We're Broken, But We're Not Beyond Repair
"If you can't trust a librarian, who can you trust?" -Jeanine Cummins
Hello friends and colleagues,
Did you ever imagine that something as corrosive as identity politics would annihilate logic and reason in America? I admit that I did not see this coming. Nevertheless, here we are in 2022, terrorized by internal enemies and murderers, and trapped in false arguments about the right to bear arms.
Sadly, each day that goes by without meaningful action on guns means that more innocent people will die.
Made in the USA: Weapons of War
“You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you sit back and watch
When the death count gets higher” -Bob Dylan
How deranged is the American weapons industry? A new ad from the Georgia-based maker of the AR-15 used in the Uvalde massacre answers this better than any critic ever will. In the ad, a toddler cradles an AR-15 like it’s a cherished gift.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” Daniel Defense wrote in the ad shared on Twitter on May 16, eight days before the slaughter at Robb Elementary School.
The line refers to a proverb in the Bible.
Note that children may not appear in, or be appealed to, in any alcohol or tobacco advertising. But the instruments of war? By all means.
This Book Will Not Burn
Margaret Atwood and her publisher Penguin Random House have partnered to create The Unburnable Book, a fireproof edition of Atwood’s best-selling, dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale.
“I never thought I’d be trying to burn one of my own books . . . and failing,” Atwood said. And I never thought it would be necessary.
Scared people buy guns. Scared people ban books. They also vote for ‘law and order’ candidates who falsely promise to ameliorate their fears.
As we look for new solutions to our age-old problems, I wonder how we can help to move the people who are deeply frightened to a better place—a place where they feel safe and secure. They will not arrive at this better place by using logic or reason. Also, trying to shame people who cling to their fears is not effective, and not a good look. We need new answers and we need them now.
The Great ‘Americas’ Novel
To restore and reactivate my mind after two decades of scrolling, I’ve been diligently reading books again. Here’s to small victories!
One book that I can’t recommend highly enough is American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. It’s the kind of book that’s impossible to put down and when you finally do put it down, you still care about and think about the characters and their struggles. So few books ever reach this high bar. The last book that I read that did is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Each book pulls the reader into a world where children are survivors of war and the trauma caused by violence. Each book is heartbreaking and perfectly rendered by the literary artist. I’m in awe of these books and their writers.
Great books and works of art give us hope and restore our strength. As readers, we immerse in the struggles of powerful characters and are moved by and reminded of the heroic endurance of others.
"We have to deal with this," said Madam Vice President about the availability of automatic weapons.
Heir to the Bush dynasty, George P. Bush, lost the race to become the Republican nominee for Attorney General of Texas. He lost by a wide margin to an indicted felon who was turned in for fraud by his own staff—the acting A.G., Ken Paxton.
Hear this new episode of Ad Chatter, featuring a lively conversation with Dan Goldgeier and Congressional candidate and agency owner David Esrati from Dayton, Ohio.
Look up from the screen! Only in-person interactions trigger the full suite of physiological responses and neural synchronization required for optimal human communication and trust-building.
Read “I Tell My Son to Cover Himself In Someone Else’s Blood,” a powerful new poem by Rachel Mallalieu.
Is Gen X the Trumpiest Generation? Politico seems to think so.
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Thanks for being here now.