Thin Earth Blog


By thinearth | June 14, 2024

Today is Trump’s birthday. Was there ever a man more haunted by his father?

Maundy Mandate: Love One Another

By thinearth | March 28, 2024

It is 20 degrees outside, all the crocuses are frozen to the ground like murdered ballerinas. Donald Trump is hawking Bibles on the internet. And it’s Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday is the day on the church calendar when the Last Supper is commemorated–the final dinner Jesus had with his disciples. In the next twenty-four hours…

I Dare You

By thinearth | March 18, 2024

We often think of old age as a terrible burden. The body’s growing decrepitude, the loss of loved ones, the decay of memory, all seem a great weight to bear. But counterbalanced to that is the lightness that age can bring, as many of the expectations that weigh us down when we are young begin…

Anniversary of the End of the World

By thinearth | March 13, 2024

Dawn, March 13th, 2024. Four years ago the world shut down. Does it all seem like a bad dream to us now? Four years ago I was driving back to Winona from Houston and the radio was full of frantic closure notices. The world was shutting down. A year or so later I wrote a…

Coalition of the Vile

By thinearth | March 10, 2024

Trump had a visitor at Mar-a-Lago last Friday–Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister. Orban runs his country like a mob boss–he installs his cronies in high places (like the courts, arts organizations and the universities) and makes sure government funding goes only to people who kowtow to him and his views. He has rewritten the…

Snow, at Last

By thinearth | January 20, 2024

We’ve had an anomalous winter–the warmest in Minnesota’s history. This has been difficult for me to take. Day after day of brown vistas. But from a practical standpoint, it is hard to defend grief over a lack of snow. A snow-covered world is inconvenient, taxing, dangerous. But snow is also a reason many of us…

Epiphany or Infamy?

By thinearth | January 12, 2024

January 6th has been much in the news this week. The date has become a “day of infamy” for many Americans, recalling as it does the right-wing riot the U.S. capital. In the same way that December 7th is inseparable from the attack on Pearl Harbor, January 6th has become shorthand for an attempt to…

Hello Houston!

By thinearth | November 20, 2023

Downtown Houston, seen from the Buffalo Bayou I had a wonderful time last week visiting the University of Houston. On Wednesday I was a guest in Robert Cremin’s Nations & Imaginations class, where the students were using Benedict Anderson’s modern classic Imagined Communities as their textbook. Robert had previously told me the class had been…

Reading at WSU

By thinearth | November 1, 2023

I have a reading on November 2 at WSU–should be fun!

Campus Visit: Houston, TX

By thinearth | October 29, 2023

I’ll be heading off to Texas to visit the University of Houston, where I’ll visit classes and give both a reading and a lecture. If you are in the Lone Star State, come check this out!