Accidental Media

  In the eighties and nineties, I would meet with a group on the Lower East Side for discussion and commentary on the arts-and-culture scene. Okay, okay, we were there to buy pot. Gordon (not his real name) was the dealer, and he was very organized and surprisingly strict....
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Fatherhood in a Post-Roe America

  Father’s Day is June 19. A decision by the Supreme Court regarding the fate of Roe v. Wade is likely any day now. The conjunction of these two events is important. It ought to initiate a national conversation about fathers and their unborn children. Roe is just the tip of...
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The Abortifacient Pill Debate Comes to Japan

  A Japanese friend and colleague who studies history and historiographical epistemology sometimes remarks that cultural battles in the United States break out in Japan five or ten years later. That analysis is proving true once again in the case of abortifacient pills. In...
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Chesterton for What Ails Us

  We live in interesting, even dangerous, times. Take your pick of crises from the headlines: shootings; inflation; suicide epidemic; pandemic; opioid overdoses; looming war in the West; threats of violence if Roe v. Wade is overturned. There’s little good news or comfort...
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Making Someone Else’s Bed

  On a pack of cigarettes, we see WARNING: Smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy. Some pill bottles read WARNING: Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking this product as it may cause drowsiness. Abortion has packaging...
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Four Generations

  Merely a few feet from my bed stood Jack the Youngster, burbling in his Pack ’n Play portable rumpus cage/crib. His emission of growling noises—a favored locution of his and of mine, and an ongoing source of amusement for both of us—was wearing thin now that it was time to...
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Roe: The Arch-Problem of Modern Times

  . . . But say there hadn’t been a media leak from the vicinity of the U.S. Supreme Court, and say we didn’t know, or couldn’t intuit, how the Court means to rule this summer on Roe v. Wade’s constitutional sanctity, or lack of it. That would have meant . . . what, exactly,...
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“Harriet Looks to You for Justice”

Those Who Give All for Life I got to know Will Goodman when I was in graduate school in Madison, Wisconsin, some ten years ago. On Friday afternoons I prayed outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of town. Will would often be there with...
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Serious Cleavage

Ten years or so ago I was on the subway reading a book. It was warm weather and I was wearing a light blouse. In my peripheral vision I caught sight of a boy of about twelve standing next to me and staring at my chest. I looked down to discover that the top button of my blouse...
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Easter Enigmas

You would think after so long a time we’d be better at this. Lent, Holy Week, Easter. They’ve been observed for some two millennia—and for however many years in our own lives—yet by now, two days after Easter Sunday, we may wonder what it was all about. Well, let me speak for...
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