We’re in a semantic age, when battles are fought over the words we use to refer to people or experiences, and lines are drawn through vocabulary. In a non-political arena, I’m having a similar fight over the specific words historians use. How important are these distinctions, really?Read More
It probably won’t surprise anyone to learn that coffee sales are down as a result of the pandemic. Like makeup and gasoline, coffee is less in demand when people aren’t leaving their houses, and like the restaurant industry as a whole, coffee shops often rely on foot traffic or at the very least gathering indoors, both of which are currently discouraged. This is a good moment, as coffee is a little less present in our lives, to question why coffee is such a part of particularly American culture and whether it should be.Read More
Amid the Coronavirus scramble that has left my local Costco completely bare of hand soap, sanitizing wipes, and tissues, I had the completely irrelevant thought this morning that I haven’t washed my hair in weeks. I’ve done plenty to care for my hair – cowash, conditioner, combing, rinsing – but I haven’t used shampoo in an effort to bring my deflating curls back to life. This may sound gross or weird initially, but as the many curl support groups are fond of explaining, I’m just allowing my natural oils to coat my hair again, while only removing dirt and buildup. As disconnected as these two phenomena are, they have a common cause: since the early 20th century, we have been obsessed with disinfectants.Read More
Does it, though?