“a nest of trying”: the pandemic at 500 days

If your plague began (as mine did) on March 14 2020, then today is day 500 of our plague era. (If it didn’t, then adjust your count accordingly.) As I noted at plague day 250, very early on I decided that day 500 would be the end of the plague. I know that the plague…

Get back up again. #PlagueSongs, no. 34

The plague is, alas, not yet over. So, I’ve recorded another Plague Song. Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping,” a massive pop hit in 1997. I chose this song because of the lyric’s central contribution to our collective human wisdom: when one gets knocked down, it is generally advisable to get back up again. Or, as Chumbawamba’s lyricist more…

In Defense of Critical Race Theory

In this post, What CRT Is and Is Not: my defense of Critical Race Theory from 30 June 2021 resources for learning about CRT For Culturally Responsive Teaching: my defense of CRT from 2 June 2021 1. What CRT Is and Is Not: A Defense of CRT, 30 June 2021 Yesterday afternoon, my friend Lisa…

Situation’s tolerable. #PlaugeSongs, no. 33

Yes, it’s yet another Plague Song. Some people reading this will be vaccinated and venturing out into the world. Others may not yet be vaccinated. Either way, we’ve all been through a lot — and some of us much more than that. So, we need to handle each other with care. And that’s why I decided…

Breaking up with your favorite racist childhood classic books (Washington Post)

Head on over to the Washington Post for “Breaking up with your favorite racist childhood classic books,” in which I point out that         It is possible to cancel a culture. There were once more than 300 indigenous languages spoken in the United States. Only about 175 of those languages remain today. Colonization, genocide, forced…

That’s what storms were made for. #PlagueSongs, no. 32

Another of the great happy-sad songs, though — on balance — happier than sad. Introduced by Bing Crosby in 1936, it has music by Arthur Johnston and the lyrics by Johnny Burke (who also wrote the lyrics to “Swinging on a Star,” another hit for Crosby). You likely know the chorus, but not the prologue. I…

Give Love. #PlagueSongs, no. 31

David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure” (1981) has long been a favorite. I chose it for this (eventually ending) series of plague songs because it expresses such vulnerability, and because it calls us all to love. Given the extraordinary talent of the original performers (and of the Karen O – Willie Nelson cover, wow!), I’m…

Wild Visionary: Maurice Sendak in Queer Jewish Context

If you missed this book launch today, please do check it out! On-hand was MIT Prof. Marah Gubar (children’s literature scholar extraordinaire), Gregory Maguire (author of Wicked), Brian Selznick (author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret), and of course Golan Moskowitz himself. It’s a pretty big deal to gather such a constellation of luminaries for a book…

A 2nd shot in the arm

The exciting sequel to A shot in the arm! Because I am both civic-minded and slightly silly, I filmed myself getting the second shot of the Pfizer vaccine & made another brief Get Vaccinated! video. (Featured performer: Anna Capps on the needle!) Surprising no one, I again adapted lyrics from Hamilton. Sincere apologies to Lin-Manuel…

Still worthwhile. #PlagueSongs, no. 30

The music — written by Charlie Chaplin himself — first appears in Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936). Eighteen years later, John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added lyrics. That version was a big hit for Nat King Cole in 1954. It’s since been recorded by Tony Bennett, Janelle Monae, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Durante, Elvis Costello, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean…