Do Not Skip the Heavy Metal to Get to the Death

At the end of Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century (2017, Blue Rider Press), Klosterman makes the curious curatorial decision to group seven essays about heavy metal before concluding with four essays about death. I say this is curious because the essays about heavy metal are Klosterman at his […]

Voices of Passchendaele

In order to get a sense of what it was like to experience those early days of Passchendaele, one has only to listen to the voices of those who were there. In looking at the accounts written by those who were involved with the battle, you can come to an understanding, not of dispassionate battlefield […]

Minimum wage: What do we really know about it?

If you have been reading the news lately, you might be familiar with what some have called the Seattle minimum wage disaster. According to this recent study from the University of Washington, Seattle’s recent hike, which raised the minimum wage from $10 to $13, caused the average low-wage worker to lose more than 6 percent […]

Prelude to Passchendaele

On July 31, 1917, the British Expeditionary Force launched the initial assault that would be the Third Battle of Ypres, although it is better known to us as Passchendaele. Passchendaele was yet another in a long line of failed offensives on both sides, and for a war that in its third year had seen many […]

Sourcing and Where to Find It

The New York Times has a problem. Well actually, The New York Times has a litany of problems—cries of “fake news,” the so-proclaimed death of journalism, etc.—but all of those are external problems. The New York Times has another problem, an internal problem, a let’s-shoot-ourselves-in-the-foot-and-call-it-journalism problem. That problem is nuanced sourcing, and The New York Times has […]

Ludendorff & Liege

In previous submissions, I dealt with two themes found in Patty Jenkins’s new film, Wonder Woman. My third and final examination of the most prominent World War 1 elements in this film concerns one of the primary villains, German general Erich Ludendorff.  In the film, Ludendorff is a somewhat one-note villain with an obsession for […]

The Forced Pivot

As a largely simple-minded society, we are fascinated with the idea of an individual pivot. Someone forsaking their chosen path to venture unknown down a possibly related, possibly not other path baffles us. Why did Michael Jordan pivot from basketball to baseball? Why did Arnold Schwarzenegger pivot from acting to politics? The voluntary pivot defies […]

The Adolescent Paradox

There is something called the adolescent paradox, a term referring to the ironic situation in which young adults are at once both at the peak of their physical health and energy while also being most at risk for mental illness. So while our bodies are equipped to do all we may want, like staying up […]

Weapons Deadlier Than You Can Imagine

In a previous submission, I addressed the inclusion of trench warfare in Warner Brother’s latest superhero film, Wonder Woman. While trench warfare played only a small role in that film, a more central theme was the use of poison gas, specifically a hydrogen-based, rather than sulfur-based, mustard gas (spoiler: Scientificallyy this would not be feasible […]

In The Trenches

In Warner Brother’s latest film release, Wonder Woman, which is set in World War 1, there is a moment halfway through the plot in which the titular hero, Diana Prince, is faced with the bleak hopelessness of trench warfare on the Western Front. Frustrated at the suffering of innocent people around her, she takes action, […]