Writing In Public celebrates the art and intelligence of essays, online and in print.

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We don’t want the dead chipmunk to eat our food

We don’t want the dead chipmunk to eat our food

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Ainara Del Valle @ Paper Darts/

Chris Bachelder explores irony, literature, and the mechanisms of jokes @ The Believer.
One day in August I went to campus to make some copies and retrieve a book from my office. My three-year-old daughter came with me as my “helper.” I had packed her a muffin and some milk, and I had promised her we would have a picnic when I finished what I had to do. After she helped me by pushing all the buttons in the elevator and spinning around fast in my swivel chair, we left the building, and I began to look for a good place for our picnic. I spotted a shady bench in a small courtyard, and I pointed the way. As we approached, however, I noticed, directly in front of the bench, a dead chipmunk splayed beneath a cloud of flies.U.S.!: Songs and Stories“Honey,” I said, putting my hand on her shoulder, “let’s look for another place.” I know by now I can’t shield or distract my children from all unpleasant things, but if I had the choice, I would rather not picnic by a dead animal and answer the inevitable barrage of questions about the chipmunk’s condition.read more

Why do we preserve buildings?

Why do we preserve buildings?

All morality is of its very nature godless

All morality is of its very nature godless