The Danger of American Exceptionalism: Covid 19 Edition!

AEOh, so many mini-strokes listening to Trump try to calm the country after failing to respond quickly and appropriately to a pandemic, but one particular phrase is a pet barfpoint of mine.

American Exceptionalism is a lie. I’m not sure exactly sure what it’s supposed to mean, but I know it’s a lie. Are we physically superior, with our impressive rates of obesity and diabetes? Have we endured so much more than dozens or hundreds of other countries who have suffered through numerous wars or famine or environmental destruction on a national scale? Is it because our corporations have the chutzpah to exploit people and natural resources around the world for fun and profit? The United States is clearly exceptional in its tremendous wealth, made possible by slavery, genocide, class warfare, greed, and, yes, some hard work and creativity, but I’m not sure how that helps us fight a pandemic.

When the President says that Americans are the strongest and most resilient people on earth in the context of fighting a pandemic, it’s not just a lie; it’s dangerous. We are not stronger or more resilient than anyone else. We are vulnerable – more or less depending on our age, health luck, profession, and government response – but we are just as human as everyone else on this planet and AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM IS NOT AN INOCULATION!

Sorry, lost my cool there. You all know this, I’m sure. I am just reminded, day in and day out, especially as I dig more deeply into our history of brutality and bigotry and lies, that words matter. Pride won’t immunize us, but humility will help. We are human, we are interconnected, we rely on each other for everything.  I will be safe, I will socially isolate, I will look out for myself, but I will remember that my world is only worth protecting because of the ways in which it plays with everyone else’s worlds, and how we all get dirtied up in the sandbox of our collective lives.

Good news: dogs can’t get Covid-19! Mine is available to supplement social contact. I can even send her out into the yard for you, so you don’t have to deal with me.

Be well, my loves.

(almost) back, baby!

It was a difficult winter – physically and emotionally – and it kind of set me on a path of self-examination that has been both illuminating and burdensome. That’s my excuse for not writing in I’m-not-going-to-check-how-many-months. I put this out there now to let you (singular? plural?) know that I’m still here and would really like to discuss some things with you in the near future. You up for it?

Ben is still here, too, but I can’t speak to his plans.

Best to all,

What Coffee Means to Me

coffeeThanksgiving was not all that long ago, and I suppose I was supposed to write something about gratitude. I didn’t. It is too much with me. It overwhelms me. Hourly, sometimes. Certainly daily, when I haven’t cultivated a shitty day. And I feel it, you know? Like, I feeeeeeeeel it. It surrounds me with spicy, vibrant air and fills me like hot coffee on a cold morning.

And really, I am most grateful for coffee.

Not really. But yes, really. Continue reading “What Coffee Means to Me”

Racism and the Liberal Meditator

King nonviolenceIf you believe people with arguably racist thoughts, feelings, or beliefs are irredeemable;

If you believe that conversing with them or treating them with respect is a waste of time and energy, if not immoral;

If you consider yourself liberal, in the sense of being generous, broad-minded, not bigoted;

(Or if you just like cool stories about people undergoing shocking transformations despite significant obstacles)

Take ½ hour and read this article on the heir apparent to the American white supremacy movement who got turned around by the light touch of a liberal arts college and a welcoming Jew.

Continue reading “Racism and the Liberal Meditator”

So You’ve Resolved to Start Meditating

Have you? Congratulations! Maybe you’ve tried it once or twice or every once in a while; maybe you’re completely uninitiated. If you’re a regular meditator, you’ll probably find the following amusing or nostalgic, at best. But here are some questions I wanted answered when I started meditating. Continue reading “So You’ve Resolved to Start Meditating”

The Weather


Just kidding! I wouldn’t blog about the weather. Seriously, how shallow do you think I am?

I will blog about talking about the weather. It’s stupid, right? It’s stupid and meaningless and shallow and ohmygod was it bizarre to move from L.A. to MN and hear people talking about the weather. A lot. Interviews with not just meteorologists, but climatologists on an almost daily basis on public radio. Civilians with bizarrely esoteric knowledge of weather history and patterns and barometric pressure. Weather is a THING. Continue reading “The Weather”