I just watched the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors for Brian Wilson. For reasons that are easy to guess -- his life story, his genius, his music -- I am sobbing. For other things, too: for him, for us; in gratitude, in fear. A decade later, neither the country nor the world look anything like they … Continue reading Heroes and Villains: Brian Wilson, Donald Trump
"I was taught to believe you could use words to change the course of rivers -- that even the darkest secrets would fall under the harsh light of the sun...But facts have been replaced by opinions. Information has been replaced by entertainment. Reporters have become stenographers. I can't be the only one who's sick of … Continue reading When Clark Kent Quit the Daily Planet
This is from some time ago (early 2015). Last week, before I knew she was the new face of Celine (also, before I knew was Celine was), I shared Joan Didion's "At the Dam." I was taught this essay, and I teach it. Not because Joan Didion is fashionable at the moment, but because it's … Continue reading Joan Didion and Betty White
It's mostly an Illinois thing, but there's also an important Lehigh Valley connection. I wrote about this a few years ago, but because I love Sufjan Stevens and hate injustice, I'll tell you about it again: Pulaski was a Polish noble and general who helped the American colonies win their independence from Great Britain by … Continue reading Cornelia, Mulatto Slave
This is probably from 2013: Yesterday I reposted a three-year old piece about Hess's, the famed and sorely missed downtown commercial icon that owned the 20th century not just in Allentown but really across this part of Pennsylvania. As you know if you live here, Allentown is undergoing half-a-billion dollars in new capital investment. This … Continue reading Solidarity, Serendipity, Grace: a brief story from my morning
I can't speak to the meat of this piece, and the piece it opposes, as it relates to post-blackness. On the other hand, ethnographically, I do know something about the immigrant experiences of my own kin, and people like them, in the history of 20th century Americanization. Clearly, I cannot (and have no reason to … Continue reading Jesus, Toure, Theology, etc.
Richard Twiss died yesterday. http://www.redletterchristians.org/we-miss-you-richard/ http://www.redletterchristians.org/we-miss-you-richard-twiss/ More importantly, Richard in his own words, here. I got Black Elk Speaks for Christmas and have been reading it sporadically, thinking of Richard and his larger work. I will do so more so now. Godspeed, Richard. Remembering Richard Twiss (tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com) Walking with Their Ancestors (glennsimmons.wordpress.com) Death of … Continue reading Richard Twiss Passes On