Cover photo from the author.

If someone had designed a work regime perfectly suited to maintaining the power of finance capital, it’s hard to see how they could have done a better job. Real, productive workers are relentlessly squeezed and exploited. The remainder are divided between a terrorized stratum of the, universally reviled, unemployed and a larger stratum who are basically paid to do nothing, in positions designed to make them identify with the perspectives and sensibilities of the ruling class (managers, administrators, etc.) — and particularly its financial avatars — but, at the same time, foster a simmering resentment against anyone whose work has…

Author’s photo.

The third time’s the charm. I’m realizing that writing about myself is significantly harder than I thought. Well, writing about myself is relatively easy but making it worth reading seems to be an insurmountable challenge for me at the moment.

The first two drafts were dreadful. Here’s a quick synopsis: I swear I’m cool and interesting and smart and look at how much I know about writing and how much I’ve read.

Getting anything onto the page these days has been hesitant, painful, and unnatural. Writing has basically become pulling out my own teeth. …

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Everyone knows inequality has been steadily growing worldwide. Economist Thomas Piketty’s surprise best-seller Capital in the 21st Century laid out the state of global inequality back in 2013. More recently, the Rand Corporation took a stab at putting a price on how much money has been redistributed from the bottom to the top in the US of A.

The number is stupid large: $47,000,000,000,000 to be exact.

How on earth did forty-seven trillion — trillion with a t — get vacuumed from hard-working Americans to corporate CEOs and shareholders? …

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Can one of the great duopolies in modern America be broken? Or is the Democrat-Republican grip on our election process too strong? Polls show there are more people who identify as Independents, yet nobody has been able to make to make much of a dent in the two-party armor.

Can Andrew Yang be the guy to build the movement?

America has had a weird relationship with third parties. It has mostly been a two-party country, but every once in a while, things get shaken up. …

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It had been three years. Three years since I’d stood on the shores of Lake Superior, staring at the ruler-straight, blue horizon in the distance, feet on round, smooth stones, numbing in the clear water. Three years since the previously unimaginable flood that ravaged homes, roads, bridges, and took the life of my twelve-year-old cousin, the hardest funeral I’ve had to attend.

Three years and what did I come back to? A town and an area that seems to be drifting in two different directions, unraveling at the seams. Living outside of the US for years, one could be forgiven…

Photo by author.

As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly; you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt. -Anthony Bourdain

What does it say about me that my hero killed himself in a French hotel? Does it say anything? Is there a deeper meaning or conclusion that can be drawn? Why the hell did you do it, Tony? What darkness were you running from?


Photo from author.

As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly; you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt. — Anthony Bourdain

The international outpour that came from Bourdain’s death showed what an absolute legend he was. It showed how a tall, lanky American knew how to navigate the planet, geographically and socially, better than anyone.

From a red carpet to a jungle hut, a three Michelin…


Photo by Bayo Adegunloye on Unsplash

In any major city, I love going on a slow walk through the busy streets in the center with no destination in mind and admiring the unique architecture and vibe of the place. I also look at the high-priced real estate and wonder how some of the establishments stay in business, especially restaurants.

When I see an empty phone accessory or children’s clothing store, I assume they’re selling things online to get by. With empty restaurants, I get an empathic, sinking feeling in my stomach.

I worked in restaurants and bars through most of high school and college, and I…

Photo by Tania Malréchauffé on Unsplash

The ‘democracy gap’ in our politics and elections spells a deep sense of powerlessness by people who drop out, do not vote, or listlessly vote for the ‘least worst’ every four years and then wonder why after every cycle the ‘least worst’ gets worse. -Ralph Nader

Growing up I wasn’t very political, and when I heard the name Ralph Nader, like many, I thought, “he’s that weirdo who ran for president as an independent or something.”

I have since come to find out that not only was his political platform basically spot-on and profoundly prophetic, the image I had of…

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

I recently had an exchange on social media that is representative of a conversation I often see between Americans of different political ideologies. I posted about the appalling state of wages for most American workers and wrote, “we have the wealth to take care of everyone.” A follower responded with, “or they can take care of themselves.”

I was left having that difficult debate about whether or not to engage in the topic. I didn’t know her that well but knew she was a nice person and a religious Republican.

I also knew these conversations never go anywhere, and long…

Mitchell Peterson

Anthony Bourdain super-fan on my seventh year outside of the US, currently in Prague reading, writing, and teaching. Instagram: @mitchellglenn

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