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Human Parts
A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

PAST IS PROLOGUE

Forty years ago, New York Rocker sent me to review a new, unknown downtown band.

About two days after I’d moved to the Meat Packing District in fall 1981, from my first NYC apartment in Greenwich Village, the urge to write about music resurfaced. Though I’d maintained a sporadic journal since leaving Ohio that spring, I longed for the motivation of an official assignment, not…

PAST IS PROLOGUE

Philosophy is the love of wisdom. But sometimes, wisdom requires that we embrace our foolishness.

Philosophy is literally “the love of wisdom.” And because of this, you might think that philosophy has no time for wisdom’s opposite: foolishness. But the relationship between wisdom and foolishness is, in fact, complicated and vexed.

Throughout the history of philosophy, wisdom and foolishness have gotten tangled up in all…

PAST IS PROLOGUE

Play is a serious business. But seriousness does not exclude fun.

I sit down to write something about play, and its importance for human life. And as I write, I ask myself: Am I working? Or am I playing? Sometimes, it is hard to tell.

In a previous piece, I wrote about how to think more deeply about work. In that…

PAST IS PROLOGUE

An accidental correspondence revealed how one doting father’s life ended in a tragic crime that took decades to uncover

In my experience, fathers tend to fall into two general camps. There are the dads so preoccupied with their own interests and careers and financially supporting their families that they rarely interact with their kids. …

PAST IS PROLOGUE

If we want to work better, first we need to think better

We spend much of our lives working. And much of the time we are not working, we spend talking about work, recovering from work, fretting about work, or wondering if we should work more or work less.

But less often do we stop to think more deeply about work. What…

Past Is Prologue

I own the table of my dreams because someone was desperate

A rounded wooden table with a vase of flowers on it in a living room.

Round tables are big in a way a long table never can be. Maybe it’s a Knights of the Round Table thing. No one can be at the head of a round table, so everyone sits equally around it. Maybe it’s the lazy Susan effect. Food on a round table…

Past Is Prologue

A photographer’s perspective on recent events at the Capitol

If the last four years were a Hollywood screenplay, January 6th would have been a scene in the series finale. The moment where characters of seasons past reunite in a climactic moment four years in the making.

Around me, in a sea of strangers, were familiar faces from earlier episodes…

Past Is Prologue

And other examples of why more is more in Italy

In Italy, you’ll find signs about face masks with 40 words in bureaucratic language. No smoking signs consist of 109 words of legal text, and simple toilet signs can be made up of 122 words. What reasons can we find for this in Italian society?

Among the novelties the Covid-19…

Past Is Prologue

An analysis of astronauts, the French revolution, and the future of space exploration

As part of the near-constant onslaught of new things releasing everywhere all the time, Disney+ recently released a new adaptation of The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe’s seminal 1979 saga about the Mercury Seven and the sociopolitical context that buoyed them to greatness. The Right Stuff was originally adapted into a…

Past Is Prologue

White America may be meeting Donald Trump for the first time, but Black people have known him for centuries

Left image is Donald Trump obscured by low lighting, right image is a black and white illustration of a praying Black woman.

“Wade in the water, wade in the water, Children. God’s gonna trouble the water.” — Traditional

“My soul looks back and wonders, how I got over.” — Mahalia Jackson

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Months ago, I turned on the TV and saw a white mom at a protest in Portland dragged across the pavement…

Human Parts

A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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