Catholicism and Me

I'm Catholic. I'm a Catholic in my heart, in my morality and in my soul. I didn't practice Catholicism for a long time — it may well have been forty years. If someone asked me my religion during that time, I said, "I'm a recovering Catholic." Get it?

Flannery O’Connor, A Short Story Review

flannery_oconnor

O'Connor's metaphors and character descriptions are so vivid they jar the mind. Her writing is energetic and barbed with such naked honesty it initially struck me as rude or written by a rube but nothing could be further from the truth.

Fixing The Rape Kit Backlog

Hundreds of thousands of rape kits lay moldering away on storage shelves, prey to dust mites and mushrooming mould. But times are changing.

Svetlana Alexievich, Chernobyl and the Nobel Prize

Svetlana Alexievich
Svetlana Alexievich

Svetlana Alexievich wrote Voices from Chernobyl: A History of a Nuclear Disaster, a compilation of the stories of many people tied together by one uncomfortable fact; they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were there when the Chernobyl plant blew.

Draupadi and the Mahabharata

The Indian epic, the Mahabharata, is a tale of love, of hate, of two clans who vie for a kingdom, of a dice game where a kingdom is lost . . . and of a war to the death fought to gain back that kingdom.

Racism, Life Lessons and Memorable Movies

There are more than one set of values and morals available to me in life. How do I choose the right one? And where did those values and morals come from. How do I decide which path to take.

What’s in a name? Myanmar and National Identity

I'm an American. That's what I say if anyone should ask me my nationality. I'm a mutt made up of various immigrant peoples. My mother's father was the child of a German immigrant mother and an Irish immigrant father.

Ferguson-A Lesson in Fear

Hands up Poster, Ferguson Protest

What does it feel like to be feared? I don't know. No one that I know is afraid of me. I'm a woman for one thing and I'm not really big although I'd like to lose a little weight. I have a little dog, a five-pound toy poodle named Rikki, a rescue, and he's afraid of me. I'm working on him, conditioning him to my touch and to being around me. His fear has brought out something curious in my own nature, something I don't like. I get frustrated with him sometimes. I say to him, "I've spent lots of money on you. I've loved you. I've taken care of you. Why are you still afraid of me?" Actually I've raised my voice a couple times when I've said this but raising my voice or doing anything that would scare him is counterproductive. It's up to me to keep my anger in check. He can't help being afraid of me any more than I can help being afraid of a wild pack of wolves. That's just an example. There aren't any wolves around here.

[Read more . . .]