you’re not that busy.

“Meet the Busy Brag: social media’s hate-worthiest addition to the human experience. I am important, cry the crafted tweets and updates, because busy. Did you guys happen to notice I’m busy? If not, here are some pics about my busy. It’s a good thing you’re not as busy as I am, or you’d miss my social…

The (31) Number One Female Country Songs since 2004: Summed Up by Yours Truly

In January, Country Weekly claimed 2014 to be the Year of the Woman in country music. I replied with a new piece for The Ethos Review about how 2014… isn’t. Going. To be. [O]ver the last ten years, songs by female artists make up only ten percent of country music’s number one hits (31 of…

Creativity: Neither Magic Nor Madness

Nothing like telling the entire world about one’s clinical depression to enliven a Tuesday. Here’s my latest for Ploughshares Literary Magazine, in which I own up to the depression that yanked me out of music-touring… and in which I punch the Mental-Illness-Makes-Better-Artists myth in the throat. Regardless of whether you’ve suffered from mental illness, there are…

Because obvs women aren’t in charge lolz

Okay, there’s already a pile of responses to Mike Huckabee’s LIBIDOFFENSE 2014. But having now heard Allen West’s “thoughtful” additions, I have to ask: Can we talk about how even the language used by conservatives constantly excludes women from positions of influence, placing them at the mercy of (male) lawmakers? Exhibit A, Huckabee: “[W]omen are…

What Writers Can Glean from “The Wolf of Wall Street”

In my latest for Ploughshares Literary Magazine, I summarize the Crazy response to The Wolf of Wall Street, and tackle the Good that might come from ethically-precarious art. An excerpt: Criticisms of The Wolf of Wall Street both devalue viewers—by assuming they can handle only moralistic tales—and esteem them, by providing immediate evidence of their astonishing critical thinking skills. The film’s critics…

The Myths that Sustain Oppression, Income Inequality, and Poverty

Okay friends. Given recent battles over minimum wage, all the news regarding the 50-year anniversary of Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” and political statements that examine  poverty and income inequality, I present to you this eerily relevant excerpt from Paulo Freiro’s celebrated Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1968: [O]ppressors develop a series of methods precluding any presentation of the world as a…

opiates, meaning, and asking the wrong questions

So The Atlantic posted a health column today with the following title: Where Life Has Meaning: Poor, Religious Countries. It’s a writeup of a recent study published in Psychological Science about the quest for meaning around the globe. The grabby tag: “Research indicates that lack of religion is a key reason why people in wealthy countries don’t…

white privilege wears many hats

Does white privilege apply even to “broke white people”? From TheFeministBreeder.com, here’s a quick yet insightful discussion of white privilege from the pov of a white woman who “came from the kind of Poor that people don’t want to believe still exists in this country.” Author Gina Crosley-Corcoran begins, Have you ever spent a frigid northern…

Silencing the News about (Over)Consumption

In a January 4 SF Gate article, Carolyn Lochhead raises creepy, blasphemous questions, like: Can the earth sustain the (misguided) notion that a healthy economy must grow – constantly and indefinitely? Can we trade “having stuff” for a better way of life? Can we share resources — cars, power tools, etc — rather than approaching everything…