The “Crazed Veteran”

On this 11th anniversary of 9/11, I am struck by how little of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have wormed their way into American fiction. The main character in Michael Chabon’s brand new Telegraph Avenue is a veteran of the first Gulf War, but by the time the novel opens in 2004, his Army hitch is already 12 years behind him, and his problems are no longer a veteran’s problems. The protagonist of Nicholson Baker’s Checkpoint (2004) spends his time denouncing the Iraq war when he is not daydreaming about murdering President George W. Bush. Stephen King makes an Iraq war veteran the hero of Under the Dome (2009), but only, perhaps, because he regrets the atrocity he committed during the war. The voice of reason in William Giraldi’s Busy Monsters is a former Navy SEAL who “has murdered many men — in Iraq, Afghanistan, the former Yugoslavia — some of whom didn’t even know they were in the same room with him.”

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The “Crazed Veteran”

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More than just Trump.

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The Danger of the Me Too Campaign

Denunciations.

Silence, Wordsworth wrote, “is a privilege of the grave, a right of the departed. Let him, therefore, who infringes that right by speaking publicly of, for, or against, those who cannot speak for themselves, take heed that he opens not his mouth without a sufficient sanction.”

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Fake News Will Never Die

A problem with no solution.

Though it’s certainly the worst Photoshop job I have ever seen, a provocative image making the rounds on social media also helps demonstrate why the fight against “fake news” is unwinnable.

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The Great Stock Market Crash of 1987

Still the blackest Monday.

Thirty years ago today—October 19th, 1987—the bottom dropped out of the stock market.

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