My addictions are legion, a source of legendary consternation among my friends and family. My most toxic fixation at the moment are news feeds, a dicey brew considering the divisive political nature of my country.
Running across streams of stories similar to this one confirms my sad bias that certain segments of american society have chosen to entrench themselves in a fierce state of willful ignorance. My opinions have been unfortunately reinforced by disturbing personal interactions.
Imagine having to shush your Vanderbilt educated mother at the Christmas dinner table when she cheerfully derides our nigger president in a mortifyingly naughty toast.
These troubling experiences leave me for desperate higher planes of discourse. I hunger for thoughtful, intriguing discussion and meaty debate on matters both small and large. Intelligent conversation fortified by informed commentary seems to be nearly nonexistent in public venues and beyond scarce in most personal interactions.
Fortunately, one can still run across something wonderful on occasion. Which led me on a merry chase to a 1965 debate at the Cambridge Union between William F. Buckley and James Baldwin.