's 'Walden'

StockSnap (Pixabay License / Pixabay)

Henry David Thoreau's Walden as a 19th century model for 21st century COVID-19 quarantine.

Read Christopher John Stephens' article.

Will COVID-19 Kill Movie Theaters?

Photo: Pixabay

Streaming services and large TV screens have really hurt movie theaters and now the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered multiplexes and arthouses. The author of The Perils of Moviegoing in America, however, is optimistic.

Read Gary D. Rhodes' article.

Marc Maron's Private Grief on a Public Stage

Press photo / WTFpod.com

The risky healing power of Marc Maron's WTF podcast eulogy to Lynn Shelton.

Read Christopher John Stephens' article.

Isolation Odyssey: Behind the Scenes with a Lockdown Orchestra

Scattered throughout the world, members of Opera North's orchestra share how they are enduring the loss of live performance and companionship during the COVID-19 lockdown. They also share a mood-lifting, online isolation performance of a work that everyone knows but not always for the same reasons.

Read Rowland Thomas' article.

COVID-19 Means Living Life in Two Minds at Once

COVID-19 has created a day-by-day experience in which we realize there are no perfect answers, and every moment exists as a co-mingling of light and dark counterpoints.

Read Nick Soulsby's article.

Work Doesn’t Always Look Like Work: In Defense of Radical Laziness During COVID-19

Pexels (Pixabay License / Pixabay)

Expecting financially devastated artists to produce during the coronavirus shutdown is akin to handing a condemned man a typewriter on his way to the gallows. To hell with that.

Read Ben de la Cour's article.

Stressed About COVID-19? Seek the Tao of Coen

Jeff Bridges as The Dude in The Big Lebowski (1998) (IMDB)

"Son, you got a panty on your head." As purveyors of gallows humor, filmmakers the Coen Brothers teach us how to laugh at things that aren't funny -- but kinda are.

Read Loren Kantor's article.

The Cure's "Seaside" Cure for Sheltering at Home

Photo: Courtesy of Global Publicity

In these times of pandemic turmoil and outright trauma, what better match does the tempestuous human soul have than the sea? And what better lyricist than the Cure's Robert Smith, who twins the wrath (or sadness) of the sea with similar human emotions?

Read Alison Ross's article.

Some of One World's Comfort Songs Are Off-Key

One World: Together at Home and what our choice of anthems says about how we cope with a crisis.

Read Christopher John Stephens' article.

I Would Like to See My Doctor: Social Distancing and Telemedicine

Kapa65 (Pixabay License / Pixabay)

My first COVID-19-era "telehealth" video call had me looking up my doctor's nose. Who could blame him for turning his camera off?

Read Jennifer Companik's article.

Willie Nile Celebrates Fans, Family, Friendship With "Under This Roof" (premiere + interview)

Willie Nile moves forward with a message of unity and love in the wake of COVID-19 and remembers friends, John Prine and Hal Willner.

Read Jedd Beaudoin's article.

Brian Holcomb

On 11 April 2020 we lost longtime contributor, friend, and colleague, Brian Holcomb to COVID-19. His love for and knowledge of film has provided great pleasure to PopMatters readers since 2006. His easy-going, friendly communiques with his editors will be missed. Indeed, we last heard from Brian while he was in hospital -- he emailed that his interview with director Yam Laranas about his recent film, Nightshift, would be delayed.

That Brian even thought of this self-directed assignment, and took the time to email about it while in hospital, seemed a good sign that he was recovering and would be back with us when he was ready. We would wait until then, of course.

How little we really know about life.

Like so many who have loved, known, and worked with Brian, we are heartbroken for his family, for his friends, and for ourselves. Well, Brian, your creative work, like your warm memory, lives on in all whom you've touched. Rest in peace, good man.

Read Brian's work published PopMatters - since 2006 - here.

Read Brian's Facebook page, here.

Cyberhills of Isolation and Connection: Italy in the Time of Coronavirus

Image by Engin_Akyurt (Pixabay License / Pixabay)

Ironically, the very thing many have lamented as chief atomizer of humankind, social media, has proven to be indispensable for bringing us together — and for bringing me solace while, like Boccaccio's women in Decameron, I wait out the pandemic in the hills of Abruzzo.

Read Sarah Mills' article.

Our Monsters, Ourselves

Photo: Lars_Nissen (Pixabay License / Pixabay)

Not just for devotees or scholars, The Monster Theory Reader provides a framework for understanding humans at least as much as monsters.

Read Jesse Kavadlo's article.

