Category: writing (Page 1 of 11)

When Everyone’s Truth is Real



Imagine waking up to a breaking news broadcast that shows Donald Trump speaking from the Oval Office and declaring war on North Korea1. Then imagine changing the channel to see a startled-looking Trump quickly going on air to say the war declaration was a hoax. How would you find the truth?

Turn on the television right now, and you’re likely to come away thinking that we are in the midst of a public health crisis never seen before. The flu is, indeed, pretty bad this year. If Facebook is any indication, this year’s flu is a particularly nasty strain, one that takes a long time to go away.

Flu season never ceases to open up a Pandora’s box of conspiracy theories, though. Chief among them is an unshakable belief that the flu shot will, in fact, cause you to get the flu.

This week the New York Times sent a brave reporter into a hospital tent set up outside an out-of-space emergency ward in Pennsylvania. There, he interviewed patients suffering from the flu, including one woman, who delivered this timely summation:

Dr. Greenberg […] asked if she got flu shots. “I hear the shot gives you flu,” said Ms. Rogers. “I heard you can get Alzheimer’s from it — that there’s mercury in it, and it goes to your brain.”

Mr. Moyer interrupted to ask Dr. Greenberg what caused flu, and Ms. Rogers interjected: “I heard it’s a government plot for population control.”

Dr. Greenberg, who has already heard her patient turn down a prescription for Tamiflu (“No, I heard it causes hallucinations,” she said. “I heard about a lady whose daughter got Tamiflu and tried to kill her.”) then asks gently where on earth she was getting this information.

“Social media” she replied.

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But Seas Between Us Broad Have Roared




A look back at 2017…

One year ago today, I sat down to put together a census of sorts, a calling out of things that happened over the course of the year 2016, an assessment of what had come to pass and what might still be. The second paragraph of that post reads:

2016 seems to have been especially hard on so many. The obvious reasons include the divisive and contentious election and seemingly relentless celebrity deaths, but there were abundant natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and domestic riots. It was a year in which, regardless of where one lands on the spectrum, we wondered who on earth those people on the opposite side actually were.

Last year’s New Year’s Eve felt like a momentary pause on a long and exhausting journey, one to which we weren’t exactly thrilled to be party. This year doesn’t feel much different. I could swap out the year in the paragraph above and copy/paste my way into 2018. And I bet I could probably do the same thing in another year. That’s worth noting.

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For the Moment



This December marked five years since the shooting nightmare at Newtown, the one that marked a candid realization that–regardless of where one stands politically on the issue of gun control–our society has been rendered helpless to respond and react to absurdly common emergencies involving access to high-powered weapons and mental illness.

Regardless of where one stands politically it ought to hurt your soul, burn your heart, wrench your guts to stare into the wonderfully innocent lights extinguished that day, when a disturbed 20 year-old murdered his mother and went on that rampage and invoked carnage so disturbing it reduced the President of the United States to tears.

Regardless of where one stands politically, we have to admit we’ve accomplished virtually nothing to prevent such an act from occurring once more, abandoning our American, Can-Do spirit and retreating to the defeated post of nothing can stop things like this. Only God, perhaps. 

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