The Problem with the House on Fire

There’s a meme going around that purports to have a great response to people who use “All Lives Matter” as a retort to “Black Lives Matter.” It uses the analogy of a house that’s on fire, stating that if the Smiths’ house is on fire, you wouldn’t say ‘All Houses Matter’ and spray water equally…

Ethical Business Partners

I struggle with the tension between wanting to promote my work/make things accessible to the largest possible audience (including to help make a living) and not wanting to lend my support to organizations that I think are harmful to society or give away my data to those who seek to treat their customers as lab…

The Ex-Economist’s Lament

Every hour has its costIn roads not taken, jobs not doneInfinities of options lost,Of time not spent on work or fun. Comparative advantage freesThe insect just to play one roleIt’s fine for ants or honeybees,But humans need more to be whole. To test ourselves, with brawn and brainTo make what we could well afford—I’ll treasure…

Trigger Warning

Hank and ChopperGrew distressed byThe gunshot thatShattered their peaceIn the dramaWe’d returned toAfter holding offFor yearsTo manage your anxietyAdopted fromFamily trauma ofSeptember 11th andTwo friendsLost to suicide.Hank and Chopper:Two friendsAdopted fromFamily drama.He’d shattered his peaceFor yearsGrew distressedTo manage our anxietyFrom the traumaOf September 11thHe returnedAfter holding offThe gunshotLost, a suicide.

Quarantine Day 21

Second poem of the month: something light and fun today after 21 days of self-isolation. Hank and Chopper Our house isn’t ours, it’s Chopper’s and Hank’s:One likes to dig and the other one stanks Hank’s a retriever who loves orange toysAnd Chopper gets scared of the tiniest noise. They wrestle ferociously, but with affection(Though Hank…

Poetry in my life: An introduction

When I was in 8th grade I wrote a thousand lines of poetry. All rhyming, all to try and impress a girl (she wasn’t). Most of it was pretty bad, but it helped me cultivate a sense of meter and an appreciation for the well-chosen word and line. I kept writing semi-regularly for a decade…

Shameless plug: The Nether

I was recently asked to help out with a student-directed production of “The Nether” at Cornell. There aren’t any full-on “fights,” but the director recognized that they would benefit from assistance with a lift and some brief moments of physical aggression between the characters. The show is challenging, touching on themes of abuse and manipulation…

Well-Rounded Role Models

In thinking about how we can promote positive, healthy masculinity, if we don’t want to raise sons who think that all art/film/literature began in the 21st century it’s worth thinking about what classics exist that already promote positive (masculine) identity. Brit Marling’s recent critique of film tropes and Ross Douthat’s piece from last year in…

The Best Money I Never Spent

I have a confession to make: I use a flip-phone. Not sometimes, as a break from my smartphone, not as a statement of fashion, but every day, as my phone. I’m probably not the typical non-smartphone user: I’m 34 years old, I first got a Facebook account while in college (though I rarely use it)…