I was impressed with Deanna Kreisel’s Aug. 8, 2020 Medium article, “The Unraveling of ‘The Unraveling of America.'” Good show!

Click here to access the article >

The article makes good sense; there is value in taking care when expressing views about any subject including the American response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

That is, you have to depend on more than anecdotes and generalizations to advance an argument. An argument may be sustainable based on solid evidence; that being the case, there is no good reason to depend on anecdotes and generalizations. Smugness, meanwhile, does not serve to advance an argument.

Deanna Kreisel, Associate Professor of English at the University of Mississippi, is author among other works of Economic Woman: Demand, Gender, and Narrative Closure in Eliot and Hardy (2012).


Click here for previous posts about Covid-19 >

An Aug. 9, 2020 New Zealand Herald article is entitled: “100 days without Covid-19: How New Zealand got rid of a virus that keeps spreading across the world.”

An Aug. 9, 2020 Associated Press article is entitled: “US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe’s alarm.”

An Aug. 10, 2020 JAMA article is entitled: “COVID-19 in Canada: Experience and Response.”

An Aug. 10, 2020 Stat News article is entitled: “Winter is coming: Why America’s window of opportunity to beat back Covid-19 is closing.”

An Aug. 10, 2020 Associated Press article is entitled: ‘Health officials are quitting or getting fired amid outbreak.”

An article in the September 2020 issue of The Atlantic is entitled: “How the Pandemic Defeated America.”

An Aug. 11, 2020 CBC article is entitled: “No one’s talking about winter yet. When it comes to COVID-19, here’s why we should.”


I like Deanna Kreisel’s article for many reasons. For one thing, it offers a fresh perspective on Vancouver – in a sense, a foreign correspondent’s view of the city. There is tremendous value in fresh perspectives. For another thing, valuable as the content in a New York Times or Atlantic article may be, such articles follow a set structure – a set way of presenting an argument and driving home a point. The set structure – the form of editing: the editorial scaffolding and structure – is part of a house style that leaves me cold. The article by Deanna Kreisel steps outside of such a structure. The style is incisive, personal, and it’s not over-edited.

There is an off-kilter quality inherent in over-edited, ‘house-style’ texts turning up in any jurisdiction anywhere. A related topic concerns the impact of film language on attempts to make sense of everyday life:

Canadian Literature (a quarterly) highlights “Recasting History: How CBC Television Has Shaped Canada’s Past” (2019); at this post I also discuss Peter Watkins’ take on film language

The National film Board (NFB) approach to the social construction of meaning comes to mind as well:

Framing Regent Park: The National Film Board and the construction of “outcast spaces” in the inner city – 1953 & 1994

The NFB approach is of relevance as well with regard to some of Erving Goffman’s formative experiences:

Erving Goffman began his graduate work in Chicago in 1945

A related topic concerns the CBC’s versioning of Canadian history:

Recasting History (2019) features informative analysis of CBC profiles of Canadian history

Covid-19 coverage and related topics

Among other of my favourite bits of Covid-19 coverage (especially taking into account the content and the structure) are:

This American Life Episode 695: Everyone’s a Critic – Act Two – “Mr. Chen Goes to Wuhan”

Jason Van Schoor quotes a well respected friend who says, “I feel the pressure to give you a quick personal update about what is happening in Italy”

In terms of reflections, an overriding topic of relevance is the evolving international situation. By way of example:

An Aug. 11, 2020 Politico article is entitled: “No, Now Is Not the Time for Another Russia Reset.”

Similarly of tremendous interest (the wider topic being land use and the settler colonial present):

A March 5, 2020 CBC article is entitled: “How a Viennese ethnomusicologist preserved Indigenous songs during potlatch ban.”

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