Running from Paris, or Globalization and its Malcontents

Running from Paris, or Globalization and its Malcontents

I refuse to believe in Trump’s America–closed and cruel. I refuse to believe that his answer is the best we have for those left out. I refuse his dismantling of American leadership, his calculating belief in false economics, his distaste for honesty. And, luckily, I find myself in good company–states whose governments refuse to comply with Trump, businesses seeking balance between profit and the social good, politicians sincerely seeking the betterment of their constituents, but mostly American men and women who refuse to shirk their duty, who believe we can still tackle hard problems, who know–in their very marrow–that these colors don’t run. Continue reading Running from Paris, or Globalization and its Malcontents

Grace and Blame in the Real America

Grace and Blame in the Real America

I struggle with depression on a daily basis. Metaphors fall short–describing depression as some dark octopus lashing tentacles around the human brain, that removing those creeping arms will cure the disease. But that’s not true–it is part and parcel of myself, as much as my shadow, my love for mountains, my blue eyes. My depression strengthened after leaving Afghanistan–some vital barrier crumbled in the dust and heat and senselessness of it all. Yet the fault cannot be assigned to me or the war. We cannot point to a single instance and say, “Ah, this right here is where you forged your illness, and you could have done different.” Those who live with darkness always at the edge of their vision know the seductive power of poor coping mechanisms–drugs, alcohol, distraction from thinking about why we can’t seem to join the perfection of our peers. Some succumb, some fight–the rights and wrongs of it all jumbled together. Continue reading Grace and Blame in the Real America

How to lose a war…

How to lose a war…

Afghanistan eats bombs. It eats rockets, too, and bullets, mortars, IEDs, RPGs, souls. Its hunger is immediate and insatiable, and while thrashing for more, it uncaringly kills men, women, children, foreigner, and local. Who taught this monster to crave flesh and gunpowder? We weren’t the first–a history of conquest and cruelty map across the mountains and deserts–but we feed it, and in doing so only strengthen this beast. Continue reading How to lose a war…