From the Left



Lessons I learned at the end of the world

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

If it felt at all safe, I would finish this column and go out for a beer.

How incredibly old-fashioned it sounds to talk about going out for a beer.

"Honey, I'm going to go out for a beer," I'd say. "I'll be back by 10."

My father said that to his wife, and my grandfather said that to his wife, and I have said it to my wife. Though, in these ...Read more

Watching the reality show on the streets of Portland

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

Who won't they gas and beat?

I'm talking about the camo-suited soldiers of Pres. Donald Trump's palace guard.

They've shattered the hand of a Navy veteran, turning every bone into several smaller souvenirs of the event.

A line of moms looking to protect their protesting sons and daughters? Fire the gas canisters! A line of ironic dads with ...Read more

History of a colorless man

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I'm a white man. I'm not "courtesy white," either, like some of the very light olive ethnics. It takes generations of living in cold fog and eating root vegetables to produce my kind of white. And, no, I can't dance, not even a little.

I'll tell you how white I am. I'm white enough for Pres. Donald Trump to trust me if I were rich and con me if...Read more

Don't worry. you're going to have plenty of cops

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

Most Americans don't live downtown, and they don't live in the country, either. They live in the suburbs. We are a suburban people. Loaded potato skins in a chain restaurant that calls itself an "eatery." Off-street parking. Schools where the kids get free Chromebooks. Above-ground pools. Luxury on an average scale.

That's why you shouldn't ...Read more

Joe Biden's not crazy and can hold the wheel steady

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

Joe Biden, D-Forever, is as uninspiring a candidate as Hillary Clinton. Clinton ran her last presidential campaign the way a state representative does if he's running unopposed.

But she wasn't crazy.

How we long for "not crazy"!

Biden's main campaign plank is that he's not crazy, not even a little.

He may be more confused than he ought to be...Read more

Old man and cat talk while the country sickens and dies

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

The radio station where I work part time has 12 parking spaces in the lot, though there are seldom more than seven cars parked between the yellow lines. There is a cemetery at one edge of the lot, a cemetery from the 1700s because this is Massachusetts. Inside the cemetery, broken gravestones are piled up on the ground. Others are worn down like...Read more

Yassuh, or how to become a racial icon

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

Poor Aunt Jemima. Gone from the syrup container, she is mourned by everyone who mourns Amos 'n' Andy, Stepin Fetchit, Birmingham Brown and every other comforting image of Black people as kitchen help, slightly larcenous goofballs or paragons of laziness.

That was back when Black people were comfortably nonthreatening, back when they "didn't ...Read more

How not to get COVID-19 at a Trump rally

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

All right. Don't touch me. I don't want to get sick. The virus, ya know.

You? You got more guts than me. You're a patriot. A Proud Boy. If they still had White Citizens' Councils, you'd join one. You're a fine person.

And because you're a proud fine patriot boy, you're off to a possible big rally in Oklahoma, a rally for Pres. Donald Trump, ...Read more

The colors of romance aren't what they were

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

"I have black friends." "I don't see color." "All lives matter." "I never owned a slave."

Yup. Yup. Yup.

You're a leader in the civil rights movement. Accept the thanks of a grateful nation.

"Shoot a few of 'em. They'll stop rioting." "Send in the Army."

Yup. Yup. Yup.

You love the troops, the flag, law and order, and death. Accept this ...Read more

Me and the holy book(s)

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

As punchline Pres. Donald J. Trump continues his honkin' big tour of many Jesuses, waving the Bible at an Episcopal church, visiting a shrine run by idol-worshiping Catholics, and no doubt on his way to wave a Quran at a mosque, I begin to see the light.

That's why I bought a copy of the Chiltons repair manual for the 2016 Buick Enclave. I ...Read more

A soft slush is a-gonna slush

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I remember the days when the folk singers said a hard rain was a-gonna fall, and a hard wind was a-gonna blow, and a hard snow was a-gonna snow, and a hard hail was a-gonna ping off'n yer windshield.

It was fun listening to the folk singers tone-deaf imitation of the people among who I was raised.

Punchline Pres. Donald Trump, whose speech ...Read more

The virus affects us in petty little ways

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

The French philosopher Pascal said that human beings are so easy to comfort because we are so easy to afflict.

Big deal. So, I went to college.

Still, the columnist who begins a column with a quote or paraphrases from someone you've never heard of establishes himself as intellectually superior from the git go, just as he can lay claim to being...Read more

America is a sea of different faces

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

Now that two women reporters I could throw over a fence have chased Pres. Donald Trump out of a press conference, I guess we understand why older white American men need so many guns. You never know when your intellect is going to get mugged by some small Asian-looking woman who wears a size 4 dress.

"Ask China," Trump said. What, does he think...Read more



Steve Benson Brian Duffy David M. Hitch Dan Wasserman Phil Hands Clay Bennett