Waiting for a punchline

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Nope, still can’t find it.

If I could synthesize my essence into a single phrase, I think it would be “well, this is awkward.”

Irony and authenticity are always tugging my brain in different directions. I’m an excitable, loud-mouthed nerd, who is compelled to temper everything they say with cynicism and just a teaspoon of morbidity.

Just think of me as the dullest Miyazaki film you’ve ever seen.

I’m 26, never lived anywhere but New York City, and have an innate revulsion toward doing things. I’m not very interesting, in other words. …


I wish her well, but we’re not friends

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“The transgender princess of TERF Island” is the name of my Harry Potter fanfic

A few months back, I wrote an article about the creator of the YouTube channel Philosophy Tube, then presenting as a cis man, being cancelled on Twitter for making a joke that some perceived as transmisogynistic. Now, as apparently everyone in this quadrant of the galaxy knows, she has come out as a trans woman named Abigail Thorn.

She looks beautiful, and I am delighted to see her looking happy. Obviously.

Not a day after her coming out video was posted to her channel, I received polite and carefully crafted comments about how I probably ought to update the article…


Give Pervis Payne a fighting chance.

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Dustin Higgs, a not guilty man murdered by the federal government on 1/15/21

I write this on the evening that Dustin Higgs is to be murdered by the federal government. I only learned his name a few hours ago, and the chill in my blood reminds me that having known it earlier might have made the slightest bit of difference.

According to Twitter, the white vans that signify that the prisoner is being taken to the execution chamber have just started up.

The death of Dustin Higgs signifies a record for the most federal executions committed by a single president in over a hundred years.

This is not a coincidence. Obviously. Like you…


Elliot Page isn’t confused, you’re just a TERF

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Yes, I am late to the party. And yes, I still have opinions about this.

When Elliot Page came out as trans a month ago, I felt about two seconds of joy for the person I knew would suddenly be feeling a lot more confident and happy with himself due to the announcement, followed by a prolonged period of dread when I realized I had not yet been on Twitter.

I think it’s wonderful that Page came out publicly, and their statement demonstrated an understanding of the context in which they were coming out.

Though he is AFAB and (seemingly?) white, Elliot Page recognized the extreme callousness with which we regard the lives of trans…


And being passionate about it

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Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Being a writer is sometimes about compromise.

Most artists in our culture are held up to such unreasonable standards that anything less than constant and tireless dedication to one’s craft is painted as laziness. What people do not seem to get is that loving one’s art does not have to translate into obsessive, borderline destructive, sole attention to that art.

We have lives outside of our art, after all. Aspirations that are not strictly tied to our art but are no less parts of us that need to be served if we are to be happy.

Or even survive.

And…


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Celeste had been in the town of Virgil for just a few months. She was well-integrated into the GracePoint Church community, and could make out the vague outline of a core group of people. The Church itself was a single long room that might look like a camp cabin if the high-slotted windows didn’t render the rooms so dark. The rows of benches curved around the center of the room and this core group always occupied the front row during services. As though blocking the main community from Pastor Amity.

Celeste knew that she would have to become part of…


Without compromising your ability to like yourself

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Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that not being the subject of childhood abuse, neglect, or abandonment is not a shoo-in for perfect relationships with family. Even loving the individual members of your family and worrying about their well-being does not mean that you will enjoy their company all the time.

I’ve learned a little something about bad blood in the family. And now that we’re in the midst of the holiday season, my lessons are being put to the test yet again.

So as a refresher course for me, and maybe a source of good advice for…


Camus needed therapy, not a purpose

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It’s Ca-MOO, not Ca-MISS

Warning 1: This story is very pretentious. I’m sorry. I can’t help it.

Warning 2: I make a lot of statements that might be difficult to follow if you haven’t read The Stranger. It’s a short read, if you’re interested. And once you’ve read it, you’ll get to be as pretentious as me.

Being a non-man in a patriarchal world isn’t all doom and gloom. Sometimes, it’s just funny.

A majority of the deep, philosophical literature I’ve read revolves around problems that privileged men from the 19th or 20ths centuries seem to think are universal.

That’s not an unjustified generalization…


The weird experience of being a 21st century Jew

Content warning: I will, with reluctance, be touching upon the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. If this is an upsetting topic for you (as it is for me) you may wish to skip this story.

A black and white picture of a Jewish person wearing a prayer shawl in a wide, empty stretch of pavement.
A black and white picture of a Jewish person wearing a prayer shawl in a wide, empty stretch of pavement.
Photo by Matthew Angus on Unsplash

Es ist shver tsu zayn a yid.

Or as we’d say in the new country, it’s hard to be a Jew.

Less hard than very hard these days, mind you. I’d label the difficulty we face now as more confusion than anything else.

Being a modern Jew is about constantly being unsure where your culture ends and you begin… and possibly not liking the answer.

I’d like to…


Cancel culture, which does not exist, is still a bit of a problem. Seriously.

Edit: Yes, I wrote this before Abigail came out as trans and yes, I know that this story just got a whole lot more complex in a very crunchy and cool way. I’ll flesh out my update to this article soon, but sufficed to say, I’ve changed all references to Abigail’s deadname and old pronouns for the time being.

Edit to the edit: Never mind. I just wrote another story.

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Poor guys made a joke about clopping on Twitter

I just needed to lampshade the term cancel culture. Get it out in the open.

It’s the first word that pops into mind when you think of performative woke criticism…

Shain Slepian

Shain is a screenwriter and screenplay editor. For more content, follow their blog and check out their YouTube channel, TimeCapsule.

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