Recent quotes:

On the anniversary of 9/11

For me, 9/11 will always be a time of tremendous fear, stifling conformism, forced patriotism, and vicious nationalism. Which is why I’ve always found the claim that Trump represents a new authoritarianism, even fascism, to be so fanciful and false. There was a moment in the recent memory of this country when dissent really was stifled, when opposition really was suppressed, when the military and police were sanctified and sacralized, when the Constitution was called into question (not a suicide pact, you know), when the two-party system was turned into a one-party state, when the entire nation was aroused and compelled and coerced to rally behind the dear leader, when questioning the nation-state’s commitment to violence and war provoked the most shameless heresy hunts. When intellectuals and journalists and academics dutifully—and shamefully—performed their parts in the Gleichschaltung of the moment, instructing the unreconstructed among us to understand that we were living in a new age when all the old truths no longer held. Thankfully, the intensity of that moment didn’t last too long—the fiasco in Iraq did it in—though we’re still living with its consequences today. But, yeah, when I hear about the unprecedented authoritarianism of Trump, I think to myself: either you weren’t around after 9/11 or you were part of the problem.

Vaka Rangi

Part of Vaka Rangi, the most important part (for me at least), is about making peace with a huge portion of my past, trying to understand fully the role it played in shaping the person I became, but also in a sense laying it to rest in order to move beyond it. My life since beginning this project has been a positively uncanny example of life imitating art in this case, and I was just thinking earlier about how disappointed I've been in this run of stories; how so many of them fell short of the (in hindsight inevitably) overinflated memories I ascribed to them. It's a continually dispiriting process for me to keep seeing just how much I personally projected onto this particular bit of pop culture ephemera from the late 1980s and early 1990s. And yet even so I can't shake my loyalty to certain things about it, or at the very least least to the process of growth and self-discovery it will forever be linked to in my mind.