The conclusion of a two-week series on the pull of bad influences in our lives and in the culture.
Summer camp: you’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s hot, there are bugs, and you’re being overseen by “adults” who are just five years older than you. There are bound to be mistakes, disasters, and bad decisions being made. At the time we accept these counselors, with their quirks and rules, as givens of the camp experience—sometimes we even looked up to them as role models of young adulthood, only later realizing they had no idea what they were doing either. We asked friends to share some of their stories [...]
Part of a two-week series on the pull of bad influences in our lives and in the culture.
The word “blackmail” has deceit written all over it. Nine letters to connote all the dirtiness and manipulation that comes with the threat of disclosure. But when you think of "blackmail," do you picture, well, mail? Confidential missives that threaten to enter the wrong hands? I’m always reminded of Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Purloined Letter," where the narrative winds to follow the possible locations of an incriminating letter. In daytime soaps and murder mysteries, blackmail regularly happens through the transfer of mail. As we know, letters are by nature compromising—not only [...]
The first in a two-week series on the pull of bad influences in our lives and in the culture.
Brenda looked great in a bikini. She looked great in everyone’s bikini. She looked like an adult in a bikini, which is to say that she looked like one of those models we call beautiful because they have the face of an adult and the body of a 15 year old.
Brenda was equally great on four-wheelers and horses, and when she got her license, just months after turning 15 (Idaho doesn’t care about your national traffic safety), she’d already mastered the stubborn clutch on one of her [...]