Category Archives: politics

The Struggle Continues

About six years ago, before the Supreme Court decision Obergefell vs. Hodges legalised marriage equality in all fifty states, I heard a common refrain from many of my students that went something like this. “I think I’m a conservative. I don’t like high taxes, and I believe in limited government, but you know what? The conservatives in politics are the same people who are keeping my gay friends from getting married. I can’t accept that, so when I went to vote for the first time,…

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Four Dead in Ohio

As meaningful as today’s fiftieth anniversary of the Kent State Massacre is for me, I have to admit that my thoughts these past few days have been far more personal. On top of planning to go to the remembrance ceremonies that had been scheduled before the COVID-19 pandemic brought so much of our lives to a standstill, travelling to Kent would have meant that I’d have gotten the chance to visit Toledo for the first time since I moved out over two years ago, and…

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Enemies, Visible and Invisible

I was thirteen years old when the Berlin Wall fell, but I have a hard time thinking of myself as a child of the Cold War. I certainly heard a lot about how evil the Soviet Union was and all that, but I was totally unaware of how things like Russia’s food problems and Ronald Reagan’s bellicose rhetoric were pushing us to the verge of a hot war when I was still in grade school. More than that, despite how iconic the cartoons and jingles…

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The Shaking

[The following blog contains mentions of bullying and child abuse.] One of the things that often happens to children who grow up in abusive households is that we develop incredible sensitivity to other people’s anger, simply because we’re surrounded by it so much as we grow up that we hardly ever get a moment to relax. (This effect is compounded when, as happens to many of us, we also end up being frequent targets of bullying at school. Our difference in how we act marks…

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Certified Gatekeeping

It’s not exactly a secret that a lot of the coffeehouse baristas and restaurant waitstaff you may run into during the course of an average day are people, like me, with graduate degrees. Many of them went through the unadulterated hell of graduate school, and all the associated trials and tribulations (student loan debt being the most pernicious of all), with the intent of staying at colleges and universities as an educator themselves. (This is probably more common in the humanities, but it happens in…

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