A Healthy Drill for Young Men

“It was the kind of family where the young men were expected to go off to school and then to make their own way in the world of great adventures—five years or so was respectable—before coming back and joining the firm in some useful and productive capacity. They were always expected to come back with a dragon head or two, and it was never looked down on if they came back with a beautiful and exotic woman from Ecuador or something. Trevor’s uncle had done that.”

Flags Out Front, p. 76


Lest Anyone Take Umbrage at the Title: I should say at the outset that I am taking care to sharply distinguish two crises, as I have done from the very beginning of this unraveling mess. To those exhausted doctors and nurses who are in the front lines treating those with COVID-19, to those researchers who …

Audio Reading of Post

Handling Snakes and Not Bitten

“Trevor Smith was the scion of a family that had plenty of bucks but which had somehow managed to keep that fact from rotting out the floorboards of its collective soul. They had money—quite a bit of it, actually—but for them, money was just bullets . . . Some people cast their bread on the waters, and all they get is soggy bread, or happy ducks. Others were like the Smith dynasty, and nobody quite knew how it worked.”

Flags Out Front, p. 75

We Have Revised Our Estimates Somewhat Downwards

Introduction: The coronavirus scare has had a narrative arc. There were the initial troubling reports out of China. Then there was time when the alarm was sounded on the basis of the kind of sensational modeling that has a genius for the limelight. Battle was joined, as this was clearly the moral equivalent of war. …

Leaving Some Perfect Little Teeth Marks

“She was doing pretty well until about three minutes into his presentation. He gestured expansively, with the kind of gesture that he had found so effective in the impressing of freshman girls, and Maria almost lost it. His right hand moved languidly toward the ceiling, and Dr. Rollins was unable to keep himself from looking at it as it went. The board members, being all men, didn’t notice, but Maria did, and started biting her forefinger.”

Flags Out Front, p. 66