Requiem for a nation

Friday, June 29th, 2007

July 2007, Little Village. “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part, you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and […]

Fat giggly Americans

Friday, May 25th, 2007

An essay to accompany the thesis “Fratricide” I am not a religious man. Many many years ago, maybe. Not any more. So I think it’s strange I started all this off with a Biblical verse. But I was struck by its appropriateness. “Fratricide” is a story based on an actual event. The actual event ended […]

The Crown Pub

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Dec. 2006, The Herring Family Newsletter I spent six weeks this summer in Dublin. Living in Rathmines, just south of the canal, I attended the Irish Writing Program led by Irish writers Martin Roper and Mary Morrissy with seventeen other students from across the U.S. I hated Dublin. The canal was full of piss and […]

The Best and The Brightest

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

Jan 2007, Content I was dreaming about warm beaches and smiling women in bikinis when Jones shook me awake. “What? What?” I sat up and looked around. White walls shone even in the darkness of night. Hawaii faded like a soft mist. I looked to my right. Jones stared at me. “Herring?” “Yeah?” “Hey, man, […]

Shark Attack (IWP)

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

We arrived at Fort McClellan at eleven pm. The driver of our Alabama “Limo” van had flirted shamelessly with a girl from New York or Florida the whole two hour drive from the Atlanta airport. He told her stories about the Army, about what basic training would be like. He didn’t know shit. The ten […]

War Stories (IWP)

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

Tim O’Brien had everything going for him in the summer of 1968. He had just graduated from college and was preparing to attend graduate school in the fall. But the American war in Vietnam was heating up and Gen. Westmoreland, commander of U.S. forces, requested 200,000 additional troops in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive. […]

The Daily Obfuscation

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

Spring 2006, Content The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is, according to Stewart, “the most trusted name in fake news.” But in the angry world of cable news, Jon Stewart is actually one of the most trusted names in news. He is certainly one of the more genuine people you’ll find delivering the news. During […]

The First Trickster: Chrétien and his Knight in a Cart

Sunday, March 12th, 2006

Writers have always been tricksters. Through their words they suck readers into a contrived world. They use tricks such as flashback, simile, unreliable narrators, and subtle episodes to shape a story and its message. The feudal society of the 12th century was rigid. If one was born a peasant, they would die as a peasant […]

The Pragmatic Pepys

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

It is easy to forget, when reading about historical events, that everyday life goes on being lived during wars or times of social and political upheaval. In history books, these complex events are reduced to a series of facts—names and dates and locations—and it can seem as if whole nations hold their collective breath, exhaling […]

52 Hours of Democracy

Sunday, January 1st, 2006

Nov. 2005, Little Village Page 1 Page 2 Two hours from Washington we make our final stop at a generic oasis in Pennsylvania. Our driver takes us past a gas station with several buses already parked, hundreds of passengers swarming the few restaurants, to a deserted parking lot on the edge of town. After downing […]