The Wide, Wide World Category

Perspectives on the political scene, public discourse, and matters of policy that are making the world around us.

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Fragments, Shored

The soils of the North Carolina Piedmont, where I live, are some of the oldest in the world. They were tuckered well before tobacco exhausted them, back when these low slopes and soggy bottoms were home to ginseng and giant sloths. (A sharp-eyed walker will still find occasional ginseng.) I just learned this fact, and…


Of Hashtags and Home

The Department of Justice released its “Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department” this week. Its findings, once again, raise the call of #blacklivesmatter, Twitter’s form of public protest against public violations—in particular, racist laws and law enforcement.[1] Yet at the heart of #blacklivesmatter is something a bit less public and more private; #blacklivesmatter calls us…


Destiny’s Julia Child

Editor’s Note: this essay was scheduled prior to the announcement of the Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision. We have decided to publish it as scheduled, following the belief, expressed here, that love and pleasure are not the opposite of politics, rage, or grief, but rather are politically essential expressions of our humanness.   This is a difficult…