Ten days in, it is clear that one of the main tasks of responsible citizens during the Trump administration is to distinguish facts from fiction, hysteria from reasoned analysis. This, of course, is always the task of a responsible citizen, but it becomes paramount with an administration happy to baldy lie about the most trivial issues and a media driven to hysteria by every move the administration makes.
As much as I wish Donald Trump were not President and as much as I doubt his competence, I am unwilling to assume that every single action he takes is abhorrent and wrong-headed. I have neither the emotional stamina to live in outrage for four years nor the confidence that continual panic serves the common good. Instead, I must sort through the facts, do my best to discern the truth, and then pick my battles. Which actions and appointees are tolerable, and which ones threaten our democracy?
My children were as busy as worker bees in 2016. Grand imagination and poor engineering abounded. I’ve examined the photographic evidence and selected their top three “projects” of 2016. Points were awarded for inventive use of materials, realism, and tape quantity. In no particular order, I give you:
I took my oldest daughter to see Hidden Figures last weekend—a remarkable story that is very well told. It has something for everyone. Math geeks, feminists, space enthusiasts, romantics, justice advocates, history buffs—all will appreciate this movie. My daughter enjoyed it as much as I did.
One aspect of the story haunts me. (Besides the analytic geometry.) I am nagged by the question, How could all those well-meaning white people not see the injustice they were perpetrating on those African American women?Continue reading “How Hidden Figures haunts me”→
Like many in America, I have been thinking a lot about class, race, and elite education recently. I have been taking a hard look at my position in society.
The truth is that I have lived most of my life in educated, upper class circles. I grew up in a wealthy suburb of Chicago, and both my parents have graduate degrees. I attended an elite (though public) college and married a man who did also. We currently live in a town that is famous for its liberal politics and the education level of its populace. If I’m honest, the progressive, upper-middle class are my people. But I have never assumed they were the only people that mattered.
Some of you have already raced into the new year. Eager for a fresh start, you’ve put away both the Christmas decorations and 2016.
Others of us are cleaning our slates more slowly. We’re still sitting under Christmas lights, reflecting a bit longer on 2016 before we turn our faces to what lies ahead.
I am in the slower bunch. As I mull over 2016, I’m curious about what in my own writing sparked the most interest. Below are my most widely read posts from the past year. They land on the weighty rather than the frivolous.
I’m making my money do extra work this Christmas. Instead of focusing only on finding good prices, I’m trying to shop in a way that supports things I value. I’m doing this in three ways:
I’m paying money for good writing. Few people want to pay for writing now, even though we continue to need quality thinking expressed well. To counter that trend, I have made sure to purchase both books and subscriptions as gifts this year. I want excellent writers to continue being able to make a living. Continue reading “On Christmas shopping”→