An Untamed State; Or, [Stunned Silence]

I have so much to say about An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay, and yet I have no words. I will try. An Untamed State is the story of Mirielle, a woman who is kidnapped for ransom and brutally, incomprehensibly, raped and tortured during her captivity. It is told from Mirielle’s first-person perspective, as she […]

What’s Up With Charleston?

After the video of Walter Scott’s murder broke on Tuesday, I asked a friend who had lived in Charleston for a while for her thoughts on what happened. Her answer was so insightful and thorough that I’m going to post the whole thing here. If you have questions or comments, she’s offered to jump in […]

Fuck Da Po-lice! Or, On The Privileges Of Being Arrested While White

John Mulaney does this hilarious bit about a party he went to when he was in high school that got crashed by the cops. Listen to it; it’s funny. In the story, Mulaney goes to a kid’s house for a party, and they all get waaaaaaasssssttttttted. As a result of their rowdiness, the cops were […]

Words Mean Things; Or; Knock That Shit Off, Representative Neville

As I was driving to work last week, I heard this story on NPR. Briefly, Colorado State Representative Patrick Neville has proposed legislation that would allow those with conceal-and-carry permits to have their firearms with them inside K-12 schools, including teachers. Neville was a sophomore at Columbine when that shooting happened, and he firmly believes […]

The Color Purple; Or, Rape For Breakfast, Abuse For Lunch, Redemption For Dinner

Sometimes many years pass between my impulse to buy and my impulse to read a book. Such was the case with Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Sometimes my reason for picking up a book is a deeply felt desire to commune with something holy. Sometimes it’s the simple stupid reason that I want to read […]

On The Docket: My Complete And Total Attention

While I usually have somewhere in the neighborhood of half a dozen books going at once, the book I’m reading now has so captured my attention that I cannot spare one brain cell for anything else. Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor: I came to this book by googling “women writers of color,” and coming […]

Kindred; Or, Go Fuck Yourself, Margaret Mitchell

There was never an instant I was reading Kindred, by Octavia Butler, when my brow wasn’t deeply furrowed in consternation or horror. Kindred introduces us to Dana, a black woman 1976 California, struggling to make a living as a writer. Her husband, Kevin, white and slightly older, has just published a novel. They have bought […]

Facing The Uncomfortable Reality That I Am Part of Rape Culture, Too

When all this Bill Cosby shit started┬áreally hitting the fan last week, I ignored it. Not the way a person ignores 99.99% of the stimulus encountered over the course of a day, because that’s how our brains make sense of the world, but in the way a person looks at her ringing cell phone, sees […]

W. Poisoned My Well of Patriotism; or, Personal Thoughts on Veteran’s Day

I used to have very uncomplicated feelings about veterans and members of our armed forces (you’re only a veteran once you’re out/retired/not in active service anymore, right?). They were very motherhood-and-apple-pie and could fairly accurately be summed up thusly: “Yay! Thanks, you guys! You’re super swell!” Everything that happened after, say, January-ish 2002, ruined all […]