A tiny story about how tragedy ripples thru culture and history. /1
#OTD: May 4, 1970. Ohio National Guard fires on unarmed Kent State student protestors, killing four.  Among the crowd: art student Jerry Casale. He knew two of the students who got killed. /2
Over the next few months, the campus is locked down. Casale and fellow student protester Bob Lewis channel their anguish into a weird new style of art. The central idea: everything is going to hell. People and society seem to be getting worse, to be devolving. /3
They call it Art Devo.
At some point, they get more members, start playing music, mostly bass and synthesizers, and call their band DEVO.
But you can still clearly hear in some of their songs, this same idea of devolution ... /4
“I don’t think I would have started Devo had that [Kent State] not happened,” Casale has said, “It’s that simple.”

Makes you wonder about all the new styles and genres of everything being hatched right now in COVID-isolated studios/garages/basements across the world … /5
A million places to read more about the tragic origin of this brilliant weirdo band, but maybe start here devobook.net

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More from @latifnasser

9 Apr
A thread of three terrific podcasts that are peepholes into how American students and school administrators are responding to COVID in real time. (I’m sure I’m missing more, so add to the thread.)
PRIMARY/MIDDLE SCHOOL - My good friend @Christophere heads up Turquoise Trail Charter Schools in NM. Last year, he started sending me voice memos about stuff he was most nervous about. Then he turned those voice memos into a podcast. Listen here: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the…
HIGH SCHOOL - Ace reporter @nniebrown + her colleagues @nytimes basically made a new season of #FridayNightLights, focusing on when COVID comes to Odessa (aka East Dillon) High in TX. New appreciation for school bands (and gummy worms, weirdly): nytimes.com/2021/02/26/pod…
Read 4 tweets
18 Feb
Proud to say that starting today and for the next six weeks our @Radiolab miniseries #TheOtherLatif will be broadcast in full on approx 500 public radio stations. wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radio…
It’s the perfect timing as the Biden admin is now deciding what to do with Guantánamo and the 40 men still held there. nytimes.com/2021/02/12/us/…
Also the broadcast version has a bunch of bonus footage and interviews and one big special extra at the end of episode 3.
Read 4 tweets
2 Nov 20
The US election is tomorrow.  If you, like me, are tired of horse-race-style reporting, and need to zoom out, I wanna tell you a story. It’s about an ancient force influencing the election. And, as a bonus, it’ll give you an Easter egg to watch for as the returns come in. THREAD Image
Before I tell the story, I should say I first heard it eight years ago from @rkrulwich. And I never forgot it.  Parts of this story might be obvious to some of you, but as a new US citizen, I knew very little of it …
Ok here we go.

Look at the electoral maps by county for the last few decades of US presidential elections.  You’ll notice that the South goes almost uniformly Republican red every time.


But if you look closer, there’s something else there ... ImageImage
Read 39 tweets
26 Sep 20
This year has been unrelentingly bleak, so I want to tell you a real-life Cinderella story that started almost exactly ten years ago today. (A THREAD)
In the summer of 2010, I was a lowly graduate student studying the history of science. I loved it, but I knew I didn't have a future as an academic. Not least because every paper I submitted to scholarly journals got rejected.
So one day, I cold-emailed my favorite podcast, @Radiolab. I had no experience in radio or podcasting or documentary or music or journalism. But I figured, what the heck, I'm gonna tell them how much I love them. And also maybe ... pitch them some history of science stories??
Read 9 tweets
2 Aug 20
My Netflix show just went live! If I had to sum it up, it’s basically if Bill Nye and Anthony Bourdain had an awkward Muslim baby. But it’s also more than that ...
It’s about space lasers and dating apps and Saharan fish and extragalactic potatoes and climate change and nuclear weapons and the breath you just took. But it’s about more than all that too ...
It’s about a single simple idea that feels way more resonant now than when we conceived of the show years ago. And it’s this:
Read 7 tweets
17 Apr 20
Such an honor to talk to these brilliant folks. In their honor, here's a quick thread of a few of my favorite @greatbigstory mini-docs to help pass the quaran-time:
The Mad Genius Behind Sea Monkeys - @lennypane's doc somehow finds the exactly right length and style, given its tiny odd subject
How a Man's Ashes Made it To the Moon - A love story about a man and a woman and the earth and the moon. It'll make you cry in three and a half minutes.
Read 5 tweets

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