Taking the Tricks

Taking the Tricks

27

Sep

2016

A lot of people I know seem to think that you can't possibly object to Hillary Clinton's campaign based strictly on ideological differences, so I'm often called upon to make penance by saying that Donald Trump is bad. I feel like I've said that enough; I had a piece published in which I mocked Trump, then merely a more-than ...
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No Debate About It

No Debate About It

26

Sep

2016

Well, look at this!  It's the night of the very first and very exciting presidential debate, in which Hillary Clinton, a woman who embodies the American ideal that if you want something really bad people should give it to you and not ask a lot of annoying questions, and Donald Trump, a pool of pizza grease that has attaine ...
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South of the North, North of the South

South of the North, North of the South

20

Sep

2016

When Donald Glover was making the rounds to publicize the first season of Atlanta, the new FX series he created, produced, wrote, and stars in, he made a comment that has come to be the log line for the series:  he claimed he wanted to make a show about what it's like to be black.  That's an extremely tall order, and it ...
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The Meaning of Lives

The Meaning of Lives

19

Sep

2016

The release last week of Census data concerning recent trends in employment in the economy has been widely circulated, not only as evidence that things are getting better, but that we have our nation's Democratic leadership to thank for that.  In a particular partisan view, the country is doing fine, and claims to the cont ...
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Two Things You Don’t Talk About

Two Things You Don’t Talk About

15

Sep

2016

So another handful of 'polls' have been released, which seem to indicated that presidential heir apparent Hillary Clinton has failed to charm the electorate and that Chee-To-dusted stray stem cell Donald Trump is closing the 'gap' which allegedly exists between them. Many explanations have been offered for this development ...
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A Reason to Suffer

A Reason to Suffer

12

Sep

2016

Guilt has always been a major theme in noir fiction.  Everyone is guilty to some degree or another, and even if they aren't, what does being innocent get you?  Fate will always find a way to trip you up, so you might as well be guilty.  The flip side of this, though, is that everyone starts out innocent, and who ends up ...
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The President of Vice

The President of Vice

9

Sep

2016

Every election year, we are asked to make a momentous decision:  to choose between the two official party-approved multimillionaires who are allowed to become President of the United States.  This year, the choice seems especially important, because one of the candidates is a wealthy, unlikable real estate speculator who ...
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The Drug of Choice

The Drug of Choice

8

Sep

2016

I woke up this morning to have my vacation spoiled by lots of social media chatter about what a terrible job the American media, and in particular Matt Lauer (who is, I suppose, technically a journalist), did of handling Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump last night.  Lauer was selected, by virtue of his familiarity to audie ...
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Layers of Darkness

Layers of Darkness

7

Sep

2016

It is a curious thing what people remember and what they forget, either by choice or by the mysterious alchemy by which culture, media, and personal and social factors determine the rank of our memories. At the time when two men -- an embittered, hostile and paranoid 42-year-old veteran named John Allen Muhammad and his pro ...
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Unit le Race Humaine

Unit le Race Humaine

5

Sep

2016

America has always done things differently.  Sometimes that's a good thing, and sometimes it's not.Falling firmly on the "not" side of the divide is the way this country observes -- I don't say celebrates -- Labor Day.  In most other countries, the holiday that celebrates the working class falls on May Day, the interna ...
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How I Learned to Love Columbo

How I Learned to Love Columbo

2

Sep

2016

This week, I recorded my third appearance on Just One More Thing, a podcast about Columbo hosted by my friends Jon Morris and RJ White.  I was the first guest the show ever had, and despite that, Jon and RJ were kind enough to have me back.  It's been a pleasure every time, and the main reason for that is the compelling ...
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Shalom and the Jewish Jesus

Shalom and the Jewish Jesus

30

Aug

2016

Shalom Auslander got the best possible start on having a sickly fatalistic sense of humor:  he was a miserable Jew from the day he was born.As detailed in his highly entertaining 2007 memoir Foreskin's Lament, Auslander was raised a deeply unhappy Orthodox Jew in and around New York in the '70s and '80s.  Like many of th ...
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Shot By Both Sides

Shot By Both Sides

29

Aug

2016

THIS AND THAT, THEY MUST BE THE SAMEOf all the beloved tropes in the modern liberal catalog, none is so valued as profound mockery of the idea that "both sides do it" -- that is, that the reason blinkered malcontents foolishly vote for third parties (or, quelle horreur, do not vote at all) is because they ...
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The Bloody Prince

The Bloody Prince

24

Aug

2016

Imagine yourself far away, in a landlocked country in the southeastern part of Asia.  You are a farmer's wife.  You have never had anything to do with politics; though you are aware that the Pathet Lao, the nation's communist guerrillas, are plotting against the monarchy and are working with military forces in neighboring ...
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These Are The Breaks

These Are The Breaks

16

Aug

2016

Some people prefer fiction, they will tell you, because it is infinitely malleable.  While history must only tell us what is known, fiction can tell us what is merely imagined, and it can do it in any order; only fiction, some have argued, can tell a truly complete story, because it can tell us the secrets, the dreams, and ...
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