Ruth is a sudden and extreme departure from everything we have read until now. First of all, the Book is the story of a woman with a name. Second, in the very first chapter, we are introduced to three women all with names, none prostitutes, and are told of the closeness and loyalty of their relationships. It’s hard for me to express just how wildly unprepared for this tonal shift we are by anything that has come up in the Bible thus far. It is as if we have been reading XXX Big Jugs and Extreme Car Crashes magazine, and suddenly there is a long personal essay about raising an abandoned baby bird by hand. 

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When May I Masturbate at Work: A Guide For Men

Several weeks ago, Jeffrey Toobin was suspended from The New Yorker for masturbating on a Zoom call with his colleagues. He thought his camera was off. This was somewhat surprising, but much more surprising was the general reaction to this: men were horrified at what they felt was a massive overreaction to a situation that anyone could find themselves in. Their position is that everyone masturbates, and it wasn’t his intention for anyone to see him, and it was unfair to punish him for an accident. Furthermore, the new work-from-home movement is blurring the boundaries between work and home, and this is very confusing to men, who no longer know when and where they can masturbate. 

I myself have been working from home for eight years now for a fully distributed company. I spend many hours a day on Zoom calls with my colleagues, and I have never once masturbated while at work. I am therefore uniquely positioned to help with these new etiquette questions. Here are some FAQs about situations you might find yourself in. I hope this is helpful: 

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Ghost Story

In honor of the season, here’s a short story I wrote in response to a prompt for my writing group about a year ago. (It is not really a scary story. Well, maybe it is, a bit, but not because of the ghost.)

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The LORD was already half out the door in Joshua, but by Judges, he is only checking in on the Israelites every 40 years or so. They are still His people, technically, but His heart hasn’t been in it since Moses. He’s clearly spending the bulk of His time elsewhere and I’m curious on what, because the LORD is not the sort of deity to entertain himself with books or board games. If He’s not torturing an Israelite, He’s got some other chosen people on some other planet that he’s toying with. 

In this book, the Israelites repeatedly fall off the wagon and start worshipping pagan gods (as we always knew they would), at which point, the LORD gets angry and delivers them into the hands of their enemies. They are enslaved for many decades, and then a man among them prays to the LORD for deliverance, and He sends an angel or similar to help that man deliver the Israelites from bondage and then that man rules over them as a Judge for the rest of his lifetime and things are peaceful. Then, he dies, the Israelites go “a-whoring after other gods” (a-whoring we will go, hi ho!), and the whole cycle repeats. 

We’ll examine each Judge in turn, and then I shall rank them worst to best. 

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Black Lives Matter

I don’t really know whether I should post about this or not; it seems redundant to do so, as I’m sure no one needs me to tell them what’s going on or what to do about it. But it also feels not quite right not to say anything. So, I’ll just limit my comment on the matter to encouragement to my fellow white people to give money like we’re paying the reparations we all owe. If you’re not sure which fund to give to, this one splits your donation amongst a number of community bail funds, and this one splits it between a variety of orgs that combat police brutality (among other things). Get recurring with it if you’re flush.

Shutting your mouth and opening your wallet is always an excellent idea, but I think it’s an especially appropriate policy for white people to follow right at the moment.

I Don’t Want to Vote for a Rapist!

I am so tired of this! I 100% believe all these women — Biden did this. Trump did everything he was accused of, and Kavanaugh did, and Thomas did, and Bill Clinton did, and Hillary Clinton enabled who her husband was and benefited from her partnership with him and defended him and did not care what he did to other women. And none of these men even really think they did anything wrong, because they think rape is knocking a total stranger over the head in an alley and anything short of that is fair game when it comes to women. Bernie is the best of the bunch when it comes to how he’s treated women, and he’s a deadbeat dad. 

What the fuck! Why does this keep happening! Most people are not rapists, so why am I continually forced into voting for one for the highest office in the land? Is it on purpose? It sure starts to feel like it! Is it to coerce all women to just abdicate the vote because they’re so disgusted they can’t bear to participate in politics, thus letting men run everything by default? Maybe! It feels intentional! 

I don’t let women off the hook for this either! Stop marrying men who hate women! Stop excusing them and accommodating them and making their lives comfy for them and having children with them who then learn from them! Stop it! Just stay single, goddamn! 


I don’t know why I was under the impression that Deuteronomy was an action chapter. It has the least action of any chapter up until now. It opens with Moses delivering one more sermon from the LORD — apparently, the nation of Israel has been chilling on a mountain top with Moses for awhile now, and it’s time for them to be moving along to conquer Canaan. Moses queues up a misty memorial to the sound of flutes, reminding everyone of all they’ve just been through together. It’s a bit passive-aggressive as it’s mostly him reminding them of all the times they’d ignored him and tantrumed against the LORD and gotten what was coming to them, and I guess this is a stage of aging because I recall that my grandparents also spent a lot of time on the ‘remember that time I was right about everything’ highlight reel in their later years.

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