Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 29 Mar 2020 | 3:29 pm
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LOS ANGELES — Garth Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood will be taking viewer requests during a live prime-time show this week filmed at their home.
CBS will air the special, “Garth and Trisha: Live!” on Wednesday at 9 p.m. Eastern.
In an announcement Sunday, CBS says the country stars will perform “an intimate concert for viewers looking for the comfort and shared joy of music during this difficult time.”
The inspiration came from a live show that Brooks performed from his studio last week that attracted millions of viewers and caused Facebook Live to crash multiple times.
With millions of Americans staying at home to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus, performers are turning to live streamed concerts to reach fans and lift spirits. John Legend, Keith Urban and John Mayer are among the stars who have performed virtual concerts.
CBS says the special will be filmed with a minimal crew that will take social distancing precautions.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 29 Mar 2020 | 2:02 pm
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When pastor Frank Carl delivers a sermon at Genoa Church in Westerville, Ohio, he typically hears a chorus of “amens.” On Sunday, he instead heard a deafening blast of honks.
And Carl wasn’t at the pulpit—he was about 25 feet off the ground on a scissor lift. “It’s not what I had in mind when I accepted a higher calling,” he told TIME of the experience, laughing.
This bizarre method of preaching wasn’t carried out for the sake of vanity or experimentalism, but rather as a compromise in the face of restrictions caused by a virus that has upended virtually every part of life around the globe. As the COVID-19 virus has rapidly spread, public health officials and governments have limited large group meetings and advised everyone to socially distance. But for many churchgoers, communal congregations have become all the more important during a global pandemic.
“I’ve never seen a hunger like this among people for prayer,” Tim Lucas, the lead pastor of Liquid Church in New Jersey, says.
To continue providing services, churches have employed a variety of digital alternatives like livestreams, apps and YouTube videos. But over the past week, an increasing number of pastors have turned instead to a seemingly old-fashioned option to gather their flock: the drive-in. Churchgoers are driving into church parking lots, pulling up a respectable distance away from the next car, and tuning into their radio to hear their pastor speak from the church steps. Meanwhile, drive-in theaters that aren’t allowed to show movies are instead opening up their gates to local churches. These makeshift sessions have left audiences feeling invigorated.
“It wasn’t just one person sitting in a house, looking at a screen. There was that feeling again of having a family,” Yolanda Obaze, who attended the Sunday service of Bethel Church in Evansville, Ind., says. “It felt good to know you had people around you. It was exhilarating.”
But the drive-in church service may not be a lasting solution, as a rising number of states issue stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. There’s a lot of grey area involved: states have varied in deciding whether religious ceremonies are essential services; infectious disease experts have different opinions about the risks involved; and it’s unclear whether a phalanx of people in cars meets CDC regulations for social distancing. As Easter rapidly approaches, pastors across the country are scrambling to figure out how they might be able to continue to preach for their honking steel-and-glass congregations.
“I prefer faces, not windshields”
Drive-in church services are not at all new in the United States: Reverend Robert Schuller popularized the form in the 1950s in Garden Grove, Calif., with his Crystal Cathedral, and churches still offer them around the country.
“I grew up on a farm with a retired schoolteacher who made me watch Robert Schuller,” Frank Carl says. When coronavirus began to spread, Carl was inspired to try it for himself.
“It keeps them in a safe environment, and lets them feel like they have some sort of control over this time when we feel so helpless and isolated,” Carl says. Ostensibly, getting in your car, going to a drive-in service, then driving away while never leaving your vehicle would carry a low risk of transmission—lower than shopping at a grocery store, say, or walking on a crowded street. Carl says he reached out to the office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and got their approval to move ahead. (A representative for the governor declined to comment.)
On Sunday, 300 cars carrying roughly 600 parishioners arrived in the Genoa church parking lot, amounting to about 40% of its typical weekly population. Carl preached from a scissor lift and was broadcast over a low frequency FM station, which the congregation tuned into in their cars.
As always, Genoa’s service included choral music; the audience was still audible as they sang along in their cars. “We could hear some of them singing. A couple of them, I wish I couldn’t hear,” Carl says, laughing.
The same week, the leadership team at Double Springs Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., had a similar idea to host a drive-in. Pastor Keith Mincey stood not in the sky but on the sidewalk. It still took him a while to get acclimated to the peculiar new atmosphere. “I prefer faces, not windshields,” he says.
Mincey settled in in front of his fleet of 40 cars, and now sees the benefit of the setup as opposed to just livestreaming his sermons. “For a generation of older people, congregating online is not a community,” he says. He has become interested in continuing to use the drive-in method even after the coronavirus threat has subsided, in the hopes that it could encourage shy newcomers to listen in.
“To walk in a place and enter a group cold turkey is very difficult,” he says. “I’m talking with my staff about how we can, even after this pandemic, still use this as an arm of the church—to maybe have the service both inside and outside at the same time.”
While the services at Double Springs and Genoa were relatively low-tech, low-budget events, Bethel Church in Evansville, Ind., took things up a notch. In the week leading up to Sunday, pastor Dr. Prince Samuel contacted a lighting and stage company that was unbooked due to the cancellations of concerts. The company set up a stage, a speaker system, and a huge screen that projected Samuel to the back row.
