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Articles Online

Personal Essays / Op-Eds

Give Me a Sign,” Medium, September 19th, 2019
I’m a Meme Now (and So Are You)” Medium, August 15th, 2019
Dear Gun Rights Advocates: Congratulations!” Medium, August 7th, 2019
The Magic of Wednesday Night Beers,” Medium, July 24th, 2019
I Do Drugs,” Medium, July 17th, 2019
How Science Fiction Made Me Liberal,” Medium, July 1st, 2019
Here’s How the Government Will Sell Us the Iran War,” Medium, June 14th, 2019
What Would Your Teenaged Self Think of You?” Medium, June 3rd, 2019
Seeing Red: The Peculiar Evolution of Onscreen Violence and Death,” Fangoria, Vol. 2, #4 (40th anniversary issue), June 2019. (print only)
Just When You Think You’re Past Heartbreak,” Medium, May 22nd, 2019
Power? No Thanks, I’m Good,New York Times, May 21st, 2019
Life is What Happens In Between,Medium, May 15th, 2019
When Did We Stop Aspiring to Eternity?Medium, April 19th, 2019
Why We Spend Our Brief Lives Alone, Indoors, and Typing,” Medium, April 15th, 2019
Why They Will Hate Us in the Future,Medium, January 24 2019
American Solstice,” self-published, January 2019

Persistence of Vision,” Johns Hopkins Magazine, Spring 2018
Go Ahead, Millennials, Destroy Us,New York Times, March 2, 2018
Just for Tonight, Pretend You Don’t Know Me, OK?” [just another reminder: I do not get to write these titles] Modern Love column, New York Times, February 9, 2018

“Earthlings Unite: Let’s Go to Mars,New York Times, December 16, 2017
I Used to Be a Cartoonist. Here’s What You Should Know About Satirizing Political Assassinations” [far and away the worst title one of my essays has ever been published under] The Week, June 21, 2017
Bad Fascist,The Week, October 23, 2017
The Wisdom of Don Rickles,New York Times, April 7, 2017
I Love America; It’s Americans I Hate,The Week, January 9, 2017

Letter to My Fellow White People,The Week, April 22, 2016
Speak, Memory,AARP Magazine, Feb/March 2016
Why I’m Weirdly Cheered by the 2016 Primaries,” The Week, January 21, 2016
The Realm of Mystery,” [I refuse to print their title] New York Times Magazine, September 2016

The Repugnance of Moral Scolds,The Week, August 31, 2015
The Summer That Never Was,” New York Times, August 29, 2015
My Own Private Baltimore,” New York Times, July 4, 2015
The Man and Me, The Week, January 14, 2015
When Art Is Dangerous,New York Times Sunday Review, January 11, 2015

On Smushing,New York Times, November 15, 2014
Is Monogamy Insane?Men’s Journal, November 2014
A Rock Opera Interrupted,” Baltimore Sun, September 19, 2014
Death of Our Clown,” al Jazeera, August 17, 2014
A Man and His Cat,New York Times Sunday Review, August 1, 2014
Controlling the Narrative,” New York Times, June 9, 2014
There Is No Catastrophe So Ghastly That America Will Reform its Gun Laws,The Week, May 29, 2014
The Feast of Pain,” New York Times, April 27, 2014
Oh! What a Lovely War That Wasn’t,” Al Jazeera, March 5, 2014

Our Greatest Political Novelist?”, December 12, 2013
“The Black Friday Blues” [I don’t write these titles myself, by the way], Al Jazeera, November 28, 2013
Slaves of the Internet, Unite!New York Times, October 27, 2013
“What is the Difference Between Spree Killers and Terrorists?” Al Jazeera, September 11, 2013
I Know What You Think of Me,” New York Times, June 15, 2013
Are We Not Men?Men’s Journal, June 2013
Up in the Air” (99¢ download, available on this site)
The Power of ‘I Don’t Know,’New York Times “Draft” blog, April 29, 2013
In Defense of Rural,” Modern Farmer Magazine, April 12, 2013
You Are Going to Die,” New York Times “Anxiety” blog, January 20, 2013

