Justified Textworks

Assorted Texts

General Fiction


A second later the door splintered and exploded and two cops stormed into the tiny hotel room, guns drawn.

The Envelope

"I guess I get to root around in the Burger Shack dumpster now," he said.

This Sucks

"No," Susan snapped. She jabbed a finger toward Karen. "She made it very clear who her real friends are, and we didn't make the list."

Lost Track

It's funny what good music will do to you.


He was sprinting before anyone else moved. He hit Y and flipped his submachine gun around and pulled in the glock and tactical knife.

Memoir, etc

Finding Myself in Genocide

After years of confusion, I learned who I was — and met my wife — through activism for East Timor. It was a strange and terrible adventure, but it couldn’t have happened any other way.

The Writing Teacher

With apologies to DFW1


A Profit Without Honors

Against the Business Model of Education

Memes, Clichés, Repetition, Terrible Truths, and the Danger of Boredom

I try not to lecture my students. When I was a high schooler (back in the 12th Century), my life seemed like a never-ending series of lectures.


Global Economics 101

Five Things Everyone Should Know About the IMF, World Bank, and WTO

Global Economics 201

Five More Things Everyone Should Know About International Economics and "Free Trade"

Arts & Crafts

A Gift of Words

Making a message or poem to your special person in the shape of their name.

Travel Writing

Two Weeks in Timor (2005)

A Political Travelogue

Due Settimana in Italia (2007)

An Apolitical Travelogue

Two Weeks in Europe (2018)

Tales from a Stealth Holiday


"Writers Come and Go": The Greatness of Barton Fink

Barton Fink is the best movie ever made about writing.

The Enemy is Us

Five Political Take-Aways from Jordan Peele’s 2019 Film

12 Things in Primer Nobody Talks About

Most people get hung up on timelines and questions about the physics. Some other deserving areas haven't gotten much attention — so I will give them some here.

10 Things from the Script of Barton Fink

I've been re-reading the script. Here are the most interesting bits and how they correspond (or don't) to the film.

Philosophy & Politics

Resist the Abyss

Why the Dragon in Grendel is Wrong (and Why It Matters)

How to Be Angry for a Long Time

It is not necessary for us to cling to our anger in order to absorb this information and energy. But letting go of our anger before we learn from it (or take energy from it) can also be unhealthy.

Let Go of Your Body Ego

The body ego isn't concerned with your health. It wants you to compare yourself constantly to people on the street, and advertisements in magazines, and photos on social media, and famous people on TV.

Chaotic Reflections: Mind Health in March 2020

We're all feeling nervous with this COVID-19 pandemic. I don't need to review the reasons why; that's not my purpose here. Instead, I want to share some thoughts that might be psychologically useful for my friends, my coworkers, and my students.

People Are Complicated: How Compassion Flows from Mindfulness

The most oversimplified story we tell is one of "good people" and "bad people".

What Conscience and Honesty Demands of All Americans

If the scenario were reversed, how would you feel? What would you support or oppose? Conscience and honesty require us to be consistent in our thinking; if we oppose something for ourselves, we must also oppose that same thing for others.

White Supremacy Kills

The social, psychological, economic, and cultural effects of white supremacy still impact people today, and we must continue to fight them.

The Logic of Mindfulness: Existential Philosophy in Hip-Hop

YSIV is less directly philosophical than Everybody, but it’s clear that he will not avoid the deep themes of meaning and existentialism he confronted in previous projects.

Prescriptions for Real: Creative Evolutions of Human Existence

And here’s the thing: That same dichotomy between prescriptive and descriptive grammar can apply to everything else too — even the nature of reality itself.