@stephixohen


The Closing of the American Bookstore

On a lazy Saturday afternoon this summer, our family of six was ambling through the local streets of Plattsburgh, New York, skirting along Lake Champlain. Taking in the local storefronts and dining options, we happened past a bookstore that looked legitimate in size and friendly enough for young kids, so we went in. We spread … Continued

Culture

How Mercy Can Fix Our Culture of Voyeurism

We are a culture of eye-scanners, onlookers, and voyeurs—looking at pictures, scrolling through updates, glancing at Instagram posts, watching videos in the palm of our hands, and following chat and text sessions. All the world is a meme, and we are the audience. I thought of this when I read about a recent—and horrible—story about … Continued

Culture


Why Athletes and Social Media Don’t Always Mix

Athletes and Instagram seem to go hand in hand these days – especially among elite athletes and those hoping to reach the professional (and even semi-professional) level. It’s hardly surprising: social media accounts are a measure of popularity and potential sponsors like to see a large number of followers. But smartphones aren’t problem-free, especially for … Continued

Parenting

What a Revolutionary War Hero Can Teach Us About How to Read

Recently, Bill Gates released his 5 Good Summer Reads. J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is on the list, a recommendation I couldn’t agree with more – and in fact have gifted to several people this year. As I begin to form my own list of books that I will read with my children this summer, I … Continued

Culture

What the Theater Can Teach Us About Living in the Moment

A movie chain in southern California recently announced the opening of a new theater with an indoor jungle gym situated alongside stadium seating. The goal is to “exhaust” children ahead of the movie so parents can sit back and enjoy the flick. The kids, meanwhile, will “then sprawl out on beanbags and lounge seats and … Continued

Parenting

Coding Isn’t Reading

Ivanka Trump recently announced that she will be attending a coding class this summer with her five-year-old daughter. “We’re excited to learn this incredibly important new language together,” Trump said, speaking at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. “Coding truly is the language of the future.” Like Ivanka, many tech gurus … Continued

Parenting

Why is PBS Marketing the Brontë Sisters as Proto-Feminists?

At times it seems as if the only stories worth telling about women these days are those where women can be cast as warriors, trailblazers, radicals, or “hidden figures,” all of whom are fighting a singular common enemy: men. What these stories often achieve, unfortunately, is feminist biographies that lack the intricate complexities of the … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Stop Trolling Politicians at Town Hall Meetings

Most Americans, particularly those in suburban and metropolitan areas, may not know where their town hall is, or even if their town has one. But lately everyone, it seems, is ready to attend a town hall meeting. Town hall meeting is the it phrase of 2017. In some cases, thousands of people beyond capacity are … Continued

Politics

Why More Juvenile Delinquents Should Read

  It’s a modern cliché to say that reading books will make you a better person—a more empathetic person, a more intelligent person, even a happier person. Research does indeed suggest many benefits from cozying up with a good book. But does reading only change those seeking betterment or can it help the juvenile offender … Continued

Books, Politics