Blog/By Rob Bywater

Nighty-Nightvale

My kids have been getting into Welcome to Nightvale. “Getting into” means “listening to an episode in the car if they remember they like it,” but also “making a sincere parody podcast called Nighty-Nightvale that in many respects is better than the original.” The original is a news broadcast from a suburban Anywhere city that […]

The man I am

Our public elementary and middle schools are full of hard-working, good-hearted people, none of whom teach languages other than English. Yet at some point in his education, J. encountered a teacher who was brought in to teach Spanish for a few months. He remembers a few numbers, a few months of the year, and one […]

The end of disruption

I was staying at a sassy little hotel chain called Tru. It’s a Hilton spinoff. It’s got a pool table and board games in the lobby! It’s got hand-written messages about local activities on whiteboards facing the elevators! The walls are painted mint and teal and other fizzy colors, and the floors are made of […]

Why haven’t I written?

Because blogging is dead. Because the WordPress blogging interface changed and I’m old and don’t want to deal with it. Because I don’t know what to say. Because The Thing That Is Happening In Front Of Us is so distracting, so depressing, so consuming, that to write about anything else feels like a declaration of […]

13th doctor positivity

My kids are watching the new season of Dr. Who. It’s not my thing (lasers! time travel! futuristic “wit”), but I watched an episode at my kids’ behest. And I love, love, love the new doctor. Who is a woman. Which is a first for the show. (There have been 12 doctors, all male, before […]

Superlatives

The yearbook staff at my daughter’s middle school sent around a survey asking students to nominate superlatives. Her responses to a few categories: Best Dressed Style is subjective. Most Popular I refuse to contribute to the toxicity of popularity. In my opinion it only lowers self-esteem and makes school less fun. Most Competitive and Loudest […]

The wide, wide world of sports

Three items: 1. The winner of this year’s Indy 500 is named Will Power. That’s pretty much a mic drop right there. But I guess you could also throw in a line about what if his middle name was To. Maybe it’s best just to linger on his actual name, now that I think of […]

A name for the nameless feeling

I was listening to an interview with a guy called James Williams on a podcast called Talking Politics. Williams writes about technology and culture, and he coined a term for a feeling I’ve felt for the longest time but haven’t found a name for: the feeling of being constantly more stupid than the technology you […]

Where you’ll find me

I’m reading a biography of Coleridge, not because I love Coleridge’s poetry (it feels antiquated to me–because, you know, it is!–but I think I mean it feels antique) but because the biographer is Richard Holmes, the most marvelous companion you could want if you were wanting to conduct a psycho-socio-literary autopsy of a writer. Anyway. […]

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