Feeling Blue in a Red State
Blow a kiss? Fire a gun? Bonding with your neighbor can be a blast, but not always in the best way writes one veteran scribe who went for a walk and stared down the barrel of an ugly reality in her own backyard
By Carla McClain
A beautiful part of the world this is - rural southern Arizona only a couple dozen miles from the border with Mexico. Big sky, big mountains embracing a valley of rolling grasslands and evergreen oak trees. A land of quiet, peace and tranquility. Usually. Walking home from an evening trek with my dogs, high on the solitude of nature only, our reverie was shattered by gunshots - one, two, three, four - a terrifying sound that triggers fight-or-flight in the primitive brainstem, much like the rattle of our venomous snakes when you get too close. I whirled around, to see the distant figure of a man up on a hill, his arm raised, his weapon aimed….at us. Having no time to flee and no way to fight, I screamed, a demented howl of sheer terror. The dogs, as ...
Black Mass: A Whiter Shade of Noir
Johnny Depp's performance as real-life criminal James 'Whitey' Bulger is just another anemic reflection of film noir, the once-virile genre that gave birth to the gangster as American antihero and offered a cautionary tale for the collective subconscious
Journal: The Sick Days
What happens when you wake up one morning unable to move and no one knows what's wrong with you? You begin a whole new life trying to heal, and hide the problem. Working with serious autoimmune disease (or surviving journalism on 80 mg of daily prednisone)
Mystery Illness: In search of an oil can
By Shelley Page
On Easter Sunday, when I was 19, I awoke from panicky dreams of missed j-school deadlines and failed foul shots to find that I was encased in a body bag of pain. Before I consciously understood that I couldn’t move, my first thoughts were of a feature story due the next day, an air ball I doinked in the last basketball game of an inauspicious season for Carleton University, and a gnawing hunger for carbs. I imagined crumpets, discounted and day-old, from the thrift bakery around the corner. My roommates and I survived on its discards. It was like having a beer store on the block if we were a house of 18-year-old guys with new fake ID, instead we ...