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

June 21, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. This one is about someone in a community of queer women back in Canada. We’re going to call her “Thomas,” because she used she/her pronouns but kept a similarly masculine name; and had no interest in physical transitioning; and dressed in a decidedly masculinized manner. Amid the ongoing flurry of “gender-critical” discourse on social media, I find myself thinking about Thomas a lot… because, in many ways, she was exactly the sort of threat that… Read more

June 15, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. It’s been a rotten week on a personal level, and another heavy one for the world. The discourses I have been advancing on social media relate to Canadian “polite” racism, international racism, trans/non-binary-inclusivity, and the need for massive economic and institutional reforms to create a safer and more just world. And I suspect all readers here have a general sense of where I fall on all these issues… but perhaps many of you don’t know… Read more

June 7, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. (No, not my explanation for a month’s absence–that was in my last essay, Part I.) This is a story of contradictory rhetoric among progressivists, and a collision-point nearly upon us, in how we tell stories about some of the most vital issues of our day. Obviously, plenty of collision-points are already upon us: In recent weeks we have seen the streets of the U.S., and the world in solidarity, filled with them. Police brutality and the racialized… Read more

June 7, 2020

Let’s begin with an explanation of the last month’s silence. (Hello. How are you? I hope you and yours are safe and well!) I’m currently undocumented in Colombia. It couldn’t really be helped, but that didn’t stop me from trying, desperately, to fix the situation on my own. My work-visa expired in the middle of an ever-extending lockdown (technically still in place until the end of June). For weeks prior, with Migration closed, and only tourist-permit-class visas granted explicit exemptions,… Read more

May 2, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. In my last essay, I mentioned the struggle to advocate for other people without needing to be directly related to the issues they’re having. Today, I want to expand on another part of the struggle for better humanism: avoiding the use of other people’s plights to remind you of the relative ease of your own. I had a run-in with such an experience just this week — a week in which, on top of my… Read more

April 27, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. I’ve been reluctant to write here because of a situation I know will inform my writing — and not necessarily for the better. For the last few weeks, I have been trying to find a pathway to apply for a second visa here in Colombia — which is no easy feat amid lockdown, with the government closing migration services until May 30, well past the expiration date of my first visa. A new, online tool… Read more

April 10, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. I don’t talk as much about Judaism here, in part because I’ve known more Jewish atheists than Jewish theists, and even at a young age the Jewish people in my community (Toronto) articulated awareness that many of Judaism’s central stories didn’t happen. Major Israeli/Jewish media outlets like Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, and Jewish Journal are quite blunt about this, every Passover in particular: archaeological data makes plain the earthly fabrications in this supernatural tale. But maybe… Read more

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