Spend Some Time With: A spliff of history, an actual newspaper, an Ethio-Pioneer
My weekly three recs for escaping the hell of breaking news and views.
See: As cannabis legalization spreads, Grass is Greener, a smoky and spectacular new Netflix documentary by visual artist and hip-hop legend Fab 5 Freddy, surveys the history and future of the plant in America by looking at a hundred years of popular music, racial discrimination, and the destructive legacy of the "War on Drugs."
Read: An "Urgent Quest for Slower, Better News" in which The New Yorker's online editor Michael Luo goes on a "media diet," argues that profit and principle are at odds in today's digital journalism, and wonders what we might do about it.
Hear: Ethiopia has lately become an optimistic story of political reform and renewed openness, but you may also know it as the birthplace of Mulatu Astatke, who half a century ago pioneered a bewitching blend of Afro-Latin rhythms, melancholy soul grooves, and Ethiopian scales that came to be known as Ethio-Jazz. New York-based readers can catch him in concert in May. I'll be there.