Memo To NYPD: Don’t Let The Door Hit You On Your Way Out

Over the past few days the NYPD, offended by protests against their policing, and still in a huff at New York’s mayor, Bill De Blasio, for daring to suggest they might need reform, has gone on a work-stoppage of sorts, refusing to carry out arrests or hand out parking tickets or miscellaneous traffic summonses. Meanwhile,Continue reading “Memo To NYPD: Don’t Let The Door Hit You On Your Way Out”

The NYPD And The Serial Abuser’s Oldest Trick

A dozen or so years ago, a friend told me his wife’s sister was on the run, seeking shelter and safety after her abusive, drunken husband had assaulted her–and threatened to assault her young child–again. She had spent a night at her mother’s place but was considering moving on to a ‘neutral venue.’ All tooContinue reading “The NYPD And The Serial Abuser’s Oldest Trick”

Memo to Blasio, Bratton, Lynch: Ixnay On The Suspension Of Protests

On Saturday, a lone gunman with a history of violence, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, shot dead two New York City policemen. Before he did so, he proclaimed on his Instagram page that the killings were revenge for the choking to death of Eric Garner by the NYPD. After he shot the policemen, Brinsley killed himself at a nearbyContinue reading “Memo to Blasio, Bratton, Lynch: Ixnay On The Suspension Of Protests”

The Pietà, The Hammer, And The Stain

In The Renaissance: A Short History, Paul Johnson writes: [Michelangelo’s] first important commission, a Pietà (Mary with the dead Christ) [was] intended for the tomb of a French cardinal in Rome…It is by any standards a mature and majestic work, combining strength (the Virgin) and pathos (the Christ), nobility and tenderness, a consciousness of human fragility andContinue reading “The Pietà, The Hammer, And The Stain”

That Guy, The One Who Picks Fights With Your Facebook Friends

Like many Facebook users, I have defriended ‘friends.’ Enough was enough, and the ‘Unfriend’ option got selected. Sometimes, it was because I was sick and tired of seeing their posts in my newsfeed–for whatever reason, perhaps they were politically or personally offensive, or just too silly to put up with anymore. (Pompous, self-inflated, pretentious, bonContinue reading “That Guy, The One Who Picks Fights With Your Facebook Friends”

The Dog Stars: The Apocalypse As Outdoorsman Fantasy

Peter Heller‘s The Dog Stars is one of those post-apocalyptic novels in which authorial fantasies are overwhelmingly transparent. The world is coming to an end; flu has stalked the land; millions have died. Violence is the currency of most human interaction; food is scarce; government is invisible. And so on. You’ve seen most of thisContinue reading “The Dog Stars: The Apocalypse As Outdoorsman Fantasy”

Dickipedia Was Invented For Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney‘s continued existence, his persistent and unconscionable consumption of space, oxygen, and sundry precious natural resources, has long been an airtight argument against the existence of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient God. To wit, does such a God know of his existence? If not, then he is not all-knowing. If God does know of his existence,Continue reading “Dickipedia Was Invented For Dick Cheney”

A Teaching Self-Evaluation

Today is the last day of classes for the fall semester of 2014. Today is the day for reviews, discussing paper plans (and in one class, surprisingly enough, answering questions from students who wanted to know a bit more about my personal background.) A week from today, I will administer finals in two classes andContinue reading “A Teaching Self-Evaluation”

It’s Not Like The Good Ol’ Days Here

Writing on this blog has become increasingly onerous. For the first year of this blog (which I put online in November 2011), I was in between book projects, and was able to blog almost every day (I was also keen to establish a writing habit and stuck quite rigorously to a schedule); then, my daughterContinue reading “It’s Not Like The Good Ol’ Days Here”