Thoughts & Views: ‘They called it Passchendaele’

As Veterans Day was nearing, we were feeding our obsession with World War I by re-reading some history of that horrific conflict. Yes, all war is horrific, but the sheer futility of much of the Western Front combat, the staggering number of casualties, the monumental stupidity of certain commanders make the… Continue Reading

Thoughts & Views: When child’s play isn’t

Today’s column was prompted by a news item out of Washington State. Last month, the Mercer Island, Wash., school district tried to ban students from playing “Tag” at recess, supposedly “to ensure [their] physical and emotional safety.” Running around and tagging other children was apparently deemed too dangerous to body and… Continue Reading

Thoughts & Views: To celebrate wretched writing

In 1982, the English Department at California’s San Jose State University launched the annual Bulwer- Lytton Fiction Contest, inviting deliberately “wretched writers” to compose “the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.” The contest is named for 19th century British author Edward George Bulwer- Lytton, whose novel “Paul Clifford” begins,… Continue Reading