Yolanda Obaze, who was sitting in her car, says the technology wasn’t perfect: “There were some glitches,” she says, laughing. But she didn’t mind: “I’m a single person here in Indiana—I literally have almost no one. To know that a church is saying, ‘In spite of what’s going on, we are going to do as much as we can and are thinking of you—that says a lot.”
Obaze is the type of person that Samuel had in mind when he chose to invest in a legitimate live experience as opposed to a digital stream. “We recognize there’s a real mental health component to this,” he says. “With isolation comes depression, anxiety and fear. While we may not be able to shake hands or give each other hugs, it’s still important to get as close to the community as we can, for people’s health and well-being.”
Elaine Howard Ecklund, a sociology professor and the director of the religion and public life program at Rice University, says that a church’s impact on individuals can go far beyond the spiritual realm. “We have to understand how dire this situation is for some churchgoers who get a lot of their social, emotional and even economic support from congregations,” she says. “For some in dire circumstances, for them to not physically see people might feel more risky than the virus itself.”
As these select churches tested out their makeshift setups, word spread rapidly to other churches across the nation, who began to throw together their own drive-in plans. Outdoor Ultimate Entertainment, an Austin-based company that rents out giant movie screens for events, says that they’ve received more than 30 requests from churches in the last week, and have completely sold out their inventory of LED screens for Easter morning.
Bob Deutsch, the president of Outdoor Movies, has seen a similar uptick in inquiries about drive-in screens, which has been surprising especially in the wake of the mass cancellations that preceded the bump. “Our business has been impacted negatively, but I am surprised by the strength of interest in what we do,” he says. “The inquiries are flowing in.”
While many churches are bringing the drive-in to their parking lots, others are simply going to the drive-in. Preston Brown, the owner of the Hounds Drive-In Theater in Kings Mountain, N.C., was preparing for the theater’s spring season opening when a pastor reached out to him and asked to use his space for Sunday services.
Brown was amenable to letting them use his space for free, partially because he can’t screen movies during the day anyway due to natural sunlight, and partly because it was just a no-brainer: “It was the least I could do in these hard times,” he says. This weekend, a total of 15 churches will arrive over the two days.
66 Drive-In Theatre in Carthage, Mo., isn’t operational in the way Hounds is: Last week, governor Mike Parson banned gatherings of more than 10 people, so the theater hasn’t opened for the season. Nathan McDonald, the theater’s owner, mulled different uses for the space, including holding swap-meets, before reaching out to his friend David Fowler, who is a pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Carthage.
The first service, two Sundays, ago, brought in more than 100 cars. Fowler, who was also inspired by Robert Schuller, preached from atop the concession stand. The service was received enthusiastically, and now the 66 Drive-In Theater is fully booked with a bevy of churches throughout each weekend.
“This Sunday, I’ll start at 8:30 in the morning, and then we have slots back-to-back-to-back until 7 at night,” McDonald says. “I give each pastor an hour, and leave myself 30 minutes in-between to make sure they all get out, or if I have to clean up anything.”
For McDonald, these services represent both a good deed and a shrewd business move, even if he’s not charging the churches. “If this thing carries into the summer and my business is still not operating, I’m supporting the community—and the community will turn around and support me,” he says.
The fact that 66 Drive-In Theatre can host church events but not movies raises the question of whether such church services should be allowed to happen in the first place. Some governors, like Ohio’s Mike Dewine, have stressed the importance of churches remaining open in times of need. California’s stay-at-home order classified “faith based services that are provided through streaming or other technology” as an essential function. Drive-in services, which would go against any stay-at-home order but also seem to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regulations for social distancing, represent an ambiguous area that most states have yet to comment on. (A representative for the CDC did not respond to a request for comment.)
Each of the pastors and drive-in owners interviewed say they are administering strict rules: no getting out of cars; bathrooms are closed except for emergencies; churchgoers are encouraged to text offerings rather than passing around an offering plate.
But McDonald says that after one service last Sunday, some church members couldn’t resist getting out of their cars. “Like true church folks, as soon as it was over, they opened their doors and all got out and started congregating,” he says. “I was like, ‘Listen. You’re missing the point here.’”
Reached by phone, two infectious disease experts had differing opinions on the safety of the drive-in model. “I think it’s a great idea,” William Schaffner, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, says. “It doesn’t bother me as long as someone isn’t driving around in a van, picking up people, jamming them all together and bringing them to services.”
Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, a global health physician and vice chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s global health committee, advises people to just stay home. “It becomes increasingly risky the more people you have in the car,” she says. “Let’s say a woman, her husband, her five-year-old kid and their 70-something grandparent are in the car going to church. You don’t know if the child is asymptomatic, but a carrier. It’s an enclosed space, and the car has multiple high-touch surfaces. The child could potentially could transmit to the grandparent.”
The Easter rush
Whether or not states will continue to allow drive-in services becomes more and more pressing as Easter, the biggest holiday of the Christian calendar, approaches on April 12. McDonald expects that his drive-in lot, which can hold 430 cars, will fill up completely. Samuel, of Bethel Church, has reached out to other pastors and lighting and stage companies in the hopes of putting together a massive drive-in in an open field for Easter.
