• The Faux-Op
    Impulse Buy There’s a shop down the block from my house that I’m in an interesting relationship with. It’s called The Source Bulk Foods, a franchise of a zero-waste food store in the UK and Ireland. I go there often for staples and dry goods: oat milk, muesli, rice, lentils, oil, vinegar, etc. It serves… Continue reading The Faux-Op
  • When Chad Met That Girl
    The Once-Over Love is in the air so let’s talk about a match made in the internet’s hetero-hellscape: Chad and That Girl. Content warning that this column talks about sexual relations and sexism so if you’re not up for that please scroll-on-by! According to fashion youtuber moderngurlz “That Girl” is a TikTok aesthetic like cottagecore… Continue reading When Chad Met That Girl
  • Neon Bible
    “See that silver shine” Arcade Fire’s debut album Funeral ends with the soothing image of a backseat nap. “I like the peace in the backseat / I don’t have to drive, I don’t have to speak / I can watch the countryside, I can fall asleep.” But where Funeral is driven by the urge to… Continue reading Neon Bible
  • Green Marshall Plan
    At a Glance Some of the most well respected names in American climate policy (Bill McKibben, Elizabeth Warren, Jamie Henn, and Data for Progress) have been calling for a Green Marshall Plan: an expansion upon the postwar program of United States financial aid to countries in Europe. The  context for the recent calls is the… Continue reading Green Marshall Plan
  • Milk Hacks
    First Glance A consistent source of entertainment for me is seeing what videos YouTube decides to slap on my homepage. I do my best to lock down my data online and preventing Google from keeping my search history or any of my cookies has completely bamboozled YouTube’s already shitty algorithm. Alongside off-the-wall recommendations like “Doctor… Continue reading Milk Hacks
  • Imagined Academia
    First Glance I had a big chunk of thesis to get to my advisor last week and by Friday I had fully fallen into the paper-writing fugue state that continues to dominate my academic writing process. Sometimes these panic/focused sessions are aided by a white noise generator or a pomodoro timer but this time it… Continue reading Imagined Academia
  • Egress
    First Glance My desk is on the top floor of one of those sprawling 1970s university buildings. A big brutalist block with offices, classrooms, lecture halls, and two museums. Buildings like this are pretty universally reviled, everyone at my college talks about how my building was supposed to emulate the hanging gardens of Babylon, but… Continue reading Egress
  • Escaping the Silo
    First GlanceWhen I graduated from college in 2017 I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let myself do the same thing for more than 4 years. As this column demonstrates, I have some wide ranging interests and the idea of devoting myself to one thing to the extent that I can’t also explore… Continue reading Escaping the Silo
  • Commodity vs Reality
    First GlanceLast week BBC Radio 4’s podcast Farming Today ran a story on the rising price of cooking oil, triggered by the abandonment of Ukrainian sunflower crops and wartime trade disruption. In the piece, agricultural commodity expert Dr. James Fry explains that pressures on Ukraine are only one factor in a network of events that… Continue reading Commodity vs Reality
  • Shaping Our City
    First GlanceIPUT, the Irish Property Unit Trust, is the largest owner of office space in Dublin and one of the wealthiest real estate developers in the nation. Walking around the south side of the city where I live, you see the name everywhere on new high-rise office buildings and construction sites for future offices. Dublin… Continue reading Shaping Our City
  • BOTS?!
    First GlanceI’ve written here before about how terrible my YouTube recommendations are. It’s a point of pride how little the algorithm seems to know about me. But things have gotten much worse in my feed, namely all the Kitchen Nightmares clips and Doctor Mike reaction videos have been replaced with nonstop coverage of how terrible… Continue reading BOTS?!
