Looking Forward to Labor Day

by Bill McKibben and Sue Halpern


We used to think we worked pretty hard, but that was before we agreed to help out this week in Andrew’s absence. As Dish guest-bloggers we were each doing three posts a day, and the pressure seemed unrelenting – we’d sigh the minute one went up on the site because it felt like the countdown clock was ticking already. It felt like Lucy on that chocolate assembly line. We’ve always admired this place, but now we’re in a kind of awe: we have no idea how the staff and the proprietor keep it up day after day (and we think Maureen Dowd et al are living the high life – I mean, once every three days? Come on.)

We realized, too, that though we’ve always thought of ourselves as opinionated, there are actually vast swaths of current events on which we have no useful thought at all. Vladimir Putin is clearly a bad guy, but God knows what we should do about him. Ditto Libya. There are other questions, happily, where we can subcontract our opinion-forming to each other: anything to do with computers and internets, for instance, is Sue’s domain, for instance. Ditto butterflies, dogs, and how the brain works. Bill, as you may have noticed, is good on climate change and also climate change. But that leaves a little uncovered; which is why the crowd wisdom that comes with a Dish subscription seems like such a good value.

The one other thing we both know a little about is journalism.

We’ve written for pretty much everyone there is to write for over the years. It’s an honor to have added the Dish to that list: there’s good work going on here, and in quantity. We always knew Andrew was remarkable;  now we have a sense of the depth of the bench. Thanks to them for making this week so smooth for us.

Since we’re good Vermonters, we’ll conclude with a small going away present, our very own (and very simple) granola recipe, which we make each and every week. Since soon the days will start to cool, you might want to make it too:

Preheat oven to 250

In big bowl, mix 10 cups oats with a cup or two or even three of chopped pecans and cashews

Mix in 1/2 cup oil, 1 cup maple syrup, and 1/2 cup water

Spread over two lightly greased cookie sheets

Bake 30 minutes, turn over with a spatula

Return to over for 30 minutes and then, when the timer goes off, simply turn off the heat and let it sit in the over for a few hours till it cools

In our experience, if you eat this, you will start to favor single-payer health insurance, despise big oil companies, and hope Bernie Sanders runs for president. It’s our second-favorite morning Dish.

(Photo by Robert S. Donovan)