Questions for a New Agrarianism

Around July 2014, I somehow stumbled across the work of Wendell Berry. He’s hard to describe accurately so I’ll just grab the first line of his Wikipedia entry: “American novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer.” The first book of his I read was actually a collection of essays, The Art of the Commonplace, and I more recently read What Are People For? Berry is what you would call an agrarian. He believes that… well just skim this thing or Wikipedia itself.
I wish I could remember how I happened on this unlikely source of inspiration. As far as I can reconstruct from my records, it may have been just from browsing Goodreads and viewing some Berry quotes there. When I started The Art of the Commonplace, I had just moved from a Harlem studio apartment to a midtown Manhattan two-bedroom in a high-rise, in with my then-boyfriend (now husband) who I’d met a few months before on the internet. The closest nature was Central Park, of course, but I hardly went there except to drink a cup of coffee from time to time. I have no real experience in farming, or even with ~the land~ more generally. I am a happy beneficiary of industrialization, urbanization, and the knowledge economy.

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Why People Die by Suicide: Review and Notes

Recently, a very distant acquaintance – I infer, from Facebook – died by suicide. Because I was not close to this person and am not close to any of our mutual friends, my curiosity surrounding the circumstances of this surprising departure is thwarted and I remain fairly troubled regarding the whole thing (possibly since this […]


The Best Reason to Breastfeed, and Why No One’s Talking About It

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Just Another C-Section Birth Story

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Amateur Hour: FAQ

In case you missed it: tl;dr I quit a libertarian media organization last week because they made a not-especially-well-qualified porn star their most prominent spokesperson. I had qualms about being publicly, professionally associated with such a group, and I didn’t want to appear tacitly condoning of either the pornography itself or the “anything goes” sexual culture […]


Amateur Hour: Why I’m Leaving Young Voices

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atheism, privilege, and the value of truth

An internet buddy, Chris Arnade, recently asked what I thought of this piece: “The people who challenged my atheism most were drug addicts and prostitutes.” My resulting thoughts turned out to be more than comment-sized, so here we are. By way of background, Chris has a PhD in physics and worked on Wall Street for […]


Suburbs Are Generic, Cities Are Particular

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Don’t Go Back To School (part 1)

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of attending the book release party for Kio Stark’s “Don’t Go Back To School.” I missed the Kickstarter for the book a while back, but saw her speak at a Skillshare conference last year, and had subscribed to her email list. Sometimes going to events full of […]


Spend It Out

Frankly I have mixed feelings about Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project. Although it’s a satisfactory entry point into what you could call applied positive psychology, I find that I actively dislike many of her “Moment of Happiness” quotes of the day (still can’t bring myself to unsubscribe from the emails though because at least they are […]