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 […]

Fake Geek Girls

The article du jour about Fake Geek Girls has, I think, its heart in the right place, but is nevertheless spectacularly wrong in all its particulars, like someone trying to refute flat-earthers by citing the Pythagorean perfection of spheres. Four years ago John Scalzi wrote the (somewhat more venomous and self-aggrandizing) ur text from which […]

Memebusters: Clinton and Suffrage

  I saw this “memed tweet” getting passed around with the comment: “This why people of color and Non-first world women choose not to take feminism seriously.” I’m not sure what the antecedent of “this” is, but I’ll pretend it refers to the misleading string of dates. The implication here (which several other comments made […]

Choose a Caption

a. “A book should be an ax to break the frozen sea within us.” -Kafka b. “Ye have locked yerselves up in cages of fear — and behold, do ye now complain that ye lack freedom!” -Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst c. “From the ax there is always anxiety. You think you are free from anxiety […]