I saw myself in seat 37F. It wasn’t pretty.

I was just on a flight and sat next to a guy and his son. The boy looked about 5, close to the age of my older son. As we chatted, the dad reminded me of me: thoughtful but not doting, attentive but still keen on carving time out for himself. He’d been watching a movie on an iPad while his son played a game on his iPad. Continue reading “I saw myself in seat 37F. It wasn’t pretty.”

The elf’s spell

Months before he made his first appearance the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the air was already crackling with anticipation of the Elf on a Shelf — that cute, mischievous figure clad in red who sits in absolute stillness in our house (on a shelf or poking his head out of a toy bin, or in the corner of the kitchen counter) until reappearing the next morning in another spot, where his paralysis has again taken hold. Continue reading “The elf’s spell”

‘If nobody trusts anybody, authoritarianism is really easy’

This is a video of a totally gripping history lesson/wake-up call from Yale history professor Timothy Snyder to Yale undergrads, and to all of us. The era of the ‘politics of inevitability’ — that comforting idea that democracy will, of course, win out in the end — is now over. And it was flawed from the start. Continue reading “‘If nobody trusts anybody, authoritarianism is really easy’”