Essays

Fast forward: Pushing 'send' instead of thinking
Published on Sep 9th, 2004
0 comments Here we go again: another forwarded e-mail that makes me want to bash my head against the keyboard. My Republican neighbor has sent me one of those inflammatory us-versus-them missives that ricochet...
The communist: Questioning embodies patriotism
Published on Aug 26th, 2004
0 comments One spring day, my friend Connie and I rode our bikes down the hill on Oakland Street to Eighth, pedaling hard for a long block, looking for the house that had been described as where a "communist"...
Trash TV: Vicariously making the <I>Clean Sweep
Published on Aug 19th, 2004
0 comments I should have a trash TV– literally. About 10 hours each week, I watch a program called Clean Sweep on the Learning Channel. I'm endlessly enthralled by this repetitious tale of people getting...
JibJab: This song is Arlo's manifesto
Published on Aug 12th, 2004
0 comments It seems like every blog and e-mail list has linked to This Land!, that corny but funny cartoon where John Kerry and George W. Bush trade insults to the tune of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your...
Thumbs up: Don't deny kids this comfort
Published on Jul 29th, 2004
0 comments It's been a long day, and the four-year-old has given into the bliss of sucking his thumb. His face is suffused with satisfaction. Vice presidential candidate John Edwards' adorable son Jack has...
Big Mac attack: What's wrong with <I>Super Size Me
Published on Jul 22nd, 2004
0 comments During the first lunch of his month-long McDonald's binge, Morgan Spurlock is visibly uncomfortable. Eating in his car after stopping at a drive-through, he has trouble finishing his supersize fries...
Coarse debate: 'Defense' of marriage wrecks contracts
Published on Jul 15th, 2004
0 comments On July 1, a new Virginia law, "The Affirmation of Marriage Act," took effect banning same-sex unions, domestic partnerships, and similar arrangements granted by other states. It was passed to expand...
Ron ran: Lebanon sullied Reagan and us
Published on Jul 8th, 2004
0 comments Even after all these years, I'm not sure whether Ronald Reagan knew where Lebanon was on a map, though the diminutive county proved to be the most enduring bane of his two administrations. Yet that...
American-American: I could call him 'Al'
Published on Jul 1st, 2004
0 comments When I was a kid, I didn't know my father had an accent. I knew that he had come to America from Baghdad before I was born, that he was an Arab, that he had grown up speaking Arabic before he learned...
Sellers' paradise: House hunters get the blues
Published on Jun 24th, 2004
0 comments I should have a bumper sticker warning "I brake for House for Sale signs." Numerous times I have had near-death experiences swerving into side streets to pursue a "House for Sale" sign. If you haven'...
Reagan: On the right side of history
Published on Jun 17th, 2004
0 comments The long-expected death of Ronald Reagan is not just the passing of a president; it is also the passing of an era, or rather, a farewell to an era long past– an era of great historical change,...
My guys: The <I>other</I> men in my life
Published on Jun 10th, 2004
0 comments Don't get me wrong, I adore my husband. Bill is funny, kind, smart, and sexy. At our wedding, we danced our first dance to a song he wrote. Every day, he gets up at dawn to pack lunches for our son...
Billions to buddies: Why the U.N. can't run Iraq
Published on May 27th, 2004
0 comments   In Senator John Kerry's world, a place where one can have everything both ways, the way to solve the Iraq "problem" is simple enough: Turn it over to the United Nations. If the Massachusetts...
Snuff film: Zarqawi's suicide note?
Published on May 20th, 2004
0 comments It's a tough call whether Abu Musab al-Zarqawi– the Jordanian "militant" reportedly responsible for the videotaped butchery of Nicholas Berg– is more stupid than he is brutal, or whether...
No mercy: What Alston can expect
Published on May 6th, 2004
0 comments I have some things in common with Andrew Alston, the UVA junior charged with the November 8, 2003, murder of volunteer firefighter Walter Sisk. Like Alston, I once was a UVA student. And, like Alston...
Freelancers: Going after rogue killers
Published on Apr 29th, 2004
0 comments What is the legitimate purpose of the nation-state? Surely its chief function is to protect the lives and property of its citizens. At least that's the best justification for taxing citizens to...
Bad gay: Should Hitler be outed?
Published on Apr 22nd, 2004
0 comments In the fall of 2001, the terrorist attacks led to the cancellation of a slew of book tours. But one book that broke through the blanket coverage and even snagged a Today show interview within a few...
Space child: The future that never arrived
Published on Apr 15th, 2004
0 comments Anybody seen Space Child lately? You surely remember him: He was the big-eyed icon of a transcendent tomorrow, the trans-evolutionary infant who appears at the end of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space...
Race matters: The Garden of Eden
Published on Apr 8th, 2004
0 comments I remember Mattie Bell. She was small and dark brown, she called me "Kate," and I felt secure being with her. When I knew Mattie Bell, my family lived in a small cottage in a tract of houses called...
Race matters: The Garden of Eden
Published on Apr 8th, 2004
0 comments I remember Mattie Bell. She was small and dark brown, she called me "Kate," and I felt secure being with her. When I knew Mattie Bell, my family lived in a small cottage in a tract of houses called...
Bye-bye, Bob: AMs won't be the same
Published on Apr 1st, 2004
0 comments I woke up this morning, as I have recently, at 5:30am, a disturbing trend but one I seem incapable of curing. This unwelcome development is eased somewhat by the knowledge that Bob Edwards, host of...
Profile surprise: How I made CPD's hit list
Published on Mar 25th, 2004
0 comments After one encounter with the Charlottesville police, the last thing I expected was another visit over the same issue [Essay, August 23: "My crime: 'You fit the description'"]. Yet here it was all...
Dear Ralph: Sorry, I'm dumping you
Published on Mar 18th, 2004
0 comments Ralph, old friend, this time you're going to have to lose the Presidency without my help, though I have been with you every time before. Some nasty things are being said about your decision to run...
Belief 101: Why Michael is innocent
Published on Mar 11th, 2004
0 comments This is why Michael Jackson thinks he is innocent, has his fans convinced he is innocent, and could possibly convince a jury he is innocent. In his mind, he is. In the now infamous Martin Bashir...
Already there? Many married men already gay
Published on Mar 4th, 2004
0 comments The Bush White House's plan to push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages suffered a surprising setback today as a new study revealed that well over 70 percent of existing marriages...
Judicial confusion: 'Show the judge your stuff'
Published on Mar 4th, 2004
0 comments After George Bush's constitutional amendment passed, there was great confusion in the nation's courthouses as women in pants and men in skirts tried to prove that they were indeed men or women. The...
Mel's woes: No Holocaust denier-- but close
Published on Feb 26th, 2004
0 comments Mel Gibson's new film The Passion of the Christ– hailed by some as a powerful account of the last hours of Jesus' life, decried by others as an inflammatory screed with anti-Semitic overtones...
Sox lid: A hat is not just a hat
Published on Feb 19th, 2004
0 comments It's almost time for major league baseball's spring training to begin. Until this year, I have never really paid attention to spring training because I've never really been a fan. Until now. Thanks...
Fairy tales: How about a dose of reality?
Published on Feb 12th, 2004
0 comments This Spring, we will celebrate anew the ideals we first learned from fairy tales: true love, romantic harmony, and a soul mate with whom we are destined to be united for "happily ever after" by that...
Baseball truth: You build it, they'll leave
Published on Feb 5th, 2004
0 comments On the same day the Florida Marlins paraded through Miami to celebrate their second World Series championship in six years, politicians from Miami-Dade County swallowed the young baseball team's...