The smell of burning rubber and engine smoke entered my nose. I was unable to see the state I was in, or where I ended up after I swerved. The sounds of screeching tires and crashing plastic were still ringing in my ears, echoing off the empty air around me. I crossed the state line awhile ago and had no idea where I was. The last sign I passed that offered me any clue was the exit for the rest stop tucked off to the side. I was sitting, submerged in engine smoke. All I could hear was my heartbeat…


News outlets love to report on the state of “the news” the same way Hollywood loves to make movies about Hollywood. And with all that reporting it has become pretty clear…most Americans don’t trust much of it — irony is fun.

In fact, we can even put a number on it: according to Gallup, 41% of Americans cite having some semblance of trust in mass media, and to put this number in context, that is down from 70% in the 1970s. Therefore, a whopping 59%, far from the minority, don’t trust the information that comes across their televisions, printed headlines…


I was dressed clad in a toga. The reason was unclear to me until an energetic band of similarly decorated people rushed to my side and ushered me along what I soon discovered to be a stage. The ruby-colored curtain was still meeting the stage floor and the fourth wall was not yet broken. It would seem my consciousness dropped in on the opening night of what appeared to be a production of Shakespeare’s Julie Caesar — I assume. That’s the only theatrical experience where togas seem approximate. The panic was palpable because, as I tried to explain to my…


Horror movies in times of crisis.

Even with Halloween in the rear-view mirror and Christmas movies clogging up our streaming queues, one shouldn’t underestimate the power of a good scare. Even though we’ve all been watching this year unfold behind the shuttered view of our strained hands, the kind of scare I’m referring to is one that can even send your worries into hiding under the blanket.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who let the spooky season slip by me undetected due to its close and unnerving proximity to the 2020 election. …


With movie theaters being on the verge of extinction, so too are the places humans gather with a shared purpose.

The COV-19 pandemic has altered our lives in ways that won’t truly be discernible for years, possibly even decades, to come. But each day the death toll tragically reaches new heights and stay-at-home orders continue their merry-go-round, the more Americans see communal spaces as irredeemable potential health hazards. That mentality won’t simply vanish with a vaccine, either.

And with social distancing being the name of the game for our foreseeable future, no other industry has had quite the baptism by…


“It’s the economy, stupid.” This now-famous snowclone, spoken by democratic political strategist James Carville, has ricocheted through the consciousness of both political parties in America; doubling as both mantra and battle cry for those seeking high office. In modern political history, the general rule of thumb has been: the electorate will cast their vote for whichever candidate best serves their wallets.

This was true with Bill Clinton, whose famous upset win against President George H.W. Bush owes a debt of gratitude to this sound bite, and also of Donald Trump, who managed to ride the wave of economic insufficiency all…


“How could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?”

Social media isn’t exactly known for its thoughtful takes on philosophical ruminations. However, I couldn’t help but notice the above quote by one of ancient Greek’s most famous philosophers, Plato, ordaining various comment sections online. This quote is from one of his more thought-provoking works — The Allegory of the Cave.

This story will be recognizable to anyone who has taken a rudimentary philosophy class. But for those who may have opted to fill that slot on your school schedule with a less…


Whether you voted for Donald Trump or not, you cannot deny that the country — and the world — seem to be taking a collective sigh of relief as the news broke of his electoral defeat. And while this is a definite point of celebration for those who saw the president as a genuine existential threat to American democracy, it’s not improbable to see how the worst is yet to come.

While it’s still unknown whether he will attend the inauguration of his successor — I doubt it, but hey, Donald Trump is nothing if not unpredictable — it’s rather…


Humans are biased. I say this as a matter of fact because, well, it is. A plethora of psychological evidence backs this up. And with the current national debate shifting from “Is the American legal system biased against African Americans? to “how much is it?,” I believe it is fair to say that biases are as widely believed and accepted as the theory of gravity. Although I’m sure there are a few malcontents who would gleefully argue otherwise; something along the lines of it’s “The Man’s way of keeping us down” — pun intended.

It’s clear that media bias is…


These are uncertain times, that much is clear. The days feel hypnotically both long and short, the news offers little in the world of hope and optimism, and the virtual map that outlines the spread of COVID-19 shows a virus that seems to be unwilling to go without a fight.

Those looking for answers may find themselves turning to doctors and leading medical professionals in the country — as they should — but when it comes to some of the more spiritual or, let’s face it, existential questions many of us are having these days, it may be best to…

Connor Dobson

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