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.

Step Up to It: A Lesson from the Avengers for Our Time of COVID-19

Robert Downey Jr. prepares to wear his mask, er, helmet, to help fight the good fight. Avengers: Endgame (2019) (© Marvel Studios /IMDB)

Whereas the heroes in Avengers: Endgame stew for five years, our grief has barely taken us to the after-credit sequence. Someone page Captain Marvel, please.

Read Douglas L. Howard's article.

Waiting for the World to Change in the Era of COVID-19

From a GenXer to the GenZs in the time of COVID-19: We know, the waiting is the hardest part.

From a GenXer to the GenZs in the time of COVID-19: We know, the waiting is the hardest part.

Read Erin Saldin's article.

Old Crow Medicine Show Sing on Through Total Devastation

Photo: Morgan Jahnig / Courtesy Lucky Bird Media

Social unrest, a global pandemic, and an industry that has forever been changed? No problem. Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor stares down the future.

Read Jedd Beaudoin's article.

Life Isn't Binary and Neither Is the Coronavirus Pandemic

Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

Non-binary thinking offers new routes for adapting to life with Covid-19.
Read Hans Rollmann's article
.

I Went on a Jewel Bender During Quarantine. This Is My Report.

By Justin Higuchi from Los Angeles, CA, USA - Jewel Kilcher 05/18/2016 #4 (CC BY 2.0 / Wikipedia)

COVID-19 sure sucked the life out of things. I found some comfort in Jewel. That's right. Jewel.

Read M. M. Carrigan's article.

What Will Come? COVID-19 and the Politics of Economic Depression

Moreton Hall, Weston Rhyn, United Kingdom / Photo by Emily Morter (Unsplash License / Unsplash)

The financial crash of 2008-2010 reemphasized that traumatic economic shifts drive political change, so what might we imagine — or fear — will emerge from the COVID-19 depression?

Read Nick Soulsby's article.

Little Protests Everywhere

One of the George Floyd murals in Minneapolis. It's described by the Guardian as a "passionate and redemptive mural", which "demands a pause to the anger" , with George's name bursting out of the central sunflower in "rays of light and human warmth". Pic by Lorie Shaull (CC BY-SA 2.0 / Wikipedia)

Wherever you are, let's invite our neighbors not to look away from police violence against African Americans and others. Let's encourage them not to forget about George Floyd and so many before him.

Read Billy Hallal's article.

"Without Us? There's No Music": An Interview With Raul Midón

Photo: Samuel Prather / Courtesy of The Bloom Effect

Raul Midón discusses the fate of the art in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. "This is going to shake things up in ways that could be very positive. Especially for artists," he says.

Read Jedd Beaudoin's article.

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.

OK Go's Emotional New Ballad, "All Together Now", Inspired by Singer's Bout with COVID-19

Photo: Still from "All Together Now" video

Damian Kulash, lead singer for OK Go discusses his recent bout with COVID-19, how it impacted his family, and the band's latest pop delight, "All Together Now", as part of our Love in the Time of Coronavirus series.

Read Andy Meek'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.

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