The scene was as sad as it was sincere. Thousands packed into the first outdoor concert since the pandemic. Middle-aged, middle class middle Americans swayed to the rhythm, their bodies accessing a muscle memory long dormant. On the ground below, zoomers gossiped the latest drama in their lives, aware of…

“Tales from 2020” is my on-going attempt to relay some of the more surreal moments from this surreal year that will never be done justice by the history books. Although…

April 2020

It had been a week or so since the store became a fortress. Massive make-shift 2x4 barricades, obstacles (riding mowers), and reams of tape covered the front facade. We had all been given official “I’m an essential employee; don’t arrest me” documents to show the police should we…

Since I’m a folklorist I should probably know where the whole “Friday the 13th” thing comes from — if it’s about the 12 disciples, or the Templars, or witches, I dunno. But by now it’s ubiquitous and ingrained into pop culture, even becoming a kind of celebratory event.

Before we…

Afternoon. March 15, 2020. One day after Virginia’s first coronavirus death.

Mr. Heinz was a bulldog of a man — short, squat, and mean. His uniform rotated between a set of dulled-down red shirts and khaki pants frayed and dirty from years of abuse. …

Morning. March 9, 2020. Three days before Virginia declares a State of Emergency.

“Things are gonna get bad.”


“You hear what they want to do? Strand all those people on that ship.”

“The cruise ships? I mean…”

“Yeah. Now how they gonna do that in the land of the…

Late-night. January 22, 2020. Pre-pandemic.

Travis was a good kid, but untravelled. He hadn’t seen Raiders or Lebowski or GI Joe Retaliation. And he certainly hadn’t seen Tombstone.

“The one with Angelina Jolie?” He corrected himself: “No, that’s Tomb Raider.”

I sighed, my amusement turning quickly to annoyance. …

Dusk, March 7, 2020. Pre-lockdown.

Wind-sheared and worn-out I surveyed the scene, silently counting down to the end of the shift.

A sound from behind snapped me back. “You the boss?”

I turned around and it was one of the back-office ladies, no more than 5' tall and staring right…

The following op-ed was written in fifteen minutes.

The power of the brand. It’s what propelled Donald Trump into fame and celebrity and ultimately the Presidency.

His facade of financial prowess afforded him a level of respect and admiration and even worship from millions. After all, Bernie’s hopes and dreams…

Here we go, folks.


Three things I like

The future! Oh look, all of my aesthetic and creative complaints have immediately gone away. Shocking! Who could have possibly guessed that? Oh and it was smart to address the “Temporal Wars.” …

John E. Price

Academic and Trekkie. I talk about the politics of culture, review nerd stuff, and golf a lot. Co-host: @podmeandering, #TopFive, @folkwise13

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