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Beelzepup: One Year Later

So here I now find myself, a year later, not with a record of instances—some long calendar of thresholds met and surpassed by Jes and me and Toph—but with the accretion of slow change.

The King Is Dead. Now Bury Him.

What would it mean for Game of Thrones if, after expressing such disillusionment with the myth of the rightful ruler, it conjured up exactly that ruler to conclude its story?

The VeggieTales Effect

I want to get at the heart of your questions by offering some modest but practical advice for cultivating a more omnivorous media diet.

Going Back

So what happens, then, when this desire for mastery, reinforced by habit and nourished by the stories we tell and the media we consume, begins to look elsewhere for fulfillment?

Aquaman and Its Discontents

While the film isn’t without interesting ideas—the notion of an environmental reckoning, for one—these ideas dart, glimmering and mostly unconsidered, through the nets that Aquaman reserves for its preferred but drabber game: the return of the king.

Imagining the End

What matters here instead is the implicit challenge, the casual middle finger, that the novel tosses off at the rest of the genre.

Cthulhu Fhtagn

So, we should ask again, and with renewed urgency: why Lovecraft? In the face of his cultural saturation and manifest awfulness, how do we account for and reckon with his appeal?


All I know about the donut scene in Champaign, Illinois, I owe to a man named Pete.

Read fantasy. Not much else. Mostly Tolkien.

For a long time, my reading habits resembled a Michael Pollan polemic, if Michael Pollan had been trying to cure the Western diet with genre fiction instead of carrots: Read fantasy. Not much else. Mostly Tolkien.

To Be Intimate

Or to put it another way: what happens when marriage comes to be defined by the promise of sex?

Enter Toph

I spent a good chunk of my prewriting time for this blog post keeping Satan at bay.

We Would Prefer Not To

Turning out in droves despite rain and wind and snow, we marched and chanted and beat on bucket-drums and blew on whistles and papered the campus with fliers. We disrupted classes. We shut down buildings.

In Solidarity: A Letter before Striking

I do not want to strike. No one wants a strike. But if it comes to it, Jes and I will be on the picket line February 26, bright and early, because at that point we will have no other choice.

Stumping for Calvin

If nothing else then, the Illinois Regional College Fair confirmed for me what I already knew: I would make a terrible salesperson.

Chocolate Milk

The smoothies are revoltingly healthful. One recipe, dubbed “The Beginner,” calls for pear, banana, pineapple, avocado, and a full six cups of kale.

Farewell, Orphan Black

Like any good sci-fi tale, then, Orphan Black is finally far less interested in predicting what might be, than it is in describing what exists now.

Wiggles and Jiggles

The cheese cube relish, while very much not my thing, had a sort of melt-away pickle flavor that was not wholly unpleasant.

Mega Screen

Two weeks ago, in the lead-up to a concert, I got to read poetry off a video screen that was larger than the end zone of a football field.

Cheesecakes and IRB Forms

Toward the end of the graduate bible study my wife and I led this past academic year, two things were almost always certain: cheesecakes and IRB forms.

The Nineteen

The number nineteen appears with such frequency in this deposition, it begins to feel rehearsed.