All Kinds of Time: Adam Schlesinger's Pursuit of Pure, Peerless Pop

Photo: Paul Erik / Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Adam Schlesinger was a poet laureate of pure pop music. There was never a melody too bright, a lyrical conceit too playfully dumb, or a vibe full of radiation that he would shy away from. His sudden passing from COVID-19 means one of the brightest stars in the power-pop universe has suddenly dimmed.

Read Evan Sawdey's article.

Coronavirus Tunes: A Brief Playlist for Our Times of Self-Isolation

As coronavirus spreads throughout the world and many of us hunker down with online media, we offer eight songs that share our feeling of seclusion.

Read Paul Rowe's article.

How to Listen to Your Old Music While Self-Isolating

Image from Pexels (Pixabay License / Pixabay)

There are various ways you can mine the bounty of your exquisite taste to while away an hour or two during this stressful time of coronavirus. But you've got to do it with some intentionality.

Read Mark Reynold's article.

Matchbox Twenty: Aren't We All a Little "Unwell" in the Time of Coronavirus?, by Joshua Friedberg

(screengrab of Matchbox 20's "Unwell" / YouTube)

Say what you will about Matchbox Twenty – I know I once did. But during this COVID-19 pandemic, we're all going "crazy" and feeling "a little unwell" in this time of isolation, and I'm turning to their music.

Read Joshua Freidberg's article.

What Lurks Beneath: 'Jaws' and Political Leadership in the Time of COVID-19

(IMDB)

Boris Johnson admires the Mayor in Spielberg's Jaws. Remember him? He was the guy who wouldn't close the beaches -- and sacrifice that revenue source -- during a public crisis.

Read James Baxter's article.

Love at a Socially-Isolating Distance

Image by Elisa Riva (Pixabay License / Pixabay)

In one sense, life in the time of Coronavirus clarifies an essential element of love: love always occurs at an ontological distance.

Read Chadwick Jenkin's article.

Life in the Time of Coronavirus Is No Time for False Dichotomies

Photo by leo2014 (colorized) Pixabay License / Pixabay

How unsettling and unnerving it is during these times of coronavirus, when our rational intellect suggests one set of answers, while our emotions pull us toward another.

Read Nick Soulsby's article.

Nick Drake's 'Pink Moon' and Finding a Place to Be During Coronavirus

Shuttered inside our homes, contending with the COVID-19 outbreak, Nick Drake's third album promises rebirth and renewal: the pink moon is coming.

Read Matt McKinzie's article.

Corona Tales: Life As an Indie Musician in 2020, by Lynne Hanson

Photo: Jen Squires / Courtesy of Skye Media

Canadian Americana artist Lynne Hanson tells her tale of the Coronavirus Blues, one of canceled tour dates and diminished revenue prospects.

Read Lynne Hanson's article.

Related Series: Reading Pandemics

Image: csamhaber (Pixabay License / Pixabay)

Join us -- at a safe distance -- on this journey through the canonical and radical as we look to literary representations of pandemics past to help us understand the politics and possibilities of the present COVID-19 pandemic.

Reading Pandemics series, from faculty and students of the English Department at Northeastern Illinois University by Guest Editor, Ryan Poll.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

'Modern' Is the Pinnacle of Post-Comeback Buzzcocks' Records

Presented as part of the new Buzzcocks' box-set, Sell You Everything, Modern showed a band that wasn't interested in just repeating itself or playing to nostalgia.

Music

​Nearly 50 and Nearly Unplugged: 'ChangesNowBowie' Is a Glimpse Into a Brilliant Mind

Nine tracks, recorded by the BBC in 1996 show David Bowie in a relaxed and playful mood. ChangesNowBowie is a glimpse into a brilliant mind.

Music

Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.

Music

Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch Are 'Live at the Village Vanguard' to Raise Money for Musicians

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.

Music

Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Hides Its True Intentions Behind Dancefloor Exuberance

Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.

Music

Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.

Music

Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.

Film

Alastair Sim: A Very English Character Actor Genius

Alastair Sim belongs to those character actors sometimes accused of "hamming it up" because they work at such a high level of internal and external technique that they can't help standing out.

Music

Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers Head "Underwater" in New Video (premiere)

Celebrating the first anniversary of Paper Castle, folksy poppers Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers release an uplifting new video for opening track, "Underwater".

Music

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's New LP Is Lacking in Songcraft but Rich in Texture

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's The Mosaic of Transformation is a slightly uneven listen. It generally transcends the tropes of its genre, but occasionally substitutes substance for style.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.