A List of Shots I Have Thrown Away (and One I Took)

In dueling, throwing away one’s shot meant deliberately firing into the ground.  Usually both men threw away their first shots to prove they meant business, which I find hilarious.  “You think I’m afraid to fire my pistol?  Check this out.”  BAM!  “Hole in the ground.”  Macho posturing, on the playground or the dueling ground, is…

Recommended Reading: Roxane Gay, “Hunger”

The first line of the marketing letter that comes with the Uncorrected Proof of Roxane Gay’s Hunger reads, “Dear Bookseller, What you have before you is not an easy book to read.  But I guarantee that as soon as you start, you won’t be able to put it down.”  Both things are true. Hunger is an open…

Walking to Work: a True Story

It’s been six months since I saw the old man around the corner, walking his huge dog and wearing a baseball hat that feels like a hate crime, white letters on red. The first time I saw the old man in the red hat with the white letters, the country had just heard the Man…

Recommended Reading: J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy”

Scotch-Irish is somewhat of a misnomer, as people who claim the ancestry have little to no Scottish blood.  They’re primarily folks who left England and resettled in Northern Ireland for religious freedom in the 17th century, then left Ireland in the 18th and early 19th century in search of – yet again – religious freedom (Presbyterian,…

Dear Emma Watson: Beyonce Awaits Your Apology

Emma Watson posed in a fairly revealing top for Vanity Fair and some folks are calling her out, saying the image clashes with her feminist views.  The idea that an outfit dictates a person’s politics is ludicrous, and Watson’s reaction strikes the perfect tone between anger and bewilderment.  People who understand that bare skin and feminism…

Recommended Reading: Roxane Gay’s “Difficult Women”

R.I.P. Aaron John Curtis, 10/16/72 – 2/19/17  Cause of death? Reading Roxane Gay‘s “Strange Gods,” the final story in her most recent collection. All of the stories in Difficult Women have appeared (“in slightly altered form”) in various publications before they were collected here, and I imagine that readers who have experienced these stories individually…