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

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…


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.
The freakishly massive fingers of a true statesman. (Photo by on )

Disclaimer: This story is intended to be random and humorous. It is published in , 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.
The Ever Given, while stuck in the Suez Canal. (, , via Wikimedia Commons)

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

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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