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No Close Encounters of Any Kind

No Close Encounters of Any Kind

At a certain point in the pandemic, finding synonyms for empty feels beside the point

He tells me he’s driving a transport van instead of a truck because the Border Patrol is now sending pretty much everyone it apprehends right back to Mexico, as quickly as possible. “Expel” is the Trump Administration’s choice of verb. It has taken the pandemic as an opportunity to effectively seal off the border to asylum seekers; unprecedentedly, even unaccompanied children haven’t been spared. “Asylum is cancelled,” is how the agent interprets and articulates this. The policy is a violation of the Refugee Act of 1980.

Billionaires of Time

Billionaires of Time

A life where your Main Thing is now your Only Thing

Lockdown has sharpened my awareness of something I barely noticed before: the many opportunities that my previous life provided for escape. More specifically, the almost gracious way that society was set up to allow me, and many others, to slip from one role into another and another as the day rolled by. This flow strikes me as distinctively modern. And it is gone now, temporarily. The heterogenous, compartmentalized life of before is replaced with a life where your Main Thing is now your Only Thing.

Where Is Patricia Sigl?

Where Is Patricia Sigl?

Was she one of the 686 who perished on April 12 or one of the 843 from April 25?

In the thicket of data, statistics, and exponential graphs, in the reports of old people dying abandoned in their flats or in care homes, I seek an individual.

Commuting After Covid

Commuting After Covid

Mobility in the pandemic future

How will this unprecedented new reality affect mobility? Will Uber charge extra for a germ-free ride? Will fear of contagion reverse twenty-five years of steady growth in mass-transit ridership? Will workers be willing to sit in traffic after weeks of commuting to Zoom meetings in their slippers? I would love to provide answers, but right now I can’t see past Tuesday. Wait, is today Tuesday?

Open for Business

Open for Business

And this is something the fake news media never mentions, I say at all of these things, I’m not a doctor

What a moment. And we could have some sort of, we could make it a day to celebrate our great first responders and our great country, have everyone come out on the streets, looking up at such a beautiful sight that is coming down at them. This whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s pretty powerful. I’m not a doctor, but it’s a powerful idea.