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Generation Pandemic - Issue #30

Generation Pandemic - Issue #30
By Daniel Rubin • Issue #30 • View online
A woman walked into our local bookstore this week, looking for a children’s story to help her six-year-old daughter. My wife sold her a copy of “Small Knight and the Anxiety Monster,” about a girl and her teddy bear who must summon the courage to confront a giant beast. It was the mom’s first step into the bookstore since winter, 2020. Her daughter, meanwhile, wonders if it’s safe to take off her mask. It got me thinking again about just how much weight people are shouldering 20 months into the pandemic - I don’t get around much any more.
But two Penn seniors sure do. This spring, Max Strickberger and Alan Jinich logged 7,300 miles as they talked to people in 16 states about their lives disrupted by COVID. There’s the young woman in Utah who was first in her community to get sick: “People can be very judgmental around here.” And the Santa Fe woman who yearns to leave the trailer where she feels trapped with her brother and his girlfriend - both in addiction - and their new baby. But she’s holding down two jobs and there’s school …
It’s amazing what these students got people to tell them in Generation Pandemic. Studs Terkel would be proud.
A Philadelphia Citizen piece about their project kicks off today’s 10 reads. There’s also a Melamedian dive into the fraying record of the city’s fabled chief homicide prosecutor, a splashy family mystery from Joe Hagan, we hear from Aimee Mann and Little Steven and of the virtues of Joe Buck (!) - and post a brave, brilliant, not-so-funny clown video from last weekend’s SNL.

Penn seniors cross the U.S. to collect young peoples' pandemic stories
Prosecutor Roger King put dozens on death row. Now, his record is tainted.
The revelations come in waves.
Riding the Waves and Coming of Age in Corpus Christi - Texas Highways
“Line editing is the ultimate union of writer and editor; the line-edit means we cede control, and the pen, to someone else. It is a gift of trust, and it must go both ways.”
Is Line Editing a Lost Art? ‹ Literary Hub
“I packed my things quickly, texted my wife the result, walked outside with an N95 mask on, and waited for all hell to break loose.”
“Turns out there’s nothing intrinsically good about connection, especially online.”
Opinion | Facebook Makes Us Know Too Much About Each Other - The New York Times
How a childhood kidnapping and her repressive Southern childhood left the eternally droll performer with PTSD.
Aimee Mann: ‘Any woman my age is traumatised by growing up in the 60s and 70s’ | Music | The Guardian
“Me and Jimmy (Gandolfini) started bonding off screen, because I think we’re both similar in that he was more comfortable being a character actor and I’m more comfortable being a sideman.”
Musician, actor, author: Steven Van Zandt on his new book, his local roots, and Boston vs. Jersey
Might be even more useful than a guide to afternoon naps.
Energy, and How to Get It | The New Yorker
So many good lines. Of course, I totally disagree
Raw, funny - but not ha-ha funny - from Cecily Strong.
Weekend Update: Goober the Clown on Abortion - SNL
Weekend Update: Goober the Clown on Abortion - SNL
Did you enjoy this issue?
Daniel Rubin

Sr. Editor, Investigations @phillyinquirer. Run the Strike Team. Ex-Berlin, metro columnist, @Pennurban adjunct. https://t.co/8ZFUN9Gioo

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