Why do we tell ourselves stories? Joan Didion said that we do that in order to live. Maybe that's true of some stories. Knitting together the real and fanciful pieces of our personal histories and then weaving them into a larger tapestry we call the human experience helps us see ourselves as something other than … Continue reading Stories we tell ourselves
The last three lines from a poem by Emily Dickinson are the epigraph of Not Even Light. Like you, I feel the winds rising. Our benighted species is drifting away from the shores of rationality and into a storm surge of madness. I don't know exactly what to do anymore other than to take what … Continue reading There came a wind like a bugle
"Bollocks": exaggerated truth or blatant lies; unfathomable rubbish (from the Urban Dictionary) Travis, the young narrator of Not Even Light, begins his tale with a look back. It puzzles me whenever I run across someone who doesn't know anything about the Long Last Days, but it probably shouldn't. Stories from the times that saw the … Continue reading Climate summit? Bollocks!
"O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" The Zuckerberg presides over the rebranding of Facebook. It's Meta now, is it? Whoa! WOW! How wonderful! Splendid, even! That's going to fix everything! It ranks right up there with rebranding "systematic torture" as "enhanced interrogation techniques." Here's what'll really go a long way to fix Facebook for you as … Continue reading Facebook. Meta. Gimme a flippin’ break!
Haunted houses and walks along the spooky lanes of a dark woods are in operation around here. Once again, people are lining up for that annual risk-free rush of adrenaline, endorphins, and dopamine! But I don't have to leave home for that. All I have to do is turn on the national news.
To anyone who thinks that wearing a mask during the pandemic is a terrible burden: Such an imposition, isn't it, to mask up and do your bit to protect yourself and others, especially since everyone (especially you) has all those constitutional rights and freedoms, and no one's gonna be the boss of you, by golly! … Continue reading A modest proposal
Your neighbor is probably a perfectly normal, reasonable adult. But suppose you and your neighbor are having an over-the-fence chat about this and that. You comment about how many sparrows you've had at your bird feeders lately, and his eyes bug out, he starts huffing and puffing, and next thing you know, conversation ceases as … Continue reading Birds Aren’t Real!
The reality show our species produces and acts in is appalling and discouraging. We could be doing so much better for ourselves and our planet, but we keep on mining those veins of stupidity and self-destructiveness that never seem to run out. Ödön von Horváth said, "Nichts gibt so sehr das Gefühl der Unendlichkeit als … Continue reading Stupidity
The first time I saw the "Earthrise" photo taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders on Christmas Eve, 1968, I was astonished by the image of our lovely living planet suspended in the depths of space above the bleak lunar surface. I eventually bought a black and white reproduction which I tacked up on the … Continue reading A favorite story from my teaching days
I'm a fairly thoughtful person by nature. If asked to list my hobbies or favorite pursuits, I always put thinking at the top of the list. Once upon a time during a free period, I was seated at my desk thinking. A student walked in and asked if I could help him out with a … Continue reading Thinking