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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Dear New York Times: Please Stop Saying “Both Parties”

April 29, 2016, 8:42 am

Dear Frank Bruni, I’m a long-time reader writing to you for the first time. I have often loved your insightful coverage, and I thought your recent piece “No Way to Elect a President” was typically outstanding, an honest and bracing look at many of our election-cycle problems. In the past, you’ve warned that citizens shouldn’t blame the media for the Trump phenomenon; in this piece, you apportion blame to the media, though mostly the televised kind: you wag a finger
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The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition (Part 1 of 2)

April 27, 2016, 1:14 am

…aaaaand now we’re back to the freezing lake full of water that makes me realize just how difficult Dar’s situation really is. Today’s, and next week’s, cold water is brought to you by the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, who make a so-called Rating Form that parents like me fill out so that their kids can qualify for state-sponsored services. Anyone who wishes services for their kid or thinks their kid SHOULD qualify for more services, keep reading. Srsly. I would think that
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There Goes My Plan to Grow Grey and Old While Prince Remained the Same Age

April 25, 2016, 11:28 am

I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray… The obituaries for Prince have covered a lot of ground, particularly regarding his support for women and his pioneering of gender fluidity. I support anyone who points out that however many hits he had or didn’t have, half the artists of the 1980s owe their sound to him. Haven’t read this anywhere: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were Prince’s high school friends and his disciples, and if
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You Say It’s Your Earth Day? Well It’s My Earth Day Too

April 22, 2016, 11:20 am

In some ways this blog is an exercise in legacy. If future generations read this blog, what will they think? Probably not much. But I believe that today’s topic will interest them more than most. I believe that when Florida and New York City are underwater and the world’s nations are fighting over higher ground, they’ll wonder: what was that born-in-the-late-20th-century-generation THINKING? Why didn’t they shout from the rooftops: STOP GLOBAL WARMING?!? This post is as shouty as I get.
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Easy Like SunDar Morning

April 20, 2016, 11:37 am

And now to let you in on a little secret: Dar is actually a lot easier than some kids. In some ways. When he’s not fussy, he’s actually kind of an angel. As a kid in a house – not in the real world – he’s very independent. He takes care of his own stimming and rarely demands attention. This of course doesn’t count his regular “tee-tee-tee”ing sound; at this point we hear that the way that New Yorkers hear
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Silence’s Echo: Cold “Confirmation”

April 18, 2016, 4:08 pm

In 1991, two American wars ended in expected victories, in ways no one had expected. The befuddled United States Senate, not knowing how to exploit the triumphs, started a war of their own…on behalf of the Supreme Court. Last night HBO aired a movie about it – about the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings – called “Confirmation.” Herein find my historical context and my histrionic content. In 1990, patrician President George Bush became the first commander-in-chief since Franklin Roosevelt to ask
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It’s The End of These Two Parties as We Know Them (And I Feel Fine)

April 15, 2016, 2:44 pm

Just say it: America no longer trusts the Democrats or the Republicans. Or go further: The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are unlikely to survive into the 2020s. Was that so hard? For Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, The New York Times, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and most of the rest of the mainstream media, the answer is yes: they can’t or don’t say what I just said. Why? It’s not the end of the
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Should I Take Dar Into Peet’s/Starbucks, Or Not?

April 13, 2016, 10:27 am

PRO: #firstworldproblems CON: #thestruggleisreal PRO: Dar should be part of the real world, not just the world of home, school, and therapy sessions. He should go where all six-year-olds go. Six-year-olds go to Starbucks. (Where they look to be ordering half-caf triple-foam extra-shot medium-hot mochaccinos, but let’s put that to the side.) CON: When Dar goes into Starbucks he touches people, never aggressively, but sometimes fondling hair, sometimes fingering dangling keys. I wind up apologizing and explaining and stressing in
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A Quarter-Century of Pseudo-Events: the 25th MTV Movie Awards

April 11, 2016, 1:54 pm

Every literate American should know what a pseudo-event is, yet not everyone does. Some of my students struggle with the term, and in those cases I like to direct them to the best recurrent 21st-century example I know: the MTV Movie Awards, which aired its 2016 iteration last night. I’d like to spend this blog post explaining what pseudo-events are, why they matter, and why the MTV Movie Awards serve as such a pluperfect example of the type. Pulitzer Prize-winning
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Why Do Evangelicals Like Donald Trump? A New Theory: Confession of Sins

April 8, 2016, 11:45 am

This has been a season where pundits have been struggling harder than an A-list of New York Yankees the year after Alex Rodriguez joined the team. I mean, they’ve been bad. Lately, they’ve been trying to make up for it, but there’s at least one tiny little area that continues to confound them: why the heck would so many evangelicals and religious leaders support Donald Trump, a guy on his third marriage who quotes “two Corinthians” and clearly embodies at
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