'Society'

Please Understand Me

I‘ve recently become worried that my communication style or sense of humor could arbitrarily sentence me to mass Internet opprobrium. Today it only takes an imprudent tweet and a long plane ride to rise from obscurity to global infamy. Despite the fact that I voted for Obama, Bernie, and Hillary; embrace my LGBTQ colleagues, friends, and family; eat a mostly pescatarian diet; sold my Prius to bike to work; and donate a fixed portion of my paycheck to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, I regularly censor myself (or worry that I should have) out of fear of a hair-trigger outrage cult composed of my ideological peers.


Einstein's Humanity

When I did a report on Albert Einstein in 3rd grade, I cherished him as a grandfatherly eccentric, whose portrait hung with uncharacteristic solemnity in my dad’s study. I watched Young Einstein and learned the tall tales of his youth (I suspected he didn’t actually diffuse an A-bomb by shredding on an electric guitar). I read the word “pacifist” for the first time.


Dennis the Menace

The most poignant moment of my year occurred tonight in the Orlando airport as I slurped boxed wine from a pint glass while waiting for a delayed flight.

Dennis (“the Menace”, he humblebragged)–a drunken, bearded, thoroughly unmanicured tugboat deckhand from Kentucky (even I feel like I must be making this up), materialized near me and my colleague, Serena, as we stood quietly absorbing airport merlot during a thunderstorm.