Cheers to You, 2016


The Year is Dead. Long live the year!

The internet this week seems full of a collective eagerness to finish off 2016 and move on toward the New Year. I can’t recall another instance in which so many folks were ready to call it quits for the year–but only in the last several years have we had the ability to share our collective psyches so readily.

Even so, 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.

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Time to renovate


As we flip the calendar and enter into 2017, it’s time to give this website a top-to-bottom overhaul. I’ve been writing here at for five years now, and the blog has more or less looked the same the entire time.

You’ll notice a new redesign–and you’ll notice a lot of things missing. I’ve retired a lot of old content and am starting fresh with a mostly clean slate. (There are a few favorite posts from 2016 loaded up into the new site so you’ll have something to read.)

There were two things that frustrated me about the old site: its appearance and its function.

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We are Stewards of the New America

9/11 essay

One of the more poignant stories I’ve heard this week, as the media does its annual retrospective of terror, is an NPR StoryCorps interview with Vaughn Allex, the poor fellow working the American Airlines front desk who checked in everyone on Flight 77. He remembered all of the other people he’d checked in—an older couple, a student tour group—and two men running late, who turned out to be the terrorists responsible for crashing the plane into the Pentagon. His guilt was like a millstone about his neck.

Then there was another profile, this time in Esquire, this time about the iconic photograph Richard Drew captured of a man hurtling through space after jumping from the molten crown of the Twin Towers. Its subject, dubbed “the Falling Man,” inspired a search among that Tuesday morning’s victims to uncover an identity—a name, a story, anything that would fill in the heart-stopping vacuum of space in which he dives death-ward.

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