Author Archives: Mark Willis

Working Class: The Man Who Welded Two Elephants’ Asses

The working class label was everywhere in the 2016 election. Its cachet is likely to fade over time along with Donald Trump’s populist credibility. Before that happens, I want to explore what it means to be working class. It’s not as simple as the pundits, pollsters and political operatives think. Continue reading






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For This Voter With A Disability, The Choice Is Clear

I will not snap a selfie with my ballot on Nov. 8. I voted two weeks ago. I’ve paid close attention to this election all year. Uncharacteristically, I have avoided speaking about it in public. Then I read this stark challenge in a Washington Post editorial: “When the republic was in danger, where did you stand? History will ask that question.” I doubt my words will change anyone’s vote now, but for the sake of history, I need to explain my decision.






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Giving Thanks for Paris, Where a Life of the Mind Finds Life in the Streets

Let me give thanks again today to Ms. Modigliani. my first reader; to all of you who stroll the site, who are my kind of movement; and to Paris itself, its people and its streets, which have given me a freedom of place that cannot be extinguished by terror and hate.






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Peace for Paris

Via NPR 111415: “In the aftermath of the coordinated terror attacks on Paris, people around the world have been taking to social media to share their grief and show support for the French people. | One image, in particular, has become a kind of icon of international solidarity: a simple, but powerful, black-and-white ink drawing of a peace sign — with the Eiffel Tower at its heart. The picture popped up online last night, and since then it has been shared, liked, tweeted and retweeted as people attempt to cope with the tragedy. | It has become known as the “Peace for Paris” symbol. And its creator, illustrator Jean Jullien, awoke Saturday morning to discover that it had gone viral.”






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What Is Success? Fare Thee Well, Allen Toussaint

New Orleans composer, producer and piano doctor Allen Toussaint died last night following a concert in Madrid. He was 77 years old. I learned his name first as the songwriter of “What is Success?” recorded in the 1970s by Bonnie Raitt. It wasn’t the first time I heard is music, I just didn’t know who wrote the hits for Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey, and many other R&B singers. Wish I could be in New Orleans to dance in his Second Line!






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