Mean World Syndrome

The news headlines this week have been rather depressing. Israel and Palestine are fighting again; ultra-violent extremists are taking over Syria and Iraq; war in Ukraine; Ebola outbreak in West Africa; and protests in U.S. met with a militarized police force. Even celebrity news of late has been focused on a suicide. There are some [...]

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Transniestria: The Last Refuge of the Soviet Union?

Transniestria is a breakaway state squeezed between Moldova to the west and Ukraine to the east. When the Soviet Union was coming undone and the various republics declaring independence, Transniestria went against the grain and fought a war to stay in the Soviet Union. While no nation recognizes this fledging state (with the exception of [...]

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“You can prepare for anything. Except for a man who collects egg cartons”

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Soon after moving to England I began collecting egg cartons. I remember once hearing that they could be used for sound proofing so I thought I’d tape a few to a wall. I told my flatmates and a few neighbors to give me their empties. I’d come home and there would be a new one [...]

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Without Me

The week that the Iraq War began was spring break. I went back to New York for a few days and took the train into Manhattan with some friends for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. I knew there would be a lot of people out in the streets so I wore an old tee-shirt and [...]

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Twelve Roses

Three weeks ago, while having a few pints at the pub, a friend blurted out, ‘I should totally set you up with my mom.’ ‘Huh?’ ‘You guys have a lot in common’ Blank stares from the rest of the table. ‘Errr, never mind that came out wrong.’   A week passes and it’s my friend’s [...]

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How Do You Wear Your Politics?

I was advised not to discuss politics when visiting Liberia. Let old wounds heal, they said.

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The Iraq War: A Trilogy

I vaguely remember the first time the U.S. invaded Iraq. We called it Desert Storm or the Gulf War then. It may be my earliest memory of nationalism. I was nine and recall the lunch ladies at my school handing out ribbons to the kids to support the troops. I didn’t think much of it [...]

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The Paradox of World Cup Excitement and Supporting Brazilian Social Movements

In a few hours Brazil will kick-off against Croatia to officially begin the 2014 World Cup. The host nation, Brazil, has won the Cup—humanity’s largest sporting event—a record five times and is the favorite again this year. Children play football in the streets, banks close before big matches and retired players get elected to public [...]

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