I was asked to give the commencement speech at the College of Arts and Sciences ceremony this morning. Here is the video — my speech begins at 15:01. Below, the full text. Good morning, graduates, families, friends, fellow teachers and fellow learners — for we are all always learning and, I think, all always teaching.
This one’s for U.S. Election Day 2020, in which we address two key questions. Will the U.S. continue down the path of autocracy? Or will it commit to the work of rebuilding democracy? When 21-year-old Stephen Stills wrote (and his band, the Buffalo Springfield recorded) “For What It’s Worth” in 1966, America was in tumult.
You look like you could use a little encouragement. Yes, you. So, I’ve recorded this version of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle.” You may be thinking, yes, that’s a nice sentiment, but will everything be alright? Really? Well, that I don’t know. But I do know this. We can work to make it better. There
I am posting to inspire those fighting for democracy in the United States, and anywhere else where liberty is in peril. It has two parts: Part I: This Mix Kills Fascists Part II: 3 Quotations to Keep You Fighting Part I: This Mix Kills Fascists Here is my annual “RESIST!” mix, featuring many genres of
Worried about the 2020 US Elections? I haven’t slept well in months either. But I do have some words of encouragement. Donald Trump’s presidency will end in January 2021. This is not wishful thinking. And his removal from office will require our active participation. But there are many reasons for hope. And that should inspire
For my first punk “plague song,” here’s “There Is No Time,” from Lou Reed, one of the godfathers of punk. I chose it because it’s an urgent call to action. The song is two decades and many musical experiments after his Velvet Underground days, where he explores some of the sonic territory later embraced by
Over on Public Books today, my essay “Trump is a liar. Tell children the truth” recommends some good books for educating young people about “President” Trump, and brings in a few examples of the type of books that ought to be avoided – indeed, that a conscientious publisher would have never published in the first place. (Also:
To keep our spirits up amidst the cascading catastrophes inflicted by the Russian Asset and his quislings (the GOP), the resistance needs a soundtrack. Here’s my offering for 2019. And here’s last year’s mix, which is also featured in a post that includes “75 better names for 45,” since there are so many more apt
On the one-year anniversary of Russia’s successful hacking of American democracy (congrats, Vlad!), a bit of encouragement for those who oppose the Trump regime’s assaults on healthcare, the environment, women’s rights, civil rights, human rights, the very idea of rights, basic human decency, and truth itself. I’ve divided this into three sections: (1) a resistance
Resolutions for a New Academic Year: A survival guide for higher education in perilous times (Chronicle of Higher Education)
Over at The Chronicle of Higher Education today, I have a piece on “Resolutions for a New Academic Year: A survival guide for higher education in perilous times.” Here’s one of those resolutions: Teach students to use language well. We can help them to be wary of lazy euphemism — not just because it is bad