A Warrior’s Heart

In a review of Jonathan Shay’s Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character, Elizabeth Schambelan contemplates notions of wartime masculinity and friendship: The broadest political implications of Achilles in Vietnam lie in Shay’s powerful critique of what might be called martial masculinity. The entire book enacts this critique, but it is most … Continue reading A Warrior’s Heart

PTSD Isn’t Limited To Our Troops, Ctd

Lois Beckett emphasizes that “not all trauma happens in Afghanistan”: Studies show that, overall, about 8 percent of Americans suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives. But the rates appear to be much higher in communities—such as poor, largely African-American pockets of Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia–where high rates of violent crime have persisted despite a national … Continue reading PTSD Isn’t Limited To Our Troops, Ctd

Art Imitating Trauma

After watching Lone Survivor, combat veteran Mikey Piro reflects on how he prepared himself for an experience that he knew was likely to trigger his PTSD: Overall, I focused on being mindful and present when facing the visual and auditory triggers throughout the movie. No matter how good a makeup artist is on a movie, it is still … Continue reading Art Imitating Trauma

Live-Blogging The SOTU 2014

10.22 pm. The metaphor of the soldier slowly, relentlessly, grindingly putting his life back together was a powerful one for America – and Obama pulled off that analogy with what seemed to me like real passion. One aspect of his personality and his presidency is sometimes overlooked – and that is persistence. He’s been hailed … Continue reading Live-Blogging The SOTU 2014

Deep Dish #2: Why Francis Matters

[Re-posted from earlier today] Subscribers are already digging into the latest Deep Dish offering, Untier Of Knots, my essay on Pope Francis released last night: Thank you. Sublime. Beautiful. A gobsmacking refutation of fundamentalism and affirmation of what remains the best of Christianity. Another: This is a very fine essay on Pope Francis, I believe. … Continue reading Deep Dish #2: Why Francis Matters

Reliving The Iraq War, Ctd

Readers are starting to get more specific with their feedback on the e-book (available to subscribers here): I’ve finished reading through I Was Wrong. First of all, thanks for giving us subscribers this long-form content. It’s greatly appreciated. The entire collection is worth reading, but I think that much can be summarized and learned from your … Continue reading Reliving The Iraq War, Ctd

The Pity Of War, Ctd

A reader just finished listening to my conversation with two-time Iraq vet Mikey Piro (available here for subscribers): Oh man, the way he described his friends being killed, and how it’s clearly still affecting him emotionally, was pretty startling. It sorta revealed how much I previously viewed soldiers as almost mechanical. I never conceived of … Continue reading The Pity Of War, Ctd

The Best Of The Dish Today

Sorry for the late posting. Dish, AC360 and life. Four posts worth revisiting: the latest installment in a gripping reader thread on miscarriage; how the ACA can still work; the pioneering of “sponsored content” by “Pay for Playbook’s” Mike Allen; and some clips from my conversation with Mikey Piro, on his war and the scars … Continue reading The Best Of The Dish Today