Lake Charles, Louisiana, is a particularly sensitive canary in the coal mine of global warming. Not only is southwest Louisiana low-lying in the age of sea-rise; the land is also subsiding faster than just about anywhere on earth, and water courses through everything.
We talk about paying attention, as though it is a debt—and these days, attention is definitely currency. We still use money and buy material stuff, but these transactions all begin by gaining our limited attention.
In Louisiana’s future, the EPA says, there will be “retreating shores,” stronger and more frequent hurricanes, more flooding, more heat than ever, and reduced crop and fishery yields. And as disasters linked to climate change increase in scale and number, we can all expect to pay for them, with interrupted commerce and supply lines, higher insurance rates, and more federal aid for recoveries like this one.
Wealth and technology have allowed development in regions of the country without adequate water, but when wealth and technology fail to sustain, we will be forced to pay greater attention.
Ursula K. Le Guin created an alternate history for our wayward species so suitably epic in scope, theme, and detail that it rivals anything Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein conjured during the so-called Golden Age of Science Fiction.
There is a reason we use the word “intimate.” Sex cuts closer to our core than any other physical act. It can rip away the garb and the façade, break through the boundaries, ease loneliness, soothe anxiety, restore a sense of self.
The fact that our costume began as a sturdy and predictable garment, then evolved into a million variations and constant novelty—how American is that?
Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb is a brief portrait of a brilliant young writer, frustrated with his local and national governments, applying his beliefs to the practice of grassroots politics instead of keeping to the commentariat. For any young writers who wish to “write like Hunter S. Thompson,” or fans who love the Johnny Depp portrayal, the documentary will be instructive.
In almost any period in the past fifty years, Schottenheimer could have been cast as the “square” dad in a situation comedy. He was the quintessence of matter-of-factness, the earnest striver whose word was always good, but who would not have known the latest dance moves—or even the name of the latest dance. Marty Schottenheimer exhibited a strain of cheerful seriousness or serious good cheer, take your choice.
The woman who began her career as a fashion model for Ebony and Jet magazines, who married (and divorced) jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, and whose love of Black people, especially Black women, made her into an activist for most of her long, long life developed her craft so exactingly that she reigns as one of the greatest artists America has ever produced (or ever will produce).