We took our sons to a playground today. Two actually. It was a standard autumn weekend in our town, the kind of morning that always makes me think of someone’s phrase (I think maybe Gusfield, or if not him then Kerr, possibly Rorabaugh) about the “peace of a Protestant Sunday.” A day when there wasContinue reading “Urban disorder”
My son (age 7), in the bath this evening, asked me, “Daddy, when will we travel out of state again?” I’m going to leave aside all of the rather astonishing class implications of that question, and instead focus on what I think he was really trying to get at: “Daddy, when will it be over?”Continue reading “How many times will I have to have this conversation?”
I was driving my sons to school this morning when the youngest (soon to be age 5) asked me: “Daddy, is it a lunar eclipse?” No, son. It’s not a lunar eclipse. It’s smoke. Something fast approaching a cool million acres have burned in these past few weeks, and we have at least a monthContinue reading “That glimmer of light? It’s fading fast.”
Let’s tell ourselves a fairy tale, shall we? Once upon a time there was a young man who longed to get into Yale. He didn’t — he got into Stanford instead — but it didn’t exactly poison his soul. Or if it did, the poison merely melded with all the other temptations and inducements, tragediesContinue reading “Thoughts on the Tyranny of Merit”
I was recently directed to undertake training in a subject that has some topical relevance to what I shall call “the present situation.” The precise subject matter of the training doesn’t bear much scrutiny — it is mostly commonsense stuff, and is clearly meant as CYA for those further up the chain — but thereContinue reading “Oh how I wish I were brave enough for street theatre”
So I was watching my kids at the playground, as one does. I and the strikingly handsome dyke — LOVE her plaid bolero jacket, COVET her glasses, find it FUCKING HILARIOUS that she is categorically interchangeable with any one of various members of my half-brother’s extended family, because this is California, after all, and atContinue reading “On uncomfortable questions on the playground”
I’m a regular attendee at a local theatre. This is something I do primarily because I enjoy it, and secondarily because I like the idea of living in a town that has multiple decent theatre companies. During the pandemic, attendance at live theatre has of course ceased. And so, in order to maintain audience engagement,Continue reading “Oh dear”
So I’ve been reading Dave Graeber, and Harry Frankfurt. I considered writing reviews on my Goodreads account, but then thought better of it. Because cowardice, you see. Everything I have to say on this subject I would say in the context of work. Which means that I am too shit-scared to say it what IContinue reading “Bullshit”
Near the end of Half a Yellow Sun, the heroine crosses over enemy lines to procure food and medicine for her family, their bellies distended with kwashiorker. They are a privileged family; part of the tragedy of the story is her own disbelief that these children could be deformed by what is, classically, a diseaseContinue reading “There’s a glimmer of light”
So, after all the policies have been redeemed, bills paid, accounts liquidated, and checks cashed, what remains of a life? Furniture, and pictures. Lots, and lots of pictures. As it happens, my grandmother loved to take photographs. Kodaks, polaroids, you name it. And she kept them — all of her childrens’ school photos, all ofContinue reading “What remains”
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