It didn’t take long once the towers had fallen and the Pentagon had been left bleeding from the gaping wound gouged in its side by American Airlines Flight 77.
The embers outside Shanksville billowing from the remains of United Flight 93 had likely not even cooled before we began to hear it from commentators, politicians — from all corners of the nation.
United We Stand.
The slogan was everywhere: on bumper stickers, the lips of pundits, and in letters to the editor of every newspaper in America.
The attacks of September 11 had brought us together, or so we were…
As I write these words, over 630,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19 — a number that marks us as the epicenter of failure on the planet, uniquely awful at responding to one of the most extraordinary public health emergencies in world history.
Years from now, scholars will ask, as will our kids and theirs, how could we have bungled this so badly?
Some will retreat to an easy and politically partisan explanation, insisting it was a failure of leadership on the part of the Trump White House. And they won’t be wrong.
But that answer will…
As MAGA mobs storm school board meetings nationwide to protest mask requirements in the face of COVID, or the teaching of anti-racist curriculum, the right has demonstrated its willingness to threaten and intimidate policymakers in pursuit of their goals.
In response, sadly, reports suggest some school board members and other school officials are resigning, unwilling to put up with verbal abuse from unhinged parents and community members calling for their ouster, or in some cases, blatantly threatening violence.
To hear some tell it, employers are currently struggling to fill job openings because unemployment insurance and pandemic relief funds have been far too generous. As such, people can make more sitting at home than getting off the couch, putting down the Cool Ranch Doritos, and punching a clock.
This is, of course, bullshit.
I hate sounding like a grumpy old man, but seriously, get off my lawn.
As someone who finds beauty in words and occasionally strings them together in an almost artistic form, seeing people discuss writing as a “great side hustle” makes me want to smash an old-school typewriter over someone’s head.
Sadly, there’s probably someone on Fiverr right now who would let me do that to them for the right price.
And if I hear anyone else confuse writing with “content creation,” as if it were just a wordier alternative to TikTok, I’m going to — well, probably do nothing…
When white people hear the term “white privilege,” we often recoil, assuming we are being accused of having led a charmed life without difficulties — or of being rich and powerful, even though, like most, we have faced periods of financial insecurity. We may even be facing such now.
But no one who talks about the problem of racism and white privilege means it that way — literally, no one.
While there are occupational, income, housing availability, and wealth advantages for white people, relative to folks of color, tied to both multi-generational structures of inequity and ongoing bias, these are…
‘FREEDOM OVER FEAR’
It’s a slogan you’ll see on placards at anti-vax and anti-mask rallies, held by those who insist COVID is a hoax or at least exaggerated as to the dangers it poses.
This, despite the fact it has killed at least 650,000 Americans as I write this and hospitalized many more over the past 20 months.
Those who strike this pose of defiance would have us believe they do so out of some courage the rest of us lack. We who mask and vaccinate, they say, are like scared children, afraid of our shadows. …
First things first: Yes, it’s a good thing whenever any statue to Robert E. Lee comes down.
So too with any memorial for traitors who made war on the U.S. to uphold white supremacy — the thing Alexander Stephens, the Vice-President of the Confederacy, said was the “cornerstone” of their government.
I mean, if the U.S. itself wasn’t racist enough for you, such that you had to make war with it to really maximize the evil, then fuck you and the horse you rode in on, be that horse real or made of bronze.
And you can miss me with…
Texas wants y’all to know it’s pro-life.
Not in the sense of saving folks from COVID by rushing to be the most vaccinated state in America or in the sense that they believe in social distancing or masking in the face of the Delta variant.
And not in the sense of ensuring adequate health care to its children, taking aim at poverty or abolishing capital punishment, or anything like that.
But in the sense that Texas loves fetuses (or is it feti?) more than the rest of you and is prepared to prove it.
They say no two snowflakes look alike. But from all appearances at the anti-vax and anti-mask rallies — filled with people convinced that either COVID is a hoax or efforts to mitigate it are one step removed from the gulag — I’m not so sure.
There’s an awful lot of similarity there: overwhelmingly white and with the kind of wide-eyed look so common for those whose marination in conspiracy theories has all but pickled their brains.
For those who’ve been wondering, this is why America can’t have nice things.
Seriously, how fragile must one be to think having to wear…