Issue 183 May 2020
The Day The Earth Caught Fire
The movie business loves a bit of post-apocalyptic dystopian near-future noir. And in almost every one of these bleak movies, there's always a scene – often in flashback – where some crumpled-looking news anchor in a badly lit studio signs off saying something like "Good luck, and God Bless!" As a print editor, my personal favourite is the 1950s British classic, The Day The Earth Caught Fire. Blistering heat aside, that all feels disturbingly real right now!
Today, we shelter. Tomorrow, we rebuild. However, that means our normal editorial has been somewhat blind-sided by the impact of COVID-19. Manufacturers who offered us reviews have products locked away in shuttered warehouses and factories. Newsagents and magazine distributors around the world have to deal with closed stores while everyone waits for this medical tornado to pass.
On a trivial level, the direct impact of COVID-19 in this edition means some of the images we had expected to receive ended up being photographed on a kitchen table without the benefits of our usual studio lighting or even a tripod. If this is our only impact going forwards, that would be win.
We are striving to produce a magazine to our normal schedule, but are beset on all sides by a very changeable environment. Printers may have to close, paper stocks might not be delivered, we could all go quietly crazy in our cloistered homes. Anything could happen. However, at this time, we will still be printing to a monthly schedule and, while we can't control whether newsstands and newsagents will be open, that just means it's the perfect time to subscribe. We have arranged a strictly limited custom set of Cardas Audio blocks, free for the first 50 lucky new subscribers. See page 94 for more details.
That all being said, and although the audio world is in the epicentre of potential COVID-19 risk groups – we're predominantly male, middle-aged (and beyond) and some are stricken with the 'co-morbidities' that make Coronavirus more hazardous. However, when it comes to self-isolation... we audiophiles rock! We spend hours on end in our respective listening rooms and man-caves playing music and tweaking our audio systems. The notion of spending weeks in our homes holds no fear for us.
In truth, this is no joking matter. Coronavirus is a serious respiratory disease that is easy to contract and can kill. We should all take it very seriously, even if there's a touch of 'gallows humour' that is forever British.
So chin up, stiff upper lip and all that... we'll get through this!