Essays

ESSAY- Little papers: Will they become the surviving cockroaches?
Published on Jun 11th, 2009
0 comments You wonder if they saw it coming– tyrannosaurs and pterodactyls and whatever, lumbering around, scarfing down ginkgo trees or each other, when one of them, glancing skyward, says, "Hey, do...
ESSAY- Manliness issue: Why murder-suicide appears more often
Published on Jun 4th, 2009
1 comments Consider these recent headlines: - "Teen Escapes as Father Kills Family" (in Florida) - "Maryland Town Anguished, Baffled After Man Kills Wife, Three Children and Self" - "Four Dead in Baltimore...
ESSAY- FCC follies: You can't say **** on television
Published on May 28th, 2009
0 comments   On December 9, 2002, Cher received a lifetime achievement trophy at the Billboard Music Awards. Overcome with emotion, the Armenian-American singer noted that she had faced "critics for...
ESSAY- Fat people: They don't have to take it anymore
Published on May 21st, 2009
0 comments It's finally happening: fat people in America are getting fed up. They're tired of taking it on their cushioned chins from every comedian and commentator on national television, who otherwise would...
ESSAY- Obama's botch: He just asked us to drive more
Published on May 14th, 2009
0 comments "We can utter a sentence rarely heard," President Obama told the U.S. Department of Transportation in April. "This government effort is coming in ahead of schedule and under budget." Unfortunately...
ESSAY- Going viral: Connecting to dots in the digital age
Published on May 7th, 2009
0 comments Bathed in the glow of my monitor, I'm swinging from one swine flu link to the next. With revved-up heartbeat, I scan the text as fast as I can, interrupting my husband's reading every now and again...
ESSAY- Carbon monoxide: What you don't know can hurt you
Published on Apr 30th, 2009
0 comments The Hook's April 9th cover story told a harrowing CO tale.HOOK COVER You can't see it or smell it. It doesn't irritate your skin or nose. If you do feel sick before you pass out from carbon monoxide...
ESSAY- With friends like these: What's wrong with Facebook
Published on Apr 23rd, 2009
0 comments They say you can never have too many friends, but obviously "they" aren't on Facebook. Facebook, for those of you who have been too busy thinking how much better this column would be had it been...
ESSAY- A plea: Don't ask this UVA grad about his job
Published on Apr 16th, 2009
1 comments Most people would think twice before asking a casual acquaintance about a private matter. For instance, you wouldn't ask a co-worker how his divorce was shaping up or ask a friend's daughter why she...
ESSAY- Lit-ville: I am my books, and my books are me
Published on Apr 9th, 2009
1 comments Whoa, check out these titles: Sodome et Gomorrhe by Marcel Proust, Verlaine's Oeuvres Poetiques, And all those books about philosophy and linguistics.  Whose bookshelves are these? Somebody...
ESSAY- Shame on who: It no longer works, Mr. President
Published on Mar 26th, 2009
0 comments Obama on the AIG bailout: "Like they've got a bomb strapped to them, and they've got their hand on the trigger, you don't want them to blow up, but you've got to ease them off the trigger."xxx The...
ESSAY- Anastasia Manahan: The art of the imposter
Published on Mar 19th, 2009
0 comments The real Anastasia sits at the knee of her mother Alexandra Romanov, in this hand-colored photograph.FILE PHOTOThe real Anna Manahan and newlywed husband, Jack, hoist an invitation to Richard Nixon'...
ESSAY- Chain reaction: What's wrong (and right) about these stores
Published on Mar 19th, 2009
0 comments Urban Outfitters is slated to open May 21, according to a company spokesperson.PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER Walking along the Downtown Mall– to and from work during the week or with my dog during...
ESSAY- Chain reaction: What's wrong (and right) about these stores
Published on Mar 19th, 2009
0 comments Urban Outfitters opened May 21.PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER Walking along the Downtown Mall– to and from work during the week or with my dog during the weekend– is one of my favorite parts of...
