Dark Humor in Amazon’s Excellent “Patriot”

John Tavner (Michael Dorman) is many things. He’s a folk singer, a husband, a pipe engineer, a spy, a son, a brother, and above all, a patriot.

John’s life is full of vicissitudes. One unfortunate occurrence seems to follow him after another, trying his abilities, his ¬†intelligence, and, I imagine, his sanity.

He is tasked by Tom Tavner (Terry O’Quinn), his father, to discretely join a private U.S. company and accompany them on a trip to the quiet, small European country Luxembourg and make a money exchange to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. Of course, as you can imagine, not all things go to plan. What was supposed to be a quick mission instead turns into a more permanent posting. The question we have is, because this is all for Country, how much is John willing to take?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Homo sapiens¬†means “wise man”. It’s the Latin term for our species that has developed medicine, written poetry, built skyscrapers, and walked on the Moon. It’s also the subject of the historian Yuval Noah Harari’s book which, frankly, despite all of these and other feats of skill and ingenuity, suggests that calls into question how “wise” we may be.

Show, Don’t Tell

At the core, much of what we talk about is about what we find valuable. My last post was a poem that was important to me, not only because of its merit as a poem, it certainly is a great poem, but its value to understanding history, both personal and of the United States. Though perhaps not expressed explicitly, most are genuinely interested in what they find valuable and arguing for it or against what they find unvaluable.

So when it comes to a person, how do we determine their value? Is there only one correct way? Are we ever in a position to really make that judgement at all?

Journeys with Natasha Trethewey

I sometimes read poetry, but not as often as I probably should.

I once had a professor that, in their parting words, recommended that we try and find 30 or poems and memorize them to heart. Practice them, recite them. Listen to how the language builds upon or destroys itself.

Unfortunately, I haven’t done that. Not yet, anyways.

Father’s Day Reading – A Father’s Final Odyssey

As Father’s Day approaches you’ll find many stories from daughters, sons about their fathers and how they have affected their lives. If I were to recommend one story for you to read it be “A Father’s Final Odyssey” by Daniel Mendelsohn of the New Yorker. This delightful, personal essay tells the story of how Mendelsohn’s…