Until recently (as in, this morning), I’d kept an ongoing list of all my published work on my blog, The Suffolk Resolves. And as long as I was writing about millennials exclusively, this system worked just fine. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t perfect — sometimes I’d publish pieces not directly related to millennials, which meant they were left off my blog, unmentioned — but for the most part it wasn’t an issue. And then I took a weekly gig as a “lifestyle columnist” writing adorable cat listicles and human interest stories for PetHealthNetwork. Why, you ask, would I choose to write about cats once a week? Because a) it pays and b) …do I really need another reason? Actual currency isn’t good enough? Fine. I took the gig because I’m a latte-sipping, kale-eating, fedora-wearing East Coast hipster liberal who spends all his time at home on the internet… so clearly I love cats. But anyway, this tension — Do I really link to cat articles on my blog ostensibly about millennial issues? — led me to create this new personal site where I can promote myself and my work without conflict. Going forward, I’ll keep all my clips here in one simple place.
Below, I’ve included links to some of my best work (and cats — because cats) but a more comprehensive list of my published articles can still be found here. Cheers. -Tim
“Boredom is a sickness. The complacency of sitting still is a crime against yourself, against your own ability to find meaning and happiness in our often-dreary world. We live in a hyper-connected culture that offers more opportunities than ever before to find new information, to keep learning and growing as a person.”
“The standard accusations levied against this generation — about our legendary narcissism, our sense of entitlement, our endless whining — are destructive precisely because they ignore the magnitude of the crises that we face (and unless you grew up during the Great Depression, then no, I’m sorry, you really didn’t have it “just as tough” when you were our age). Perhaps if the middle-class weren’t eroding before our very eyes, or if the economy was actually creating good jobs, or if there were any labor movement at all – or if the super-rich simply hadn’t managed to successfully hijack our democracy and our courts … perhaps then, things would be different. And if, in this idyllic utopia of our hippie-liberal imaginations, millennials were still the whiny, spoiled, entitled brats we’re so frequently portrayed as, accusations about our lack of character might be both fair and accurate.
“Unfortunately, we’ll never know. The world we’ve inherited, this plutocratic “free-market” horror show, is crushing millions of young people desperate for work — any work. This is the most obvious reason that millennials seem so prone to “whining.” It’s also why these accusations must stop. This brand of criticism is enormously ignorant and offensive — it trivializes the massive, systemic problems facing this country and this generation. Due to the profligacy and waste of older Americans, the economic problems that young people will face — massive federal debt payments, shrinking research and education budgets, crumbling infrastructure, a fast-changing climate — are crises that have no easy remedy. They’re also essentially ticking time bombs that, if not soon addressed, will wreak enormous destruction on our economy and our ecology for the decades, centuries, perhaps millennia to come.”
“These millennials – young, undereducated, poor and, all too often, minorities – exist in a state of permanent crisis, victims of a new economic disenfranchisement that took root in the Great Recession and, in the years since, has stubbornly remained. We’re only now beginning to grasp its full scope — and its potential implications for our nation’s future.”
“We’ve know of our illness for decades, and yet, instead of undertaking a treatment course, we’ve avoided our doctor’s calls, refused to talk about our condition with friends and loved ones, and found comfort in prayer rather than hospital beds. Sure, we’ve kept up to date on the latest experimental trial drugs, ever optimistic that some new palliative might come along to save us. And yet, this whole time we’ve had the option to undergo the global equivalent of chemotherapy, that unfathomably painful (and oftentimes dangerous) treatment course. We just chose never to pursue it.
“This metaphor may be inelegant (you may even find it inappropriate!) but it elucidates my central point: to prevent the most dangerous, destructive and unpredictable consequences of climate change, we must drastically reconfigure our global economic system. At times (or from afar), these changes might seem as painful and undesirable as the effects of climate change itself. And yet, with our civilization’s very existence imperiled, we cannot simply hope for a better solution to suddenly arise unannounced, particularly if a realistic course of treatment exists today.”
“The TSA requires that you remove your pets and carry them through security. For people blessed with obedient dogs or loving cats, this will never be a problem, but my twenty pound orange and white monster Turkey Pan is neither obedient nor particularly loving. And he really, really hates to be held.
“As I stood there, waiting in line, fat cat held firmly at my chest, I looked across the seemingly-endless rows of passengers waiting to get through security: The massive staging ground at Logan International Airport was overflowing with travelers and TSA agents. I couldn’t help but idly wonder what might happen if this ferocious monster escaped my grip, what kind of awful and hilarious scene would develop as I chased him desperately around one of the most secure areas in the city.”
The Suffolk Resolves:
“For nearly a decade, I worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Hispanic immigrants (legal and otherwise) from across Central and South America, men and women who lived paycheck to paycheck, often wiring their last dime to a family a continent away. I worked with dropouts, drug addicts, problem gamblers, and single parents working two or three jobs just to make ends meet. I worked with some of the most insanely passionate people I’ve ever met, overworked and underpaid chefs who displayed a messianic, almost cult-like zeal for their profession, busting ass in the back of the house every goddamn day. Throughout the course of my “career” in the industry, I waited tables and bartended in eight restaurants across three states. I worked at fine dining establishments in Manhattan, and an Asian-fusion spot in central Mass. staffed entirely with indentured servants straight from China. I worked at a sports bar across from Fenway Park, and I worked the graveyard shift on the Las Vegas Strip underneath the most profitable nightclub in the United States.”
“While the worst impacts of climate change, if fully realized, will eventually harm everyone, rich and poor alike, for the wealthiest, there are more immediate concerns. In a recent landmark piece for The Nation, MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes lays out the crux of the political problem standing in the way of real change: there’s an estimated twenty trillion dollars in untapped oil reserves that need to be kept deep underground if we hope to stave off total ecological disaster. We simply cannot burn the massive quantity of extant fossil fuels, or go searching for new sources (as the Keystone XL pipeline has). This central contradiction — between the short-term desires of the wealthy and powerful and the long-term needs of everyone else — fundamentally hinders our capacity to imagine real, substantive change.”