Systemic racism exists. On purpose. (And by accident, circumstance, history, and geopolitical realities.)
Much of the way the world works was deliberately designed. And some of those who’ve benefitted the most, whose grandfathers were at the wheel of oppression or the handle of the whip, love denying their privilege. They bristle at the suggestion that they were lucky and are quick to tell anyone about all the hard work and sacrifice that opened doors for them. They think racism was some trite misstep of a distant past, unaware of its role as the tailwind that propelled their success.
Fast Company recently asked the best ad agency in the world to rebrand America. It was a purely speculative assignment with no budgets or practicality attached to it. Ideas were as simple as putting immigrants on dollar bills to as grand as literally sending the Statue of Liberty to the state that accepts the most refugees.
I love this idea. I love this assignment. I love this as a thought experiment. It’s a no-holds-barred, no-kids-in-cages, dream-big, sky’s-the-limit assignment to bring America back, baby!
So, I’m giving it a go. I’m going to pitch my less well thought out ideas…
My bed looks like a sunken oatmeal raisin cookie. The mattress and box spring rest on the carpet. According to the memes, I don’t have to worry about Joe Biden’s new tax plan.
Maybe that’s why I woke up several times last night and thought, “Oh damn. I’m just going to keep waking up and going back to sleep until I die.”
That’s it. I’m in my mid-30s. Childhood and young adulthood over. Another decade of dependent parenting and all that’s left is middle age, old age, and then the great beyond. Death with a capital D.
It’s like life…
It was close.
Maybe I’m supposed to celebrate. Be happy. Be thrilled even that a bloviating billionaire, callous narcissist, reflexively dishonest idiot will begin his slow rancorous descent from the presidency.
I’m glad he lost. But I’m not happy.
We put our hands on a gun loaded with bullets of constitutional crises, cocked the double standards, pressed the muzzle against our temples amidst an unchecked plague and slowly boiling planet, and didn’t even blink.
We thought, “Why not give this heartless, insulting, geriatric, spray tan some more time to tweet all caps vitriol from the most powerful office in the…
The Jewish Talmud says that every single blade of grass in the world has an angel above it, whispering, “Grow. Grow. Grow.”
An Islamic Hadith tells how the Prophet said, “Even on the Day of Judgment, if you’re carrying a seed, plant it.”
In Batman & Robin, George Clooney’s Batman somehow knew not to kiss Poison Ivy even though Uma Thurman was hella hot. It was a tough time for Gotham, but they did the right thing.
Just like we’re doing the right thing now. Washing our hands. Staying home. Treating everyone outside like lepers.
But it’s not all bad.
If puns were music, they’d be the macarena. If puns were a day, they’d be Second Monday. If they were food, they’d look like candy and taste like prunes. If they were a leisurely weekend, they’d spring yard work on your Saturday and paint your Sunday with pointless e-mails.
Puns are like that teenager on TikTok you can’t strangle. They’re step-by-step instructions that keep changing and build nothing. If puns were a reality show, they’d be an unholy mess of excess spray tans and ugly hook ups — and still no one would get chlamydia.
Puns are the Spectrum cable…
I don’t remember my first day of school. But I won’t forget my daughter’s.
It’s tomorrow. I feel like I’ve been emotionally putting off all the things I should be feeling. I’m still feeling them. I’m just not swimming in them. I’m welcoming distractions and filling the weekends with unreflective nonsense, chasing food trucks and stopping for every busker. I’ve been coasting but also doing everything that needed to be done to get ready for the fall: Touring her pre-school. Brandishing the paperwork. Going to the playdates. Meeting the teachers. …
It can’t be video games. Or else in Mario’s heyday, I missed the epidemic of people eating wild mushrooms in attempts to double in size.
It can’t be mental illness. You call people who ignore facts and are losing touch with reality in a dogmatic and unshakeable insistence on what they believe to the exclusion of anything else Republicans, not mass shooters.
It can’t be racist rhetoric. This isn’t the most racist time. There was a lot of race-related violence in the past, but no single person volleyed dozens of bullets a second at crowds in the 19th century.
There’s got to be a ton of people out there who’ve been murdered that didn’t want it. I’d venture to say maybe half of the victims would’ve wanted more time. Well, I wish I could trade places with them. Any of them.
I’d even take some rape or torture on the side as long as they finished the job. I imagine I’d be providing a kind of weird service for murderous monsters. …