• Valedictory

    On leaving the building
      "This is my 121st column for Boise Weekly. It's also my last."
  • Anxious Parents

    Vaccinations and Puppy Porn
      "Listen to what we're saying," we say. "You don't want to break our hearts."
  • Committee Hallucinations

    The impossibility of history
      I was there. I had personal stories.
  • Gladiatorial Games

    Football and Goldman's Dilemma
      "Steroid abuse took on the character of an arms race. If you weren't juicing, you'd lose your place on the team to someone who was. Steroids would help you win, but they'd also clog your cardiovascular system and you would die early."
  • Cloudus Interruptus

    You can't walk home again
      "On the second ride there was a tumbler full of whiskey and ice in the console. We smiled our approval. On the third, there was a pistol on the seat that had to be moved before I could sit down. That was just fine with us, as long as it stayed in its holster."
  • The World as Fiction

    Never metastory I didn't like
      The cheap oil will be gone, the economy will have collapsed, climate refugees will have overrun our borders and our farmland will be desert. Too many people, not enough nonhuman food sources.
  • Education as Violence

    Violence as education
      I spent the whole year in a state of terror.
  • Pope Innocent

    He didn't really mean that
      "I don't know how the Catholic Church will deal with a leader who demands such a radical reorientation toward the spiritual."
  • Ghost Season

    Afterlife in the afternoons
      "The future looks entirely predictable when you're looking back at it. It's like a hard-boiled but well-crafted mystery. When you get to the last few pages, you realize the bodies and the blood were only distractions."
  • Ah, Wilderness

    Were paradise enow
      "Any wild area that comes to its attention suffers through the wear and tear of a human population explosion. That's the reason the White Clouds and the Boulders, as non-wilderness, have been less trampled than the Sawtooths, which have been a wilderness since 1972."
  • The Park of Death

    Don't waste time on the other rides
      "Butte County is already lobbying to have the Craters of the Moon National Monument transformed into a national park, and I propose that we go a step further and make it the nation's first Park of Death."
  • Back-to-School

    Birthdays, hallucinations and hope
      "So far computer models of climate change say Idaho will get wetter rather than dryer, but computer models change with every new climate variable, and humanity has lately been supplying lots of those."
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  • A Short Meditation

    On long beach books
      "It's the season for beach books, which famously ignore psychological depth."
  • Framingham Idyll

    New disease from old data
      "New connections are becoming apparent between how people live and how they die. A study focused on heart disease has now broadened to include data about cancer, genetic-based obesity, dementia, stress and contagious disease."
  • Puppies and Guns

    Parsing the Second Amendment
      "Why is it that presidents persist in appointing lawyers to the Supreme Court instead of writing professors?"
  • Law Enforcement Class

    And lowest common denominators
      "If somebody's really gung-ho, if he sees his job as writing tickets, if he sees the public as the enemy, if he sees every situation as a matter of catching a bad guy, sooner or later he'll hurt an innocent person."
  • Pricking of My thumbs

    A clownish carnival this way comes
      "At some level, people know that clowns aren't far from the demonic."
  • The Confidence Demon

    And other creatures of the literary dark
      "If you've achieved fame and fortune with your first book, you'll feel in your soul that subsequent books need to be better. If your subsequent books are better, you'll start worrying about the inevitable minor work that will mark the inexorable decline of your talent."
  • Consumers, Report!

    The selfhood of stuffhood
      "They swap end-of-days recipes, and while the recipes involve Boise refugees, they don't involve feeding them."
  • Hendren Stories

    Remembering a president
      "I began to see how much courage it took for Bob to work every day with people who were, more than anything, waiting for him to make a mistake."

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