Charlie Bohlen

Contact | 10 articles

Irony and the current American Moment

While we wait and see if the Obama presidency was worth all the trouble, we can distract ourselves with the sheer strangeness that pervades the current political moment, perhaps best typified by the spate of right-wing demonstrations that are such a source of consternation for all those not involved in them, Republicans included.

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Reflections on the art of blood sport

I wonder whether the urge to punch someone in the face as hard as you can assumes an audience, beyond its victim. I guess I wonder at the ability of even one extra person to make the act of punching someone in the face so much more meaningful. If you have ever  punched someone in […]

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Getting the least out of your college experience

I don’t really know what to tell you if you want to make the most of your time here. I guess I’ll just tell you the stuff I wish people had told me back when I was a freshman.

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Because I don’t want to hurt you or perhaps myself

Chief among the joys of literature is a savory, self-aggrandizing contempt for the thumb-sucking twits with whom you are unfairly forced to share the planet.

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Dead letters

We who work today by accident in paper and ink…should be happy. For we know—we must know—that the words and pictures and ideas and images and notions and substance that we produce is what matters—and not the vessel that they arrive in.” This is taken from a talk delivered at Columbia University’s School of Journalism in […]

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On modern writing

There is no easy way to broach the subject of our school’s mediocre published work. It seems mean and petty and even slightly treacherous to bring this topic up within the pages of just such a publication. But all the same and for the record: Our writing has gotten pretty bad, you guys. I could enumerate as […]

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The literature of decay

Failed presidencies leave the most savory legacies. From Buchanan to Johnson to Harding to Hoover, there has always been something undeniably appealing in picking through the debris of truly disastrous leadership.

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The work

I’m writing this having come from a speech by Karl Rove, held in Graham Chapel Monday night.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but the man manages to instill an even deeper sense of dread in person than he does on TV. Honestly, watching him talk is like watching a python feed.  So to […]

All down hill from here

Last June, the cover of The Economist featured the smiling figures of John McCain and Barack Obama, strutting in front of Old Glory beneath the title “America at its Best.” The connotation—that the coming election was to be a historic choice between two equally competent but philosophically distinct candidates—was enticing.

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Vote in Missouri

Welcome back. You may have noticed there’s an election in November.

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