And Lucas, of Liquid Church, is putting together plans for his own elaborate ceremony: he’s reached out to Outdoor Ultimate Entertainment about renting a massive LED screen; bought thousands of prepackaged, medically sealed communion cups; and has discussed the idea of a prayer team blessing the hood of each car with anointing oil.
“I’m a big believer that every crisis is an opportunity for the church to innovate,” he says. “We already have a slogan picked out: ‘Come as you are in the family car.’”
But New Jersey is currently operating under a stay-at-home order, and religious institutions were not listed by Governor Phil Murphy as an essential businesses. Lucas is waiting on the approval of the local mayor’s office in Parsippany-Troy Hills, without which he will not go forward. “We want to be sensitive to the climate and not do anything that causes any sort of concern,” he says.
Michael Soriano, the town’s mayor, said by phone that he is enthusiastic about the idea but that he is waiting to gain approval from the state. “When they told me about this, my mind exploded with happiness and joy,” he said of Liquid Church. “I’m going to try very hard to see if this can happen.”
Depending on statements from health and governmental officials who are operating in a rapidly-evolving situation, drive-in services may become commonplace across the nation or disappear completely. Either way, they have already had an immeasurable impact on the people who have taken part in them. Sitting in his concession stand in Carthage, McDonald was particularly moved by a sermon given that his mother, who was a devout Christian, died last year.
“I had the radio on, I could hear the preacher up on top, I could hear them playing,” he recalls. “It was a nasty cold rainy morning, I looked out there. He said something good and all the cars started honking. I sat there and let the goosebumps go.”
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 28 Mar 2020 | 9:30 am
Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 27 Mar 2020 | 8:16 pm
Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 27 Mar 2020 | 8:13 pm
Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 27 Mar 2020 | 8:07 pm
Dua Lipa‘s sophomore album Future Nostalgia is here to soundtrack all of our Zoom dance parties for the foreseeable future. Plus: Bright Eyes is back with the appropriately melancholy first single “Persona Non Grata,” Rihanna graces us with her presence on PARTYNEXTDOOR’S new album, Oliver Malcolm is just getting started with his unusual stylistic blend on “Helen,” and Tom Misch teams up with Yussef Dayes for some flawless jazz improvisation on “Kyiv.”
“Break My Heart,” Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa could have gone in another direction. After her inescapable 2017 song “New Rules” and accompanying debut album was a success, the British-Albanian pop star was primed as the fresh face and voice of British pop. That means access to the industry’s top songwriters, producers and lyricists who could guarantee her sophomore follow-up would be a mainstream pop hit, with big-name features if she so chose. But Lipa didn’t go by that playbook. Her new release Future Nostalgia is a full-throttle disco dance album with no features, although she savvily tapped some of the best producers and co-writers in the game (Jeff Bhasker, Tove Lo, Ian Kirkpatrick, Julia Michaels) for behind-the-scenes work. Still, Lipa has a credit on every song — and it’s only her honeyed voice that we hear. Its retro inspirations may have been a risk, but it’s a swing that connects. “Break My Heart” is just one of the album’s propulsive new songs, bouncy and sparkling with a get-up-and-dance spirit. It belongs to a different world than the one we’re currently living in, confined to homes and solitude. Many artists are postponing releases until after the worst of the coronavirus crisis has passed; we are fortunate that Lipa chose to give us respite in the form of this glorious escape.
“Persona Non Grata,” Bright Eyes
There’s something about the tremble of singer-songwriter Conor Oberst’s voice that makes you stop to consider. On “Persona Non Grata,” Oberst and his Bright Eyes bandmates reunite after nine years of pursuing their own projects with a song that mixes appropriate angst and lyrical specificity with unusual new musical choices. (Yes, those are bagpipes.) The folk-rock mix here is a rolling, endless series of skewed images, as Nebraska-born Oberst is known for: “Combat boots, fallen leaves, West Village, Halloween, to a Bollywood song, taking shots ’til we’re gone,” one section recalls. Or: “Unwelcome in the autumn, persona non grata, I’m the last of the best, I’m your thoughts in the swamp.” The optimism of spring and summer usually calls for brighter tunes. But right now, the nostalgic mood of Bright Eyes — this is the band that brought us the emotionally devastating “First Day of My Life” in 2005, after all — feels apt.
“Believe It,” PARTYNEXTDOOR feat. Rihanna
It’s just good to hear Rihanna’s singing voice again. The Barbadian icon has been busy — building a fashion and makeup empire and pursuing philanthropic endeavors; more recently, mobilizing to donate $5 million to fighting the coronavirus. Music has taken a backseat in the interim, with her last album out back in 2017 and only one feature, also in 2017, on N.E.R.D.’s “Lemon,” to tide us over since then. But Canadian rapper and producer PartyNextDoor must have worked some magic; it probably helped that he co-wrote some of her hits like “Work” and “Wild Thoughts.” “Believe It” is off his new album Partymobile, a slinky and unhurried project of dark trap-R&B energy. “Believe It” is one of the bright spots. “First you gotta forgive me,” he says off the top — and with the Rihanna stamp of approval, PartyNextDoor shouldn’t be too worried about falling into listeners’ good graces.
