These are The Ways in Which We Die

BY VIOLENCE. Victims of crime, of hatred, of regrettable circumstance. By disease, like the cancer that took ESPN anchor Stuart Scott. By fate, sudden and unexpected. Like a heart attack, a car accident. Like the brain bleed that took my wife’s uncle last week. And by time. Old age, wearing out. “Natural” causes. These areContinue reading “These are The Ways in Which We Die”

Ferguson and Berkeley: Two Gunmen Cast Their Shadows on Christmas in St. Louis

ALMOST NOTHING IS MORE DANGEROUS than interrupting a teenager while she’s in mid Snapchat. Still I took the risk because this was important. This was a current event barreling toward history, and I wanted her to be aware, if just for a moment. “We just entered Ferguson,” I said, leaning toward her in the backContinue reading “Ferguson and Berkeley: Two Gunmen Cast Their Shadows on Christmas in St. Louis”

Walmart Changes An Ad Because One Moment Changed Us All

WALMART IS REVISING AN AD showing an excited young girl hugging her father so tight that he jokingly says “I can’t breathe.” When the ad was created earlier this year, there was no cause for concern. It was (and still is) a simple spot featuring a girl overjoyed at getting her own mobile phone. ItContinue reading “Walmart Changes An Ad Because One Moment Changed Us All”

Engagement vs. Enragement: Michael Sam, Richie Incognito, and the Two Sides of Social Media

WHEN MISSOURI FOOTBALL PLAYER Michael Sam revealed he was gay, it was a landmark moment not just for professional sports but also for the power of social media. Within seconds of Sam’s New York Times story and interview on ESPN, we saw a flood of support from players and coaches. We saw quotes of concernContinue reading “Engagement vs. Enragement: Michael Sam, Richie Incognito, and the Two Sides of Social Media”

We are the Monsters On Maple Street: A Final Word on Justine Sacco

“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes and prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill. And suspicion can destroy. And a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout allContinue reading “We are the Monsters On Maple Street: A Final Word on Justine Sacco”

Eons of Evolution and We are Still Dumb Animals

WE ARE DUMB ANIMALS. Evolution is not the same as change, and eons of evolution didn’t change us. We are still wild, scared, nervous mammals. We scream at the dark because we can’t remember what happened to the light. We are dumb. We Repeat ourselves despite ourselves. We say we will learn but we don’tContinue reading “Eons of Evolution and We are Still Dumb Animals”

The Day Before the Day it All Changed

Everyone is focused on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. TV shows, public events and story after news story remind us of what was lost and what was left. But today is also a day to remember. Ten years ago today was the last day before it all changed. The last day of calm onContinue reading “The Day Before the Day it All Changed”

Eleven Things That Won’t Happen in 2011

Tis the season for predictions, prognostications, suppositions and, let’s be honest, some downright guessing about what’s in store for next year. Rather than join the fray, following are 11 things that I boldly predict will not happen in 2011: — Print won’t disappear — Rupert Murdoch won’t get less creepy — Social media won’t cureContinue reading “Eleven Things That Won’t Happen in 2011”