David Byrne’s Reasons to Be Cheerful online magazine has launched a new series exploring “the once-in-a-generation potential of the extraordinary changes” occurring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a catalyzing moment and many of the changes that have been made or contemplated are going to be permanent –– some of those are good, and some deeply questionable,” Byrne said in a statement. “We at Reasons to be Cheerful of course want to know: how can we keep the good stuff? Who is doing it (it’s already happening) and how those ideas and initiatives are working out?”
The series, “Now Anything Is Possible,” launched Friday with an op-ed by the same name penned by journalist Mitch Anderson, which likens our current situation to America emerging out of the Great Depression thanks to the New Deal.
“Is this another moment of elemental change? Could the pandemic catalyze structural reforms and societal shifts to make the future more resilient, sustainable and fair? Or, after the crisis subsides, will the old systems snap back into place, leaving us roughly where we were — or worse — before this all began?” Anderson wrote.
In late March, Byrne penned an op-ed titled “The World Is Changing — So Can We” that similarly addressed the pandemic and its potential for change. “What is happening now is an opportunity to learn how to change our behavior,” Byrne wrote. “For many of us, our belief in the value of the collective good has eroded in recent decades. But in an emergency that can change quickly.”
Byrne launched Reasons to Be Cheerful in August 2019 as a “tonic for tumultuous times.” The singer said at the time: “We hope to balance out some of the amplified negativity and show that things might not be as bad as we think.” Byrne is a frequent contributor to the site, recently penning an article praising Texas’ investment in wind energy and wondering why the nation doesn’t follow suit.