“Helen,” Oliver Malcolm
Oliver Malcolm’s debut release was last month’s “Switched Up.” With “Helen,” the 20-year-old Swedish-born Brit artist continues to, well, switch things up. Chopped and produced to within an inch of its life, “Helen” abounds with deepwater echoes, staticky reverb and yelps; listening on headphones, the audio at times switches channels from side to side with an almost disorienting effect. But it’s grounded by Malcolm’s surefooted singing and turns into sweeter harmonic territory. A lot of artists claim genre-blending style, but Malcolm’s is altogether impossible to define. Is it alt-blues? Dark electro-pop? Folk-hip-hop? Does it matter?
“Kyiv,” Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes
Being cooped up at home brings extra time to listen to music, but sometimes you need a break from narratives and lyrics, to just close your eyes and appreciate something not for its story but for its craft. That’s where Tom Misch comes in. The jazz guitarist has teamed up with British drummer Yussef Dayes for a joint instrumental project, What Kinda Music, coming out next month; “Kyiv” is an improvised one-off, recorded in the city of the same name. (Bassist Rocco Palladino is also part of the mix.) That spontaneity and joy makes it all the brighter, with Misch’s singing guitar and Dayes’ sharp percussion given equal time to shine in a song that is sometimes delicate with longing, sometimes juicy with satisfaction, and always a welcome escape.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 27 Mar 2020 | 6:16 pm
Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 27 Mar 2020 | 6:05 pm
Sorry parents, ‘Baby Shark’ is making a comeback — for a good cause.
Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark” — that jingle earworm that every toddler seems to know — has been reworked to teach good hygiene to combat COVID-19.
The company has debuted the “Wash Your Hands With Baby Shark” video and started a dance challenge to encourage families to upload videos of their children washing hands to the song.
“Wash your hands/doo doo, doo doo doo doo/Wash your hands,” go the new lyrics. “Grab some soap/doo doo, doo doo doo doo/Grab some soap.” Videos are tagged with #BabySharkHandWashChallenge.
Pinkfong uploaded its original version of “Baby Shark” with an accompanying dance and colorful cartoon video to YouTube in June 2016. It has now been viewed over 4.6 billion times, making it one of YouTube’s top five watched videos of all time.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 27 Mar 2020 | 4:43 pm
(NEW YORK) — The stars of the 2011 virus thriller Contagion — a prescient film these days — have reunited for a series of public service announcements to warn about COVID-19.
“Wash your hands like your life depends on it,” Winslet says in her PSA. “Because right now, in particular, it just might.”
Ehle stresses that the coronavirus is novel, meaning no one is immune. “Every single one of us, regardless of age or ethnicity, is at risk of getting it,” she says.
Contagion, directed by Steven Soderbergh, explores a scenario in which a lethal and fast-moving influenza is spreading around the world.
Damon, who in the film played a character who was immune to the hypothetical virus, also stresses listening to experts and staying 6 feet apart. “That was a movie. This is real life,” he says. “I have no reason to believe that I’m immune to COVID-19. And neither do you.”
Fishburne appeals to helping medical staff on the front line. “If we can slow this thing down, it will give our doctors and our nurses in our hospitals a fighting chance to help us all get through this thing together,” he says.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
Please send tips, leads, and stories from the frontlines to [email protected].
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 27 Mar 2020 | 4:26 pm
Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 27 Mar 2020 | 3:05 pm
Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 27 Mar 2020 | 2:34 pm
Two days after her final performance in the one-woman show My Name Is Lucy Barton on Broadway, Laura Linney was feeling a little dazed. “I’m completely disoriented now,” she said. “I sort of can’t believe it all happened.” For eight weeks, she had walked onstage and carried 90 minutes of drama, playing a woman looking back on a period of severe illness in an adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s 2016 novel. It was a first for the 56-year-old Broadway, television and film veteran, who has racked up three Oscar nominations, four Tony nods and a mantel’s worth of Emmys. “I don’t think I had the experience to do it before now,” she said.
In a career spanning three decades, Linney has charmed viewers as a lovelorn graphic designer in Love Actually, breathed new life into First Lady Abigail Adams in the acclaimed miniseries John Adams and is now preparing for the March 27 release of the third season of Ozark, the Netflix drama in which she plays Wendy Byrde, the wife of Jason Bateman’s financial advisor turned money launderer for a Mexican cartel.
At the beginning of March, less than two weeks before Broadway would shut down indefinitely, Linney spoke to TIME about the subtleties of acting, having a child later in life and her one problem with Hamilton.
TIME: When you were first considering the role in Ozark and whether you wanted to be part of the show, you asked that Wendy be rewritten into a more complex character. Tell me about that process and how she has grown and become someone interesting for you to play.
Linney: It’s a great character, and that’s really all because of [showrunner] Chris Mundy and the writers. We all saw that there was potential for the lead character to have a partner who wasn’t just a superfluous spouse but someone who could add a dynamic that was not represented otherwise. There’s a whole sense of identity about Ozark. It asks questions of: Who are you? Who do you want to be? Who were you in the past? Particularly right now, given where we are in our country politically and culturally, we’re at a time where we’re all, hopefully, being forced to ask some uncomfortable questions.
When you’re acting with someone over a period of time, like Bateman, you both have your individual conceptions of your characters. But then there’s also this third thing, which is the relationship between them. How do you figure out what that looks like?
