Author: Ben Libman

What It’s Like

  I miss you like an old man misses the red-faced lad who cut his grass for years before his wife died, and for years after her going, and who called him pops and drank beers with him from a cooler between the lawn chairs, with evening swimming on and the milky drippings of stars and the warm asthmatic silence. The pair would talk in sighs, desiring or letting go, the chairs bearing them into the growing anonymity. “That must be Gawd,” the lad would say, and the old man would get weepy in the blue dark, wiggling his...

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Exquisite Corpse

“Maybe I was coming down with something, and should go to the hospital. I had heard somewhere that it was bad to be outside when there was a fire growing that was close enough to smell, and there I was, tucked into the sheets with the window above my head open about eight inches, inviting the outdoors and its odours into bed with me.”

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Jews and Whiteness

On October 27, 2018, eleven Jewish people were killed during Shabbat services at their Pittsburgh synagogue. They were murdered by a white man wielding four firearms, including an AR-15. Before shooting, he yelled: “All Jews must die.” Hardly a day later, most of us and most of the Jews among us set out trying to understand this event. A prime task here has been to fit this horror into the narratives we’ve already woven around our current political era and climate. This includes, importantly, our current discourses about race and racism in (North) America. Are Jews the unsung victims,...

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Dr. Peterson’s Patent Snake Oil: Nothing New Under the Sun

There is something refreshing about Jordan Peterson. Something that conservative thinkers have yet to bring into the public discourse. What has long been an ageing, traditional, and defensive ideology—publicly embodied by the septuagenarians of the GOP and the oil industry—has been revitalized by a captivating and competent speaker. Peterson has managed to cast “leftist doctrine” as the dominant, oppressive cultural force of our day, and the defenders of Western civilization and common sense as the radical bearers of dark truths. His appeal is unmistakable: a calmness that offsets leftist screeching; a scientificity that roots the supremacy of the individual...

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