Monthly Archives: September 2017

Friday 09/29 2017
Memoirist Zack McDermott Wants to be the Gorilla in the Room for Mental Health Awareness

“Zack McDermott had his first major manic episode in over five years at a Taco Shop in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas. As the psychosis took hold, he laughed at patrons to their faces, inquired about purchasing his order via Apple Pay—something he knew, even in his semi-lucid state, they would not have—and, eventually, screamed obscenities at an employee while lying flat on his back in the rain-soaked parking lot.

Which is when his producers stepped in.”

Read the rest of my feature on McDermott in Paste Magazine

Monday 09/25 2017
An Obama Speechwriter’s Memoir Makes Clear the Power of Presidential Words

“He [Trump] does this via shock and awe, brute force and braggadocio, channeling every Wall Street wolf and old school football coach who came before him. He speaks in centipede sutures and staples, exclamations and catechisms field trauma care for the gaping wounds where his thoughts have been punctured or sloughed away. He breaks, plods, stutters, roars, a dog whistle the only sounds cutting through the cacophony, his cadence ambling like a skull rolling downhill and thoughts left dangling from the gallows, the familiar, wayfaring elements of the English language made alien, frightening by their appearance and affect, their design—truly, their lack thereof—and delivery, rhetoric as re-animated cat skeleton.”

Read the rest of my essay on David Litt’s memoir Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years in Paste Magazine

Friday 09/15 2017
On Cocaine and Quarter Horses: Melissa del Bosque’s “Bloodlines”

“By virtue of keeping her reporting clean and concise, del Bosque easily steers readers through Treviño’s international financial crimes spiked with brutality—the kind that would make Michael Lewis’ usual suspects blush. In tracing the case from the first whispered tip to an FBI agent to the final verdict, she brings a slice of the abstracted drug war into heart-rending focus, turning the bloody diamond before her loupe so that each facet becomes clear.”

Read the rest of my review of Bloodlines in Paste Magazine

Friday 09/1 2017
Tilting at Taco Bell: The Wrigleyville Rally That Wasn’t

“By the time I first reached out to Black on August 22—the rally was scheduled for August 26— the backlash had begun. While the event was organized before Unite the Right, it had the misfortune of taking place after, which may have contributed to the anger. One of the first posts on the event page when I had looked at it was a Lakeview resident castigating the page’s supporters for rallying around such a trivial cause as real problems rage all around us, and Black had penned an explanation in response to the criticisms; unfortunately, both of these were lost when the page was removed, and the cached version does not include them.”

Read the rest of my post-mortem for the media’s favorite fast-food rally in Munchies