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World Events

Trauma, Guest Posts, World Events


February 12, 2018

By Carin Enovijas

It’s been almost a month since the State of Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency grossly mismanaged a routine drill and sent out a text message to millions of my neighbors informing us that we were about to die by nuclear annihilation. It took another 38 minutes to issue a “just kidding” response to the FUBAR fiasco, during which many folks waited to either be instantly immolated or survive long enough to fight to the death in the apocalyptic aftermath.

I won’t bother rehashing all the incredulous details because unless you’ve been cut off from the world, possibly holed up in a bomb shelter, you’ve likely heard all about the incompetence that led to the now historic Panic in Paradise.

In the aftermath of the incident I gave myself permission to take the rest of the day off. My family seems to be a bit more prepared than a lot of folks. We had worked together calmly and quickly to gather our supplies and prepared to shelter in place for at least 14 days. Our successful teamwork helped to offset some of the immediate emotional fallout. Although I’m still not sure why I decided to put away all the fresh fruit into the freezer. After some discussion and making of notes on how to round out the details of our emergency plan, my family went about their business as usual. Like so many of our neighbors and friends, we have shared our “I love yous” with much more frequency and sincerity throughout the past week. Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, healing, World Events

Dear Mothers of Beheaded Journalists

December 11, 2014


By A.L.C.

The night I learned my father had suffered a massive heart attack, I was driving downtown to meet R for dinner. I don’t know exactly why my step mom didn’t tell me that my father was rushed to the ER days before, had 3 stints placed on his heart and then went into shock when he tried to leave the hospital, but I do know my father is fiercely private about anything that indicates weakness. I am not friends with my father or his wife on Facebook in order to protect both of us: I cannot imagine it being comfortable for him to read all of my sex positive, radical liberal, sexually explicit writing. He does not want me to broadcast his declining health, and he does not want to worry his clients that he had since the 1970’s, but really, I think he doesn’t want my brother who is mentally unstable and often homeless to catch wind of his vulnerability. My brother could rob his office or attack him. My brother, an addict with untreated mental health issues, has been in and out of prison my entire life. So my father’s secret heart attack had happened days earlier and no one told me until I happened to call his landline.

R and I were both famished and everything was closed except for a new French place on 5th and Broadway. We weaved through the street hustlers asking for cash. R opened his palms to them and patted his empty pockets as if to say, “I got nothing.” Inside the restaurant, Nora Jones played that song about not knowing why she didn’t come. We sat on tall, uncomfortable stools. R bent over a tiny breadboard with three hard cheeses I couldn’t pronounce, tasty green olives and buttery skinned almonds. The restaurant was cozy and dim. Couples sat close and fussed over tiny piles of fig compote and prosciutto; held their wine in fat goblets and sipped as though there would be rivers of wine forever. My new relationship with R felt breakable and dangerous. I was afraid to thrash it with my heavy silent panic of losing another parent and the sudden news stung like a light too bright to look at directly and so I stared at the woman behind the counter while she sliced fruit on a breadboard the shape of a pig. I ate my olives and waited for R to say something, anything. Morbier. Rigotte de Condrieu. Gruyere. Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, World Events, writing

I Don’t Get It.

December 10, 2014


By Powell Berger.

There are some things I don’t get.

Like sometimes the funny pictures George Takei posts on his Facebook page and says, “like when you get it.” I am still trying to figure out the one with the reindeer looking at his grades. (Message me if you can explain it.)

And you know those air freshener things, the ones you plug in and insert the little bottle of various fragrances, and the heat activates it and pretty soon your house smells like apple pie or tropical beach or winter snow?  I love those, but could only have one in my apartment because I only have one vertical plug (they don’t work sideways, I learned.) Then just this week, after a year of constant use, I discovered that the little pluggy thing on the back of the plug-in device rotates. Who knew! All this time, I could’ve had apple pie smell everywhere, if only I’d gotten it, figured it out.

I don’t get two grand juries, half a country and one week apart, refusing to indict police officers whose actions – in one case completely caught on video in horrifying detail – snuffed out two black men.  All the lawyers I know tell me grand juries indict ham sandwiches. But apparently they don’t indict white cops in black deaths.

I don’t get the angry old white guys raging on FOX News about bringing back American values, or defunding Air Force One or disinviting Obama, the President of the United States, to the annual State of the Union. Last I knew, the President was the main event at the State of the Union. But like I say, I don’t get it.

Continue Reading…

courage, Guest Posts, World Events

On Imagination: The Power of “Pathetic” Responses.

November 16, 2014

By Ebele Mogo. 

Narrative is a very feeble weapon in the face of human darkness and yet it’s all we have – Chris Abani

It seems this year has been a year of uprisings everywhere. A world spinning out of control and crying out to not be ignored. From the developments in Ferguson in response to the yet improperly addressed problem of police brutality in the States, to Ebola in West Africa, to abductions of school girls, to Syria, Iraq, to two disappearing planes etc. It is enough for a melodramatic movie.My old schoolmate and friend said it well on twitter:100 day abduction, MH17, MH370, Ukraine, Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Central African Rep, Sudan, Libya, Egypt. The world is rotating anti-clockwise

— Ogbeni Agbabiaka (@ArroYomi) July 22, 2014

Recently a friend and colleague contacted me to co-create a response plan to Ebola here:

It was a very little response that did take a lot of work from both of us yet nothing compared to the magnitude of the problem. A little creative offering you may that if used would help greatly with containment. Of course we cannot control if it is used but we can reach out to offer it in the hopes that it will be and make it simple enough to be adopted.

Continue Reading…