Sunday, May 3, 2020

Pandemic posts and recycled book reviews

I've decided to start reposting my GoodReads/Amazon book reviews on my blog, because who needs more essays about enduring the pandemic? Not to say that such writings aren't helpful. I'm just focusing my efforts elsewhere.

Like some, I'm thankfully still employed.

Among my duties are sharing updates on the many online events and fundraisers hosted my Bay Area nightlife, arts and community groups. My latest Homing's In events list includes music, dance, film, opera and fun drag shows. Some are global, like operas and film screenings. Many are set to specific dates, while others are ongoing.

I also write a fun article about the recent GLAAD and Sondheim celebration online events, two of the most popular with a definite queer interest.  Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and Audra McDonald singing "The Ladies Who Lunch" from 'Company' while sipping booze in bathrobes was a popular highlight.

Locally, the San Francisco Queer Nightlife Fund has raised nearly $160,000 to help hundreds of bartenders, staff, DJs and performers in this crisis. My article about that effort is Here.

And speaking of saving jobs, the Bay Area Reporter's fundraiser has been extended through May. 

Nearly 300 donors have been very generous. If you can't donate, just share the link to spread the word and help save the longest-running LGBT newspaper.

Now, on to the recycled yet still relevant book reviews.

First, my review of Pat Murphy's now-prescient The City, Not Long After.

Rereading this sweet post-plague story in San Francisco, where the book is set, rings strange and ironic. Would that a colony of artists could defend the city from invaders (the contemporary version would be the deranged rightwing protests to 'open the city' i.e. force other workers to put themselves at risk to accommodate them).

While that comparison be not be spot-on, others are. The various characters make art out of a sort of spontaneous inspiration (contemporary version: the numerous murals painted on boarded-up storefronts and the dozens of local online fundraisers for artists and arts nonprofits).

The story is part magical, part practical. Ghosts haunt the empty homes and office buildings. How do the few various survivors get on, and get along? How do they counter an inane fascist horde? Butterflies, paint, solar-powered robots and peaceful community-built empathy work for the characters in this book. Murphy's realistic and combined metaphoric story has become, in a way, quite prescient.

For the most part (excluding the real-life dopes still gathering in public without face masks) that's true here and now in San Francisco... except for the robots, which would be a nice addition.

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