The Color Purple

On Inauguration Day, Kamala Harris wore glorious purple. First, I heard it was for the suffragists. I smiled, thinking back to quotes I once dug up about their careful choice of color, the Americans stealing the Brits’ purple because it represented “the instinct of freedom and dignity.” I was glad they did not stick with […]

Please Let COVID Kill the Buffet

For some, it is clowns. For me, it is buffets. They terrify me, because I always make bad choices. Once I sat down and realized I had dished up an entirely white plate for myself: potatoes, filet of sole, cauliflower… I am not sufficiently fond of my own race to make that a good decision. […]

No Time for Caution, They Say

    Inaugural Day was bright and cold, with 200,000 small flags replacing an audience on the Mall, and the capital an occupation zone. The number of deaths from Covid passed 400,000, more than our WWII dead, as the sitting President winged away. None of it felt normal or right, but many watched in tears, […]

What Would It Take to Be Whole Again?

To be “made whole.” The phrase has always taken my breath away, even though I understand nothing of the common law and personal injury disputes in which it is invoked. How lovely, to be, in a single gesture, made whole. It sounds effortless, an act of grace, a wand waved over my head. Just imagining […]

What QAnon Calls Research

There is a single, innocuous phrase, used like a mantra by proponents of QAnon and other conspiracy theories, that drives me insane. Not because it is uttered in smug or combative tones, though it often is, but because it feels like such a distortion. “Do your research,” they say. Why should this be maddening? I […]

Adult Education in the Pandemic

    There are online classes or sessions of all kinds these days, such as The Great Courses (“Learn at your own pace with no schedule, while exercising, commuting, or just relaxing. Just you and the world’s greatest professors!”); TED Talks (“free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers”); and the ones in this list […]

Baring Pixar’s Soul

    Spoilers throughout.   Soul may be a children’s movie, but two weeks later, I am still trying to figure it out. Granted, I overthink everything. But I like director (and Pixar creative chief) Pete Docter’s willingness to tackle abstract concepts (Up, Inside Out) so I want to know what he is saying. The […]

What You Wear to a Coup

In little-kid history, the word “ragtag” conjures motley groups of men who band together, with fife and drum, to join the Revolution. Well, if ever a group looked ragtag, it was the one that smashed its way into the Capitol last week. Jimmy Kimmel called it “a psychotic Price Is Right audience”; others said it […]

The Ad Hoc Tribes of Violence

  As law enforcement and amateur Internet sleuths continue to identify those who stormed Congress on Wednesday, some are poring over video of a “disciplined” group in tactical gear, who walk single-file, hand on the person in front of them, up the east Capitol steps through the disordered mob. Several members of the group have […]