Category: Society & Culture

“It’s Too Dangerous to Travel.” (And Other Hard Conversations I Had While Driving Through Rural America.)

“It’s too dangerous.” Three little words I kept hearing over and over again when I visited the United States this fall. At dinner tables from Boston to Philadelphia, and everywhere in between—specifically many rural towns, as I was in search of autumn—we would talk about where I live in Costa Rica. How I had spent the summer in London. How I had married two of my best friends in Mexico. How I had lived in Chile, all those years, and

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“Is It Really Better Out There?” For Those Who Grew Up In a Small Town and Left.

We rolled down the country road in a white pick-up truck, a six pack in the back seat and nostalgia in the air. His beard was that of a proper mountain man, eyes as blue as high school. We were coming down off the mountain after an afternoon of shooting—as in actual guns. I’d never shot a gun before—am I even allowed to do this as a liberal?—but another forever friend had graciously insisted. “Come over on Saturday,” he had

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Where the Divide Begins: A Vastly Different Belief System

  For many people, the election was a shock—but for me, it was a betrayal. There were things I thought I knew. I thought I knew, for example, that the smartest kid in my high school class—the one with the lightning-fast wit and the ability to crush a calculus equation, who even held the title of “boyfriend” our junior year—would surely be voting the way I was. He was not. I thought I knew, for example, that the respectable, church-going

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Overalls and Ball Games, Twelve Packs & Venison: Overcoming an Economic Depression with Dignity

I grew up in the greatest place on earth for exploring. There were stone quarries. Wide open fields. Farm boy boyfriends. And, more than anything, nice fucking people. (Novel, right?) People who held doors, people who smiled back, people who waved at each other as they passed in their cars, and people who formed a community that, whether they realized it or not, were really like one big old family. Kind of like the mafia, but with less guns. (Unless

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White Men Can’t Jump, But They’ve Got Other Tricks Up Their Sleeves: The (Unearned) Privilege of Being White

Here’s a little something to ponder: Band Aids. What comes to mind? Perhaps a small, rectangular piece of flexible plastic with adhesive that sticks to your skin and pulls at your little hairs when you finally tear it off, bringing back unpleasant memories of your last Brazilian wax. No? I should leave the Brazilian wax out of this, you say? Okay, fine. No wax for you! But visualize a Band Aid for a moment. What color is it? I think

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