“If a lion could speak, we could not understand him.” Wittgenstein For the second night in a row, my dog, made restless by storms, has woken me up. Her routine involves walking on my sternum and neck, and panting midnight dog breath onto my innocent face until I escort her downstairs for an interlude of […]Read More Egocentric cats and narcissistic humans: the mysterious minds of others
I was walking across a Menard’s parking lot a couple of months before the 2016 election when a car swerved toward me as if to run me down. It was a fortyish white guy in a white Buick with a red Trump bumper sticker. He got so close I could see the McDonald’s cup in […]Read More When the MAGA fashion police decide you’re a faggot
My two hound mixes have been dead for a couple of years now, and all I’m left with is this terrier-chihuahua something-or-other who occasionally looks more like a cartoon rendering than an actual dog. Battle-scarred, bug-eyed, and half-deaf, she’s adapted over the years by pushing more and more of her consciousness into her nose. And […]Read More My old dog’s nose: On equanimity and aging
Although the U.S. government has a long history of warehousing people of color, its overt foray into large-scale concentration camps intended for desperate asylum seekers is relatively new. And the video of a Trump administration lawyer coolly offering a rational argument as to why basic humanitarian rules do not require the government to facilitate sleep, […]Read More Soap and toothbrushes: Mundane symbols of compassion and respect
When I finally got around to reading the first book in the historical mystery series featuring amateur Egyptologist Amelia Peabody, I was struck by its overtly imperialist aesthetic. Set in the late 19th century, it parodies and celebrates English archeologists. It also patronizes the local people at every turn. For the White Western reader, it […]Read More Vicarious living through Comme des Garçons: Exoticism and cultural appropriation
Many outspoken male fragrance enthusiasts share childhood memories of being captivated by their mothers’ perfume. It’s such an iconic moment among non-gender conforming male perfume connoisseurs that it deserves its own film sequence: the mother sweeping up her little boy in a cloud of No. 19, Diorella, Chloe, or Halston. And then his secret missions […]Read More Gender-bending fragrance choices: The courage to be queerly perfumed
It is popular in North America to insist that we make choices about how we present ourselves for our own comfort, self-expression and pleasure and not to impress others. In fact, many of us in the U.S. would be almost embarrassed to acknowledge that others’ values and tastes shape our style. “I wear it for […]Read More Beast-mode perfumes and unspoken rules: How much is too much?