A vetted and substantiated “against” is practically a prerequisite for any good “for.” That expansion/contraction, generative/critical, for/against dialectical rhythm seems to me the essence of creativity and critical thought. I am not a someone who is afraid of negativity. I don’t think of it is poison, sour grapes, or the last smirk of the cynic. I can hardly imagine meaning and progress without it.
Like most libraries these days, ours has been weeding out less popular books and movies. Goodbye, Balzac and James Baldwin, time for more James Patterson and Urban Fiction. Stephen King is now a classic author.
There was a confrontation in Deposit last Friday night which ended up with one employee in the hospital and another who tried to help her colleague pressing charges against a customer.
Summer 2020 is coming. Spring 2020, in fact, has been unusually lush and beautiful. Or maybe we’ve all just been paying closer attention. After almost two decades here, I am finally learning the names and calls of birds, the species of trees that have watched over this most interesting chapter of my life.
I am uncomfortable. I am uncomfortable with the comfort of my life. I am uncomfortable with the obvious white privilege that surrounds me and my community.
“You gotta teach your troops to understand and respect black rage, to not treat the man who can’t keep from yelling at the top of his lungs as a threat.”
I was afraid I would like writing, that essays would start humming in my head on my walks instead of songs. And that did in fact happen.
New York’s governor is no saint. He’s maybe not even someone I would like if I met him. But on Sunday, for a few minutes, I heard a guy who knows what’s right, has the power to make it happen, but hasn’t been able to do it. And he was angry. Somehow, that gave me hope.
“They may own the skies but we rats down here know the streets, our alleys,” says the black man in a gas mask next to me and my son. We’re out in the street a half-block away from home, facing police in riot gear.
I was brought up to believe unquestioningly that reading was healthy, good for you like spinach, and virtuous. I now see reading as entirely neutral, the absurd claims of its inherent powers little more than middle-class social-mobility propaganda, as well as a puritanical reaction against the rise of electronic media in mid-century.