Well, you don’t. You let it tell you what it is. You can’t be too knowing about stuff. Jason and I work very, very differently, which is a lot of fun. He grew up in television, I grew up in the theater. I learn a lot watching him work. I always feel like if I’m not surprised at least once a day by something, then I’m cutting myself short and I’m depriving the story of a sense of life.
I love the idea of those surprises. What’s an example?
The way I can compare it is sort of like a recipe. I know there’s going to be flour, sugar, butter, this, that. But until I put them all together, I don’t know how they’re going to react to each other. In some ways, I prepare for a scene. But then I’ll show up on the day, and Jason and I will be in a room together, and he’ll do something that will just throw me for a loop—and my reaction will surprise me. Then we’ve learned something. That’s where the fun of it is.
You just finished your run performing My Name Is Lucy Barton on Broadway. How did you manage so many consecutive performances of a one-woman show?
It’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done, hands-down. And I don’t think I could have done it any other time in my life. It takes knowing yourself, knowing how to take care of yourself to execute something like that over a long period of time. It’s weirdly athletic in nature, and a completely unnatural thing to do, to be onstage alone and talk nonstop for 90 minutes. I’m so grateful that I did it. I’m also glad when they offered it to me, that I said yes quickly. Because if I had thought about it for too long, I would have gotten scared and said no.
You played two people, both Lucy and her mother, and they each go through such different emotions over the course of the show. How do you set yourself up to be able to reach all those levels?
That’s like a 300-page dissertation. It takes an enormous amount of work. You try and get to know the material very intimately. There is something to be said about just the repetition—you get better, the more you do it. Four years at drama school did not hurt. There are technical challenges; the language is complicated, so it has to be presented in a way that can be heard. There’s a physical stamina challenge. There’s a vocal challenge.
Did you avoid speaking for the rest of the day during this period?
Well, no. I have a small child, so that would have been awful for him. But my whole day was about staying healthy to do that show with the agility that it deserves—and hoping to do it with a sense of love, so I wasn’t someone who was put-upon by the responsibility but someone who would feel joyful in doing it. I’m so proud that I made it through. It’s changed me in ways that I don’t even quite understand yet.
Do you get stage fright?
Oh, sure. I get nervous all the time. Absolutely.
How do you deal with it?
You try to think as little about yourself and as much about the material as possible. Because at the end of the day, it has very little to do with you. I just try to get myself out of the way.
On the flip side, do you have any audience pet peeves?
Audiences are forgetting that they’re a crucial element of the whole experience, that they’re not passive witnesses. They help create the circulation in the room. And when they stop participating, it’s hard. When someone leans back in their chair without a sense of engagement or curiosity, that’s really disheartening, and you can feel it. There’s the phones, the rustling with the bags, the whispering, the falling asleep —they’ve lost respect for themselves in a way, and that just makes my heart sink.
You did an audiobook for Lucy Barton, as well. What was most surprising to you about that experience?
I’ve never done something like that before. It’s not a recording of the book. It’s not a recording of the show. It’s an audio recording of the script. It’s its own thing. I will never listen—maybe when I’m old in a nursing home. I grew up listening to old Shakespeare albums that my father had and loved them. I’m hopeful that maybe there’ll be a bit of a revival of that type of entertainment, people just listening. Language has gotten a bad rap recently. People don’t even spell words fully. For people to actually sit and listen to language and to the thought behind it is a great opportunity.
I have a Love Actually question.
Oh, go ahead, lay it on me.
Justice for Sarah! Do you wish that she had been able to actually have sex with Karl?
Well, sure. Of course.
What a heart-breaker.
Poor girl. Doesn’t she deserve a really nice night in the sack? I mean come on, of course she does.
I came across something you said about having become a parent later in life—which was also the case in my family. I’d love to hear if your perspective has changed as your son has continued to grow.
The basic foundation of my feelings about being a parent later in life certainly have not changed. More than anything it just deepens. The gratitude I have keeps expanding. And then just like any parent, you want your child to feel loved and safe and prepared. You try and stay in the moment with an eye to the future that’s responsible but not oppressive. You try to learn to navigate and enjoy life as best you can. Does that make sense? I know that sounds a little platitude-y.
It makes me want to call my parents.
Aw, yeah. There’s something about when you have a child later in life, and you’ve wondered, Why have I not had children up until this point? Why did it not happen? And then you have the child you have. And you realize, Oh, I was meant to have this child. And then it all makes sense.
That’s so beautiful.
It’s true. They were waiting for you. It had to be you. It had to be my son. It couldn’t be any other child, and you don’t want it to be. It’s a deeply wonderful thing to go through. Not an easy process and not easy to get there, but pretty terrific when it happens.
My last question for you is crucial: Did you see Hamilton, and if so, what did you make of the treatment of John Adams, who really gets the short-end of the stick?
I did. I had a moment. My lip twitched, I must admit. But I thought it was pretty funny.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 27 Mar 2020 | 1:34 pm
Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 27 Mar 2020 | 1:23 pm
Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 27 Mar 2020 | 12:52 pm
Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 27 Mar 2020 | 12:17 pm
America’s democracy is at risk from more than Russian Twitter trolls. Our voting systems, the information technology that undergirds our elections, are dangerously outdated and vulnerable to attack. And for Finnish data security expert Harri Hursti, the best defense we have might be counting paper ballots.
