Archive for November 2016

Where Did All This Stuff Come From?

Thanksgiving is in a couple of days, so I spent the evening preparing the basement for guests. I organized, picked up Halloween candy wrappers stuffed behind the couch, vacuumed corners that haven’t been vacuumed since this time last year, and generally made the basement look the way that I wished it always looked. Unfortunately, people... Read more »

How I Avoid Despair After Tragic Headlines

Every once in a while I’ll see a news headline that’s so horrendous I can’t even click on it. But by then it’s too late. I already know. Details inside the story will add layers of sadness, and maybe put a finer point on the general feeling of grief. And on the one hand I’ll... Read more »

The Beasts Aren't the Only Things That Are Fantastic in Harry Potter Spinoff Film

There’s a scene in the final five minutes of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them during which one character somehow becomes a different character. He’s obviously undergone a change, and despite having watched the film for two hours at that point, I had no idea what happened. One moment a guy was there (played... Read more »

My Book About Me Is A Tradition for Our Family

When I turned six years old my mom and dad bought me Dr. Seuss’s My Book About Me for my birthday. I can’t remember if I was excited about the gift, or if I even knew what it was. I didn’t really care about books or reading or writing until I got to college, so... Read more »

Trumpists Punish Starbucks By Giving Them Money

America is nothing if not a land of protests. In a country as diverse as our there’s always bound to be some group that’s unhappy, and thanks to the Constitution those unhappy people have the right to assemble peacefully and state their grievances. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but for the most part, any... Read more »

Some Questions for President Trump

Only fifty-three days until Donald Trump is president of the United States. When nine-year-old Brett was watching Wrestlemania IV—which Trump sponsored at his resort in Atlantic City—on closed-circuit television at the old International Ampitheatre, I don’t think anyone in the crowd would have believed that the words President and Trump would go together. He was... Read more »

I'm Amazed By What I Don't Know

Leonard Cohen died last week. He was 82. News of his death surprised me because I’d just seen an article about him last month in The New Yorker. I didn’t read the article, so I didn’t know any more about him at his death than I did before I’d seen the article. The name sounded... Read more »

We Can't Expect Facebook to Protect Us From Fake News

One of the most unfortunate things that I learned in this past election is that in politics, truth no longer matters. In an ideal political environment, chronic, intentional lying would end a career. Or at least curtail it from progressing. But we just survived an election in which the nominee for one party lied about... Read more »

Buttons That Don't Work, Even Though We Think They Do

I read an article the other day all about buttons. Not the sort that keep your shirt closed, nor the round ones with a pin attached that you can wear on your coat or a backpack to show who you’re voting for. No, the article was entirely about the type of buttons we push. As... Read more »

Obama Should Pardon Hillary

President-elect Trump (I misspelled every word as I typed that; I think my fingers are rebelling) was on 60 Minutes tonight. I didn’t watch the interview, but I read an article by a member of the liberal media that summarized it. In addition to admitting that he won’t deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, and that... Read more »