The Envy List #22: During These Uncertain Times...
Remember going to concerts? We used to do that.
1.Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters looks forward to the day live concerts return. Read more...
…The coronavirus pandemic has reduced today’s live music to unflattering little windows that look like doorbell security footage and sound like Neil Armstrong’s distorted transmissions from the moon, so stuttered and compressed.Don’t get me wrong, I can deal with the monotony and limited cuisine of quarantine (my lasagna game is on point!), and I know that those of us who don’t have to work in hospitals or deliver packages are the lucky ones, but still, I’m hungry for a big old plate of sweaty, ear-shredding, live rock and roll, ASAP. The kind that makes your heart race, your body move, and your soul stir with passion. There is nothing like the energy and atmosphere of live music.
—"The Day the Live Concert Returns” by Dave Grohl from The Atlantic
2. We make less choices in quarantine and those limits are good for us. Listen…
To many people, an abundance of options is a good thing, a symbol of freedom and control. You get to choose whether to spend your Saturday at a movie or a baseball game. You decide whether to try the new restaurant down the block, or to stay in and cook. It's your call whether to take the job with higher pay, or the one with the better work-life balance.Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has eliminated these and other options that we used to take for granted. And for many of us, this sudden contraction of choice has been a struggle.
—”The Choices Before Us: Can Fewer Options Lead to Better Decisions?” from the podcast Hidden Brain from NPR
3. “During these uncertain times…” we all have to put up with cringe-worthy Covid advertising. (It’s funny and awful.) Read more…
These days, brands love to pretend to care about us. During a pandemic, that’s gotten really weird.Capitalism, sadly, continues to “function,” and the various corporations that rule our lives still have products and services to push. But they can’t very well do so without at least some acknowledgment that a good deal of their customers are currently trapped in quarantine. Hence we have a wave of (rushed, aesthetically identical) new advertisements, often making heavy use of stock footage, actors and testimonials appearing via video chat, repurposed social media material, or a mix of all three.
—”’The New Normal’ of Awful Covid-themed Commercials” by Dan Schindel from Hyperallergic
4. “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” is reality TV at its best. Read more…
[Guy Fieri] is uncool. Does anyone dispute this? The bowling shirts, the Camaro, that incredible hair—he’s the concierge of Margaritaville. His hugs look like they hurt. His palette is all reds and oranges. When he’s sunburnt, the camera doubles down on that crisped up skin as if he’s a particularly tempting chicken tender. He’s often sunburnt. His Oakleys tattoo a white raccoon’s mask across the top of his face. The sound editing is generous; the sizzle of any pan is extra bacony. Flavortown, the mythical province from which Fieri claims all great food comes, is butter crackling in a pan. Flavortown is a red Camaro painting a gray hamlet pink.At home, in my dirty sweatpants and a threadbare sports bra, I unwrap my burger and enter my sixth hour of a marathon of Triple-D (as the insiders call it). There is so much that I love. There is so much that I would be afraid of, if it were anybody else, but it’s Guy Fieri; there is so much that I love.
—"Love, Peace, and Taco Grease: How I Left My Abusive Husband and Found Guy Fieri” by Rax King from Catapult
5. India’s cities can finally see mountains, now that the smog has cleared. Read more…
On the morning of April 3rd, residents of Jalandhar, an industrial town in the Indian state of Punjab, woke to a startling sight: a panorama of snowcapped mountains across the eastern sky. The peaks and slopes of the Dhauladhars—a range in the lesser Himalayas—were not new, but the visibility was. Last summer, Jalandhar had the worst air quality in Punjab, although it still doesn’t rank among the most polluted cities in India. On March 24th, as a national lockdown was imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus, nearly all of Jalandhar’s road traffic came to a halt, along with its manufacture of auto parts, hand tools, and sports equipment.
—”’The Coronavirus Offers a Radical New Vision for India’s Cities” by Raghu Karnad from The New Yorker
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