We don’t have to count every vote by hand, he says — just enough to prove with a reasonable standard of certainty that the electronic results are valid. And for Hursti, who founded a string of companies before becoming involved in the area of election security, such a low-tech solution might be our best chance to protect the core mechanisms of our democracy.
Hursti is the subject of the new HBO documentary Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections, directed by Simon Ardizzone, Russell Michaels and Sarah Teale. The film, which premiered March 26, follows Hursti as he exposes the vulnerabilities of America’s election systems. Watching the doc and learning the extent of those weaknesses won’t necessarily help you sleep at night, but for activists and ethical hackers, the first step in fixing a system is showing that it was broken to begin with. Hursti spoke with TIME in advance of the film’s release, taking a deep look at the realities of American election security, psychological warfare and the information landscape in the age of coronavirus. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
TIME: Why are you concerned about the security of America’s election infrastructure?
Hursti: America is a country that exports democracy to a number of other countries, both old democracies and new emerging democracies. And right now, when this exporting happens, it’s important that what is being sent out are the best practices that will make that democracy resilient. We are literally in a new cold war. All democracies are constantly under attack. Those attacks are carried out by multiple parties with a multitude of different methodologies and goals. So it is important to have systems that can sustain these attacks.
What are some of our major vulnerabilities?
The other angle is attacking the election systems themselves. Our systems were designed at a time when cyber warfare was just bad science fiction. There was no security consciousness. But security is something you cannot add as an afterthought. It has to be part of the basic design before the first line of programming is written. Even with the newer machines, there has been no clear movement to redesign the systems to be resilient.
So why the return to paper ballots?
All systems we have today and for the foreseeable future can be hacked, and American elections cannot be conducted without information technology. So you need to have a hand-marked paper ballot to record the voter’s intent in permanent media as a fallback, and then you have to use technology to process that data with the knowledge that you might not be able to trust the result. And then you have to have a process of risk-limiting audits to convince you and the others that the election was in fact free and fair.
The goal of democracy is peaceful transition of power. The peaceful transition of power is only possible if the supporter of the losing parties can accept the results as free and fair. So we need to go back to paper ballots as evidence, with mandatory risk limiting audits to make sure the results of every race are verified.
Are there certain types of voting machines in the U.S. that particularly worry you?
In localities where people are still using direct recording voting machines (touchscreen voting machines with no paper trail) there are dangers because the voters’ intent is only recorded in digital form. If there is a suspicion of a hack, there is nothing you can do to prove that nothing happened, or prove that something happened. And if someone did tamper with the votes, there is no recourse to get a trustworthy result. So anything that is not backed by evidence, that evidence being a hand-marked paper ballot, is a vulnerable system. These machines are incapable of producing a forensic trail. Doubt is a destructive force, so we need to get to a place where elections are evidence-based and you can always prove that the election result was accurate.
Who’s to blame for how things got this way?
There are two things. First, the 2000 election crisis happened and as a reaction the Help America Vote Act of 2002 was enacted. That allocated over $3 billion of funding for jurisdictions to “modernize.” The problem was that there were no security standards, and much of what was being sold was already outdated. That is why the massive deployment of substandard equipment started in the first place.
The second part of the blame is with the voting technology vendors, who, in my opinion, live in the past. The vendors need to understand risks and vulnerabilities not as a PR problem, marketing problem or lobbying problem, but as a technological problem. There has been no security-conscious thinking. When a vulnerability is demonstrated in any system, the vulnerability itself doesn’t tell you how bad things are; the reaction of the company does. If the company responds proactively, then you know it’s a company with a responsible, pro-security culture. When you have companies where the first reaction is a PR campaign or legal action, to basically shoot the messenger, now you have a real security problem, because the company does not have security consciousness.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected America’s election security situation?
If you think about a malicious actor whose goal is to sow distrust within society, this kind of crisis is a perfect way to undermine trust. False messaging around public health issues started before COVID-19, and now you have a massive ramping up of information warfare because of the outbreak. Both the tools and the platforms used to spread the messages will outlast the disease itself. So in the cyber world, we are seeing the beginning of a long-lasting trend.
The E.U. has already picked up on Russian activities targeted to amplify the adverse effects of the COVID-19 crisis. We are seeing what happens when an official reaction and communication is delayed. Adverse actors can see the beginning of a new playbook—it’s a way to utilize a natural disaster to undermine adversaries. For the threat actors whose primary goal is to undermine people’s trust in society in western democracies, this is a start of a new kind of warfare.
Is it too late for us to secure the 2020 elections in November?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is we should do everything we can possibly do. In counties where you have a paper ballot, we should make sure there is a chain of custody and governance over the paper trail, and enact strong risk-limiting audits. I don’t think those actions would cost much; they’re more a procedural and legislative change. That is, implementing paper ballots, and where you already have paper ballots, mandatory risk-limiting audits.
Is there anything ordinary people can do?
Yes. The most important thing is that apathy is as dangerous to democracy as someone manipulating the elections. If you are eligible to vote, please vote, and vote on the whole ballot. The races down the ballot are massively under-voted. From a criminal point of view, that’s where the money is. The more a race is under-voted, the easier it is to manipulate undetected.
