We live in an era of outrage. And frankly I’m tired of it. You might say that I’m outraged by all the outrage. Everyone is pissed off about something all the time, and everyone is constantly telling each other that they should be pissed off, too. Righteous indignation is the new normal. The internet is the perfect medium for spreading outrage. Twitter is tailor-made for angry people with short attention spans with its 140-character outrage nuggets. Continue reading “Can Everyone Please Just Chill the Hell Out?”
There has been a lot of buzz and even vitriol lately about Rachel Dolezal, the white woman in Spokane, Washington, who has been passing herself off as a mixed-race black woman for the past few years. Mostly the talk has been about the disbelief that she would falsely claim black heritage. But the one part that is almost always overlooked is her dubious claim of Native American ancestry. She even claims to have been born in a teepee in Montana. Because Indians were still living in teepees in Montana in 1977, apparently. Continue reading “Black and white (and red all over).”
At risk of sounding curmudgeonly, the world is speeding up and I don’t like it.
Our human ancestors walked out of Africa, and eventually walked all over the entire planet. Or built boats and floated to the parts they couldn’t reach on foot. Granted, it wasn’t one continuous trip, it took millenia. But they were in no particular hurry. Those bipedal hominids’ feet were made for walking. And that’s just what they did. Today we express surprise when someone walks a 10K race for charity. Yet our earliest ancestors did nothing but walk. They had no alternative. Continue reading “How Soon is Now?”
Disclaimer: I know the author personally. He is a friend, and for 10 years he was my coworker and mentor. I make no claims of impartiality with this review.
Today I’m reviewing 2000 Miles Around the Tree of Life, by Richard W. Carroll. (ISBN-10: 1935925512, ISBN-13: 978-1935925514), published by Peace Corps Writers, 2014. I have known Richard for ten years, and worked under his guidance for much of that time. I consider him a friend and a mentor, and so I was excited when I learned that he had published a memoir of his 1975 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Continue reading “Book Review: 2000 Miles Around the Tree of Life”
So there’s been a buzz lately about Idris Elba potentially portraying James Bond at some point in the future. And today there’s been a stir because the always-buffoonish Rush Limbaugh once again said something stupid. You can easily tell when Rush is saying something stupid, because it happens whenever his lips are moving. Continue reading “The Unbearable Whiteness of Being”
Next installment of “For Tomorrow.” This is another flashback to Jake and Wakesho’s days in Kenya.
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.
“Can’t you have one of your girlfriends do this?” Jake complained, shaking his hands to try to restore feeling to his fingertips.
“They all want money. Or they say they’re too busy. Besides, I like the way you do it, you’re very gentle,” Wakesho said.
She was sitting on the floor on a foam cushion from Jake’s sofa with her head between Jake’s knees as Jake sat on a stool from his kitchen. They were on the front porch of Jake’s house facing the ocean, watching the tide come in. Continue reading “Chapter 7: Extensions”
Hooray, it’s time again to celebrate the man who got lost, washed ashore on a land that had already been inhabited for tens of thousands of years, claimed it for his financier, the King of Spain, enslaved its inhabitants, left behind smallpox and syphilis, never really figured out whether he was in Asia or not, and was such an inept and brutal governor that he was jailed by his King. Continue reading “You know what? F*#@ Columbus”
Today is the autumnal equinox. Goodbye to what must surely have been one of the shortest summers in recent memory. Funny how time speeds up as we get older. After one of the most brutal winters in memory I’m not so sure I’m all that excited to see summer come to an end just yet. Continue reading “Autumnal Days”
This is not a political blog. I’m not going to get in the habit of espousing my political views, there are far too many sites focused on every narrow political perspective under the sun, and frankly most of it bores me. Because it seems that 90% of politics focuses so narrowly on single issues that it misses the bigger picture. Instead, I want to focus on what makes us all similar, not what drives us apart. Continue reading “Thoughts on the Scottish referendum”
This should have been my first post. Belatedly, let me explain the name of this blog.
In 1845, Henry David Thoreau quit his job and built a small house in the woods. It was essentially just a shack. But it was an upscale shack, not just some thrown-together lean to. It was small, even by the standards of the day, measuring only 10 feet by 15 feet, containing a single room with a bed, a table and a writing desk. A fireplace kept him warm throughout the winter. He lived comfortably in his upscale shack for a bit over two years, and documented his simple lifestyle in Walden. Thoreau’s most salient advice, which defines the spirit of this blog, was “simplify, simplify.” Continue reading “What is an upscale shack?”