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Give us your tired, your poor…(just joking! lol)

Give us your tired, your poor…(just joking! lol)

I have nothing new or noteworthy to add to the reports of children being separated from their parents at our nation’s southern border. Outrage from all sides of the political spectrum is at a fever pitch, as it should be. But I’m confounded by the gleeful cruelty displayed by the people supporting this policy. From the president’s word choices (infest?) to Jeff Sessions highly selective Bible-thumping to former campaign chair Corey Lewandowski’s mocking of a child with Down syndrome to the…

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The Joy of Rediscovering Shirley Jackson

The Joy of Rediscovering Shirley Jackson

In preparing for a class on gothic elements in fiction, I pulled an old book from my shelves. I’d gone searching for Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, but I found myself drawn to We Have Always Lived in the Castle instead. Have you read this book? I don’t think I’ve read it in more than thirty years, but once I flipped it open I couldn’t put it down. Lordy, it’s amazing. It’s a slim book. My paperback copy comes in…

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What Bill Clinton Should Have Said

What Bill Clinton Should Have Said

Former President Bill Clinton answered a question about his history of sexual misconduct with a defensive deflection and a series of justifications that don’t hold up under scrutiny.  It’s been more than 20 years since Clinton’s workplace affair with intern Monica Lewinsky led the news, but that doesn’t make it irrelevant. In February, Vanity Fair published an insightful piece by Lewinsky about the scandal, her role in it, and the repercussions of the investigation on her life. If only Clinton…

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The C-Word

The C-Word

In the first chapter of my first novel, the main character uses the c-word to insult another woman who is behaving badly. You know the word I mean. It’s a vulgar term for vagina and it’s considered one of the harshest words you can use when insulting a woman. It’s so bad that it’s never co-opted to insult men. You might call a man a pussy, but you wouldn’t call him the c-word. That word is reserved for the truly…

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Simple as ABC

Simple as ABC

You Get What You Pay For So ABC cancelled Roseanne after the show’s star made one too many inflammatory comments on Twitter. The announcement came after Roseanne Barr sent out a tweet comparing Valerie Jarrett, a black woman, to a character from Planet of the Apes. It’s appalling and disgusting and blatantly racist, but it’s what you expect when you throw in with someone like Barr. Barr started her comedy career doing standup as a working class wife. As soon as she made…

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Politics and the Pulpit

Politics and the Pulpit

Preachers are making news this week. Bishop Michael Curry set the royal wedding abuzz with his animated, uplifting sermon about the transformative power of love. And longtime Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson lost his post at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary after delivering one too many sermons urging wives to stay with abusive husbands. Tonight, religious leaders including Bishop Curry will hold a candlelight vigil at the White House. The vigil is part of a movement to “reclaim Jesus” by rejecting…

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The Pro-Lifers are Killing Us

The Pro-Lifers are Killing Us

Today, the current administration will announce a plan to tie federal funding dollars for health clinics to abortion policies. This is wrong. Look, reasonable people can agree to disagree on the issue of abortion, but history tells us that the best way to prevent unintended pregnancies and, by extension, abortions, is through education and affordable, accessible birth control. This isn’t anecdotal; we have solid evidence. Clinics that provide access to birth control, health screenings, pre-natal care, and more, are primarily, though…

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We are wrong. I am sorry.

We are wrong. I am sorry.

I am alarmed by the recent spate of news stories about people calling the police on people of color for no good reason. In this age of “see something, say something,” a vague sense of unease is all it takes to get police on the scene. This is a problem, and not only for the people who are targeted because they happen to be sitting in a coffee shop/touring a college/napping in a common area/moving out of a vacation rental/barbecuing…

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This is Not Funny

This is Not Funny

I don’t love insult comedy. There’s such a fine line between poking fun and being mean. One person’s idea of a gentle ribbing is another person’s scathing takedown. It takes real finesse to get it right. The strength of great comedy is that it exposes ugly truths while making us laugh. It tells us something new or shows us how to look at something in a new way. I didn’t watch the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with Michelle Wolf, but…

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A Matter of Character

A Matter of Character

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” —attributed to various people, but mostly Malcolm Forbes This week when reports started surfacing about Dr. Ronny Jackson, the nominee to lead Veterans Affairs, I said to my husband, “I know that guy.” I don’t actually know him, of course, but I know his type. When I was in my mid-twenties, I worked at a television station in Texas. One…

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