Brutalized Souls and the Epidemic of PTSD

Details about the crime were all too familiar. On April 23rd, a young man in Sunnyvale, CA, steered his car into a group of pedestrians. Eight people were injured, three of them from one “south Asian” family. A 13-year-old girl was left in a coma, fighting for her life. Before long, reports emerged that the … Continue reading Brutalized Souls and the Epidemic of PTSD

Paycheck Madness and the Shining City on the Hill

The things you learn on Twitter. A couple of weeks ago, Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton and notable Twitter gadfly, tweeted that “Wall Street bonuses totaled $27.5 billion last year, which is more than 3 times the combined annual earnings of all American workers employed full-time at the federal minimum wage.” Now … Continue reading Paycheck Madness and the Shining City on the Hill

Twitter’s “Private” Rooms

My older brother once remarked that social media is the largest social experiment in history—and that we won’t appreciate its impact for years. He’s a brilliant, scientifically-minded guy who observes life with the detachment of a benevolent deity. In his mid-60s, he enjoys an enviable serenity of mind. He doesn’t feel an urgency to adapt … Continue reading Twitter’s “Private” Rooms

Why I’ll Never Shoot Another AR-15

The AR-15 rifle, with its unmistakable, nasty-looking contours has become the poster child of the gun debate. Gun control advocates demonize the rifle as much, I think, for its lethal appearance as for its ability to kill people. Meanwhile, gun enthusiasts and the NRA talk like they’d sooner lose limbs than part with their tricked-out … Continue reading Why I’ll Never Shoot Another AR-15

Rethinking the Whole Manhood Thing

It had been more than six months since we’d seen this couple. My wife had been teaching abroad for a semester and during her absence I didn't go out much. Now that Barbara was back in the States, though, our social calendar was repopulated with evenings out like this one. We met at a favorite … Continue reading Rethinking the Whole Manhood Thing

The Delirious Art of Writing About Absolutely Nothing

When it comes to posting on my blog, I take my responsibility very seriously. I aim to post at least three times per week. I have a schedule that maps out five discrete but related content categories—or, as we call them in content marketing, pillars. I try to identify subjects that, while perhaps seen through … Continue reading The Delirious Art of Writing About Absolutely Nothing

The Terrifying Truth About Social Media

I need to get my shit together. It’s not quite an existential concern, but it is a problem of identity, and that wigs me out. No doubt there are support groups for this sort of thing. They probably meet in church basements and sit in circles, talking at each other with wild eyes and trembling … Continue reading The Terrifying Truth About Social Media

Immigrant Caravans and Homegrown Shooters

Perhaps the most ironic moment in President Trump’s recent State of the Union address was when he introduced relatives of Gerald and Sharon David. The Davids, Trump explained, were murdered in their Reno, Nevada-home by a Salvadoran man in the country illegally. Watching the whole thing unfold felt like taking part in an act of … Continue reading Immigrant Caravans and Homegrown Shooters

A Not-So-Elusive Joy

A lot's being written about how to find happiness these days. Perhaps that's because happiness feels more elusive than ever. There are mornings when I wake up in a bad mood and can only attribute my foul disposition to an expectation the world will greet me with a contemptuous glare. I'm far from alone in … Continue reading A Not-So-Elusive Joy

The Most Expensive Cat Ever—And Why That’s Okay

  Periodically, my friends ask me to tell one particularly embarrassing story—usually when the wine is flowing and they want a good laugh. I figure I’ll share it here: Doing so both exposes me as a bleeding-heart animal lover and states a very serious moral position. About 13 years ago, our 20-year-old rescue cat, Phoebe, … Continue reading The Most Expensive Cat Ever—And Why That’s Okay