This week we’ve got a Winston-Salem celebrity pick, a look at Anti-Asian sentiment through a historical lens and a non-COVID-19-related pandemic game. To make a suggestion for a future issue, send an email to [email protected]
Japanese Internment Historical Overview by Densho (YouTube)
Anti-Asian sentiment is spiking at levels unseen since the mid-20th century when the United States joined the Allied Powers in World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan. Attacks on East Asians in recent weeks made me think about what the political climate for Japanese citizens was like in the 1940’s, leading me to find a series of videos by Densho, a nonprofit in California dedicated to preserving the history of Japanese internment through first-person accounts. The organization has dozens of videos featuring interviews with people who were interned at the number of camps throughout the western and mid-western United States as well as videos offering a historical overview about the events. The videos can be hard to watch but important and give critical context for what’s happening now. — Sayaka
(Greensboro and High Point libraries are closed but Scuppernong Books is still taking orders. Forsyth County Public Libraries are still open for pick-up. Readers can also check out e-books using the Libby app if they have a library card)
“Coronavirus Versus the Last Grocer in Town”by The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2020
This article by WSJ dives deep into the current life of Frank Timberlake, the owner of the last grocery store in Rich Square, NC, a small town in the northeastern part of the state. The piece follows Timberlake as he deals with dilemma after dilemma including supply shortages, increased product prices and power outages. As the only grocer in town, Timberlake carries the weight of the county’s 20,000 residents on his shoulders, often laying awake at night thinking about his next shipment of toilet paper. At home, he self-quarantines and keeps distance from the rest of his family to ensure that he doesn’t get them sick if he’s been infected. The piece is an excellent example of the kind of reporting that demonstrates how different aspects of normal life are being affected in the wake of the coronavirus. — Sayaka
Games (board games, virtual games, video games):
“Days Gone” (PS4)
This game centers around the kind of pandemic that pre-COVID-19 society had gotten used to: zombies. Created by the studio known for its “Syphon Filter” franchise, “Days Gone” is an open world/sandbox-style game similar to the “Grand Theft Auto” series. It touches on story elements similar to the critically-acclaimed undead game, “The Last of Us,” while moving at a faster pace. The game works by sliding between stealth gameplay and a rush of action that comes from escaping zombie hoards. This is what a “Walking Dead” game should have played like, instead of the rushed games that fans got a few years back. It’s currently half off on the PS4 online store. — Rob
“Backbone: Prologue” (Steam)
Ever since I was a kid, I was always drawn to point-and-click mystery games. Through elementary and middle school, I played through most of the Nancy Drew games while in high school and college, I left the medium to consume mysteries through books and film. Now, as I reconnect with video games, I’m finding that point-and-click mysteries aren’t just for kids. “Backbone: Prologue” is a beautifully-rendered pixel art game that follows one private eye racoon, Howard Lotor, as he works to solve the mystery of a missing otter. The entire game is inspired by film noir and is set in a seedy-yet-glamorous Vancouver that comes to life through dynamic lightning, pouring rain, smoky bars and neon lights. An original jazz soundtrack adds to the ambiance as Lotor makes his way through the case, interviewing a cast of characters from the suspicious bar lounge owner to the washed up drunk in the back alley. The game is just an introduction to the full release which is scheduled for sometime in 2021. So for now, players can get a taste by downloading the game — which has a 98 percent rating — for free on Steam. — Sayaka
“Staying In with Emily and Kumail”
Emily V. Gordon, may be the hottest property to come out of Winston-Salem since Howard Cosell, another Camel City alum. Gordon wrote The Big Sick with her husband Kumail Nanjiani, best known for his role as Dinesh in “Silicon Valley,” but also for like 20 other great projects. Together they’re making a quarantine podcast, “Staying In with Emily and Kumail,” where they interview their famous friends, give advice on quarantine life and media recommendations, make small talk and toss occasional shout-outs to Winston-Salem businesses. All of the proceeds go to charities that are helping in the pandemic. — Brian
Virtual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival livestream
Since 1970, Jazz Fest in New Orleans always falls on the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May. Except this year. And just the thought of a year without a Jazz fest made a lot of New Orleanians and others who make the annual pilgrimage a bit squirrely. So WWOZ radio stepped in with a trip through its Jazz fest archive. The community radio station has been recording performances since the beginning, and they’ve pulled some of the best sets from the vault for a virtual festival running — yes — the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. They’re calling it “Festing In Place,” and the schedule, available for streaming through their site, is here. Highlights include plenty of indigenous music, but also a 1977 set featuring Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder. — Brian
Merlefest, likewise, is out this year. But fans of the annual Americana throwdown can livestream the 2012 festival, which begins airing Thursday at 1 p.m. and runs through Sunday — Brian
Thursday – Weekly Online Yoga by the High Point Public Library
This weekly event, which takes place every Thursday through a Zoom call, encourages parents and kids to participate in yoga together. The session runs about 45 minutes long and is meant to allow families a chance to decompress and hang out together in their home. Past sessions have included story times and an egg crafting segment. Learn how to get involved on their Facebook event page here.
Friday – Netflix Watch Party: “Chasing Coral”
This joint community event by a/perture cinema and the Piedmont Environmental Alliance aims to shed light on the degrading nature of our coral reefs in time for Earth Day. The Netflix documentary follows a team of divers, photographers and scientists as they track the disappearance of coral reefs around the world. The Netflix Watch party platform allows multiple people to watch a film at the same time and to chat in real time as they watch the film, creating a community watching experience. Learn more on the event page here.
Saturday – IncrEdible Plant Sale at Greensboro Children’s Museum
This annual plant sale continues this year with added protocols to maintain safe social distancing. Rather than shopping in person, plant enthusiasts are encouraged to purchase plants through the website and then do curbside pick-up during a particular time frame determined by your last name. Examples of some remaining items available include varieties of squash, kale and basil. Deadline to order is noon on Friday. Shop online here.