Tagged: essayist

No Worries, Bro

You’ve talked to someone thirty-or-younger recently, so you’re aware that we’re presently living in the blissful state of no worries. No worries, bro. The problem for those of us who read newspapers and have some time to think is that there seems to be plenty to worry about — if you’re into that whole caring...

Lotteries, Poker, and Other People’s Money

Braving odds of 176 million-to-1, scores of otherwise sensible Americans, including several of our intelligent friends, were infected with Lottery Fever this past week, standing in lines of up to three hours to buy a ticket at “lucky” liquor stores and gas stations. The prospect of a $640 million jackpot and the assurance that some...

Violence Voyeurism

Outrageous. Horrifying. Disgusting. These were some of the adjectives hurled in the press when news broke that the former world champions of football, the New Orleans Saints, for years had instituted a bounty system that rewarded their players for knocking opponents out of the game. Players contributed to an in-house pool and collected $1,000-$1,500 when...

Commuting and Cocooning

As non-commuters, weve always assumed that commuting to and from work or school was a kind of five-times-a-week penury, a semi-voluntary temporary confinement that people endured as a necessary but hated element of getting by. Stuck in traffic, rolling past the same landmarks ten times a week was brightened only by the opportunity to listen...

Blame the Poor

COMMEMORATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY of “THE WAR ON POVERTY.” At 25 of the 100 largest U.S. Corporations, at places like Ebay, Boeing, and Verizon, the chief executive earns more than the entire company pays in federal income taxes. These patriotic chaps, who, in their defense, are merely competing in the Financial Olympics according to the...

American Gladiators

Life just got better for millions of Americans. The badly paid semi-professional scholar-athletes begin their campaigns this weekend at college campuses around the nation. The extravagantly paid mercenaries of the NFL begin theirs next. Are you ready for some football?! Of course you are. Our corporate overlords wouldn’t have it any other way. Bread and...

Educating Everyone Excellently

My dear mother is a knee-jerk liberal hippie Democrat progressive pro-labor vegetarian yoga-doing leftie. For most of her adult life she’s served as one of the most beloved and revered elementary school educators in her community. She’s taught across the spectrum of scenarios: inner-city public school with “at risk” students; suburban public school with “smart...

Corruption

Our dwindling reserve of human kindness and compassion, diluted and poisoned by nearly constant assault from the corroding force of cruelty, still becomes inflamed by the fuel of outrage when we receive reports of foul play, endemic unfairness, and rank injustice motivated by the eternal and constant tug of noxious human greed. We blanch at...

A Prayer on Easter Sunday

As Thomas Jefferson did in the 1700s, let us set aside the Bible’s confounding melange of mythic mysticism, foggy mumbo-jumbo and confusing contradictions. Instead, let us concentrate on the principles that a dangerous Jew from ancient Nazareth was willing to die for. Let us behave less like the charlatans who organize their businesses around lost...