FratPAC: You Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up

“What’s it going to take?” asked Lianne Kowiak, the mother of a 19-year-old North Carolina college student who was fatally beaten as part of a fraternity hazing ritual in 2008. She was referring to Congress’ inaction when it comes to passing anti-hazing legislation. In 2012, Kowiak stood next to Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) at a […]

A World Without Kindness

I recently met a man in the Tenderloin who made a modest living off tips from people like me, whom he helped find restaurants and bars with good drinks [he’d suggest] or better music [he was a musician]. Mike took the free maps you could get from tourist junctures, marked the best spots with a […]

When she was a girl, they called my mom Dynamite.

My mother marches to the beat of her own, private drum. Often, the beat is off and those around her can’t understand exactly what she’s doing, but that seems irrelevant to her — I think my mom might say that being happy is more important than being understood. Most of what I’ve learned from my […]

Doubting Love

Love is not a state, a feeling, a disposition, but an exchange, uneven, fraught with history, with ghosts, with longings that are more or less legible to those who try to see one another with their own faulty vision. — Judith Butler, Doubting Love Much like reading Judith Butler, doubting love can be dangerous. It […]

Like trying to sob into a paper bag

In her 1968 anthology of essays, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion writes confidently about the practical necessity of self-respect: However long we postpone it, we eventually lie down alone in that notoriously uncomfortable bed, the one we make ourselves. Whether or not we sleep in it depends, of course, on whether or not we respect […]