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

essays

Masks, memory, and the long road to justice

Going to a party the other night for the first time in more than a year, I was surprised at the intensity of the experience, a veritable surge of content after a valley of silence. Prior to leaving my house for the party, I struggled with anxiety; what would it feel like to encounter so… Continue reading Masks, memory, and the long road to justice

essays

Dragged through the tunnel blind: Coronavirus and a rejoinder with faith

Returning to “normal” in New Mexico has been like awakening from a long-held dream: the masks come off, revealing faces I had never before glimpsed; tactility and motion reemerge, acquainting me with senses I had forgotten. Prior to this dream, there was a dream in which I seemed to be an entirely different person; between… Continue reading Dragged through the tunnel blind: Coronavirus and a rejoinder with faith