  • The Capitalist Impulse
    I held a little party last Friday in our garage. The weather was nice and a couple of friends ended up in town at the same time so we decided to make a thing of it. I love going into Mrs. Dalloway mode, putting a bunch of energy into a night and then getting to… Continue reading The Capitalist Impulse
  • Built to Rent
    First GlanceWhen I first moved to Dublin almost two years ago I was hopeful about housing. Sure, I had to take out a student loan to afford living abroad while I got my masters degree, but I was certain that Dublin rent would be a little more affordable than New York. I was wrong. Though… Continue reading Built to Rent
  • What the Constitution Means to ME
    Rough Draft I’ve been trying to find a way to write about democracy in the United States for a while, especially the way we Americans think of our own nation and ideas of democratic freedom. The general myth most of us have come to accept is that America was the first country to reject monarchy… Continue reading What the Constitution Means to ME
  • Things
    I bought a little keep-cup last week, one of those 8 oz glass to-go cups that are perfect for a latte or a flat white. Walking home sipping a hot chocolate out of my new item, any drop of retail-therapy satisfaction I felt was drowned out by guilt. This is just how I feel when… Continue reading Things
  • History is Only a Tool
    First Glance As I go about my PhD research into postwar Irish agricultural pollution, one of my favorite resources to explore is the archives of Ireland’s national broadcaster RTÉ. I love the grainy feel of 1980s television reporting, the starched collars of reporters and the fuzziness of analog microphones. I strongly believe that history is… Continue reading History is Only a Tool
  • Janelle Monáe Retrospective
    First ListenI recently read Janelle Monáe’s book The Memory Librarian. It’s a collection of short stories building upon the dystopian society the self described singer/songwriter, actress, producer, fashion icon, and futurist built through their album Dirty Computer and its accompanying “emotion picture.” I’ve been a fandroid since 89.3 The Current broadcast Tightrope into the truck’s… Continue reading Janelle Monáe Retrospective
  • Edit Edit
    Initial Sketch Beyoncé’s album Renaissance came out a couple weeks ago and I’ve been listening to it for the past few days. The spectacular work deserves a whole volume of analysis but I want to focus on one particular aspect of Renaissance: its string of rebirths and their implications for streamed media. Beyoncé and Lizzo… Continue reading Edit Edit
  • Beyond the Sea
    At first glance, Google Maps’ bathymetric imagery is pretty fantastic. Unlike the satellite images that Google uses for overland maps, the world’s oceans are shown by their depth. The black spot where the Pacific Plate subducts beneath Asia looks almost like it could be the shadow cast by the Filipino Plate on the ocean floor… Continue reading Beyond the Sea
  • NOPE
    First ContactI saw Jordan Peele’s latest film NOPE this weekend and absolutely loved it. It’s one of these movies that stuck so deep in my head that I just want to talk about it with everyone and read every review and piece of analysis I can find. Unfortunately, the first thing most people have said… Continue reading NOPE
  • The Edges of Extraction
    First GlanceGreetings from the weird part of Dublin Airport that is actually America. The path to the pre-clearance line is marked by a long series of American flags, and the security line is all faux-fancy wood paneling. It’s 10:00 AM here and the person behind me in line ordered a croissant and a last pint… Continue reading The Edges of Extraction
  • Brooklyn Renaissance
    First Listen I really enjoy the new Beyoncé album. No work is perfect and neither is Renaissance but it’s beautifully crafted, infinitely danceable, and effortlessly fun. But until this week I’ve been enjoying it primarily solo, putting it in my headphones while I walk to the office or clean my room. The one exception has… Continue reading Brooklyn Renaissance
  • Opportunities
    First GlanceLast month I got the opportunity to participate in a music residency at the Gaudeamus festival in Utrecht. I want to spend this column unpacking that sentence, particularly the words opportunity and residency. But first, the bare-bones details about what this opportunity entailed: I was given €800 to make a piece of music with… Continue reading Opportunities
  • DeEp StAtE
    This piece discusses antisemitic remarks and acts of violent extremism. I’ll stylize any hate speech in sPoNgEbOb MeMe StYlE to try to lessen its impact but it’s still in there. First LookThis week Adidas, following Balenciaga and JP Morgan, dropped its partnership with Kanye West after West published a series antisemitic tweets. Reading some of… Continue reading DeEp StAtE
  • Nibbling the Edge
    First BitesYears ago Lena let me in on a secret: a certain bagel shop in Brooklyn that puts all its leftover bagels in a single trash bag on the street. We biked up to the bag and Lena showed me how to feel each of the black trash bags for the telltale bagel-y lumps of… Continue reading Nibbling the Edge
  • Jenny Inventory
    IntroFor better or worse, I consume a lot of YouTube content. The past months I’ve strayed towards longer-form video essays, ranging from 45 minutes to almost three hours. I’m not exactly comfortable with this kind or volume of media consumption, but I do it anyway. Jenny Nicholson is a regular in my watch-habits, a YouTuber… Continue reading Jenny Inventory
  • The Climate Catastrophe Waiting Room
