brendan halpin

(You can read part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here. But you don’t have to!)

A few years back I had a fight on social media with the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, which is located in the neighborhood of Boston where I live. The folks running the place hate dogs, and they put out this story about an unleashed dog killing a great blue heron in the arboretum. Except the story didn’t make sense. It came out that someone had seen an unleashed dog in the area the night before the heron was found. When I pointed out that this “unleashed dog” might well have been a coyote, since we’ve got lots of ‘em in my neighborhood, the arboretum’s social media person replied that it couldn’t have been a coyote because the heron was found in a plastic bag.

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So I listened to the entire podcast and I thought I would post a little wrapup because I know not everybody wants to invest 3 hours in this and also the descriptions of sexual abuse in the podcast are graphic and would likely be extremely triggering to folks who might otherwise be interested in the story. So I’m going to draw a veil over the explicit details here. You can certainly find them on the podcast.

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It shouldn’t be surprising that the subjugation of women is a key part of the fascist program. That’s why they’re going after abortion and birth control and anything else that gives women a measure of control over their own bodies.

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What’s one thing we know about American fascism? It is terrified of difference. That is to say, fascists really want you to conform to a certain mold of behavior and identity.

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There’s lots of (understandable) gloom and doom these days, and very little advice about what to do about it. Despair is very tempting, especially when you feel powerless, but remember: they want you to despair.

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Some friends invited me to a movie club— like a book club, but with a movie— and this month’s movie was American Fiction, which I hadn’t seen previously. I was excited for a satire of racism in publishing, but the movie is at least half family drama. Which, by the way, is very good. Fantastic performances by Jeffrey Wright, Leslie Uggams, Sterling K. Brown, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Erika Alexander. Actually all the performances in this movie are excellent, so let’s add Keith David, John Ortiz, Issa Rae, and Myra Lucretia Taylor, whose role was puzzling to me but whose performance was excellent.

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Like many people in and out of Greater Boston, I’ve been following the Karen Read murder trial.

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Had an absolute blast at my friend’s house con last weekend. Imagine this, if you can: an entire con filled with only cool people who are imaginative and fun! So of course I had a fantastic time regardless of the game system. But I did play three systems I hadn’t played before, so here are my thoughts!

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Remember when Fury Road ended and you were like, “yeah, that was a kickass action movie, but it really could have used two and a half hours of backstory on Charlize Theron’s character” ?

Me neither.

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If you follow Boston politics at all, you may have seen recent items that Josh Kraft is planning to run for Mayor against Michelle Wu in 2025. The Boston Globe in particular has been pumping up this candidacy. This despite the fact that Josh Kraft has never lived in Boston (though an LLC recently purchased a home in the North End where he claims to be living, though he hasn’t sold his home in Brookline, so it looks like more of a pied à terre situation to me).

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