There is a crisis at the southern border of the United States. There has been one sprawling back decades. It is a humanitarian crisis. Almost everyone agrees on that point if not with the addendum “and national security.” Yet while the current administration ponders perplexingly inhuman solutions to human problems, and other politicos spin their wheels, I the ordinary civilian cannot understand why we are not meeting this crisis in the exact same way we have met it before.
It was in our face the entire time. Colin Kaepernick on a knee. Silent, he fixed his eyes on the American flag as the national anthem played. Millions of U.S. citizen eyeballs stared back at him, many indignant. It was an old dance, a dramatic reenactment of an ancient stalemate. Kaepernick certainly isn’t the first prophet calling an idolatrous nation to repentance for generational sins. As the cacophony builds around his catalytic act, will America still be able to hear the call? Continue reading
In the fall of 2011, against my better judgment and with no prior experience, I attempted to ride a motorcycle from a dairy farm in Upstate New York back to my home in Dallas, Texas. This is the long-winded account of that trip in easy-to-digest line segments. For earlier portions, go here: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
For all of the previous day, I enjoyed the company of Lakes Erie and Ontario, whose oceanic scale is breathtaking in a way that almost restores integrity to the word. I have seen lakes and those are not lakes. They are planets. Like so many American utilities, their usefulness has dwindled over time. Before they were replaced by the rails that would be replaced by trucks, they were the ventricles to arterial canals, bearing up the materials of American livelihood. They still support commercial transport, if at a fraction of their former glory.
I have lived through 10 presidential elections, five as an eligible voter, but this year is the first I sat before a TV on that night. Like a lot of people, I watched islands of blue floating in seas of red in Michigan and Wisconsin. I went to bed in resignation. I woke up to a battlefront I had not heard articulated so pointedly since I was a minor: the country versus the city. Rural America had voted for an aberrant candidate. That angle dominated the Wednesday morning news coverage and knocked my thoughts back to my home town. It is just one of millions of rural American voices, but its story has something to contribute to the thousands of explanations for the election of Donald Trump.
In the fall of 2011, against my better judgment and with no prior experience, I attempted to ride a motorcycle from a dairy farm in Upstate New York back to my home in Dallas, Texas. This is the long-winded account of that trip in easy-to-digest line segments. For earlier portions, go here: Part 1 Part 2
The morning air was cold and dewy, just as all camp mornings should be. I dressed, dropped my feet into untied boots and wandered to the shore for one look at Lake Ontario up close. The sun just peaked over the morning fog to my right. Not too far in front of me, though miles out of site, someone was having the inverse experience in Toronto.
A few months ago, two of Christian music’s weirdest teamed up for a Steve Albini produced EP. This new work from Steve Taylor and Daniel Smith may be a one-off, but it offers a chance to stop and appreciate two genius outcasts of a historically buttoned-down industry.
For the past four years, Daniel Markham has been establishing himself as a serious artist in DFW. Disintegrator is the third of a trio of albums in that span and another stone Markham has laid in a musical career that continues to impress. It validates Markham’s status as an excellent songwriter and serves as a marker of a promising trajectory.
We now have a coda for a band we knew for not quite a decade. Alejandra Deheza is alone at its helm, her friend, muse and collaborator of nine years, Benjamin Curtis, having died at the age of 35. The band’s final chapter, SVIIB, is both a diary and eulogy of love. Continue reading
After a decade hiatus, the locally beloved Pleasant Grove has returned with a new album, The Heart Contortionists. It is their first in 12 years. Fans of the group have enjoyed the recent reunions and one-off shows. But can an album so far removed from its predecessors recapture the allure once generated by a band from the early aughts? Continue reading
I am loath to even broach a topic that Damon Young nearly mastered and that everyone else tediously exhausted, except that it gives me another chance to return to the well that is Tim Tebow. That topic is Macklemore’s “White Privilege II,” your new favorite punching bag. Continue reading