    I.This weekend I had the opportunity to go see the Crash Ensemble, Ireland’s premiere new-music ensemble, perform the climate catastrophe inspired piece Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus, composed by Liza Lim. The piece contains some incredibly evocative musical tableaus: In the first movement, Anthropogenic Debris, the ensemble spins around a series of buzzing cicada-like instruments… Continue reading The Climate Catastrophe Waiting Room
  • Ecological Sci-Fi
    I’ve been audiobooking my way through Dune (spoilers by the way) and I’m struck by the importance of ecology to its plot. I already knew about Frank Herbert’s history before starting the book, that his research into restoration attempts of the Oregon Dunes inspired the novel. But Dune goes far beyond the ecological roots I… Continue reading Ecological Sci-Fi
  • Attacking the State
    Let’s play compare and contrast. Before we do, I’m talking this week about all sorts of horrible things: police violence, xenophobia, racism, etc. so if you’re not feeling up for that feel free to sit this one out. Last week there was a lot of “urging” going on in the United States. Biden “urged nonviolence”… Continue reading Attacking the State
  • Domestic Energy
    I was at a social science history conference last week in Gothenburg, where one of the talks was about women as mediators of energy transitions. For example: from gas heat to electric refrigeration or from telephone switchboard operators to rotary dials. The importance of this history, as explained by panelist Ruth Sandwell, is that stories… Continue reading Domestic Energy
  • Eurovision Statecraft
    Television personalities Graham Norton and Hannah Waddingham stand behind a desk on a stage in their glittery outfits. They are listening to the representative from the Lithuanian broadcasting jury who announces via satellite that they are giving twelve points to Sweden. A chant starts up from the crowd, “cha cha cha! cha cha cha! CHA… Continue reading Eurovision Statecraft
  • The Florida Project
    Disney’s business isn’t looking very good these days. They’ve laid off 7000 staff; announced the closure of their expensive and ambitious Star Wars LARPing hotel after it being open for only a year; their recently announced projects are all live-action remakes no one asked for; and a planned expansion to their Orlando campus has been… Continue reading The Florida Project
  • Utopian Scholastic
    Aesthetic PlanetOne of the things that I’ve appreciated about living in Ireland for the past 3 years is being able to escape the political bubble of the United States. Not in the sense that Ireland’s government sometimes actually functions like a democracy, though that is refreshing, but that US perspectives on politics and culture are… Continue reading Utopian Scholastic
  • Island Life
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter: “Long time long time,” sings a fish in a striped shirt and tie in the opening of Niki Lindroth Von Bahr’s short film Min Börda (2017), “This is where you come if you want to stay a long time.” The stop-motion film follows four groups of anthropomorphic… Continue reading Island Life
  • The People Mover
    First published as part of the Digestable newsletter Content Warning: This piece focuses exclusively on wealthy eccentric white men. Last week, Elon Musk’s company The Boring Company unveiled their most recent project, the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop. This grandchild of the fantastical hyperloop, the most stripped down and boring version of the concept anyone… Continue reading The People Mover
  • Disco Is Dead, Long Live Disco
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter: 2020 seemed like the crest of a long 70s/80s disco nostalgia wave that’s been hitting music since the middle of last decade. I would mark the start of the nu-disco trend with the iconic, and now final (RIP) Daft Punk album Random Access Memories. The trend was… Continue reading Disco Is Dead, Long Live Disco
  • Thanos
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter: I’ve been diving into the Marvel Cinematic Universe the past couple of weeks, out of lack of stimulation and procrastination. My friend Richard describes the films as a “concentrated sugar high:” attractive people in body-hugging outfits and an emotional whiplash of tragedy and comedy all strung together… Continue reading Thanos
  • Immaterial Girl
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter The world lost a beautiful human and a visionary queer voice this weekend when 34 year old musician and producer Sophie Xeon died in Athens. SOPHIE’s uncanny hyperpop has been associated with the London experimental pop label PC Music, but her notoriety and the depth of her… Continue reading Immaterial Girl
  • The Nitrogen Cycle
    This is a collection of three pieces on nitrogen, legumes, and soy originally written for the Digestable newsletter: Nitrogen Last Tuesday, 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate in a waterfront warehouse in Beirut exploded, killing over 160 people, injuring thousands more, and leaving 300,000 people without homes.  There’s been some great reporting tying this explosion to previous… Continue reading The Nitrogen Cycle
  • The Kensington Runestone
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter I listened to the radio play Saber, MN, recommended by the lovely Molly Rose, and it got me thinking about one of Minnesota’s foundational myths. The fictional town of Saber, MN was founded because of the discovery of a sabertooth tiger skull fossil by a farmer plowing… Continue reading The Kensington Runestone
  • Take it UP!
