Every now and then I have so much I want to say about a topic that I have to break it up into a whole series of posts. Below are the links to the first posts in various series.
Fascism in America
I was invited to give my take on America and fascism at a meeting of the Austin chapter of Defeat Fascism, and I elaborate on that talk in a series that starts here.
Mourning My Losses
As I’m discovering, emigrating means losing parts of one’s identity, and these aspects of identity need to be mourned properly. I explore some aspects of my own identity that I’ve lost or thought I had lost in a series that begins here.
The shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City have brought into question the quality of police training in America. I have some suggestions, based in part on my experience at a police training school in the Netherlands from 1984 to 1992. The series starts here.
The Assault by Harry Mulisch
In my opinion the very best novel ever written about the Netherlands in World War Two. I wrote a paper about it in graduate school, for a course on historical novels. Right now I’m sharing that paper piecemeal on my blog, to make the novel more accessible to English-language readers. So buy The Assault and read the posts as I publish them and I guarantee you’ll love the book, too! If you’re not familiar with the situation in the Netherlands during World War Two, I recommend that you read my series about that first.
The series on WWII starts here.
The series on The Assault starts Here.
What started out as a description of a plantation I visited on a trip to New Orleans grew out to a series of posts about American slavery, aimed primarily at my non-American readers, though I have received many comments on them by American readers. The first post in this series is Laura Plantation.
Zwarte Piet – Black Peter
In October of 2013 I became aware of a debate going on in the Netherlands about an aspect of the Saint Nicholas celebration–is Zwarte Piet racist or not? I entered the debate with this post: Sinterklaas: It Doesn’t Get More Dutch Than That.
High School Report
As a school librarian, I observed an American high school in action for 18 months. The first post in this series is A So-Called Year.
Notes From a University Student
For four years I was a student at an American state college. First for a year as a senior and then for three years as a graduate student. During this time I was also a teaching assistant for two semesters. The first post in this series is 3 = 3, or Does It?
The Netherlands in World War Two
In 2012 I gave a presentation in my son’s 9th-grade history class about the Netherlands under German occupation. Afterward the teacher had them write a few comments on what they had learned and she gave them to me. I felt that the information I gave them struck a nerve and that others might be interested–hence this series. At least one of the posts in this series has been read every single day since I’ve written them. Here’s the first one.
A while ago I started a series of posts about different homeless people I meet at stoplights. The little snippets of conversation between green lights can be quite eye-opening. The series starts with this post.
Live Music Capital of the World
I couldn’t go to the 2013 Austin City Limits Music Festival, but to stay in the music mood, I did a series about some famous musicians who call(ed) Austin home. The first post is about Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Politics in America vs. the Netherlands
In this series I compare the American two-party system with the Dutch parliamentary system of proportional representation. It starts here.