Category Archives: Current Events

The Monster in my Garage

By Jillian Lauren

A few weeks ago, on an ordinary Wednesday night, I finished drying the dinner dishes in the husband-out-of-town-kids-in-bed blissful quiet, and poured myself a glass of pinot grigio. As I leaned back against a counter and took a sip, for no discernable reason I thought of Nick — an unexpected emotional freight train barreling down a long-deserted track.

I crawled into my bed, fully clothed, next to my sleeping boys, ages five and nine, and pulled my laptop off the nightstand. Closing my eyes for a moment, I listened to the comforting, sweet sound of the their breath. Even on their best days, my boys are an extreme iteration of what my mother’s generation would have called wild. What the parenting books call challenging, or high needs. What the school district calls special needs. What I call, simply, my family. What my friends seem to often call “boys.” As in, boys will be boys. Continue reading

The Sonoma County Fires’ Familiar Surreality

By Nicholas Miriello

“Is that smoke from the fire?” A man yelled to his neighbor walking a dog. “Jesus.”

It was Monday morning in San Francisco, and every resident had learned of wine country’s wildfires by checking the Internet or first calling their local fire department to report the smell of a fire nearby. The smell was immediate, pervasive, and unmistakably close, like a late night campfire you awake to still burning.  Continue reading

The Event is Always Political

By James Rushing Daniel

Just after 10 p.m. on Sunday, October 1st, Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. At least 59 people were killed and over 500 were injured in what has been called the deadliest mass shooting in United States history committed by a single individual. Surprising no one, a rancorous debate immediately ensued with many on the left calling for gun control legislation and a unified right feigning moral outrage. Continue reading

Uncertainty in Catalonia

By Marc Herman

One of the most important novels of the Spanish Civil War that you might never have heard of is Uncertain Glory, by Joan Sales, a book told from the Catalan point of view and banned in Spain for much of the 20th century. The book’s long-awaited English language edition will arrive just days after an October 1 secession vote in Spain’s breakaway province of Catalonia, where much of the novel is set. Whoever timed this was an evil marketing genius. Continue reading

Free Speech Year

By Joshua Clover

While few would dispute that there has been renaissance of open white nationalism since Donald Trump’s election, it has proved difficult for many to narrate the white nationalist movement as a movement. Repeatedly over the last year, people — people in positions of significant power — have treated each rally, gathering, or other event as if it had arisen from nowhere, or from some subterranean roil, singular, independent of previous events. The treatment of each event as discrete, rather than as part of a sustained political project, is a political problem itself, one that has already cost and continues to risk more lives. Continue reading

Two Trumps or One?

By Jill Frank

President Trump’s speeches whiplash between calls for national togetherness and exploiting ethnic divisions. When he reads prepared text from a teleprompter, as he did two days after the Charlottesville terrorism and in his August 21 speech on Afghanistan, he focuses on themes of unity. These speeches are generally attributed to National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. When Trump goes off-script, as he did at a press conference three days after Charlottesville and at his rally in Phoenix on August 22, he slashes and divides. These words are generally believed, per his Twitter thoughts, to be the “real Donald Trump.”  Continue reading

American Monuments and the Residue of History

By John Levi Barnard

On August 11th and 12th, a white supremacist mob descended on the town of Charlottesville, Virginia, ostensibly to protest the removal of a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The protest erupted into violence, culminating with one of its members driving a car into a group of counterprotesters, leaving one dead and many injured. “Sad,” Trump tweeted, “to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.” Pursuing this line of thought, Trump wondered where this anti-monumental carnage was going to end: “who’s next,” he rhetorically asked, “Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!” Continue reading

Yes, O.J. Simpson Did It. The CDC Report on Female Homicides Should Leave No Doubt.

By Amber Haque

Last month, two seemingly disparate news stories emerged on the same day: the first was O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing for a 2007 conviction on charges of kidnapping, assault, and armed robbery. The second was the publication of a report on female homicides in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue reading