A classical geopolitical theory explains current US politics and provides a warning for our future.

The historian Thucydides proclaimed that the Peloponnesian War was made inevitable by the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta. The rise of a new power was perceived as an existential threat to the preexisting power, causing the preexisting power to strike back with force in an attempt to preserve its status.

This tendency, called the Thucydides Trap, is often raised in discussions of foreign policy. The latest fashion is the possibility of war between the United States and China. With China rising and America seemingly declining, this is certainly a perfect example of the Thucydides…


Yes, I’m here to defend Bridgerton’s most controversial scene

Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton standing on a patio.
Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton standing on a patio.

(Note: This article discusses rape.)

(Spoilers for Bridgerton Season 1.)

I think Bridgerton’s deep.

There, I said it. I’ve found my hill to die on.

Yes, it’s an escapist rom-com with explicit sex scenes. That’s its genre, not its quality. Our society often mistakes the two. And because of that mistake, we don’t take stories like Bridgerton seriously.

Thankfully, Bridgerton takes itself seriously, featuring complex themes and characters. It’s also fun. These elements can coexist.

But there’s one sequence at the sixth episode’s end where the serious elements become unavoidable. …


A traveling poet in a postmodern land

I don’t know why I sound British.

Father was the first to notice and I lacked a good response. I ‘d lived in the same New York town all my life, and was 10, an age little heralded for clever retorts. Best guess: Harry Potter and Doctor Who. Homeschooled in a countryside absent sidewalks and people, pop culture proved a fitting substitute.

Not that I felt any loneliness, until I tragically enjoyed a summer camp. Upon discovering friends exist, I fancied having a few. Since then, this irritating desire has often complicated my…


Don’t defame those poor dalmatians

Cruella De Vill in Disney’s Cruella, with Horace, Jasper, and three dalmations.
Cruella De Vill in Disney’s Cruella, with Horace, Jasper, and three dalmations.

Cruella is a masterpiece in pop-punk blockbuster filmmaking. It’s such a roaring adventure that I spent an hour wishing it would let up just so that I could use the restroom.

It’s a really good movie.

So it’s a bit of a shame that, right now, its biggest pop culture impact is a mocking meme riffing on a clip shared online. And yes, that clip’s from the movie, but the actual context is very different from what the internet believes. By the film’s end, the entire premise of the joke is completely broken.

Instead, we have a much better film…


Sometimes it’s better to just skip to the fireworks

Man from Those Who Wish Me Dead walking away from a fire.
Man from Those Who Wish Me Dead walking away from a fire.

When the story of 21st century American cinema is written, Those Who Wish Me Dead will likely be a footnote to an appendix. It isn’t a particularly innovative film and it doesn’t pretend to be. If you told director Taylor Sheridan his movie felt like an old-school action/thriller you might have watched any Saturday teenage night… I think he would smile.

These days, there’s real value to a movie like that. I love Marvel and I think the current entertainment landscape’s as good as it’s ever been. But there’s something intrinsically nice about watching an out-of-fashion genre, especially in theaters.


Okay, I fixed the headline to make it explicit that it’s unintentional and put an update next to the other line. That’s from the original article and I was genuinely wondering at the time what was happening here. I did put in updates at the bottom, but there’s one at that line now too, just to be sure everyone sees it. Thanks for bringing up the specific lines.

I did genuinely look into these watermarks and couldn’t find any public information at the time, which is why I wrote the article in the first place, because it seemed like a weird little thing nobody ever explained.


Take these lessons from a master of the art

Woman staring bored at her computer.
Woman staring bored at her computer.

I procrastinate a lot. Even right now, I’m supposed to be rescuing my brother from his collapsing volcanic lair.

Wait… he’s gone. Honestly, it’s a relief not to have that on the list anymore.

I also overthink, which is — mostly — a separate issue, but it means I’ve thought a ton about procrastination. And there’s something wrong with how we approach this issue.

We almost always assume procrastination is just laziness. And that’s a needlessly judgemental way of thinking about it because laziness is a blatant character flaw.

Like sloth is literally one of the seven sins. Getting condemned…


Mad Libs Humor

But what is memory, if not Lincoln persevering?

Lincoln Memorial; close-up of Abraham Lincoln’s hands.
Lincoln Memorial; close-up of Abraham Lincoln’s hands.

Disclaimer: This story is intended to be random and humorous. It is published in Fill in the Blanks publication, inspired by the classic game, Mad Libs. Random words contributed by Dariuš Butkevičius, Len Morse, Sandi Parsons, Anna, Quy Ma, Sandra Grauschopf, Amanda Clark-Rudolph, Cara J. Stevens, Panos Grigorakakis, Kayla Vokolek, Ashley Seaman, Shenbaga Lakshmi, Karen Traub, Elan Cassandra, Cole Kirby, Sarah Keays, Yve Laran, TeeJay Small, Victoria A. Fraser, Scott Hughey (TheWriteScott), and Shain Slepian.

Seven score and seventeen years and a bit over four-and-a-half months ago, Abraham Lincoln put on his iconic knickers and LARPed a speech. In these…


Mad Libs Humor

When, uh, writing in the Suez Canal, bring a spare turtleneck sweater, just in case

The Ever Given, a container ship, trapped in the Suez Canal.
The Ever Given, a container ship, trapped in the Suez Canal.

Disclaimer: This story is intended to be random and humorous. It is published in Fill in the Blanks publication, inspired by the classic game, Mad Libs. Random words contributed by TeeJay Small, Sandi Parsons, Shenbaga Lakshmi, Yve Laran, Deborah Weir, Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她), Shain Slepian, Anna, Rujenx, Karen Traub, Alyssa Chua, Kayla Vokolek, Victoria A. Fraser, Panos Grigorakakis, Mari Moore, Ashley Seaman, Amanda Clark-Rudolph, Claire Sullivan, Cara J. Stevens, and Scott Hughey (TheWriteScott).

Hey chicken wings, it’s the Ever Given.

How’s Mom? Everything going…


Because nobody is cuter than Baby Shaq

The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda.
The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda.

Disclaimer: This story is intended to be random and humorous. It is published in Fill in the Blanks publication, inspired by the classic game, Mad Libs. Blank words contributed by Anna, Panos Grigorakakis, JM Miana, Kayla Vokolek, Shenbaga Lakshmi, Claire Sullivan, Ching Ching, Amanda Clark-Rudolph, Rujenx, Elan Cassandra, Marie Kester, Christopher Kokoski, Giulia, Karen Traub, Yve Laran, Alyssa Chua, Dariuš Butkevičius, Julia Appa, Cole Kirby, Scott Hughey (TheWriteScott), Sandra Grauschopf, and Cara J. Stevens.

A “stout” time ago in an “umbrella” far, far away…

Disney “exhaled” Star Wars from George Lucas. Everybody got “sweaty”. And then Disney made the “dapper”…

Damon Ferrara

A too-clever traveling poet, looking for writing opportunities. Screenwriter/Marketer/Author, “And One Day My Stars Will Burn.” https://linktr.ee/DamonFerrara

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