Along with all the other challenges with the current historical moment we find ourselves in, spending most of your time under some form of quarantine can be both stressful and boring.
Monday Morning Quarantine Convos
As long as the schools in Oregon are closed, I’ll be doing a Monday morning broadcast on Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, and hopefully also YouTube (if current technical problems are addressed) at 10 am Pacific Time (1 pm Eastern Time, 6 pm GMT) for around an hour. Subjects of discussion will vary depending on your comments and questions. After each of these broadcasts, I’ll be keeping regular “office hours” in my living room, with everything set up for doing free guitar lessons via Skype for anyone who’d like one.
Online Concerts and Other Events
During and after the crisis (but especially during) I’m available to do concerts, workshops, talks, discussions, etc., online. There are many ways this can be done. I’m reasonably savvy about these things at this point. I can set up public or invitation-only broadcasts using YouTube’s nifty livestreaming tools. I can broadcast on Twitter (Periscope), Facebook and/or Twitch, individually or simultaneously. I can do that directly on your group’s Facebook Page, if you give me admin access.
There are also a couple different options with such online events in terms of the quality of them. I can do events from my living room, such as my weekly Monday livestreams, but I can also use a recording studio with very fast broadband, fancy microphones, an audio engineer who isn’t me, and other perks.
If you’d like to talk about setting something up, just drop me a line.
There are several dozen episodes of my podcasts, This Week with David Rovics and Song For Today, available for free on all the usual podcasting platforms. Here’s one about the Clovid-19 crisis.
More Clovid-19 Songs
A lot of people are not going to pay their rent this month, across the USA and elsewhere. Not paying the rent is not a rent strike. A rent strike is an organized, collective effort to make long-term change to property relations in this sick, capitalist society. These relations desperately need to change, and now is the time to start making it happen — because we must, which is a pretty good instigator, in case morality and humanity weren’t good enough reasons to begin with. I have a whole section of my website, including a lengthy playlist of songs to play very loudly when the landlord comes to collect the rent, and a t-shirt you can wear for the occasion, too — www.davidrovics.com/landlord.
Things To Do At Home
Here on my website you’ll find in the Songbook section that many of the songs listed there include sheet music. I also have two albums of children’s songs that you’ll find up there, and a songbook of sheet music and chords for singing the songs yourself, too. Just email me if you’d like a complimentary copy of the children’s songbook.
I could recommend that it’s a good time to catch up on listening to albums, podcasts and audio books of mine and other folks, most of which you can easily find for free on this website or on streaming platforms like Spotify. But you already know that being quarantined is a good time for consumption of such material. What is also very important is to find more active things to do. That’s why I advocate and help facilitate the actual playing of an instrument and learning of songs.
But another principle I’d emphasize is the project orientation. People who are used to working normal jobs are often unfamiliar with this way of life, which is more familiar to artists, writers, and musicians. That is the project orientation — pick a project, and then get obsessed with it. If you get in the zone, you can spend hours or even days or weeks working on a song, a recording, a novel, or any number of other things, virtually forgetting where you are. But if you’re watching the clock and trying to fill your time, you’ll probably lose it.
If you have young children, or even older children, and you’re finding it stressful to spend so much time with them, this could be a great time to read the ebook, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort, which will make you a better parent, and make your life easier at the same time. If you’re thinking about homeschooling, How Children Learn is a classic by John Holt which I highly recommend. Don’t teach, or preach.
If you, like me, enjoy reading history books that are really well-written and will take you on a nice journey, my favorite authors, both in terms of style and content, include Howard Zinn (A People’s History of the United States), Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous People’s History of the United States), Charles Mann (1491, 1493), Robert Fisk (The Great War For Civilization, Pity the Nation), Eduardo Galleano (Open Veins of Latin America, Days and Nights of Love and War), John Ross (War Against Oblivion), Naomi Klein (Shock Doctrine), Matthew Desmond (Evicted), Nancy Isenberg (White Trash), Chris Hedges (Death of the Liberal Class).
If you’re looking for good sci fi movies to watch, I highly recommend anything directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium, Chappie). For reality as it is today, Ken Loach. If his stuff gets too depressing, switch to Michael Moore.
If you’re out of toilet paper, or even if you’re not, try filling an old bottle, such as a Dr. Bronner’s soap bottle, with water. Then aim and squirt it where you want things to be clean. Voila, keep it up for 30 seconds or so, and you will be clean. Welcome to the way the rest of the world cleans their asses. Toilet paper is really a stupid invention and is not at all hygienic. Water is much better, as they have long known in the Middle East, Japan and elsewhere. Good time to figure that out yourself, if you hadn’t already. You can dry your clean ass off with a cloth towel, which can be laundered.
If spending too much time at home is causing you to gain weight but the stores have not yet run out of vegetables, you can actually stay home, get very little exercise, and still lose weight, if you stop eating grains and beans altogether, and follow a more macro/keto/paleo kind of diet, such as the one laid out in the book, the Plant Paradox. This is an especially good idea right now, because obesity is one of the complicating factors that makes you more likely to die from Clovid-19 if you get it.
Almost all of the books I mentioned here are available as audiobooks online, either for free through your local library (apps such as Overdrive and Libby are often used to provide free reading and listening materials to library card holders) or for money through Audible.