Poll 31: End Note, Part 1 (Misrecognitions)

You probably think of Elvis Costello as a genial presence in pop music: a sophisticated lyricist and concept-master, and an occasional thoughtful talk show host, too. But in March 1979, Elvis Costello was an idiot. He referred to James Brown and Ray Charles as “ignorant niggers”, and once his vicious blue streak made it out […]

A quick addition to the last post

I wasn’t going to write anything else about the election. I felt like that last post said all I needed to say. But as I’ve learned, sometimes, circumstances move faster than type; sometimes they’re faster than thought. As you know, the President has tested positive and is now in the hospital. Given the way he […]

From me to you

Chances are, you’re exhausted, too. You don’t want to talk about the election, or civil society, or anything of the sort. Airtight arguments haven’t gotten you anywhere, and those moral and emotional appeals haven’t done much, either. You know this is the state that powerful people want you in: too wiped out to put up […]

Hater you participate

I consider it a thing of monstrous arrogance to support a political candidate because he or she agrees with me. For starters, my judgment is compromised in dozens of ways. I take it for granted that I’m misinformed, and woefully ill-equipped to untangle the sort of knotty problems that leaders face. John McCain stands out […]

The Tulsa trap

About a month after the 2016 general election, George drove me home from practice. He was, as we all were, very worried about the consequences of the decisions that the country had made and the experiment in extreme laissez-faire that was about to commence. The American governing apparatus, he believed, was a machine too powerful […]