From the Editor: On Hope, Uncertainty and Wu-Tang Steely Dan

Letter from the Columbus Monthly editor from the June edition.

Dave Ghose
Columbus Monthly
Actors' Theatre of Columbus

In early May, my family did something incredible: We had people over to our house.

After more than a year of coronavirus restrictions—and with both my wife and me fully vaccinated—we hosted a party for our daughter’s 12th birthday. But it wasn’t back to celebrations as usual. It was a small, masked, socially distanced gathering, held mostly in our backyard. The girls bundled under blankets in camping chairs while they watched Peter Bogdanovich’s madcap masterpiece “What’s Up, Doc?” (our family’s great quarantine discovery) in a makeshift, outdoor home cinema. To be sure, such gatherings weren’t that out of the ordinary during the pandemic. But for my ultracareful family, it was a big change.

Columbus has hit a new phase of the pandemic. People are going out to dinner again, meeting with friends in person, returning to offices. But it’s not like the Before Times. The virus is still out there, adapting and mutating. And with so many Ohioans still unvaccinated, the great public health goal of herd immunity remains out of reach, perhaps never attainable unless more people are willing to take the small, necessary step of inoculation.

The result is a new reality, a mix of hope and uncertainty. In this issue, our Summer Entertainment Guide captures this delicate balance. Many of Central Ohio’s favorite summer happenings—festivals, sporting events, cultural gatherings and more—are returning after going virtual or being canceled last year. To keep things safe, however, they’re changing how they do things, like limiting the number of performers in a play (Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, pictured above) or socially distancing bike riders at the starting line (Pelotonia).

All of us are making similar calculations on a personal level as we reenter the world. In our July issue, be on the lookout for a story that will explore this nerve-racking time in a bigger way.

In addition to reflecting our reentry moment, the Summer Entertainment Guide also introduced me to the band Bon Journey, whose repertoire “is exactly the kind of music you think it is,” as Columbus Monthly contributing editor Chris Gaitten wrote. This headliner at the All Ohio Balloon Fest made it difficult for me to concentrate on editing Chris’ story. Instead, I found myself imagining possible opening acts:

  • The Doobie Mothers of Invention
  • Guided by Oasis
  • Wu-Tang Steely Dan
  • Husker Crüe
  • Death Cab for Hootie
  • Big Gwar
  • Mazzy Gwar
  • SoundGwarden

Yeah, I went a little overboard, especially with the Gwar ones. But it was fun. If you care to join me in my rabbit hole, email me some of your favorite imagined musical mashups, and maybe I’ll include them in a future column. Bonus points if you can come up with a triple tribute act.