Best of Across The Margin 2019, Nonfiction

As 2019 comes to its close, Across the Margin takes a look back at some of its most treasured moments in Nonfiction…

Throughout this final week of 2019, Across the Margin has been be seasoning the air with thanks for all those who have spent time within our pages while sharing our picks for the “Best of Across the Margin, 2019.” Our best-of compilations continues with a look at our choices for our finest Nonfiction articles of the year, and an excerpt from each to wet your whistle…

 

THE CASSANDRA SYNDROME” by Arthur Hoyle

Presenting, in its entirety, “The Cassandra Syndrome” by Arthur Hoyle, an in-depth look at the warnings of climate scientists in the context of historical revolutionary scientific theories that met strong resistance from guardians of the status quo…

“This essay considers climate scientists as descendants of the sibyl Cassandra, whose predictions, always accurate, went unheeded. It aims to place the forecasts and warnings of climate scientists in the context of previous historical revolutionary scientific theories that met strong resistance and denial from guardians of the status quo. It surveys the relationship among fixed belief, uncertainty, and humanity’s reasoning faculty, as expressed in science, across a broad span of history, looking for patterns that expose enduring human tendencies of resistance to change. The destination of the essay is contemporary climate science, where these tendencies are once again playing out, this time in a high-risk environment. Along the way the essay visits ancient Greece during the times of oracles and Aristotle, the Renaissance in Europe during the Copernican revolution, and England and the United States as they responded to Darwin’s theory of evolution.” Read more!

 

THE MYTH OF AMERICAN UNITY” by Frederick Foote

An examination of the role myth plays in shaping the way in which America views itself…

“The United States appears to be divided by race, gender, politics, religion, wealth, and attitudes toward social change as never before. However, a look back at the history of the country offers an enlightening perspective. Many of our ideas about America’s past are based on myth, not history, as this article highlights.” Read more!

 

I AM SURE I AM NOT DEAD” by Allie Burke

“When you really do not know what is real and what isn’t, you have to go with your gut. You don’t have anything else to go on.” A vulnerable, honest essay examining living with mental health in today’s troubled political climate…

We just got gas. I dropped him off after. I specifically picked him up just to get gas. I’m afraid to get gas at night alone, especially in this area. Darkness provides the means to sneak up on people more conveniently. I am schizophrenic; I am terrified of people sneaking up on me, even when they aren’t. Imagine how I feel when they are.

I am upset. I am on the freeway, driving the very limit of the speed limit. I am upset at no one in my car. I mean, there is someone, but not according to everyone else. I want to scream. I want to scream that I absolutely cannot do this. I cannot deal with this grim reaper looking character sitting in my passenger seat, with blood coming out of its eyes. It’s all bones and skin and blood. It doesn’t say anything; it never does. It just watches me, and follows me on bad days, as if I’m next.” Read more!

 

SPACE AND OTHER TRAVEL DESTINATIONS: PACKING FOR ZERO-G” by Michael Fumai

An exploration of Americans, and in particular Millennials, love affair with space…

How many times did I look up at night when I was a kid and contemplate what it must be like to float among the stars? Too many to count probably. Back then I had an extremely limited understanding as to the purpose of these celestial bodies, but I knew whatever was going on out there, it was big. It seemed at the time like the perfect metaphor for possibility.

Nowadays, I don’t often consider the universe beyond our world — life has become so much fuller now, and decorated with responsibilities. There are nights though that are so clear you can’t help but notice the constellations and the limitlessness of space. I’m reminded of the wonder I had when I was a kid, and the gratitude I now have for the planet I live on.” Read more!

 

JESUS LOVES THE LITTLE CHILDREN” by Bonnie Wilkins Overcott

“There is nothing I can imagine worse than not being able to hold your own child, comfort them when they have a bad dream, put a band-aid on a scratch, or kiss their tears away.” In consideration of the excruciating human toll that results from separating children from their parents at the U.S. southern border…

“Taking children from their parents or guardians is a heinous act. Yoka Verdoner, a Jewish child separated from her family in The Netherlands to save her from the Nazis, describes the lifelong effect children experience as a result. Her younger brother tells of screaming for six weeks straight. They were placed with foster parents to protect them and Verdoner spent her life as an adult working with traumatized children. She says what is happening on the U.S. Southern border “is as evil and criminal” as what was done to children during WWII.” Read more!

 

SOCIALISM NOW?” by Arthur Hoyle

Socialism, an alternative to the ills of capitalism in America, is on the upswing in the United States. An essay that aims, through a historical analysis, to remove the tarnish that the vested interests have applied to such a bold concept in their attempts to discredit the political and economic theory for the average American….

“What is socialism, and how does it differ from capitalism as a system for organizing the economic and political relations among the people of a society? Across the ages, different definitions and applications of socialism have been offered by utopian socialists, Christian socialists, secular socialists, scientific socialists, and communists. A number of countries have declared themselves to be socialist, including the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the People’s Republic of China, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Republic of Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, among others. Countries such as these, that have collectivized their economies and formed highly centralized governments controlled by a single party have come to be thought of as communistic, and many people conflate socialism with communism. But leading proponents of socialism in America such as Michael Harrington and Norman Thomas have disavowed communist states as betrayers of socialism that have violated its fundamentally democratic principles of equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal participation in the economic and political decisions that affect daily life.” Read more!

 

WHY PEACE WILL FOREVER ELUDE US” by Robert Levin

A thought-provoking op-ed challenging readers to ponder that the apprehension of death, and the necessity to mitigate that apprehension, always has, and always will, prompt and shape virtually every human activity…

“Although the guises may differ, people who study history are no less doomed to repeat it than those who don’t. The reason for this circumstance is not so mystifying once we are prepared to acknowledge that the apprehension of death, and the necessity to mitigate that apprehension, always has and always will prompt and shape virtually every human activity. If our responses to the prospect of death can, for sure, be benign and creative — can, for example, result in works of art that will survive our demise — they are, as often as not, malignant. And this is a grim reality that despite lessons from the past we are compelled to perpetuate.

Let me try to explain.” Read more!

 

A MODEST PROPOSAL” by Frederick Foote

Something HAS to be done, but what? A modest, pragmatic proposal for gun control…

“The position is inarguable, guns are a public health menace. From 2012 to 2015 there were close 33,000 gun-related deaths per year in the United States. Nearly two-thirds of these deaths were suicides of which about eighty-five percent of the victims were white males. Half of these deaths were men over the age of forty-five. About 12,000 of these gun-related deaths were homicides of which about half were men between the ages of fifteen and thirty-four and two-thirds of these victims were black. About 1,700 women are killed by gun violence each year. The other gun-related deaths were accidental or unknown causes. This is about 10.6 deaths per 100,000 people. This is higher than the gun death rate of Mexico, Canada, Russia or any European Union nation. The United States’ gun problem is real and urgent. Read more!

 

 

Stay Tuned for more thought-provoking articles about Politics, and honest stories that examine our human nature, from Across The Margin in 2020…

 

 

 

 

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