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“If I can make teenage boys comfortable with a girl who takes charge of a situation without their knowing that’s what’s happening, it’s better than sitting down and selling them on feminism.” So said Joss Whedon to Time way back in 1997, the year “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” premiered.

While, tonally, “Buffy” never worked for me, I essentially agree with that sentiment. Stories that do a lot of “telling” about different types of people being, well, full people are a lot less powerful than stories that just assume it without comment.

Some of Whedon’s creations are dear indeed to my…


Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

“Us vs them” is how we got here.

But in the midst of widespread demonstrations that run the gamut from peaceful to scary, for once I find myself hopeful that the us vs them is waning.

That mental divide is how we’ve gotten years of injustice that’s been mostly invisible to those not living in it. It’s also a natural human reaction — yet it’s the wrong reaction.¹

Put yourself inside a cop’s head. The kind of cop you’d want on your block.

Protecting people means preventing crime. Preventing future crime means punishing past crime. …

Wilson Lanue

Texan in exile, recovering writer, and namesake of the so-called Maverick Award at his alma mater.

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