Questioning My Sanity, Part Duex

In case you missed the first installment: At 24 years of age, after an impressively protracted derelict adolescence culminated in broke, broken, homeless desperation bad enough to make me feel sorry about how I was living, I figured it was time to “get it together.” So off I went to my community college to begin a career in “mental health” work, to get my head out of my punk ass and serve people with much bigger problems than mine.… [Read more]

Questioning My Sanity, Part One

There was a time in my life, a painfully misguided detour into the depths of insanity, during which I lost my way. A term which I have used more than once in this column, “quarter-life crisis,” could be used to describe what I experienced, but with one catch: for most people, this is the time in their lives they spend staving off the impending doom of adulthood by avoiding responsibility and commitment at all costs.… [Read more]


Obviously, I had a lot to say about education. So much to say, in fact, that I wrote a 4-part series about it and still couldn’t say it all. My head was brimming over the top with opinions, observations, and accusations that rendered me restless. I was hoping to be purged of it all after Part 4, but a few limbs had to be severed for the sake of concise compositional flow, and now, like something out of a horror flick, they’ve taken on lives of their own and they’re out to get me.… [Read more]

Stumped, Part Four: Living In The Aftermath

So here we are, the grand finale of my little saga of pissing and moaning about how sick and mean and cruel our schools are. Reading back on the previous three installments, I sometimes cringed; I sounded petulant, whiny, brash in that sophomoric know-it-all way that many 15-to-21 year-olds are before they get tossed feet-first out of their little adolescent test tubes and get their asses kicked by real life.… [Read more]

Stumped, Part Three: Indoctrination

Here’s some uplifting news just in time for all you hard-working students to wrap up your finals for the year, a little something to reassure you that you’re on the right track: the entire education system is broken. Not just a few kinks here and there that need smoothing out. I mean the whole thing, from the bottom up, from start to finish.… [Read more]

Stumped, Part Two: Born Into This

As we discussed in my last article, American education is in crisis. The evidence is well-known: flat-lining and/or sinking test scores, disproportionate dropout rates, far more skilled jobs than qualified workers, misguided government policy, skyrocketing costs amidst a declining economy, etc etc. Much heated debate surrounds these issues, and it all sounds like attacking the symptoms instead of the illness itself.… [Read more]

Stumped, Part One: What’s The Real Crisis in American Education?

The school year’s coming to a close, so it figures that many of us here at BNV have been weighing in on the state of education. And as well we should. It’s one of the only issues — in fact, possibly the only one — that tangibly affects each and every one of us in ways that we have to face up to every single day.… [Read more]

James’ War

The Confession:

I sometimes ask myself, “What the hell am I doing writing a ‘news’ column?” I’m just some guy, right? Just another opinion, just one more voice out of millions pushing and shoving through a fatally overcrowded mob scene, one more vulture scavenging for a bone to pick dry.

Just reading the news is an excruciating process for me.… [Read more]

Transient America

In my imminently approaching old age, I’m running out of ways to make my friends and family feel shocked, scared, confused and concerned for my mental state. 18 years of juvenile delinquency, flunking out of high school, burning through 30 jobs in fewer than 10 years, taking the “couch tour” off and on, … [Read more]

Real Talk: Only 18 Years To Go?

Hello again, and welcome to the latest installment of James’ Apocalyptic Rants. But this time, we’re not talking science fiction; this time, it’s for real. Don’t take my word for it, though. A crew of researchers at MIT called it way back in 1972, and although they were scorned for their conclusions at the time, all of the data we have to work with today is letting them have the last word.… [Read more]