Virtual friends

Back in the days when we actually watched television shows at their scheduled times, Friends was the bomb. Its finale in 2004 was viewed by more than 50 million people, making it among the top watched television episodes in history and the top in that decade. We knew people whose social lives before that final episode…

Restoring idealism

Ironically, one of the tasks for those who succeed the baby boomers is to restore idealism. The great challenge of our moment is the crisis of isolation and fragmentation, the need to rebind the fabric of a society that has been torn by selfishness, cynicism, distrust and autonomy.      — David Brooks, The Death…

Time of Isolation

When an idea has found its time, it seems to show up everywhere. Who didn’t know about climate change a decade ago? Now, despite the best efforts of corporate idiots in the fossil fuel business, we learn more about it daily. No Milwaukeean over 60 can resist recounting deep snow and bitter cold of the old days.…

In common

In many ways our common practices, those things we do year in and year out, define us as a community or communities. In political stump speeches, national and local candidates ask rhetorical questions like, “What do we stand for as a nation?” and “Are we unified by greed and fear?” Then, depending on the candidate,…

There were strings attached

One of the things I noticed as a new staff person at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin in the early 1980’s was that both government and foundation staff were very helpful. They wanted Planned Parenthood programs to succeed. They valued sexuality education, clinical services, and advocacy. They got the point that to make every child a…