In this election, issues matter more than labels (or at least they should)

socialism-anchorman-steve-carell-meme

The worst moment of the entire 2016 presidential campaign was when Bernie Sanders said the phrase “democratic socialist.”

Why? Because since last summer, it seems like every online discussion regarding the election has involved slapping a label on an issue or policy and then spiraling into a fruitless debate about its precise application or meaning. And I blame the word “socialist.”  Read More…

The worst reason not to vote for Bernie Sanders

May 5, 1970: Thousands of University of Washington students occupying and blocking Intersate Highway 5 (I-5) and facing state troopers in riot gear as they protested the killings at Kent State Universtiy and the invasion of Cambodia. Photo, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle.

When did citizens of the United States adopt a defeatist attitude?

For months now, I have read time after time that if elected president, Bernie Sanders “won’t be able to get anything done,” and that his policies will “never be passed” because of Republican opposition.

But what does it say about the United States if its citizens are afraid to vote for a candidate because they don’t believe their government will allow the leader of the free world to address the biggest domestic problems it faces? Moreover: what does it say about us?

May 5, 1970: Thousands of University of Washington students occupying and blocking Intersate Highway 5 (I-5) and facing state troopers in riot gear as they protested the killings at Kent State Universtiy and the invasion of Cambodia. Photo, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle.

May 5, 1970: Thousands of University of Washington students occupying and blocking Intersate Highway 5 (I-5) and facing state troopers in riot gear as they protested the killings at Kent State Universtiy and the invasion of Cambodia. Photo, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle.

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I support Bernie Sanders, and I’m not stupid or unrealistic

bernie-sanders-change-will-not-take-place-without-political-participation

Today I read for maybe the 10,000th time an assertion that supporters of Bernie Sanders are unrealistic, that Bernie Sanders supporters will all be disappointed if they elect him because he won’t be able to bring the change he’s promising, that Bernie Sanders’ policies will be “just another example of Democrats making promises they can’t keep,” and so on and so forth. And I’d like to briefly dispel a misconception about people who support Bernie Sanders as the next president of the United States:

We’re not stupid.

bernie-sanders-change-will-not-take-place-without-political-participation Read More…

A poem about carpet squares

Today’s poem—or, more precisely, the poem I wrote on March 27, 2003—will test the old adage “write what you know,” as its subject matter is something with which we’re all perhaps too familiar: carpet squares.

I don’t believe the classrooms in my high school even had carpeting, so I’m not sure why this particular topic inspired me to write a poem in my high school creative writing class, but here we are: my poem about carpet squares, followed by some nonsensical paragraph that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything:

March 27, 2003: Poetry about carpet squares

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That time I analyzed my creative writing class

I’m back from my summer vacation—and boy, are my arms tired!

But seriously, folks: it’s been a long year. Let’s celebrate the fact that we’ve nearly reached the end of our annual trip around the sun by reviewing that one time I analyzed my creative writing class:

March 25, 2003: I analyze my creative writing class Read More…

The most dramatic game of Werewolf ever played, part 2: a story of ages

If you’re asking yourself “what’s Werewolf?” then you need to read part 1 of this story, in which I describe Werewolf and my feelings about the game. If not, then I hope your body is ready.

Photo credit: Dave via Flickr

Photo credit: Dave via Flickr

To recap: this is an epic tale of deception, of security guards, of teenagers, of drunkenness, of meltdowns, of suspicion, of betrayal, of murder, of mystery. And I must set the stage with the cast. Read More…

The most dramatic game of Werewolf ever played, part 1: a Werewolf primer

I must tell an an epic tale of deception, of security guards, of teenagers, of drunkenness, of meltdowns, of suspicion, of betrayal, of murder, of mystery. I must tell the tale of the most dramatic game of Werewolf I have ever played.

I feel that it is extremely important to communicate my exact feelings about Werewolf in order to help you fully comprehend the gravity of the drama that transpired during this legendary game, so I have broken up this tale into two parts; this, the first, shall focus on the mechanics of the game as I perceive them:

Werewolf, which you may know as Mafia, is the best party game ever invented (yes, even better than Cards Against Humanity). The rules are simple: a bunch of people sit in a circle, and they’re all villagers. But 1-3 of them are secretly werewolves. A “caller,” who runs the game, narrates when the village sleeps at night (closes their eyes) and announces whom the werewolves have decided to kill each morning, once the villagers have opened their eyes and risen from their slumber. The object of the game is for the villagers to deduce, through various methods, which of their neighbors are the werewolves… before they are all eaten.

File footage of a Werewolf game at Gen-Con 2011

Archive footage of a Werewolf game at Gen-Con 2011

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