Writer, worrier, PhD in writing. #StandWithUkraine 💙💛and still wearing a mask because it pisses the wrong people off.
Jul 17 • 15 tweets • 3 min read
With the impending heat wave coming tomorrow to the UK, I want to talk about a curious phenomenon I used to see with new arrivals in Vietnam. Heat panic. /1
It happens when a person who has never felt that kind of intense heat starts to feel like they can't breathe. Then the fear and panic kick in, and they start to hyperventilate, which also makes them feel even hotter.
There's no less oxygen around, but it can feel very scary. 2/
Jul 15 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Interested in trying to bring some radicalised family members back into the fold of sanity?
Politics on the Couch (@rafaelbehr) has a really enlightening episode on 'why some voters feel drawn to populism and how to lure them away'.
How do you offer people who crave stability & predictability over almost everything else a home in the public sphere without betraying aspirations of equality?
May 30 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
.@paulkrugman says: "I don’t fully understand where this aversion to the basic rules of a civilized society is coming from.”
When people holding the highest offices in the land flaunt those basic rules of civilized society, you want that same exception.
@paulkrugman If we stop rewarding and celebrating and electing sociopaths, we can solve this.
May 28 • 17 tweets • 3 min read
I know keep pointing this out, and I must sound like a broken record, but I fear that, in trying to get one’s head around the inaction of the cops, and the blatant dismissal of reality at the NRA conference, we are missing an important distinction… 1/
Cowardice is not laudible, but it is human. Some people simply don’t possess the brain to overcome their fight or flight reactions. Some people selfishly save their own skins. This is ignoble but not obscene. 2/
May 17 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
I haven’t said anything about the massacre in #Buffalo because I have run out of good words.
Instead, I’m going to #SayTheirNames because each of them was someone important. Beloved to their families and friends and community. They deserve to be remembered. The shooter does not.
Roberta A. Drury – 32
Margus D. Morrison - 52
Andre Mackneil - 53
Aaron Salter - 55
Geraldine Talley - 62
Celestine Chaney - 65
Heyward Patterson - 67
Katherine Massey - 72
Pearl Young - 77
Ruth Whitfield - 86 #SayTheirNames#Buffalo
May 11 • 15 tweets • 5 min read
I’m craving green curry chicken for dinner.
A while back I promised to show how to use store-bought thai curry paste, so I’m going to do that, step by step here.
In a wok, or a frying pan with fairly high sides, put 1/3 of a can of coconut milk and begin reducing it .
May 4 • 15 tweets • 3 min read
When I was 7, we lived in Madrid. It was during the era of Franco’s dictatorship when abortion was illegal. Angelita was my 18 yr old nanny.
One Sunday, I remember seeing dribbles of blood on white porcelain sink in our bathroom, and Angelita’s door was shut.1/
When I looked in the sink, it was full of bloody water and cloths, and overflowing onto the tiled floor.
My mother came out of Angelita’s room, carrying a bowl that looked like it was full to the brim with blood. She was swearing at a tall thin man with a doctor’s bag. 2/
Feb 26 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
You have made a big mistake. You, who passes yourself off as a great student of history, have forgotten much of it.
You may take Ukranian territory, but you will not hold it. Because you have offered the Ukrainian people nothing but subjugation and imprisonment. 1/
You have offered no ideological vision but serfdom under the Russian boot.
History is replete with examples of how this ends: with your military slowly but surely being murdered in the dark of night, with your puppets and proxies assasinated in the streets. 2/
Feb 10 • 11 tweets • 3 min read
My brother took his advice off Joe Rogan.
While he’s not a genius, he’s not stupid either.
Having grown up with a very abusing father, he was deeply attracted to this model of masculinity and he trusted this man.
There is something tragic and deeply malevolent about someone with vast reach who feels no responsibility whatsoever for their words or the impact and effects they have on their listeners.
That, more than anything else, exemplifies this new right wing.
Feb 9 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Trevor Noah's fulsome and excellent breakdown of racism, Spotify and comedy.
Joe Rogan N-Word Montage Triggers Another Apology | The Daily Show via @YouTube
Meanwhile, Jon Stewart makes the very compelling argument about engagement, and that the real enemy to battle here are the algorithms.
Feb 7 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
The Covid Policy That Really Mattered Wasn’t a Policy nytimes.com/2022/02/06/opi…
I remember in the first weeks of the outbreak, the moment it occurred, being dismayed at the wide-spread message that people shouldn't wear masks. A lie told with the best of intentions - to ensure access to masks for HC workers who were in greater need of that limited supply. 2/
Jan 10 • 15 tweets • 3 min read
I want to talk about the elephant in the room regarding this pandemic. It is and always has been the issue of asymptomatic carriers.
And the irony is that vaccination has only made the elephant bigger. (p.s. I’m passionately pro-vaccine, however) 1/
If 30-40% of individuals were a problem with spread before vaccination was available, that number must now be much, much higher, because even boosted, people can catch and spread Covid-19, and once vaxxed, there’s a very good chance the majority of spread is now asymptomatic 2/
Jan 7, 2021 • 16 tweets • 3 min read
This morning, I am attempting to shift my thinking from reactive to analytical.
So… there’s a long thread coming.
First, Trump’s promise of a peaceful transition is immaterial. We have four years of Trump spouting promises that range from the ludicrous to manipulative to patently untrue.
There is no reason to take any comfort in any promise Trump makes. And that essentially makes him unfit
Jan 5, 2021 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
Covid-19 has revealed both governmental and institutional willingness to break the social compact.
On at least three occasions governments AND health care systems have misinformed the public to effect an outcome they desired.
The first was the lie about masks being unnecessary/ineffective/dangerous. While the motive behind the lie might be laudable (to make sure we had enough masks for HC providers), the falsehood created a deep wound of mistrust.
Jan 5, 2021 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
Good morning. Today I’m making beef stew.
If you’ve never made stew before, would you like to learn?
It’s very easy.
One thing to keep in mind is that better quality cuts of beef don’t make better stews. Indeed, quite the opposite.
Sep 12, 2020 • 22 tweets • 4 min read
The following thread is going to be long and slightly rambling. If that bugs you, feel free to use your mute button.
It’s on misinformation and propaganda flooding social media, and an argument for a possible remedy.
23 years ago, I moved to Vietnam and lived there for 20 years. The government of Vietnam practiced legal censorship of various social media and news platforms.
As a foreigner, residing there on a visa granted by that government, it was not my place to publicly criticise it.
Jul 24, 2020 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
A perfect metaphor for the old ’normal’:
At 40, Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who never married and had no children, walked through the park in Berlin when he met a girl who was crying because she had lost her favourite doll. She and Kafka searched for the doll unsuccessfully. 1/
The next day, when they had not yet found the doll, Kafka gave the girl a letter "written" by the doll saying "please don't cry. I took a trip to see the world. I will write to you about my adventures."
Thus began a story which continued until the end of Kafka's life.
You know those Brexiters you end up arguing with because they keep repeating things that are fundamentally false? And you keep thinking: how can this person believe this, it makes no logical sense…. #propaganda
Well, most of them don’t believe it either. You are mistaking their ‘speech act’ for communication.
They keep repeating those falsehoods as an act of solidarity with their group, as an act of identification, not as part of discourse. #propaganda