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

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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 in discussions of foreign policy. The latest fashion is 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.
Yes, they look flawless. Yes, that’s an amazing patio. Yes, we’re watching for escapism. But none of that means they can’t really, really, really screw up. (Photo: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)

(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

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Reading Game of Thrones while watching on the Wall. (Photo credit: Author)

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…

Because nobody is cuter than Baby Shaq

The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda.
The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda.
Image: © Disney

Disclaimer: This story is intended to be random and humorous. It is published in , 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”…

By secretly not subverting anything at all

Christopher Plummer as Harlan Thrombey in Knives Out.
Christopher Plummer as Harlan Thrombey in Knives Out.
(: Rian Johnson/Lionsgate | Cropped by author)

Christopher Plummer’s final film wasn’t quite Knives Out, but it may be remembered that way, one more great performance at the age of 89.

I’d been talking to a friend about Knives Out just hours before Plummer died; my friend’s a lifelong cinephile who’s seen thousands of movies, and Knives Out still blew him away. It’s a masterpiece, destined to be a classic.

Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is often called subversive, and this is equally true and false. It makes a show of departing from the standard murder mystery format. But, ultimately, it’s one of the most faithful Agatha Christie-style…

It wasn’t the lesson he intended.

Scenic view of Hong Kong.
Scenic view of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong. (Photo by author)

The restaurant was nicer than a single guy on Reddit’s self-description.

Hong Kong, lavish, expensive. Not “nice occasions” expensive; nobility expensive, the kind of place that taxes your breaths if you lack a trust fund. I remember the impressions more than objects: Red lighting, Chinese designs. The tables were round like King Arthur’s.

Ours was in the center of the upper hall.

The millionaire was waiting on us. He was an advisor for my university’s marketing course and had invited us all to dinner. Generously, thankfully, on his dime.

A Cliché And a Dilemma

Me and my classmates, we were eight minutes late. He excused…

Don’t believe the harmful Australians claiming your body is meant to shut down at night

Woman sleeping in her bed.
Woman sleeping in her bed.
Photo by on

Disclaimer: This story is intended to be random and humorous. It is published in , inspired by the classic game, Mad Libs. Blank words contributed by Shenba, JM Miana, Alyssa Chua, Giulia, Karen Traub, Elan Cassandra, Kayla Vokolek, Rujenx, Cole Kirby, Jenna Vokolek, Shain Slepian, Quy Ma, Yve Laran, Claire Sullivan, Dariuš Butkevičius, Scott Hughey (TheWriteScott), and Deborah Weir.

There comes a time when you close your eyes, lose consciousness, and rest. It’s called death.

With the rise of the intermushroom, however, a harmful myth has spread throughout the Western matchbox. …

It all doesn’t come together in the end but in a good way

Rita Ora.
Rita Ora.
Rita Ora. (Photo credit: | Cropped by author.)

I have many things in common with the Vatican. Every time I go camping, I announce my s’more-making using smoke signals. That’s our shared, superior form of communication.

Smoke signals are the TikTok of the 20s. Not the 2020s, admittedly. Not even the 1920s. Just the 20s. 0020s. Smoke signals were big the first time Jesus could down a vodka — legally.

The TikTok of the 2020s is TikTok if you’re wondering. Follow me for more financial insights.

But, yes, yes, we learned Francis was the new…

But it’s going to be a slow process

Newspapers discussing the 2020 presidential election.
Newspapers discussing the 2020 presidential election.
Photo by on

Is America turning left?

I recently discussing conservatives’ fears that their movement is in decline. In the comments, Thomas Brown suggested politics is simply becoming more polarized. It’s centrists, not conservatives, who have something to worry about.

I actually think conservatives are correct about their own decline, though I think it’s a matter of degrees. Conservatives aren’t facing an apocalypse. America has a long way to go before becoming a hellscape like Scandinavia, that diabolically pleasant region of the world.

But even if America stays pretty right wing, it…

Mad Libs

Don’t worry, a 23-year-old single man is here to dazzle

Blue neon lights saying “Work Harder.”
Blue neon lights saying “Work Harder.”
Parenting advice 101. (Photo by on )

Disclaimer: This story is intended to be random and humorous. It is published in , inspired by the classic game, Mad Libs. Blank words contributed by Scott Hughey (TheWriteScott), Quy Ma, Claire Sullivan, Dariuš Butkevičius, Ching Ching, Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她), Julia Appa, Elan Cassandra, Deborah Weir, Ashley Seaman, Shain Slepian, Alyssa Chua, Cara J. Stevens, Marie Kester, Panos Grigorakakis, Jenna Vokolek, Rujenx, JM Miana, Shenba, Christopher Kokoski, and Yve Laran.

I don’t thwart children. To be honest, I’m just a writer, standing in front of a speakeasy, asking you to placate me. And, apparently, people…

Damon Ferrara

A traveling poet discussing culture, usually seriously. Screenwriter/Marketer/Author, “And One Day My Stars Will Burn.” Open to opportunities. IG: wayfaringwit

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