By Kate Redburn
Matthew Wettlaufer, The Murder of Allen Schindler, 2007
Eric Stanley and Nat Smith, eds
Joey Mogul, Andrea Ritchie, and Kay Witlock
In March 2002, 17-year-old April…
It’s hard to enter a store these days without being visually assaulted by labels, logos, and signs that appeal to our environmental consciousness. It turns out that there’s an even more powerful way for marketers to signal an environmental product to shoppers: Make it brown.
|—||Pedro Arrupe, SJ (via klarita)|
A certain amount of hate is good for you
I can’t remember the specifics of school years, but I can always remember my enemies. Colleen Shea, blonde, “pretty,” and popular, bore the title in elementary school. She of Worcester, Massachusetts, stock — thin lips and pink skin, a nurse mother and firefighter father, CCD classes after school, and Friday night slumber parties to which I was not invited — Colleen sealed my fate as forever foreign, forever the weird new kid from Virginia with a single mom and funny accent. In math, while the class labored over improper fractions, I channeled all my frustration toward her, in her stupid overalls and tacky gelled bangs. Disgusting.
In high school, it was Alexis Lazaros, little Miss Perfect always vying to usurp my seat as the top history student in Mr. Khoury’s Advanced Placement class. I couldn’t stand her because she had no style to her history. She was technical, like a Chinese gymnast, simply memorizing the textbook for key names and dates without reveling in the humor of characters with nicknames like Preston “Bully” Brooks or Martin Van Buren, the Red Fox of Kinderhook. One of the most victorious moments of my life was when I defeated her in a game of American history Jeopardy! We went head to head for a dozen rounds after the rest of the class got knocked out. I still remember my winning answer: the Grimké sisters. I was full of bombast back then, and I probably told her to her face that she was my nemesis, which I realize, in hindsight, made me look insane.
Sometimes, especially in arduous and boring times, like a long flight or a dull class, I will pick someone out of a crowd to be my nemesis. My nemeses need not have harmed me, per se, but they will be selected for some ghastly, unforgivable trait. There was the Unquiet Canadian, a college-age fellow who on a three-day boat trip down the Mekong River barked his strange political analysis in my ear while trying to impress a girl. (He did pose the best rhetorical question I have ever heard: “Do you know the rape and molestation statistics of Canada?”). And of course, there are ubiquitous nemeses that follow one through life: the ex-girlfriends of current boyfriends, the man who sits with his legs splayed on the subway, the amateur connoisseur loudly explaining the art exhibit. Such nemeses are not a waste of energy or a repository of petty injuries. Rather, they give daily life a purpose. Like love, hate makes us remember that we are alive — but presents itself far more frequently. Today, we hear “hatred” and flinch, immediately associating the word with jihad or the KKK. But nemeses help us define and articulate our values. Hating helps us define what we are not.
There are really countless delusions, but they can be condensed down into 6 root delusions. But first, the Buddhist definition of delusion:
A delusion is a mental factor that arises from inappropriate attention and functions to make the mind unpeaceful and uncontrolled.
This is not the same…
Baghdad, Iraq, 1984.
“Knowledge never sinks into the mind of a person who acquires it for worldly purposes.”
- Imam Abu Hanifah
Photograph by Steve McCurry
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا ۗ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ
“Whoever works righteousness benefits his own soul; whoever works evil, it is against his own soul: nor is thy Lord ever unjust (in the least) to His Servants.”
Surat Fussilat (41:46)