Monthly Archives: June 2016

Humor and the Great War Addendum

See also: Humor and the Great War Adventure and the Great War Most of the examples I gave before of humor from the trenches were of the mild, safe, Jay Leno style of humor, a style we associate with the larfs of the past. But gallows humor has always burbled beneath the surface of our […]

Brexit Regret

I don’t know enough about British politics to know how to feel about the so-called Brexit. But I certainly know enough about American social media to know how my demographic is supposed to feel about the so-called Brexit. We’re supposed to feel that it’s a moronic hate crime perpetrated by racists, who didn’t understand and never believed […]

Humor and the Great War

(Continued, more or less, from Adventure and the Great War.) Even though World War I had its share of adventure stories, you’ll note that these are primarily “exonymous”—they’re stories written by people viewing the war from a distance for children not even eligible to enlist. What about the actual soldiers, who were watching civilization crumble to bits first […]

All Will Be Revealed

Slate Star Codex said some interesting things about dog-whistles yesterday, and you you should read the post (actually, you should pretty much always read Slate Star Codex), but I think he missed something. Since I’ve been spending my time making grand pronouncements on how to understand everyone’s behavior on the internet, let’s see if these pronouncements can […]

Adventure and the Great War

World War I is the least fun war. It is canonically the most depressing and disheartening of all the slogs of war, polishing off both a generation of young men and the idealism and faith of the western world. Its novels are tragedies; its poetry is agonizing. After all the horrors and the end of a […]

Business As Usual

There’s always a brief beautiful moment after a tragedy when everyone behaves themselves. I am not someone who easily cares about events that happen to strangers, but I was genuinely touched by the outpouring of grief and of human kindness that came in the wake of the Orlando shootings. People spoke passionately and intelligently about […]


I don’t know what to say about the tragedy in Orlando. Obviously we all see events as confirmation for our our preexisting worldviews,  and in this case I see a man who chose to deal with his own powerlessness by hurting others. He chose to link his actions to a homophobic demographic (ISIS, in this […]