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter. Okay nothing hard hitting from me this week, just a little bit of corny fun to finish out the year. I don’t really have any desire to engage with Dirty Projectors beyond the album they made with Björk but the song Up In Hudson from their last… Continue reading Take it UP!
  • Free Lunch
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter. Oh— my twitchy witchy girlI think you are so nice,I give you bowls of porridgeAnd I give you bowls of iceCream.I Give you lots of kisses,And I give you lots of hugs,But I never give youSandwichesWith bugsIn. This poem appears in Neil Gaimen’s book Coraline and its… Continue reading Free Lunch
  • Auto-Tune the News: A Retrospective
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter Let’s take a little trip back to the year 2009. I was in high school, iPhones were still all curvy looking, and T-Pain’s auto-tune was revolutionizing music and pop culture. Enter Auto-Tune the News, a video series by The Gregory Brothers that edits C-SPAN, Katie Couric, and other TV… Continue reading Auto-Tune the News: A Retrospective
  • The Moose Way Home
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter Fellas, is it gay to miss home? This question may have been playing in the mind of Numa Barned, a Union soldier in the U.S. Civil War who reported that listening to other soldiers play the song Home! Sweet Home! made him “feel queer.” Of course Barned’s use of queer is a few iterations… Continue reading The Moose Way Home
  • Suggestions for Stolen Squash
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter I want to start by saying that it was so unreal to have watched videos of friends back home literally popping champagne in the streets this weekend and then to wake up this morning to the Irish news obsessing over Biden’s Irish heritage.  Did you know that Obama has… Continue reading Suggestions for Stolen Squash
  • An Afterlife for the Anthropocene
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter I want to talk about the Netflix series The Good Place.  It’s a brightly colored entertaining series about quirky dead people navigating an even quirkier afterlife.  It’s easy to dismiss this show as another piece of streamable fluff, but the way ideas of environment and environmentalism are woven into The Good… Continue reading An Afterlife for the Anthropocene
  • On Environmental Art Making
    Originally published in two parts as part of the Digestable newsletter As the smoke from unprecedented wildfires pollutes skies in east coast cities and hurricane season surges past the alphabet into Greek letters despite only being half over my mind turns as it often does to Grimes.  I know, the Canadian musician’s much anticipated album Miss Anthropocene came… Continue reading On Environmental Art Making
  • I Love You No Edit
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter A couple of weeks ago Lee Dawson came out with the newest edition of his RuCaps series. These videos, hosted on Dailymotion like all quality content, are at their essence a remixed retelling of episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Drag Race, as many of you know, is a competition reality… Continue reading I Love You No Edit
  • Satellites over the Sundarbans
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter Last week after playing trivia with some friends (shoutout to Trivia Mafia in Minneapolis which is doing free trivia games online pretty much every night during the pandemic) we were trying to find the Ganges delta on a map – this was after the game of course, no cheating… Continue reading Satellites over the Sundarbans
  • Doctor Who
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter If you told me a year ago that I’d be writing this column from day 11 of quarantining in a Dublin apartment I would not have believed you.  Of course everything that happens these days is pretty unbelievable – so much so that unbelievability has become pretty… unremarkable.  I’m… Continue reading Doctor Who
  • Director Dudes
    Originally published as part of the Digestable newsletter Last week I went on an accidental Charlie Kaufman binge.  Accidental because it wasn’t until watching Synecdoche, New York and Being John Malkovich back to back that I realized they were directed by the same person.  At that point I was on a roll so I went ahead and continued with Kaufman’s newest… Continue reading Director Dudes
  • Coronamatica
    Wrote this little piece for my friend Lena’s weekly newsletter Digestible. I describe myself as a critical fan of Lady Gaga which basically means that I really like her but I talk about her like I don’t. One of the things that frustrates me is that her albums (ARTPOP, Born This Way, even Joanne) start… Continue reading Coronamatica