A Letter to the People Who Worship The Confederacy

Last week a friend, sent me an email he’d received from the “Commander” of a “Brigade” of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  My friend had been studying a genealogy site in hopes of learning more about one of my ancestors, a man who had his name inscribed on a stained glass window which had been […]


If you know me, then you’re likely aware that for the first twelve years of my life I was sexually abused by a man more powerful than me (which is to say, my father).   So when I say there’s no excuse for complicity with a President who brags about his nonconsensual sex with women because […]

A Washington Post Fail

On August 30, 2013, Betsy Karasik, a former attorney-turned painter, wrote a Washington Post op-ed piece about the 30 day sentence given to a former high school teacher who raped a 14 year-old girl.  This is the girl who later committed suicide. Karasik, who says she’s troubled by the reaction to the lenient sentence, defends the teacher saying […]

Open Letter to BSA

November 1, 2012 Michael JohnsonYouth Protection DirectorBoy Scouts of America Dear Michael, As the Boy Scouts of America hosts the National Symposium on Youth Protection, I’d like to bring up a serious issue affecting the lives and hearts of countless boys which thus far, the Scouts have refused to address. I grew up in Tallahassee. […]

Being a Misfit

What am I doing putting up a photo of Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift? The story begins with the man standing under the ladder. Longago, before I knew him, before this photo was taken, he had moved among several major NY Publishing houses as their editor-in-chief. One of his friends, the playwright Arthur […]

Silence = Evil

Betrayal, Silence & Evil  Almost always, it happens like this: An offender abuses another person. The offender lords over the victim, coercing him into a pact of secrecy. It’s not a difficult task, since the victim is almost always less powerful (and dependent) on the offender. Later, sometimes decades later, the secret emerges as the […]

An Open Letter to Sandusky’s Victims

I heard today’s news that Mr. Sandusky waived his right to the hearing. I know that those of you who were prepared to testify today had no doubt steeled yourself for the event. I suspect that when you heard of Sandusky’s decision, you were both relieved and upset. But from what I understand of the […]

A Time of Fear and Hope

“When I was born into the world as an American citizen, I was given freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. Because of these rights and others, because America is democratic, because I live in a beautiful wholesome country, because these things were given to me, I owe my deepest respect to America. By being a […]


If You Are Thinking of Suicide A personal letter for you:  If you are a teenager (or an adult) and you ‘re thinking about suicide, THE most important thing you should do is make a connection with someone who’ll listen and help you figure things out. Think of your life at the moment as this: […]

Work and Meaning

Our lives are specks. Planet Earth is a speck. Our galaxy is a speck. We live in an infinite universe where looking at a star means looking into a past so distant that earth had not yet stirred with life. We don’t sense our insignificance until it is brought to our attention: A natural disaster. A moment of awe, while seeing spectacular beauty for […]