in recent years

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it's okay to step back

I saw an extremely good tweet the other day that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about because I really needed to see it and thought that maybe you might need to see it too.

twitter user lrsphm says that it's ok to go offline bc we arent made to process human suffering on this scale

We are living in a technological future that pretty much no one could have predicted. The speed and scope with which we are presented with information is almost unfathomable for us even though we are alive right now, living through it. We hear about natural disasters and acts of violence and terrorism near-instantly. We see human suffering constantly, in real-time. There is information coming at you all the time, from every angle, in absolutely every space you inhabit, virtually or physically (When’s the last time you were in a waiting room   [more…]

intrusive religiosity

For about a year in the late 2000s, I became intensely devoted to crossing myself whenever I passed a cross.

This started with a steeple cross that was visible to me from the freeway on the drive home from my college. I often sat in a little clutch of traffic near it and it was lit at night, so I noticed it frequently, hovering over the wall that separated the speeding 210 from the neighborhood beyond. I’m not religious. I’ve been to church less than a dozen times in my entire life. I’m unbaptized, un-saved, uncircumsised. I’ve been to Catholic mass once and I spent the entire thing staring at how super naked Jesus seemed on the cross, hanging morbidly above the Filipino priest’s head. I’m religiously curious, so I know a lot about rites and rituals. Plus I’m a writer and I like characters of faith,   [more…]

nuclear anecdote

i was trying to shorten this anecdote into a manageable thread for twitter but i couldn’t, so now it’s here. YOU’RE WELCOME.

so there are missiles in north dakota – this is p common knowledge, there’s even an abandoned site called the north dakota pyramid that was literally operational for like three days that you can visit – about 150 of them, minutemen i guess, and they’re just… scattered around this big relatively empty state. fine.

well, there’s a silo p near the highway from williston (where i live) to minot (where target lives) that crystal and i have passed prooooobs about 100 times in the five years we’ve lived here. we talk about it maybe 1 out of every 4/5 times we pass it, mostly bc one of our coworkers had a flat tire near there once and a military vehicle appeared out of nowhere, changed her tire, and   [more…]

grieving in the time of facebook

I’ve been on the internet for a long time – since at least 1996, more than TWENTY years – and I have made a lot of friends in that time. I’ve made serious, lasting friendships. I’ve made short but vibrant ones. I’ve had friendships fade away. I’ve followed people as their handles and interests and careers have changed. I married a woman I met on the internet. My internet friendships are really no different to me than the ones that I have because they developed in close physical proximity. Connection is connection is connection.

In the last month, two women that I absolutely adored and knew only online passed away. Both were smart, funny, lively women. Both deaths were unexpected, even if it was in different ways. And I found out about both through Facebook from someone who was not a mutual friend.

I know that social media has complicated   [more…]

totally top five 2k16: stuff & things

Ohhhhh my GOD I am SO GLAD TO BE DONE WITH THIS POST. I felt super weird writing this one this year! And that apparently meant that even though I started writing it in like, NOVEMBER, I managed to stretch the process out until MARCH?! For no reason at all?! Books and movies and TV and music feel natural to share in times of duress because we need escape and we need joy, but consumer goods always feel a little different. I love shopping and trying new things, but I feel like, when things are as crappy in the world as they are right now, shopping as relief becomes strangely sinister? Capitalism is bad.

Not all the things on this list are things to buy, but the whole thing gave me a case of the wobblies and that’s partly why it took me so long to put   [more…]