Chain reaction: What's wrong (and right) about these stores
Published on Mar 19th, 2009
0 comments   Urban Outfitters is slated to open May 21, according to a company spokesperson. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER Walking along the Downtown Mall– to and from work during the week or with my dog...
ESSAY- Must miss list: Five books I shouldn't have read
Published on Mar 12th, 2009
0 comments One skill that everyone wants is the ability to make good choices, whether it's choosing where to live, or where to work, or even who to go home with. There is plenty of advice in the world about how...
ESSAY- Neanderthal rights: Payback for our ancestors' genocide of them?
Published on Mar 5th, 2009
0 comments A Neanderthal model graced the cover of last September's National Geographic, which studiously avoided the word genocide to describe the clash between us and them.NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC The ancestral...
ESSAY- Doubling down: Obama raises stakes on Bush's Afghan disaster
Published on Feb 26th, 2009
0 comments "If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer," Yogi Berra once said. President Obama should do the same. The president's recent interview with Canada's CBC television network...
ESSAY- Text and Learn: Somethin's happening here....
Published on Feb 19th, 2009
0 comments Something is quietly happening to us. Very quietly. So quietly that it's probable we don't even recognize it's happening. Will we recognize it this summer when it expands to our kids and grandkids...
ESSAY- The anti-zombies: These marathoners move among us
Published on Feb 12th, 2009
0 comments Like zombies, they arise in the dead of night, while the rest of us are paralyzed in the lowest depths of sleep. Without so much as a smidgen of dawn to relieve the blackness, these creatures rise...
ESSAY- Puff this: What Michael Phelps should have said
Published on Feb 5th, 2009
0 comments Michael PhelpsPHOTO BY JD LASICA Dear America, I take it back. I don't apologize. Because you know what? It's none of your business. I work my butt off 10 months a year. It's that hard work that...
ESSAY- Dour prez: Why Obama is scarier than W.
Published on Jan 29th, 2009
2 comments The president in Austin.PHOTO BY Jack Thielepape Dave Eggers preceded his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius with a section titled "Rules and Suggestions for Enjoyment of this Book," a...
ESSAY- Assured destruction: Why bail-outs could destroy the Union
Published on Jan 22nd, 2009
0 comments   "A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority...
ESSAY- You, a Nazi? Don't be so confident
Published on Jan 15th, 2009
0 comments Don't answer too hastily, but have you ever wondered what you would have done if you grew up in Nazi Germany? Of course, we all hope that we would have had the moral strength to stand against that...
ESSAY- Despite crisis: It's a wonderful life... really
Published on Jan 8th, 2009
1 comments His last dime lay in the palm of his hand– what would he do with it? The year was 1935, and our country had been knocked flat by the Great Depression. My grandfather, Pat Cassidy, had made...
Capra in Charlottesville: It really was a Wonderful Life
Published on Dec 18th, 2008
0 comments   The spoils of peace:  the author poses with posters for two landmark local film events. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER The recent showing of It's a Wonderful Life at the Paramount Theater...
ESSAY- Burst bubble: Why oil fell and where it's going
Published on Dec 11th, 2008
0 comments Fuel for thought Oil prices have dropped at least 60 percent since July. And they fell without the benefit of a gasoline tax holiday, new anti-speculator regulations, or a windfall profits tax on...
ESSAY- Better bailout: How Congress could have eased the crunch
Published on Dec 4th, 2008
0 comments Frank: "We don't have a choice now of debating whether this is a good or a bad thing."PHOTO BY JEFF MYERS/FLICKR Many observers are comparing today's financial situation– crisis is the...
ESSAY- Sky Big Brother: Does religion make people nicer?
Published on Nov 20th, 2008
0 comments In his new movie Religulous, comedian Bill Maher makes wicked fun of the religiously credulous. But it turns out that the folks who believe in talking snakes and 72 virgins per martyr may be on to...
ESSAY- Virtual feast: Go beyond Thanksgiving dinner... in Rome
Published on Nov 20th, 2008
0 comments Picture this as you gather around your holiday feast: In the olden days, there were people who ate dinner while reclining on a horseshoe arrangement of wide, deep couches arrayed around the dining...