Whence, Wherefore, Whither Utopia?

by Deanna K. Kreisel (Doctor Waffle Blog) What does the word “utopia” mean to the battle-scarred denizens of the twenty-first century? A shockingly unscientific survey of the nine or ten people I buttonholed last week suggests that the key connotations of the word are: ideal, perfect, imaginary, unrealistic, and unattainable. I’ve arranged these terms purposefully…

I Hope This Helps

by Deanna Kreisel (Doctor Waffle Blog) I had my first panic attack at age sixteen, which was (deargod) over 35 years ago. It happened during school, much to my teenage mortification. Some friends and I were hanging out in our high school newspaper office during a free period, sprawled on one of the crapped-out couches…

The List

by Deanna Kreisel (Doctor Waffle Blog) Modern life would be impossible without pet theories. (One of my pet theories is that everyone has pet theories.) How could we make sense of the quotidian horror and cruel contingency of our lives under late capitalism without a little magical thinking? Everyone has a soul mate out there…

You Probably Think this Essay Is About You

by Deanna K. Kreisel (Doctor Waffle Blog) A few years ago a brief blog post made the rounds on social media: the blogger had uploaded a photo of a single page of an academic book with the lead-in “This May Be the Best ‘Acknowledgments’ Section of All Time.” The page itself read: I blame all…

To Bee or Not to Bee

by Deanna K. Kreisel Now that Americans are emerging, blinking, into the post-pandemic daylight (perhaps temporarily! let’s not get too excited), a certain amount of stock-taking has been taking place. Some of it is braggadocious (languages learned, abdominal muscles honed), some of it is tragic (loved ones lost, livelihoods curtailed), and some of it is…