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Duality: On Conscience and Guilt

Duality: On Conscience and Guilt

The morning. Baby and I arrive in Berlin just after eight. It’s raining. A cold mist cleaves the streets. We left early and our eyes are half-open from half-sleep on the train. We lost our tickets crossing Karstädt and had to search our bags, our pockets, the floor when the conductor asked us where they were. We finally found them at the bottom of the valise, tucked away for safe keeping. Cities look different in the rain, wrapped in cotton-white mist and rising through the fog. Like a dark army marching through the clouds. I notice the way people move when I arrive someplace new – the city’s sidewalks and sounds. I notice windows and doors and alleyways and wonder about the places they lead. It’s a quiet army that leaves the streets vanquished in a gloomy, gray calm. It smells of curry sausage, perfume, and gasoline on the street outside the station. We stop to get a salted pretzel, it is soft and warm in paper, fresh from the oven, and coffee. This makes Baby smile. Berlin is not, in the fairy-tale sense, a beautiful city. Not like Rome, full of statues and archways and ruins. Or the more delicate scene in Paris. It is also quite different from the skyscrapers and skylines of cities in the United States. The buildings in Berlin are low and dark, stretching for miles into the horizon. But it is a great and multicultural city, established in 1237, home to almost four-million people: A constantly changing array of poets, artists, thinkers-and-the-like. The weather here is not as warm or as cold as... read more
The Persistent Appeal of Fascism

The Persistent Appeal of Fascism

If we aren’t careful, true Fascism will grow and take hold in this country – not Nazi thugs on the streets in their brown shirts perhaps, but our own, Americanized version of it, bloated and overwrought, with stars and eagles instead of a swastika bound by a thick circle that would keep anyone who isn’t anglicized, God-fearing, white and heterosexual at the bottom of an ever-deepening barrel.

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Now India (7 Minutes to Sunrise)

Now India (7 Minutes to Sunrise)

The first sounds of the morning are of tuk-tuk and taxi engines as they come to life, their honking horns alongside the footsteps of the city’s informal working class taking to the streets. And, even earlier than that, the song and chant of Hindu morning prayer, and the feral dogs that slink to the shadows to sleep, no longer dominant as the sun begins its climb from behind Agra, India’s low hills.

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