I saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Blackfriars this weekend and as Shakespeare intended, it made me think, metaphorically, about the way imagination works.
History. His Story. history. We can only ever see the past through the convex lens of the present, one of the truths of epistemology and existence, that, to be frank, is too often ignored.
“‘Organic’ has become a label, as it was destined to be. It’s a completely worthless word now. It has been perverted to suit the needs of industrial agriculture.” That from Wendell Berry, one of the fathers of the movement, in a 2008 interview.
I had a working mother, but as a kid I mostly thought of my mom in terms of what she did (or did not do) when I was around her.
Selected letters from our readers
“As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves,” so says James Madison…
Closing the gap When Rose Atkins came to Charlottesville, she was surprised to see so many people in her office. She came from a place that had a lot more children than Charlottesville and was surprised to see the number of secretaries and workers in her office. So we could start there in eliminating some […]
I’ve mentioned before in this column that I grew up listening to hip-hop, which is something that characterizes my generational cohort. I remember hearing rap for the first time at summer camp in 1986 as an 11-year-old (“Girls Just Don’t Understand” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince) and getting hooked on the form at school a year later (Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back).
“Well, pick up your feet, we’ve got a deadline to meet, and I’m gonna see you make it on time,” sings Roy Orbison in “Working for the Man,” one of those classic American inversion stories where a guy on the line has dreams of replacing his boss and winning his daughter. Americans and work go together like PB&J.
Those words are part of Marcel Proust’s famous description his encounter with a madeleine cookie from Remembrance of Things Past and crystallize his notion of ‘involuntary memory,’ a concept that made it all the way from his literature into the canon of modern psychology.
For the first time in weeks, my bike ride to work through Court Square didn’t take me past a row of satellite trucks. The Huguely trial is over and the verdict is in. In this week’s issue, J. Tobias Beard takes a crack at answering the question he set out to explore when he began his coverage: Why did we watch this particular tragedy so closely, when there are so many others playing out around us right now?
I’m still relatively new to town. Most of the week I sit at a computer, like a carp sifting passively through a river of news and information, so I need weekends like this last one to remind me why I came here in the first place.
There’s a big trial happening up the street, a so-called media event, but life is still going on all around us. It makes you stop and think a little bit about what the news is. Should we write stories because we know people will read them or because they won’t ever get read unless we write them?
We were standing in the Boston Common by the Park Street subway stop on a Saturday, and my friend, an old hippie, looked out at the green hill sloping up towards the State House and said, “I remember when you’d look up there and see people getting it on under blankets.”
Brendan Fitzgerald’s article “Does anyone trust science anymore?” January 24, melds half-truths, undefined terminology, and under-critical reporting. The initial quote of Michael Mann, “hopefully every scientist…is a skeptic,” was hopeful. The next sentence has Mann revealing his own muddled bias as he elevates consensus to scientific fact, and then re-labels skepticism as denial.
I have a distinct memory of being a 14-year-old boy in 1989 watching an MTV video for the Public Enemy song “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” and having my father sit down next to me. I didn’t change the channel, because for some reason I wanted him to see it. He grew up in north Alabama in the ‘50s and eventually worked as a press secretary for a prominent Democratic member of Congress. When the video was over, he looked at me like the ground had ripped open between us and said something like, “Tough stuff.”
Not too long ago, I was sitting at a dinner table with a friend of my mother’s on her 60th birthday when she announced that she planned to live to 120. Turning 60, she said, was kind of like turning 40 used to be.
As a 21-year-old in 1963, Dylan sang “The Times They Are a A-Changin’” with Baez from the podium during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and later in that same year, receiving a civil rights award from the ACLU a month after Kennedy was assassinated, he thumbed his nose at the progressive establishment.
Last week we took a bit of a beating for running an issue about the future and featuring a number of young people, all of whom happened to be white. A couple of indignant readers pointed out that painting an all-white future of this city amounts to racism, and they demanded a response from the editor.
I usually write these columns on Monday mornings, the day we put the paper out, but because of the holiday I’m writing this one on Friday, which means it will be four days before you read it, with all of the events of the weekend between. I’m writing into the future.
On the shortest day of the year, cultures in northern latitudes from Japan to Finland celebrate the return of light. It makes sense to recognize a thing so elemental in its absence, another paradox of human perception. Like you can’t have your cake and eat it too…
I knew a political operative in Chicago, since moved on to D.C., who used to get upset by the way people misunderstood and then misused O’Neill’s analect. For this guy, the advice wasn’t a warning to limit the scope of campaign messages, it was a simple reminder that to win elections, you have to start with a base at home and build out from there.
When I was a kid growing up in D.C. in the mid-80s, there were bumper stickers around that read, “Don’t Fairfax Loudoun.” If you’ve spent any time in Northern Virginia over the past two decades, you’ll understand the futility of the position.