World-Building

I started gradually rejoining the online world in 2016, after about two years away. I’d spent the six years before that being an unbearable Pollyanna, trying to get everyone to have interactions where we could find common ground and have Meaningful Discussions and for shit’s sake stop calling each other evil. I’d exhausted myself by…

Moranifesto, by Caitlin Moran

Five stars, read in April 2018. It is possible that, as an American under the age of 40, I have been so deprived of sensible and ethical political discussion that what seems like earth-shattering brilliance to me is just common sense to the rest of you. But as I read this book, Caitlin Moran officially…

A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism, by Slavenka Drakulić

Three and a half stars, read in August 2018. Though I don’t know what the author’s intent was for her readers, I wish I’d had more background knowledge of how communism and socialism were implemented throughout Central Europe before reading this book. The format—eight fables, each told by an animal from a different country—makes for…

Imagine

We think of ourselves as civilization accomplished, but I’ve come to believe that we’re not even close to civilized yet—rather, we’re just barely out of our infancy as a species. Civilization means “an advanced stage of social development and organization,” and while the present is nearly always more advanced than the past, “more advanced” is…

And Marian Was Wounded Sore

Written in January 2014. A few years ago I was watching Robin Hood with my family, the 2010 version with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. During that scene at the end where Marian joins the battle on the beach, I heard my dad—ever the selective movie critic—say something about how of course, they never would…

Part Three: Scream Into the Roaring Waves

And for all the things I can’t get enough of, there is too much of what should not be at all. There is too much wrong for one world. The more I read, the more injustice I discover, and it seems like I can’t pick up a book anymore without uncovering a whole new field…

Part Two: Too Much/Not Enough

There is too much world for one person. There is too much to experience, and I’m interested in so much of it. I have tried to learn so many languages, and I still want to learn so many more. I play piano and bass clarinet, but haven’t played either in years. I’ve attempted to learn the…

All or Nothing

I’m finally realizing why I can’t find a manageable way to keep up with things, why it seems to be either all or nothing. It’s because it is. There are no universal news sources anymore, there are not even universal facts anymore. To be well-informed you have to keep up with multiple sources, all of…

Chin Up, Claws Out

I went to the Women’s March in Austin, and it was the most okay I have felt since November. It was an amazing day, and I drained my phone’s entire battery in a few hours because I couldn’t stop taking pictures. The diversity, the signs, the almost 50,000 people. Seeing my sweet nieces holding up…

The Solution

I just had what feels like the most incredible idea ever. Fix all the problems in the world: take the entire population of the planet, mix everyone up, and redistribute equally across the globe. Old systems of oppression—gone. Old prejudices—gone. How fast would things get fixed if we could strip white people of the ability…

Fun with Flags

Ever since my political science course in college, where I was assigned them for study, I have loved geography quizzes. If I’ve brushed up recently, you can give me a blank map of the world and I’ll be able to fill in all 194+ countries (if I haven’t brushed up, I’ll get all the Caribbean…