Jeremy Keith is the founder and keeper of thesession.org, probably the greatest Irish music resource in the world. And this episode hopefully has something of the generous essence of that community. We talk making things and sharing them, music, people and being the janitor for an online community. There’s so much in here, a treasure trove of insights (from Jeremy, not us.)
Erin Maglaque talks to Thomas Jones about the lockdown imposed by the city of Florence in January 1631 in response to a plague outbreak, the similarities with our current situation, and the differences.
Maglaque wrote about the plague in Florence in a recent issue of the LRB, reviewing Florence Under Siege: Surviving Plague in an Early Modern City by John Henderson.
‘In disasters, most people are altruistic, brave, communitarian, generous…’ says Rebecca Solnit | CBC Radio
Author Rebecca Solnit has an enduring fascination with what happens to communities in times of crisis, and what disasters reveal about human nature. With the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and its radical impact on our lives here in Canada, Solnit’s research on disasters becomes even more resonant.
The writer on how we become our brothers’ keepers when our ordinary divides and patterns are shattered.
It’s easy to stare out your window at the nearly empty streets, at the people wearing masks and leaving a six-foot berth for passersby, and to believe that this is a moment unlike any other. To assume that the fear, the haphazard responses to the pandemic, the radical adjustments people are making to their lives—that these are all unprecedented.
But like most extraordinary moments, this one has a long trail that leads to it. Just over a century ago, a new infectious disease overtook the globe. Its history has long been buried, subsumed beneath the story of World War I. Historian Nancy Bristow believes it’s no mistake that Americans have focused on their victory in the war rather than on the devastation of the 1918 flu pandemic.
For decades Sir David Attenborough has brought the natural world into people’s homes. But his upcoming film, “A Life On Our Planet”, offers a stark message about human impact on the environment. Anne McElvoy asks the godfather of natural history television where he draws the line between wonder and warning. Does his work have the power to change hearts and minds or is he preaching to the choir? They talk about whether the climate could be the only winner from the global covid-19 pandemic and why he has stopped trying to get through to President Trump. Plus, a knock at the door and an unexpected question.
An unexpected journey, in the company of Darren, Dom, Dom’s Uncle Leo, Sean Matthews and the landlady in Carberry’s, Drogheda.
Richard Rutter is a Managing Director of Clearleft, which is one of the most respectful and influential independent digital design consultancies in the UK.
On travels in Ireland and random festival invites; on gender and inequality; on how tunes connect us all; on friendships and on returning home to Australia.
Edgar Allen Poe wrote “The Masque of the Red Death” in 1842. It’s about a plutocrat who throws a masked ball in his walled abbey during a plague with the intention of cheating death.
My novella “The Masque of the Red Death” is a tribute to Poe; it’s from my book Radicalized. It’s the story of a plute who brings his pals to his luxury bunker during civlizational collapse in the expectation of emerging once others have rebuilt.
Naturally, they assume that when they do emerge, once their social inferiors have rebooted civilization, that their incredible finance-brains, their assault rifles, and their USBs full of BtC will allow them to command a harem and live a perpetual Frazetta-painting future.
And naturally – for anyone who’s read Poe – it doesn’t work out for them. They discover that humanity has a shared microbial destiny and that you can’t shoot germs. That every catastrophe must be answered with solidarity, not selfishness, if it is to be survived.
Like my story When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth, the Masque of the Red Death has been on a lot of people’s minds lately, especially since this Guardian story of plutes fleeing to their New Zealand luxury bunkers was published. Hundreds of you have sent me this.
I got the message. Yesterday, I asked my agent to see if Macmillan Audio would let me publish the audiobook of my Masque of the Red Death for free. They said yes, and asked me to remind you that the audiobook of Radicalized (which includes Masque) is available for your delictation.
I hope you’ll check out the whole book. Radicalized was named one of the @WSJ’s best books of 2019, and it’s a finalist for Canada Reads, the national book prize. It’s currently on every Canadian national bestseller list.
There’s one hitch, though: Audible won’t sell it to you. They don’t sell ANY of my work, because I don’t allow DRM on it, because I believe that you should not have to lock my audiobooks to Amazon’s platform in order to enjoy them.
Instead, you can buy the audio from sellers like libro.fm, Downpour.com, and Google Play. Or you can get it direct from me. No DRM, no license agreement. Just “you bought it, you own it.”
And here’s the free Macmillan Audio edition of Masque of the Red Death, read with spine-chilling menace by the incredible Stefan Rudnicki, with a special intro from me, freshly mastered by John Taylor Williams. I hope it gives you some comfort.
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