Ben Crowder


I just read James Goldberg’s post Why I Hate White Jesus. It’s a good piece, well worth reading. Over the last few years I’ve become much more aware of the rampant racism and tribalism and sexism still alive in America, and it breaks my heart. I fear we may never stamp it out in mortality, but we certainly need to try.

Since I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here before: The reason I usually use red for the humans in my art is to reference the mortal blood we all share, with the goal of avoiding any specific skin tones. I tend to use the color white as a symbol for holiness — going off of Isaiah’s “white as snow” — and I hope nobody misreads it as being about skin. (Especially because seeing the colors as skin instead of symbols means my work is full of naked albino and severely sunburned people. Nothing against either category, of course.)

I signed up for USPS’s Informed Delivery Digest a few weeks ago and it’s been quite handy:

Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon! Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces and track packages in one convenient location.

Erin Bromage’s The Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them piece on COVID-19 is a good explanation of what it takes to get infected. (I found it useful, for example, to know that walking past someone in the grocery store is fairly safe.)

It seems many people are breathing some relief, and I’m not sure why. An epidemic curve has a relatively predictable upslope and once the peak is reached, the back slope can also be predicted. We have robust data from the outbreaks in China and Italy, that shows the backside of the mortality curve declines slowly, with deaths persisting for months. Assuming we have just crested in deaths at 70k, it is possible that we lose another 70,000 people over the next 6 weeks as we come off that peak. That’s what’s going to happen with a lockdown.

As states reopen, and we give the virus more fuel, all bets are off. I understand the reasons for reopening the economy, but I’ve said before, if you don’t solve the biology, the economy won’t recover.

I agree — reopening seems completely premature to me based on the curve.

I’ve a Mother There

For Mother’s Day:

I’ve a Mother There

A reference to Eliza R. Snow’s hymn “O My Father.” The white circle and triangle represent Heavenly Mother; the blue circle and green triangles represent the Earth.

Rocking a young baby to sleep is one of the joys of parenting I’ll miss dearly when my kids grow older.

This Guardian article about “the real Lord of the Flies” (an excerpt from Rutger Bregman’s upcoming book Humankind) describes a situation in 1966 where six teenage boys were stranded on a remote island for over a year. Spoiler alert: they didn’t descend into anarchy. (A comforting conclusion given the state of the world today.)

It’s time we told a different kind of story. The real Lord of the Flies is a tale of friendship and loyalty; one that illustrates how much stronger we are if we can lean on each other.