Clinton and Kagame

/ Filed under Column, Self

On April 6th, 1994 a plane was shot down over Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Among the twelve people on board were Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira. It’s an open question who launched the surface-to-air missiles that sent the plane crashing into the gardens of the presidential palace. It’s possible that Hutu extremists in the Rwandan army did it. It’s also possible that the current president of Rwanda and leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, Paul… Read More

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Meh

/ Filed under Column, Self

It’s morning in America. There’s drool on the pillow and you slept on your arm weird. A nation with swollen eyes, half-asleep but fully conscious of the inevitable, swats at the alarm clock for another few useless minutes of rest. Alas, the snooze button can’t save you now. The 2016 presidential election has been up since dawn and it made coffee. It’s decaf. For years now I’ve been sort of hoping that if I kept my eyes closed and my… Read More

Newsweek Field Day

/ Filed under Column, Self

In the most recent edition of Newsweek, editor Tina Brown jotted down some thoughts about what Diana Spencer would be up to if she had lived to be 50. On the cover, there is a Photoshopped image of the former princess of Wales with added wrinkles strolling alongside Kate Middleton. I picked this out of my mailbox an hour ago, and have already found Brown all over the news defending this ridiculous thing. The photographs are bizarre. The fact that anyone is still… Read More

The War On Winter

/ Filed under Column, Self

It was cold today. It was windy. Hold steady, comrades. As I write, the sky is blue like a drop of ink just spilled on a page. The days are getting longer now and the nights are, too. When I was waiting for the bus this morning, clenching my jaw harder with every new blast of frigid wind, a word came to mind that I’d read in Ammon Shea’s Reading the OED: apricity – n., The feeling of warmth in Winter. When you’re able to… Read More

A Disorder Peculiar to the Planet

/ Filed under Column, Self

Peter and I got off the subway at 42nd Street because I wanted to stop at Times Square to see some civil disobedience. I’d read on Gothamist that the People’s Climate March organizers had compromised with the NYPD after months of negotiations over the permit. When organizers agreed not to lead the march through Times Square, the NYPD loosened up and granted official permission for the thousands converging on the city to take to the streets. The city had recently witnessed some… Read More

Drink A Few Glasses Of Wine And Yell At BuzzFeed

/ Filed under Column, Self

This originally appeared on my Tumblr in January of 2014. BuzzFeed has neither sued me nor hired me as a result of this article. BuzzFeed staff writer Peggy Wang did not respond to requests for comment because why would anyone respond to an angry diatribe about a list article? A friend of mine sent me a link to a Buzz Feed “DIY” list article about menswear, presumably because she thought my blood pressure wasn’t high enough. I won’t link to this list… Read More

Liberalism, According to Maher

/ Filed under Column, Self

Like all intellectual titans throughout history, Bill Maher has responded to his critics by coiling into a ball and whining that everyone who disagrees with him is a Nazi. “I’m the liberal in this debate,” he insists, excessively. After years of broadcasting his howling misogyny and racism, Maher has rightly earned a reputation for being a bigot. He’s in the news again for saying that Muslims have crazier, more violent tendencies than their faith-based counterparts. “They will fucking kill you,” the comedian told his audience last… Read More

Henry Kissinger at the Free Library

/ Filed under Column, Self

UPDATE: Tonight was good. After correcting a typo on my leaflet — yes, on each piece of the few hundred or so pieces of paper — I set up next to the entrance and started passing them out to people coming in to the library. It reminded me of my canvassing days except I was relieved to tell people that I wrote this rap myself. After a while I met Queena Bass, who has run for mayor multiple times since 1999 on… Read More

Cough It Up

/ Filed under Column, Self

Philadelphia smokes cigarettes. A lot of cigarettes. It holds the distinction of being the smokin’-est of America’s ten biggest cities. As of 2012, one in four adults in Philadelphia are smokers. And yesterday, Gov. Tom Corbett deputized that legion of smokers as official benefactors of the city’s failed school district. In what WHYY’s Newsworks called a “tremendous victory” for Philadelphia schools, the state senate approved funding for a measure passed by the city council in 2013 when Mayor Michael Nutter… Read More

Have You Been Spreading Lies About the HPV Vaccine?

/ Filed under Column, Self

Over the holidays I was out at a bar with some old friends when one of them mentioned that Gardasil, the vaccine for the Human Papilloma Virus, was making women seriously ill.  As is sometimes the case with arguments that break out in bars, the ensuing exchange with my friend about vaccines ended when he either attempted to slap me across the face or just very furtively instructed me to talk to the hand.  For my part, it was too… Read More