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Miscellaneous commentary

On mobility and the non-interchangeability of places: a rant

It’s been a while since I read anything that pushed as many of my buttons — and made me scratch my head as much — as this New York Times op-ed piece by Todd G. Buchholz and Victoria Buchholz did. They begin with the claim that “Americans are supposed to be mobile and even pushy,” and […]

All the lonely people, where do they all belong?

This is going to be a fragmentary post because my thinking on it is still disconnected. Sometimes I get thoughts and words stuck in my head and blog to get them out; if I’m lucky, the fragments amount to more than self-indulgent navel-gazing, and make sense to someone else reading them. (In other words: Probable […]

The return of the pastoral

Interesting: Michael Pollan, in Sunday's New York Times, writes an open letter to the next president about the need for a complete overhaul of our farming and food system. (It's long, but it's well worth reading.) There's a petition for an organic farm to be planted on the South Lawn of the White House (a […]

Waiting for New Year’s Day

It's hard to describe how I've been feeling lately without using words like "apocalyptic," or at the very least "gloom" and "doom" in some combination. It's not just the economic meltdown, or the particular brand of craziness that the election brings to the mix. It's something more generalized. It was startling today, for instance, to […]

Vaguely disturbing

Seen at the grocery store this afternoon: a toddler wheeling a child-sized grocery cart. That wasn’t the disturbing part; the kid and the cart were kind of adorable. What gave me pause was a little banner attached to the cart, right at eye level, which read "Customer in training." Because we all need to be […]

On a somewhat more cheerful note…

According to Making Light, the Society for Creative Anachronism is organizing its own relief efforts. As one commenter puts it, "We are weirdo geeks, but we are very skilled resourceful geeks." Blessed are the geeks.

This too shall pass. I hope.

Rana puts her finger on the jittery anxiety that’s been in the air this week. It’s not just Hurricane Katrina, the unnerving reports about bird flu, the price of gas and the thought of how people are going to cope with it, the surreality of most of the news out of Washington; it’s everything all […]