Welcome to the Year of Mercy. I have a few things on my mind that can be tangentially related to the aforementioned jubilee. We need to take better care of each other.
I’m Afraid of Americans – Claire Zulkey
I’m scared about how we repeatedly let ourselves get caught up in time-wasting semantics about whether another murder is terrorism or “merely” a mass shooting, making sure we know the killers’ skin color and religion and political beliefs before we really pass judgment on the event, and whether it’s disrespectful to suggest that actions and policy are more effective than thought and prayer, as if once we establish all that we can really get to the business at hand.
Being A Girl: A Brief History of Personal Violence – Anne Theriault
Mostly what I remember is the smile that spreads across Monsieur Pierre’s face whenever we call him a sexist. It is not the smile of someone who is ashamed; it is the smile of someone who finds us adorable in our outrage.
“Well, that’s it—you just can’t say those kinds of things and expect to be taken seriously any longer,” said an anxious Howe, his voice quavering slightly as he spoke aloud the very same words he had previously uttered in reaction to remarks about Mexicans, women, the disabled, former POW John McCain, and a number of other targeted parties.
A Joy, Not A Nuisance – Michael Higgins
That distressed Vanier, because a church of the poor—a church of the marginalized, the isolated, the abandoned—is the church he has given his life to serve. And now, finally, that church has a pope who is utterly sympatico with that vision—yet surrounded by spiritual tepidity, institutional recalcitrance, and deep fear at the highest levels.
The Case for Bad Coffee – Keith Pandolfi
Sitting at Ted’s funeral a few years ago, I remembered the little phrases he would use every time we went out on those suburban hunting and gathering missions. When a waitress asked us how we were doing, his response was always, “If I was any better I’d be twins.” His parting words to the cashier were always, “Take no wooden nickels and buy your own Cokes.” After we buried him with full military honors, I honored him by going alone to one of the old Perkins we used to frequent and drank not one, but three cups of coffee.
Scurvy Is a Serious Public Health Problem – Karen D. Brown
Churchill says the at-risk population he’s identified has mostly been left out of the scurvy discussion: socially isolated, low-income people with high rates of mental illness and limited access to fresh food.
Don’t Glorify This Tragedy – Mary Weiland
We don’t want to downplay Scott’s amazing talent, presence or his ability to light up any stage with brilliant electricity. So many people have been gracious enough to praise his gift. The music is here to stay. But at some point, someone needs to step up and point out that yes, this will happen again – because as a society we almost encourage it. We read awful show reviews, watch videos of artists falling down, unable to recall their lyrics streaming on a teleprompter just a few feet away. And then we click “add to cart” because what actually belongs in a hospital is now considered art.
Shame On You, Niall Ferguson – Paul Sturtevant
Linking the past and present is one of the most potent tools in an historian’s arsenal. However, in order to be useful, these links must be based in reality rather than fantasy. If we want to know how to respond to terrorism, we needn’t look to Rome. Look instead to the flinty response to the Blitz or the Troubles: keep calm, stand together, and endure. And when confronted with a refugee crisis, remember the waves of refugees fleeing World War II, or the Great Famine in Ireland, and remember the needless death and suffering caused by those who viewed them as invaders.
Or perhaps it is best not to imagine them as resurrected figures from the past, crushing them into an anticipated mold. Instead, try to understand them. Listen to their stories. Like adults.
And a listicle about feminism