Back in the car, Abrams takes an audible breath before opening the door and greeting the whooping crowd with a smile. That wordless transition between private and public existence distills one of Abrams’s many contradictions: She is a serious introvert, yet her work requires glad-handing extroversion; she is excruciatingly aware of the electoral challenges that face her as a black woman who grew up what she calls “genteel poor” in rural Mississippi, yet she pushes forward politically with the drive and confidence of a white man; she devours romance novels and soap operas, yet she is also a science-fiction, math, and tax-law geek; she can come off as one of the most relatable politicians out there, yet she is a total egghead who drops million-dollar vocabulary words, once sending me to the dictionary to confirm what panegyric means (I mostly got it through context!). And she is a woman who, having just run in a historic election that many of her fellow Democrats … [Read more...] about Stacey Abrams for ….
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Two years ago, I started trading letters with Kaczynski. His responses are relentlessly methodical and laced with footnotes, but he seems to have a droll side, too. “Thank you for your undated letter postmarked 6/11/18, but you wrote the address so sloppily that I’m surprised the letter reached me …” “Thank you for your letter of 8/6/18, which I received on 8/16/18. It looks like a more elaborate and better developed, but otherwise typical, example of the type of brown-nosing that journalists send to a ‘mark’ to get him to cooperate.” Questions that revealed unfamiliarity with his work were poorly received. “It seems that most big-time journalists are incapable of understanding what they read and incapable of transmitting facts accurately. They are frustrated fiction-writers, not fact-oriented people.” I tried to warm him up with samples of my brilliant prose. “Dear John, Johnny, Jack, Mr. Richardson, or whatever,” … [Read more...] about Children of Ted
Most of the gay priests I spoke with have never experienced abuse in the church. Many had already come to terms with their sexual orientation before they entered the priesthood, but some wrestled with it in the seminary, and others later in life. “There is no typical experience,” Father Joe, as I’ll call him, told me. “At first I wondered if I were a fraud, because I thought, Well, am I just trying to escape into a life in which I don’t have to deal with my sexuality? But I had people in charge of me who challenged me to ask myself if this were authentic, and I felt that this was the life and work that God was calling me to. It’s an ongoing discernment.” Then there was a moment of grace. “I was working in a hospital at the height of the AIDS crisis. A nun said to me, ‘What do you want to tell these people? They’re active homosexuals, drug users.’ I said, ‘I would talk about God’s mercy and be with them as … [Read more...] about The Gay Church