One year ago, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti killed hundreds of thousands of people. A month later, a much larger quake in Chile killed only a fraction of that number. As far as I can tell, what made the difference between the two was not geography or geology. Instead, it was Haiti’s particularly harsh… Continue reading The Anti-Politics Machine
“I am so ___ about the mass killing in Tucson this Saturday that I think ____ ought to be _____.” The first blank is easy: I am mad. I am mad, in part, because it seems almost impossible not to be. And yet I’m also mad because, for all the talk of ‘taking it down… Continue reading Fill in the Blanks
I expected a lot of things when I woke up this morning and, thanks to the time difference, opened my New York Times to catch the electoral news. I anticipated seeing the GOP make massive gains, and I knew that, for all my “they’re-all-the-same” cynicism, I would feel totally despondent about it. They did,… Continue reading What left-leaning blogger isn’t writing one of these?
There are some interviews that I just know are going to be fantastic as soon as I walk into an office. I got that feeling today, when I walked down a half-inundated alley and up some rickety stairs into the dank and decrepit lair of FOCAO, the Federación de Organizaciones Campesinas de Orellana. Technically, the… Continue reading Hand to Mouth
Being an EstadoUnidense* in Latin America should not be easy. Forget Pakistan; there is no region of the world with more legitimate and longstanding grievances against the U.S. than Latin America. Ecuadorians, for example, could complain about the CIA’s supposed role in the death of President Jaime Roldós in 1981, or, more concretely, the enduring… Continue reading The Long, Charming Reach of Racism
Sometime around age sixteen, I pretty much gave up on patriotism. The accumulated weight of bearing witness to a senseless “pre-emptive” war, the travesty that was the Bush Administration, and listening to one-too-many Anti-Flag records combined to squash much appreciation for the country where I was born out of me. I wouldn’t say I was… Continue reading Three Cheers: A World-Cup-Patriotism Post-Mortem
It seems almost ridiculous that I’ve lived in England for eight months now and haven’t yet blogged about the one thing more British than bangers and mash: alcohol. Having just barely survived “my” birthday garden party and finally recovered from last week’s Boat Club Dinner, I suppose now is as good a time as any… Continue reading A Brief Sociology of Social Lubrication