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Monthly Archives: January 2014

20 things

January 8, 2014, 1:01 am

My beautiful and amazing son, DarMar, was born in October 2009 at 35 weeks, 5 pounds, 9 ounces. He was in the NICU for two weeks. He was never in an incubator; the problem was that he wouldn’t take a bottle. Hippie-organic-homebirth parents step back: when a kid is born that early (yes, even though it’s not that early) the hospital makes them learn to use a bottle. My wife breast-fed all she could, but doctors insisted on some of […]

The Unbearable Stillness of Being a Slave

January 6, 2014, 8:05 am

(SPOILERS) Another generation had its unbearable lightness. In 12 Years a Slave, we repeatedly bear witness to an unbearable stillness. A few times, it’s a tableau of a group of slaves seen from the waist up, ostensibly awaiting instructions. Another few times, it’s a close shot on the thoughtful visage of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Once, it’s him calling for help as the camera pans up to a sedate U.S. Capitol building, pinprick-sized curls of smoke mutely confirming that the […]

Introduction to Populism, American Style

January 3, 2014, 1:01 am

What do terrific writers like Malcolm Gladwell, Bill Simmons, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Adam Gopnik, Fareed Zakaria, Jared Diamond, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Slavoj Zizek, and Judith Butler have in common? I mean, besides putting on their pants one leg at a time. Or having hair. Or…okay, for the sake of this piece: 1) They’re role models of applied erudition (to me). 2) They’ve published books and contemporary articles (like me). 3) Though they often discuss the news, they rarely do so at […]

My coming-out party

January 1, 2014, 1:01 am

Happy New Year, and welcome to my coming-out party. Today I’m publicly declaring myself to be the father of a disabled child. Sounds easy; it isn’t. My 4-year-old son, who will be known here as DarMar or just Dar, was diagnosed at the age of 12 months with cerebral palsy, and at 24 months with autism. The two years since the latter diagnosis have only confirmed its accuracy. Before we continue, let’s get all the pity party jokes out of […]