Essays

How to Make a Witch-Hunt: Salem 1692

People are throwing the word “witch-hunt” around a lot this year. They mean it in its metaphorical sense: “the widespread persecution of innocent people based on manufactured and untrue accusations.” The most famous American witch-hunt, in this sense, is of course that spearheaded by Senator Joseph McCarthy, who used to be Wisconsin’s most shameful contribution […]

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Postcards from the Apocalypse

The first time I met my birth mother, a woman whose family comes from the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo of Northern New Mexico, she gave me two things: a VHS tape of Surviving Columbus: The Story of the Pueblo People and a CD of the Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie. The first chronicles our people’s survival of […]

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We Will See You Now

Wherein one fights to be seen, gives up, believes one should not be trapped under or behind glass, is proven wrong, and almost disappears. Told in parts. Image 1: A doctor’s office, one spring, a fat-as-hell file on a desk, quickly glanced through. The same questions, every time, the same ten minutes allotted in which […]

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Mobile Matchmaking Hell

My cell phone, it turned out, was not compatible with The Future of Dating. I can’t blame it for its betrayal. My Nexus 5 had served me well and faithfully for three years now, bouncing from school to school and country to country. The poor thing was tired. But it was also the only weapon […]

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The Secret of NIMH

(Editors’ Note: This essay is a side-step to Mari Ness’s exquisite Disney Read-Watch series of essays on Tor.com.) Don Bluth entered Disney in 1955 with high hopes. As a child, he had been mesmerized by Disney films and shorts, later telling interviewers that he spent hours copying Disney comic books. To his delight, he was […]

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Counting the Stars on One Hand

It’s the first time I’m watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Adrenaline and excitement rush through my veins—it’s a new Star Wars film for the first time in over a decade, and I’m seeing a woman and a cast of faces of color in the limelight. The final climactic aerial battle begins and Poe Dameron […]

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Monitoring My Mind: MST3K and Me

(Content note: This essay contains descriptions of child abuse.) Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) was, for those who don’t know, a show that aired in the 80s and 90s. It aired on a lot of different channels: first on local Minneapolis television, then on the Comedy Channel, and when that channel merged with Ha the […]

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