In the past few years, conservative Americans have shifted almost wholesale from Russophobia to Russophilia. Right wing Christians in particular are falling in love with “Russia” and Vladimir Putin. They do not care that Mr. Putin assassinates dissidents. They do not care that Mr. Putin is, as the Washington Post’s Christian Caryl writes, “contemptuous of freedom, and he sneers at the idea of representative democracy. He believes in corruption, lying and poison as tools of statecraft.”
This is perfectly understandable when you admit that what appeals to them in Mr. Putin is the very thing they love about Donald Trump.
Continue reading the op-ed Love Russia, hate Putin
They make their way haltingly, careful not to step on the fat tubes of bullwhip kelp stretched across their path like brown furry boa constrictors. The shore pebbles, gray and white and black, so rounded and smooth from the endless tumble and roll of saltwater, shift under their feet and make the going more treacherous yet. A gangly hedge of weather-felled trees and debris, bark-less and sea-bleached, hems the entire strand. The wind is a constant white rumble past Delmas’ head.
“Did you see…?” Lillian’s voice is swept up by the wind.
Delmas nods. Mergansers float out on the blue water; closer in, shiny black seal heads bob. The seals peer at the two of them with curious eyes, intelligent eyes that seem to betray a knowledge of more than swimming and catching fish. Much more.
“Did you?” she yells up at his ear.
He nods again, more insistently.
Under her green windbreaker, Lillian is wearing Delmas’ blue moth-eaten cardigan over a gray sweatshirt shed by a lover from before Delmas met her. The cuffs are frayed to almost nothing and Washington & Lee is faded to a shadowy blue arch over her breasts–her left still there though flattened and empty, the right, a puckered scar that stretches into her armpit. She no longer bothers with a bra.
The cancer is back; it has metastasized. The children don’t know yet.
When you have a little down time, read my story Delmas, out now in a beautiful issue of The Woven Tale Press.
The new neighbor from across the street–the one with the Trump sign in his yard, rebel flag across his garage windows, and Nazi flag on his son’s basketball backboard–walked into the party wearing a shirt that said on the back, “Better a wolf of Odin than a Lamb of God.”
The Will to Devolution, up now at Eclectica.
“Losing My Religion” , from my essay collection Get Thee Behind Me, is about my Fundamentalist Baptist rearing, and my struggle to get free of what is now called the Religious Right. It’s out now in Appalachian Heritage, in the company of a lot of excellent literary work. You should subscribe.