You can also be a poll worker. There is a desperate need for younger and technologically agile people to help to run elections, and also to look out for irregularities and report them. It’s a wonderful way to get involved in the community, and to learn about civics, to learn how the cornerstone of democracy actually works.
And last but not least, if your jurisdiction is not using paper ballots and doesn’t have mandatory risk-limiting audits, contact your representative and ask them to get it done. Ask them for evidence-based elections, hand-marked paper ballots and mandatory risk-limiting audits, where every race is audited every single time.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 27 Mar 2020 | 11:31 am
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The entertainment industry essentially ground to a halt in mid-March, as coronavirus swept the nation, rendering everything from concerts and movie theaters to publicity events and film shoots unsafe, if not illegal. We have to take our distractions where we can get them in these anxious times, so I for one have never been more grateful for television, which will presumably continue to put shiny new stories in front of our faces until its arsenal of stockpiled programming runs out. Whether you’re an established TV fanatic or someone who’s been spending a lot more time with the tube now that there’s not much else to do for recreation, I humbly recommend these five standout new series from the past month—plus two honorable mentions in case you’re running through your to-watch list more quickly than usual. For more suggestions, you can find February’s edition here.
The Plot Against America (HBO)
It makes sense that argument is the primary mode of conversation in The Plot Against America, an incisive six-episode series adapted from the 2004 Philip Roth novel that imagines an alternate history in which legendary aviator and America First mouthpiece Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1940 election. At the center of this saga from The Wire and The Deuce creator David Simon and his frequent collaborator Ed Burns are the Levins, a working-class Jewish family in Newark, NJ. Occupying two floors of a shared house, insurance agent Herman (Homeland’s Morgan Spector) and his wife Bess (Zoe Kazan) preside over a clan that includes their two sons, artistic teen Sandy (Caleb Malis) and sensitive 10-year-old Philip (Azhy Robertson from Marriage Story); Herman’s orphaned, angry-young-man nephew Alvin (Anthony Boyle); and Evelyn (Winona Ryder), Bess’ older sister, whose life has been stymied by an obligation to care for their sick mother. Though they share blood, culture and heritage, each character reacts in a different way to Lindbergh’s ascent. And it’s their passionate debates, more than any sensational turn of events, that give the slow, deliberate show its resonance. [Read TIME’s full review.]
Three Busy Debras (Adult Swim)
Desperate Housewives, The Stepford Wives, Douglas Sirk melodramas and just about every other pop-cultural depiction of the stultifying lives of women in suburbia are in the DNA of this strange and wonderful short-form series, which premieres March 29 on Adult Swim. But Debras, from Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions, does more than remix homemaker tropes à la Weeds. Based on the avant-garde comedy creator-stars Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari and Alyssa Stonoha have been performing for years, the show is delightfully absurdist. The Debras wear stark white and deliver ridiculous lines (“A Debra must be ready to conceive at all times”) with mannered deliberateness. Sitcom clichés get stretched to extremes; Stonoha shoves a cop into a closet, exits wearing his uniform . . . and then he struts out in her character’s pantsuit. Ingenious sight gags abound, from a woman pruning a hedge with shaving cream and a razor to a board game called Security Questions. [Read the full review.]
From creator Lena Waithe comes this light yet smart, easy-to-binge comedy about three black women in their, yes, 20s trying to carve out careers in Hollywood. Marie (Christina Elmore of The Last Ship) is a studio executive whose on-paper success belies her frustration at the way she’s tokenized at work. In the wake of an acting career that peaked early, Nia (Gabrielle Graham) teaches yoga and halfheartedly dispenses wellness bromides. At center stage is Hattie, a suave, struggling would-be screenwriter whom we meet just as she’s being evicted from her apartment. Following the last decade’s explosion of comedies about female friends navigating early adulthood together, from Insecure to Broad City to Girls, it’s this protagonist—a 24-year-old lesbian dandy based on Waithe’s younger self and played by charming newcomer Jonica “Jojo” Gibbs—who makes the show unique. The assistant to a mercurial black, female super-producer whose output she finds mostly corny, Hattie is a mess of relatable post-adolescent contradictions: confident in her own talents but unable to get words on paper, prolific in her flirtations but hung up on the one woman who won’t commit. Her insistence on making space amid the current African-American entertainment boom for great art, as opposed to celebrating mere representation, makes both Hattie and Waithe vanguards of that renaissance’s nascent second wave.
Built on the quiet intensity of a masterly lead performance by Shira Haas (an accomplished young Israeli actor best known in the U.S. for appearing alongside Jessica Chastain in The Zookeeper’s Wife), Unorthodox traces the transformation her sheltered character, Esty Shapiro, undergoes after fleeing a Hasidic Jewish sect in Brooklyn. Loosely based on a 2012 memoir that Deborah Feldman published just a few years after the aspiring writer took her young son and left both her husband and their isolated Satmar community, the miniseries recasts its hero as a would-be musician. With the help of her secular piano teacher, she hops a plane to Berlin, where her mother, Leah (Alex Reid from Britain’s Misfits)—now disowned by her former neighbors—has been living for many years since she left Esty’s alcoholic father. [Read the full review.]
