Bostock and short summers

I’m sure all of us have had the experience of revisiting a place we knew well in our youth and being surprised at how small it seemed.  Or perhaps we’ve experienced the phenomenon of time seemingly flying by as we age — those endless summers of our childhood seem more like long weekends of yesteryear. Of course, it’s not place and time that have changed, it’s our perspective that has shifted.  A childhood summer that comprised a large fraction of our entire existence to that point seemed endless; as the…

Finding Our Rhythm Again After COVID-19

Over the years, I have learned something about performing music: Most of the time no one can really tell if you play a few wrong notes, but they’ll immediately pick up on a break or a pause, no matter how slight. The predictable patterns of sound and space that form the rhythm of a song are taken for granted until taken away.  And, once removed, their absence is profoundly disorienting — both to the player and her audience. Like a melody, the daily details of our lives float along over…

The “Resistance” to Trump: Leslie Knope Strikes Back

Parks and Rec

The television sitcom Parks and Recreation is one of only a handful of fine moments in television’s recent history.  Whoever came up with the idea of a show having a rabid libertarian as the director of a city parks department — the very archetype of comfortable bureaucratic inefficiency — I mean, the jokes write themselves!  It was a stroke of genius. And, apparently, also prescient.   Because the longer I watch the ongoing battle between Donald Trump and the self-styled resistance both from outside and from within “his” own executive…

Trudeau’s Apologized. Move On.

Another election cycle, another blackface scandal. This time, it’s the erstwhile liberal darling, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Caught in between competing political parties — liberals rushing to condemn, and conservatives rushing to gloat — these are rough times for the former good guy, now turned racist villain.  Depending on your political point of view, Trudeau’s a racist, a hypocrite, and/or a deserving victim of his own out-of-control politically correct revolution . . . regardless, his political career and past life are reduced down to little more than a twenty-year-old…

A Summary and Analysis of the USWNT Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

As I write this post, the United States Women’s National Team (UWSNT) is preparing to play in the final game of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, with an opportunity to win a second consecutive and unprecedented fourth overall world title.  It’s hard to think of a more successful United States international competition team. While it’s always fun to watch and support a winner, the USWNT is a joy to watch for reasons outside of on-the-field dominance.  It’s full of strong personalities and hard workers, who, in my estimation, represent…

Our rush-to-condemnation problem

One of the consequences of being off social media is that I’m generally blissfully ignorant of current events.  Wait you mean the government shut down??  Last week??  I didn’t notice until I had to call The Department of Housing and Urban Development for work and it went to an answering machine. But the news makes its way to me sooner or later, and this afternoon, I learned about the controversy over Governor Ralph Northram of Virginia.  If you’re reading this, I’m sure you know all about it already, so I…

Is it happening here?

Are we seeing the beginning of the collapse of American democratic institutions? David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, in his recent column Illiberal Arts, sounds the call for alarm: Donald Trump did not ignite but merely joined a miserable, destabilizing trend of illiberalism that has been under way for years in Russia, Turkey, China, India, Southeast Asia, and Western, Eastern, and Central Europe. . . . As President, Trump is the putative guardian of a set of political values, and, no matter how often those values have been undermined,…

A way to think about responses to school shootings

Another year has come, and another school shooting. 17 children and teachers gone, each one a precious son or daughter, brother or sister, father or mother, friend or neighbor.  Every parent, upon hearing the news of another shooting, feels a pain in their heart for another’s loss of their child, while, at the same time, guilt over the relief they feel that it didn’t happen to his or her own son or daughter. Unless it did. Or, heaven forbid, until it does.  There but for the grace of God go…

Changing my mind on capital punishment

The State of Arkansas is executing two convicted criminals tonight. One has been executed already. A second will be executed shortly, absent further judicial intervention. I know nothing of these men. I don’t have any opinion as to their guilt or innocence of the crimes for which they were convicted. Because they were convicted, I will assume they are guilty, though I know that assumption may not be warranted. The matter of capital punishment has been on my mind a great deal over the last week, principally because I started…