Generation Y

Column
December 21, 2016

Talk about politics with your family over the holidays

Shortly before Thanksgiving, internet content farms began releasing articles about how to avoid contentious political discussions with relatives during the holiday season, as if, in the absence of clever techniques of distraction, the carving knife intended for the turkey might soon turn into a weapon….

Column
December 14, 2016

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” revisited

For some reason, all of the classic TV Christmas specials were produced in the mid-to-late 1960s, starting with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964) and continuing through “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” (1966) to “Frosty the Snowman” (1969). As a kid, I watched all…

Column
December 7, 2016

Humans, too

When a school shooting or other domestic terrorism event has occurred, part of the nauseous standard operating procedure is to comb the attacker’s social media history for clues as to what caused him to perform the horrific deed: was he always violent, insane, antisocial, or…

Column
December 1, 2016

The United States of Cinema

In the weeks and months following an election, it’s impossible—at least for me—to look at a map of our country without mentally filling in the appropriate color for each state: red or blue. A plurality of Americans voted Democrat, but most of the land belonged,…

Column
November 22, 2016

I lied

Last week, after vaguely apologizing for having stated so many times that there was no chance Donald Trump would win the presidency, I pledged to take a break from politics. But—hey, sorry, man—I still can’t get the election out of my head. Lately I’ve been…

Column
October 12, 2016

Protesting too much

The closer this election gets—or at any rate the closer we pretend it is—the more articles I see lamenting the foolishness of Millennials who plan to vote for third-party candidates instead of Hillary Clinton. The New York Times has been publishing these articles almost daily,…

Column
October 5, 2016

Irwin Shaw in Vermont

Sometime last year I came across a used hardcover copy of “The Top of the Hill” by Irwin Shaw in Now & Then Books in Bennington. Swayed by the dust jacket image (a pair of skis and poles planted upright in the snow) and a…

Column
September 28, 2016

Autumn holiday power rankings

What is the best part of fall? Is it the vibrant sylvan sunsets of changing leaves that adorn our hillsides, the crisp nights illuminated by communal bonfire, the cinnamon-spiced prepackaged snack foods falsely claiming to contain the flavor of pumpkin, or the symbolic destruction of…

Column
September 21, 2016

Based on a true story

By Brett Yates As we enter autumn, the fare at the movies starts to get a little more serious, which means that, from here on out, Hollywood’s offerings won’t consist solely of sequels and comic book adaptations. Some of the films out there—like the recently…

Column
September 14, 2016

Local news

Since August, the same sports-journalism scandal has occurred twice. First, an Internet firestorm arose when The Chicago Tribune tweeted the following: “Wife of a Bears’ lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics.” Feminists, already exasperated by numerous previous instances of sexist Olympic coverage,…