Lesson in the Lyrics: Why The Little Drummer Boy Matters

Christmas carols have emerged from eleven months of hibernation, filling the air with a mountain of merriment…and, perhaps, a touch of annoyance (I’m looking at you 12 Days of Christmas!) One song which brings mixed reviews is The Little Drummer Boy. The criticisms of the song tend to flux between attempts at humor (playing drumsContinue reading “Lesson in the Lyrics: Why The Little Drummer Boy Matters”

Hello There: Obi-Wan, Trauma, and Resilience

Obi-Wan Kenobi can now be watched in its entirety on Disney+. While it is wonderful to witness Ewan McGregor effortlessly slip back into Obi-Wan’s robes the show also allows for reflection on the impermanence of trauma and the power of resilience. I fear the phrase “impermanence of trauma” may have struck some readers as eitherContinue reading “Hello There: Obi-Wan, Trauma, and Resilience”

Designing the Bad Guy

“You need people like me so you can point your fucking fingers and say ‘That’s the bad guy.’ …So say goodnight to the bad guy! …last time you gonna see a bad guy like this…”  Thus spoke Al Pacino’s ever defiant and self-assured Tony Montana in Scarface. Audiences have been captivated by Tony since heContinue reading “Designing the Bad Guy”

Peter Parker: The Hero We Need

As I watched Spider-Man: No Way Home I was struck by the feeling that Peter Parker/Spider-Man, the Marvel Comics Icon introduced in 1962, is the perfect hero for our current troubled times. Wondering Why? Read on, true believer! (Well, read on if you’re comfortable with the knowledge that spoilers – lots and lots of spoilersContinue reading “Peter Parker: The Hero We Need”

Momentous Personal Victories: Honoring the Struggle for Mental Health

Last week I had the opportunity to present Out of the Basement to a group of high school students enrolled in a class called Human Concerns in Literature. Michael Tanner, the protagonist of Out of the Basement, struggles to maintain his mental health as the lingering trauma of childhood abuse threatens to drown him inContinue reading “Momentous Personal Victories: Honoring the Struggle for Mental Health”

More Than Magic: Wanda’s Journey through the Darkness

With the series finale of WandaVision, the MCU has completed their most ambitious foray into the realm of mental health and grief. The superhero storytelling juggernaut has, to the credit of various writers, producers, etc., stepped into those tumultuous waters before. Whether it was Tony Stark’s PTSD in Iron Man 3, Thor’s combined angry/depressed stateContinue reading “More Than Magic: Wanda’s Journey through the Darkness”


In early December 2020, a valued colleague mentioned an abstract she read and the desire to find the article. The focal point of the article was the necessity for violence and the shortcomings of nonviolence. We discussed the concept for a short spell (and have returned to it since) and, in so doing, my interestContinue reading “Violence/Nonviolence”

Captain America and American Virtues

In my previous post, American Addictions, I presented my addiction model for viewing the history of the United States. At the end of that piece the question, “Could understanding and embracing these national virtues – the glory striding alongside the shame – be the keys to a more sober nation?”  was posed. Now we willContinue reading “Captain America and American Virtues”

Graduation Address for the Class of 2020

Hello P3ers and honored quests. It has been a strange year, with traditions great and small cast aside while anxiety and fears gripping the hearts of many.  Joy and hope, however, endures. It always does. Always. I often end my school year with a graduation address delivered to my P3 class at NFA but, alas,Continue reading “Graduation Address for the Class of 2020”