Sunday, April 29, 2018

You feel pretty? A counterpoint.

Dear Hannah,

Amy Schumer's I Feel Pretty is the latest film in a long series of songs, books, movies and sermons with a single and regrettable purpose: to tell women they're perfect.  Of course we know women aren't perfect and the majority of them aren't even pretty; and that flattery exists not for the benefit of the hearer but the benefit of the speaker.  And there's a lot of money to be made by speaking it.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Some unprofessional diagnoses

Dear Son,

Sometime in my early to mid thirties I began labeling people autistic, and the reason I did it is because the autistic consistently fail at announcing themselves.  They don't go around with a t-shirt that says ON THE SPECTRUM or a business card that says GO EASY.  You most often find out the hard way after picking on them for a year or so, only to realize, slowly but surely, that you've been picking on the handicapped.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The purge

Dear Hannah,

This has been an ominous month for the right-wing.  Until now we had lived with the vestiges of "free speech" and believed, erroneously, that the internet would allow truth to be spread.  The truth about said truth is that people were in charge of the internet; and that this chaos of ideas gave birth to new powers of censorship; and that as men were capable of giving us speech they were also capable of making us mute.  We had escaped the hounds of the New York Times only to run into the nets of Mark Zuckerberg.  Before we were worried we could only hear "all the news that's fit to print."  Now we wonder whether our neighbors can see what we post.

Monday, April 2, 2018

The family at the end of the world

Dear Hannah,

I was raised to believe it was the end of the world.  We weren't told exactly how it was going to end but we knew it would be ugly; and that if the whole world wasn't bathed in fire immediately it would end with a lot of doors getting kicked down.  If it wasn't the Russians or the Chinese it would be a one-world government, with all-encompassing authority, telling us what to do and think and beheading us when we didn't.