Beyond the Wings, May 2020

‘TMItastic’ is now available in its entirety as a YouTube playlist.

The initial launch party was scheduled for Easter 2020, the eventual one might not happen until closer to Easter ’21, so I am tentatively working on new material and considering taking a very expensive (but seemingly very good) comedy writing course, to take that next step artistically and professionally.

Activities

It’s a douche thing to say considering all the misery that has been caused, but the crisis has had its positive side for those of us who practice solitary artforms. I uploaded my first classical guitar solo in ages, ‘The Magnificent Seven’ theme by Elmer Bernstein:

I finished another light rewrite of my novel, current working title ‘Far from Strangers’, as well as submitting the opening to a competition, the first time I have ever submitted a novel. There is still a lot that needs to be done on it, but I don’t think I can until the Manchester Central Library and other favourite writing locations reopen. This may be an amateur’s excuse, but it’s a true one.

Output

I have another article in ‘LA Review of Books China Channel’, this time a review of a short story collection from the amazing Comma Press. As heartening as it is to get reviews published, I think I prefer reviewing things non-professionally. That way it is not necessary to try to say anything ‘smart’. Recently, I have reviewed an anthology by Orton publishing, a novel by Julian Edge, an album by Robin Mukherjee, and more.

As well as making YouTube videos for several songs from the album, I am also regularly uploading miscellaneous covers, mostly of English-language songs, and also of Mandopop and Spanish.

Wider World

Well, just wow. Relations between the world’s two most powerful countries, which also happen to be two of my favourites, are at their lowest point since before Nixon’s visit. As the excellent Larry Salibra has pointed out, it is dishonest to blame China or the World Health Organization, since countries were given ample warning.

And as always, Trump is taking things to dangerous extremes, including terminating relations with the WHO. In presidential elections, the incumbent almost always wins. George W Bush did despite overseeing poor economic performance and starting two disastrous wars.

There are many reasons why Trump supporters can be confident of a second term. Unlike last time, he has the power of government, and the backing of most of his own party. Also, he has a gaffe-prone opponent who appears to be slurring his speech. But for the love of god, if ever an incumbent needed to be defeated, it is this year.

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