Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the Piggie Park

You thought South Carolina had a flag problem? You have no idea. The war over the Confederate flag pales next to the war over Maurice Bessinger's barbecue. Shoot, Maurice has been dead three years and folks are still fighting. (And for no good reason, if you ask me. The barbecue isn't that good. So just skip the unpleasantness and head to Sweatman's in Holly Hill.)

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Life is hard. We have to struggle, often unsuccessfully, to keep unpleasantness at bay. It would be easier to make sense of this if life served some important purpose."

"Yet, while we can create some meaning, our lives lack any ultimate purpose. Death can relieve our suffering, but it cannot solve our problem of meaninglessness. Moreover, because death is annihilation, it is part of our misfortune (even when, all things considered, it is the lesser of two evils). In other words, our predicament is that life is bad but that death is too."

An interview with University of Cape Town philosopher David Benatar about his new book, The Human Predicament.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Gray State of Minnesota

First, watch the trailer. Then read this riveting piece of long-form journalism by Alec Wilkinson about the strange death of David Crowley in Apple Valley.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"In the shadow of the old flag factory, Craig Slabornik sits whittling away on a rusty nail, his only hobby since the plant shut down."

He is an American like millions of Americans, and he has no regrets about pulling the lever for Donald Trump in November — twice, in fact, which Craig says is just more evidence of the voter fraud plaguing the country. Craig is a contradiction, but he does not know it.

Each morning he arrives at the Blue Plate Diner and tries to make sense of it all. The regulars are already there. Lydia Borkle lives in an old shoe in the tiny town of Tempe Work Only, Ariz., where the factory has just rusted away into a pile of gears and dust. The jobs were replaced by robots, not shipped overseas, but try telling Lydia that. (I did, very slowly and patiently, I thought, but she still became quite brusque.) Her one lifeline was an Obama-era jobs training program, but she says that she does not regret her vote for Trump and likes what he says about business. She makes a point of telling me that she is not racist, but I think she probably is, a little.

"Every story I have read about Trump supporters in the past week," by Alexandra Petri. Read the rest in the Washington Post and laugh, uncomfortably.