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

A Nation of Unreliable Narrators

This morning, NPR aired an interview with author Adam Benforado, an expert on how “camera-perspective bias” can misrepresent a broader reality or context. He was speaking about the now-infamous showdown between the Covington Catholic students and Native American activist Nathan Phillips at the Lincoln Memorial. In his discussion, Benforado introduced the concept of “cultural cognition,” … Continue reading A Nation of Unreliable Narrators

MLK Day 2019

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day made for some interesting media watching today—particularly on Twitter where the hashtag #MLKDay provided some memorable moments. Celebrities and politicians, apparently, like to tweet pictures of Rev. King along with his most inspirational quotes. Many of their tweets feel de rigueur, though, as if not marking the occasion would land … Continue reading MLK Day 2019

Why “Gladiator” Rocks My Masculine Soul

Most men over 30 know and love the movie Gladiator. When I’m in the mood for a quintessentially male movie after my wife has gone to bed, I have several options—Braveheart, The Patriot, Saving Private Ryan, Good Fellas—but Gladiator has been my hands-down favorite since I heard Maximus scream at the crowd “Are you not … Continue reading Why “Gladiator” Rocks My Masculine Soul

Middle Age by Any Other Name

Maybe it’s just me whining about my late fifties, but I think we need a better name for this stage of life. “Middle-aged” doesn’t cut it. Calling myself "middle-aged" feels vaguely mendacious. It’s like referring to yourself as a “seasoned veteran” on LinkedIn to skirt the fact that you graduated from college 15 years before … Continue reading Middle Age by Any Other Name

The Case for Owning Inequality

There’s one thing I’ve learned for sure from reading about race: A quick way to find the fault line between Left and Right is to broach the subject of reparations. Nothing quite gets Conservatives riled up like a $1.4-trillion transfer of wealth to the African-American community to restore it to what economist Robert Browne described … Continue reading The Case for Owning Inequality

Forty Years Later, the Irony of Race

Martin Luther King famously remarked that “11 o’clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours” in America. When I was in high school in the “integrated” Denver Public Schools, I could have made the case that AP American History was just as segregated. For a school that had bussed its way to … Continue reading Forty Years Later, the Irony of Race

At the Y, All These Years

There’s just something about how a YMCA smells. Maybe other gyms smell the same way, but I like to think Y’s have a peculiar smell—something older and more evocative than any health club has. When I was a little kid in Denver, Colorado, my father took me and my older brother to the downtown YMCA. … Continue reading At the Y, All These Years

Why Buying A Shotgun Made Me Want Better Gun Laws

Back in 2007, when my only daughter was nine years old, I read a news report about a now-infamous home invasion and murder of the Petit family in Cheshire, CT. The whole thing freaked me out. The mother and her two beautiful daughters were brutally raped and murdered while the father was incapacitated by a … Continue reading Why Buying A Shotgun Made Me Want Better Gun Laws