October 5, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. Regular readers know that I strongly believe many Christians are better than their Christ. Many, for instance, would never call a desperate Canaanite woman a “dog” if she came to them begging aid for her sick daughter. Nor would they allow her to accept that she is a “dog” in order to receive said aid. Many of today’s Christians are truly interested in seeking out a globalism that transcends tribal bounds. This, then, is the… Read more

September 27, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. Recently, I’ve been struggling to articulate some of the problems with left-leaning North American rhetoric — a side of the political equation I favour, but with deep caveats about some of its historiography and targets. This week, on my Patreon, I posted a nine-month follow-up to a difficult matter in the world of SF&F: a story involving portrayals of gender that inspired tremendous alarm. (I wrote about it here at the time, and for The Verge.)… Read more

September 20, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. Here in Colombia, my English lessons sometimes fall flat because of unexpected cultural differences — such as a recent class in which I used an article about media-representation issues in North America as our base-text, only to realize that my students didn’t give a hoot about seeing more Colombian representation in films and TV. (They in fact felt rather cosmopolitan from having grown up with exposure to foreign fare.) Now, these moments are a huge… Read more

September 7, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. Regular readers know that I get pretty grumpy when addressing the Christian Bible’s awful morality, so I try to limit how often I focus on this text and the figure of Christ represented within it. I’m strongly of the opinion that fixating on religion’s textual flaws is not a useful way of building a more robustly secular state — and in general, I find the whole theist/atheist divide to be a distraction. The more urgent… Read more

August 31, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. I had a necessary and uncomfortable growth moment this past week. Like many of my fellow authors, I have people in my circles who hold views I regard as wilfully ignorant, narrow-minded, and regional to an extreme. It’s often not even worth engaging with them over the opinions they hold, because everything about how they’ve framed their views on current events reflects a conscious refusal to empathize with other points of view. Thankfully, neither I,… Read more

August 23, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. Colombia has had its fair share in the last month — as has the U.S.; as has the world. (As for me, I’ve been busy coming to terms this past month with the fact that my legal precarity here is going to be a long-term affair, while continuing to work under difficult circumstances. I now have a handle on what life will look like if I never get back on the migrant-visa track, and am… Read more

July 26, 2020

Let’s begin with an update. I’ve had a rocky couple of weeks due to some difficult developments with the visa/undocumented situation here in Colombia, and they’ve taken their toll on my writing output here. However, in hindsight, they also perfectly exemplify a point I’ve been wanting to make for the last few weeks. Specifically, after the Foreign Affairs office (which handles visa applications) denied various second-visa types for contradictory reasons, the visa agency I’ve been using took the case to… Read more

July 12, 2020

Let’s begin with a news trend. Ugh. I’m sure everyone here knows how much I dislike those. But, I promise, I’m not reneging on my criticism of “hot takes”; rather, I’d like to think a couple steps ahead of an issue that came to a head this week, with respect to different information silos fiercely dissenting over the nature of acceptable dissent. This is a curious incident, by and large, because Harper’s Magazine published an open letter on July 7,… Read more

July 5, 2020

Let’s begin with a recap, friends. It’s been rough times for me here in Colombia, just as it’s been rough times for a great many of you around the world. Having a lock on what to say, as a humanist with a platform, isn’t easy when it feels like we’ve a hundred fires to put out all at once. The best I’ve been able to do, these past few weeks, is to try to advocate for thinking carefully about where… Read more

June 29, 2020

Let’s begin with a dream. Goodness, it’s exhausting when people talk about their own, right? Well, not to worry: I have highly coherent ones, for better and for worse. In a recent one, I’ve had to return to Canada because of all the struggle to get a visa here. (Currently on Day 39 of being undocumented.) I’m on a street with two Starbucks: one where everyone’s in queue, waiting for it to open, and the other, with no line at… Read more

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