The very form of song reminds me of my father. There is an alchemy that takes place in the meeting of words and music, one that elevates both. I see it as the closest thing to a miracle that mortals are capable of bringing into being. It was by seeing how much songs meant to my father, as a source of solace, or catharsis, or simply a kind of companionship, that I came to love them myself.
AAFU: I wish I was closer with my brother (The Outline)
In any case, I think the way forward is by letting go of your guilt as much as possible, since nobody wants to feel that someone is reaching out to them out of a sense of obligation. You don’t need to begin with a weighty conversation about how terrible you feel, or how sorry you are. A simple “Hey I’m going to be in town next week want to get a drink?” is probably a good start. You can also gently encourage him to open up to you by… opening up to him. During the worst periods of my depression I often find it burdensome when caring, well-meaning people want to talk about me. All I do is lay in bed all day and think about my bad brain; a reprieve from that can be very welcome.
It’s also a nice thing to let someone know you trust them and value their judgment by asking them for advice. In all honesty, writing this column has done wonders for my own mental health. So consider confiding some of your own struggles to your smart, kind, and funny brother.
But however you decide to start, just start. There are countless barriers the world puts up between us — we work too much, and are burdened by financial stress, we receive a steady stream of just enough information to make it seem like we are in touch, the whole way we raise men, the fact that there is some idiot tweeting stupid shit we need to get mad about. I can’t stress enough how much the work of a life is in overcoming these. Close this dumb website and text your brother.
Eric Olson: The Politics of Pressure Support (Pressure Support)
Governor Romney has repeatedly promised that on his first day in office he will work to repeal Obamacare. Insurance companies will again be free to deny my family coverage for whatever reasons they see fit. The Ryan budget which Governor Romney plans to enact as president includes enormous cuts to Medicaid. A vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket is a vote to completely destroy the financial security and medical safety of my child and family. If you are planning on voting for him I’m sure that you are doing it for other reasons but these will be the consequences of that decision. You may not like hearing it but it’s the truth. A vote for Romney/Ryan is a vote that will hurt hardworking Americans like me and my family.
Ilana Gershon: The Samoan Roots of the Manti Te'o Hoax (The Atlantic)
So much of this news story is hauntingly familiar to me from fieldwork with Samoan migrants: the role of family, the half-hearted attempts to verify a person's identity that fail, the strong spiritual connection Te'o thought he felt with Kekua, and the hoax itself.
NYTimes.com: Dan Savage on the Virtues of Infidelity
“Treating monogamy, rather than honesty or joy or humor, as the main indicator of a successful marriage gives people unrealistic expectations of themselves and their partners. And that, Savage says, destroys more families than it saves.”
This piece is incredibly sad. But it is hopeful also. The expansion of pet-based forensic science teams, the increasing intersection of psychological examinations of pet abuse and how it relates to bad home situations, and the use of animals for therapeutic practice are three wonderful things. A must-read.
NYTimes.com: Your Brain on Computers — Attached to Technology and Paying a Price
This guy seems to have some family issues that his addiction to incoming data via screens is severely aggravating. I experience, on a smaller scale, some of the problems outlined in this article, and, though none of this is particularly new to me, it's frightening to see these habits taken down the slippery slope.
Should all of us, and especially people like Kord, make a concerted effort to make screens less a part of our lives, lest we lose our humanity? Or is trying to avoid technology's increasing integration with our every second just being traditionally biased and counter-progressive? I think there is a middle ground where one can be hooked in and focused on doing work while still not ignoring ones' children. Food for thought.