The Quiet Ones,” New York Times Sunday Review, November 17, 2012
9/11: War on Fear,” Huffington Post, September 11, 2012
Freedom to Fear: Is the Gun Industry Selling a Fantasy?” Huffngton Post, August 2, 2012
The Busy TrapNew York Times “Anxiety” blog, July 1, 2012
Uncle Ray’s Dystopia” New York Times, June 8, 2012
Like the Video? I Wrote the Book” New York Times Sunday Review, May 19, 2012
Cycle of Fear” New York Times, “Anxiety” blog, May 7, 2012
Recipe for Heartbreak” New York Times Sunday Review, March 31, 2012

In Praise of Not Knowing,” New York Times, June 18, 2011
Getting Offline”, May 13, 2011

Welcome”, July 1st 2010
“Seeing Is Believing”, May 28th, 2010

The Referendum” New York Times, “Happy Days” blog, September 17, 2009
Views of a Day” New York Times, September 11, 2009
Averted Vision” New York Times “Happy Days” blog, August 2, 2009
Isn’t It Outrageous?” New York Times “Happy Days” blog, July 14, 2009
Reprieve” New York Times “Happy Days” blog, June 2, 2009
Time and the Bottle” New York Times “Proof” blog, March 31, 2009

I [Heart] Pluto” New York Times, August 23, 2006

“Autumn in New York: Post-9/11 Manhattan Shines in a Different Light” Baltimore City Paper, September 11, 2002.

On Books

Our Greatest Political Novelist?” The New Yorker‘s “Page-Turner” blog, December 12, 2013.
The Greatest American Novel You’ve Never Heard Of,The New Yorker‘s “Page-Turner” blog, October 21, 2013
The Decline and Fall of the Book Cover,” The New Yorker‘s “Page-Turner” blog, July 16, 2013
“David Foster Wallace: 1962-2008” Baltimore City Paper, 2008 Big Books Issue
“When Books Could Change Your Life” Baltimore City Paper, 2008 Big Books Issue
“The Frightener: William Sloane’s Two Novels Cut Right Through Genre and Burrow Into a Dark, Uncanny Unknown,” Baltimore City Paper, 2007 Big Books Issue
“Unspeakable: Exploring the Work of Splatterspunk Author Ed Lee” Baltimore City Paper, 2006 Big Books Issue

On Film

But Who Is the Dreamer? Twin Peaks: The Return,” Politics/Letters #12,  May 28, 2018
The End of Everything: Take Shelter, Meek’s Cutoff, and The Horse of Turin,” Jump Cut, issue 55, Fall 2013.
The Goblin’s Dilemma: A Simple Plan and Spider-Man”(with Boyd White) Jump Cut,
A.I.” Film Quarterly, December 2002
O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (with Rob Content and Boyd White) Film Quarterly, Fall 2001
The Straight Story”(with Rob Content) Film Quarterly, Fall 2000
“Introducing Sociology: Eyes Wide Shut” Film Quarterly, Spring 2000

On Comics

Wages of Love: Chester Brown’s True Romance Comix” (excerpt) The Comics Journal #302, February 2013
Irredeemable: Dave Sim’s Cerebus” (excerpt) The Comics Journal #301, June 2011
What Is to Be Done?”, April 8, 2011
Pym & Francie: The Golden Bear Days,”
Brighter in Hindsight: Black Humor, by Charles R Johnson,”
Bill Mauldin and Willie and Joe,” The Comics Journal #296,February 2009
The Black Dossier,”
“Lost Girls,” Baltimore City Paper, 2007 Comics Issue
Lulu Eightball
Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man”
“The Trouble With Girls: Playboy Cartoons Sell, Don’t Shock” Baltimore City Paper, 2006 Comics Issue
“You Could Give a Shit About Comics” Baltimore City Paper, 2007 Comics Issue
Throwing the Book at Cartoonists” from The Education of a Comics Artist, Allworth Press, 2005
That’s Not Funny: Rage, Laughter, and Political Cartoons After 9/11” The Comics Journal #250, February 2003
Deeper Meanings: Another Look at B. Kliban” The Comics Journal Special Edition, Summer 2002