The Last Antiwar Poem

Literary criticism: 50 years on, Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” reads like a drug-addled, homoerotic variation of “Jackass.” If we aspire this year to recognize the anniversary of a Ginsberg poem that still seems relevant and challenging, we should fast-forward ten years to 1966, when the iconic Beat poet penned “Wichita Vortex Sutra.”

Update: Fall/Winter 2006-2007

Friends and vagabonders, 2006 has been a busy year for me, both in terms of traveling and writing. The spring months found me in the Dominican Republic, and summer took me to France (to teach my writing class; see below), Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, and the Czech Republic. Recently, I’ve had articles appear in Outside (“Just…

Update: Spring/Summer 2006

Friends and vagabonders, 2006 is keeping me busy with writing and writing assignments — perhaps most notably my new weekly gig as the “Traveling Light” columnist at Yahoo! News. This, in addition to freelance articles I’ve written for Surfer (about long-term travel), Islands (about kayaking in Crete), Outside Traveler (about sailing in Greece), and the…

Slumming the golden arches

Travel-culture essay: Within certain hipster circles of indie travel, announcing that you patronize McDonald’s is kind of like confessing that you eat your boogers. But the contempt sophisticated travelers hold for McDonald’s has less to do with ethical principle than the fact that fast-food franchises ruin the fantasies of otherness that are an inherent part of travel.

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