In the “national conversation” that we’re largely not having about militarized policing, I have nothing important to contribute. For what it’s worth, I forced my undergraduate Sociological Theory class to apply different theorists’ analyses to recent events in Ferguson. I’m vaguely aware of ongoing police surveillance, disruption, and violence in communities of color, and I’m… Continue reading On the Appropriate Role for Assault Rifles in a Civil Campus Community
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’ve often wondered whether people who live their entire lives in places with really fantastic National-Geographic-esque animals still get excited when they see them. Are elephants still cool if you live in Kenya? And are squirrel monkeys equally entertaining for Amazonians as they are for me, or are they just like, well, squirrels? For their… Continue reading On the Need for a Huaorani A.L.F.
Q: How do I know Yasuní National Park is the most biodiverse place in the planet? A: Because on Saturday mornings, that diversity is on sale in Pompeya. I´m not quite sure what I was expecting to discover this Saturday, but I certainly didn´t plan on finding anything as disturbing as I did. One of… Continue reading Blood on All Hands
I forced myself to sit through the recently released–contrary to the wishes of the Pentagon–video of a U.S. helicopter gunning down a handful of Iraqi civilians in 2007. It’s pretty gruesome and disturbing (“Ha ha I hit him,” “Look at those dead bastards,” “Well, it’s their fault for bringing kids to a battle [in reference… Continue reading Ordinary Men
Long before I came to Oxford, I had heard about Oxford’s notorious animal rights activists. They epitomized the absolute extreme to which the movement had come: “they” broke into labs, harassed professors, and even committed acts of bombing and arson. While there were many reason why my interviews for the Rhodes and Marshall were disasters,… Continue reading The Face of Terrorism (Oxford and elsewhere)