Vernon Subutex (Topic)
What becomes of the cool kids when they grow up and all the things they used to love have gone out of fashion? This is a question of existential importance to Vernon Subutex, the antihero of this fascinating French series adapted from an acclaimed trilogy of novels by the author and filmmaker Virginie Despentes (Baise-moi). In the ’90s, Vernon (Romain Duris, excellent) was the proprietor of Paris’ hippest record shop, Revolver, an unofficial clubhouse for the city’s music scene. His most impressive friend-slash-customer was Alex Bleach (Athaya Mokonzi), a gravelly voiced rocker who soon ascended to fame. A few decades later, however, record stores are obsolete, a middle-aged Vernon has lost his apartment as well as his business and Alex, who has long struggled with substance abuse, is staging a comeback. But before Vernon can ride his old friend’s coattails to financial security, Alex dies of an overdose—and Vernon, now homeless, finds himself in possession of his last interview tapes. His quest to put a roof over his head leads our protagonist into a series of encounters with former cohorts, from a cranky screenwriter sponging off his posh wife to a histrionic ex-girlfriend of Alex’s. Meanwhile, in a subplot that becomes one of the show’s greatest pleasures, an entertainment-industry operative known as the Hyena (Céline Sallette), whose specialty is ruining reputations, and the arguably straight producer (Flora Fischbach) with whom she’s infatuated are dispatched in search of the tapes by a mogul bent on adapting them into a docuseries.
Vernon Subutex is a surprisingly empathetic, sometimes-quite-funny show with a killer soundtrack that balances vivid storytelling, unique characters and sharp observations on nostalgia. Is it worth paying the $4.99/month fee for yet another streaming service (in this case, First Look Media’s relatively highbrow video channel Topic)? If you’re a fan of Despentes (or English-language authors like Kathy Acker and Nell Zink), love stories about music scenes, identify strongly with Gen X or just wish Hulu’s High Fidelity reboot were more realistic about the fate of record sellers in the 21st century, you owe it to yourself to at least sign up for the free 30-day trial.
Devs (FX on Hulu)
Love thinking about fate, free will and whether we live in a computer simulation but frustrated with gimmicky takes on those heady topics by shows like Westworld and Black Mirror? This flawed yet compelling, gorgeously shot and beautifully acted meditation on those subjects from Annihilation and Ex Machina filmmaker Alex Garland takes a more straightforward approach to the intersection of tech and philosophy—and marks an auspicious start for FX’s new streaming hub. [Read the full review.]
Feel Good (Netflix)
Mae (creator Mae Martin), a self-deprecating Canadian comic living in London, falls for George (Charlotte Ritchie), an upper-crust English rose with a tight group of basic, spoiled, judgmental friends. The couple quickly moves in together, despite the fact that each is hiding something major from the other; while Mae is a recovering addict, George—who’s never dated a woman before—has yet to tell her friends she’s in a serious same-sex relationship. Short (just six half-hour episodes), sweet and funny, with Lisa Kudrow making delightful appearance as Mae’s mom, Feel Good does exactly what it says on the tin.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 27 Mar 2020 | 8:56 am
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Stage, movie and TV character actor Mark Blum, who had roles in the films “Desperately Seeking Susan” and “Crocodile Dundee,” has died from complications from the coronavirus. He was 69.
An executive with the labor union SAG-AFTRA and the off-Broadway theater company Playwrights Horizons announced the death Thursday. Blum had been a fixture off-Broadway with recent roles in Playwrights Horizons’ “Rancho Viejo” and “Fern Hill” at 59E59 Theaters. He was a SAG-AFTRA board member from 2007-2013.
“Those of us lucky enough to have known him will treasure our memories of a gifted actor, a master teacher, a loyal friend, and a beautiful human,” Rebecca Damon, SAG-AFTRA executive vice president and New York president, wrote in tribute.
Blum’s recent Broadway credits included “The Assembled Parties,” “Twelve Angry Men,” “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man” — twice — and Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers.”
Blum played Rosanna Arquette’s husband in the 1985 comedy “Desperately Seeking Susan” and had a role in “Crocodile Dundee” as the newspaper editor. He was on the Amazon series “Mozart in the Jungle” and was in the Netflix crime drama “You.”
The virus has sickened some Broadway veterans, including the actors Gavin Creel, Aaron Tveit and Laura Bell Bundy and composer David Bryan. It also has claimed the life of four-time Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 26 Mar 2020 | 6:12 pm
(LONDON) — Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has her first post-royal job: narrating a Disney documentary about elephants.
Disney announced Thursday that the duchess, who is married to Britain’s Prince Harry, is lending her voice to Elephant, to be released April 3 on the Disney+ streaming service. It’s one of a series of animal- and nature-themed features released to mark Earth Month.
The film follows an elephant family on a 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) journey across the Kalahari Desert.
Harry and Meghan shocked the world in January by announcing that they were quitting as senior royals, relinquishing official duties and seeking financial independence. Since late last year they have been based on Vancouver Island, and will officially end royal duties on March 31.
The grandson of Queen Elizabeth II married the American actress Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle in May 2018, in a ceremony watched by millions around the world. The couple later said they found scrutiny by the British media — which they said tipped into harassment — intolerable.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 26 Mar 2020 | 1:45 pm