essays

Trapped at stage orange: spiral dynamics and the fate of Atlantis

Over this past week, I was tested for Covid four separate times. The first test, an at-home test, occurred because I was feeling ill and work at a school; the second test occurred because the first test's results would not return for nearly a week, and the school’s principal wanted me to resume teaching. Finally,… Continue reading Trapped at stage orange: spiral dynamics and the fate of Atlantis

essays

Holding the symbols generously: marriage, child-rearing, and existential purpose

Does marriage hold meaning outside of convention? If all lives end, then isn’t marriage’s “permanency” a passing illusion? Don’t the joined souls ultimately separate in the great beyond or, if they remain merged, doesn’t that merging collapse any notion of their being separate to begin with? The same could be said of child-rearing; if the… Continue reading Holding the symbols generously: marriage, child-rearing, and existential purpose

essays

“Are you not entertained?”: boredom, silence, age, and youth

Teaching high school these days, I am often reminded of Maximus from Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, imploring the crowd, “Are you not entertained?” I scan my students’ bored, simultaneously hopeful faces, and I want to tell them: as you turn older, your lives will become both more boring, but paradoxically more pleasurable; that’s if you’re lucky!… Continue reading “Are you not entertained?”: boredom, silence, age, and youth

essays

Like ships passing in the night: Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation

Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation (2003) is one of my favorite films. Apparently, it is Bill Murray’s favorite that he’s ever done, which is saying something. Bill Murray as Bob Harris In the film, Murray plays Bob Harris, an aging actor consigned to doing whiskey advertisements as he shifts away from film. These advertisements bring… Continue reading Like ships passing in the night: Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation

essays

Lessons from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

Cormac McCarthy’s The Road follows an unnamed man and his son as they attempt to survive in a post-apocalyptic landscape. In this world, the earth is slowly dying due to causeless cold and loss of sunlight, and most of humanity has resorted to cannibalism. As the man and boy head south in the unfounded hopes… Continue reading Lessons from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road