The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a deservedly maligned Hollywood trope. But, she hearkens to an ancient archetype which can unlock a deeper understanding of love. Continue reading For Love’s Sake, Let’s Reclaim the Manic Pixie Dream Girl
In his newest book, God: A Human History, Reza Aslan seeks to provide an explanation for this rise of what he refers to as “the humanized God.” He proposes a more pragmatic idea of god, instead. Continue reading A Divided World Needs to Make God a Useful Idea, Again
Tranquil chaos surrounded me, but I fervently believed that the humanities could offer answers to the big questions. Could a commonwealth of non-believers offer the same benefits of a faith community? Continue reading Building a Faith Community Without Belief in God
My grandfather had an eighth-grade education. The story was that he dropped out to help his parents run the farm, but judging by the number of creative ways he skipped school, I can’t imagine the decision was difficult for him. Truth is he didn’t want to be there. Even so, my grandfather was an expert carpenter. He made beautiful and solid furniture that lasted. He … Continue reading Why Do We Think The Working Class is Less Intelligent?
For all his shortcomings, Thomas Jefferson, writing in mid-1816, takes a long view of human self-governance: “[L]aws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.” And he continues, “As [the human mind] becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, … Continue reading How the Toothbrush Mirrors Societal Progress: An Oral History
In the summer of 2014, aid workers descended upon West Africa as the underdeveloped health systems of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone struggled to contain a rapidly spreading Ebola outbreak. A few months later, just out of graduate school, I would join the fight in Sierra Leone. I arrived in the country a few weeks after the peak of the outbreak. The impact of Ebola … Continue reading Medicine Alone Can’t Beat Diseases. We Need Stories Too.
As by a carnival mirror, the greatest villains reflect our most enduring and compelling heroes. Our heroes often are brought face-to-face with that which they so easily could have been. If the rope of recovery had had one less thread, they themselves could have snapped and become a rogue in someone else’s gallery. This potential alternative existence can prove unnerving at first, but as our … Continue reading Overcoming Childhood Trauma and Other Heroic Lessons from The Dark Knight
My iPhone is ringing. There’s the briefest moment of distaste upon the realization that it is someone who could have easily texted instead, thereby avoiding my having to actually take the time to speak to the person. This is a far-cry from remembered days at sixteen years old wishing for the house phone to ring for me. What exactly has changed? Recently, I found myself … Continue reading Lost Communication in a Completely Connected World
Media critic Jason Tocci explores the etymological evolution of the terms “geek” and “nerd” from adolescent insults to proud self-descriptors. He argues that with the growing dependency on technology and the staggering revenue generated from sci-fi movies and conventions, geeks are no longer the outsiders they were in decades past. When a population reclaims the terms once hurled at them in negativity as a positive … Continue reading Geek Culture is Mainstream, But Geek Girls Remain Left Behind
One popular theory explaining the rise of Donald Trump is that runaway political correctness provoked a mass reaction that propelled the least politically correct presidential candidate in history to electoral victory. The (mostly white) masses, tired of hearing about transgender bathroom issues, exhausted by black/white rhetoric, and feeling threatened by the increasing regularity of “thought policing”, elected a man who rejected the identity politics of … Continue reading The 3 Faces of Political Incorrectness