About the author

Matt is the author, co-author, secondary-author, ghost-author, and non-author of articles, speeches, book chapters, and even entire books! Next will be the bestseller "Losing My Religions." Currently, he is President of One Step for Animals; previously, he was shitcanned from more nonprofits than there is room to list here. Before Matt’s unfortunate encounter with activism, he was an aerospace engineer who wanted to work for NASA to impress Carl Sagan. His hobbies include photography, almost dying, and {REDACTED} He lives in Tucson with Anne and no dogs, no cats, and no African tortoises (although he cares for all of these).

Sunday, June 26, 2022

EVERYONE: Fuck the Patriarchy

Chapter in my book:

Interruption: Fuck the Patriarchy

You taught me ‘bout your past 

Thinkin’ your future was me

And you were tossing me the car keys

“Fuck the patriarchy” keychain on the ground 

We were always skipping town…
So casually cruel

In the name of being honest.

–Taylor Swift, “All Too Well” (10 minute version) (Taylor’s version)

I am writing this in Germany, where yesterday, I woke up to the leaked SCOTUS opinion. Anyone paying attention knew this was coming since RBG died: the theocrats’ fifty-year plan has paid off big-time. It was what [my grandmother] Ardyth wanted more than anything. I wonder if she would have actually been happy, or just a bit less angry.


Also: Fuck the Green Party. 

Originally in 2000, Ralph Nader said he wouldn't run in competitive states. Then his ego got the better of him. That evil shit got way more votes in Florida than the “official” margin that allowed the Supreme Court to stop the counting and make Bush president. Bush then appointed Alito, who wrote today's "This is how The Handmaid's Tale starts” opinion. (Alito cites – again, to support a legal decision in 2022 – Matthew Hale, a 17th century “jurist” who had at least two women executed for witchcraft and wrote a treatise supporting marital rape.)

Well done, Republican women. Especially you, Susan Collins, you POS.

Again in 2016, Green Party also got more votes than Cheeto Jesus's margin over Hillary in PA, WI, and MI. And we know how that worked out: three “Roe is established law” liars in four years.

But while the well-off (like me) will rant, the end of a woman's right to bodily autonomy will literally and profoundly hurt millions of people. And this unnecessary misery and adversity will continue until we realize elections aren’t just ways for us to make a personal statement. They matter in terms of real and profound suffering. The elections of 2000 and 2016 will continue to matter even after we wise up, given that we have given the Court to the theocrats for decades.

I can't tell you how many people told me in 2000 and 2016 that they didn't "like" Gore or Hillary. (The saddest but most accurate meme today is a picture of young Handmaidens, with the caption, “Yes I know. But I just didn’t like Hillary.”) They wanted Bernie or nothing. They wanted to "send a message." And now, because of their egomania, untold poor people will be forced to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth. And countless children will be born into poverty. 

It is 2022. We should be working to secure basic human rights for transgender people, and our concern for animals should be increasing. We should be expanding the circle of our moral concern. Instead, the Supreme Court has decreed that half our population no longer has the right to self-determination.

I knew this was coming as soon as Anthony Kennedy retired. But still, when I think about it, I am so goddamn angry. 


And fuck you, too, Collins.

Friday, June 24, 2022

They're coming for you, too

“[I]n future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous’ ... we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.” 

-Clarence Thomas, in today's ruling

That's access to contraception, the right to non-hetero "normal" sex, and equal marriage. More. More. "At least Thomas is honest."

The racist basis for today's abortion ruling

Note that the modern religious right movement started as a racist political ploy. From Dartmouth Professor Randall Balmer’s article, “The Real Origins of the Religious Right: They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation”:

[T]he abortion myth quickly collapses under historical scrutiny. In fact, it wasn’t until 1979 – a full six years after Roe – that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools. So much for the new abolitionism.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Finishing May Travels: Flagstaff.

There is a good chapter (IMO) in my book about this concluding portion of our May travels. Here are some unedited and unenhanced pics:

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Small excerpt and pics

I had a finished draft of Losing My Religions a few days ago. I even got up Sunday morning and didn't work on it at all. But today, at the prompting of my sister (TY!), I wrote. a new chapter that starts thusly (don't worry, "Funeral Suit" is a previous chapter):

Funeral Suit Revisited

[Funeral Suit is an earlier chapter, a reference to a wool suit I got in high school and kept to wear to funerals for the decades after that.]

Ardyth [maternal grandmother] died before I met Anne. Her husband, Robert, had suffered a stroke many years before and lived for years after. God was not kind to either of them.

But my paternal grandmother was the first to die after I got with Anne. We had briefly visited Clara and Virgil in Toledo our first summer together, 1993, and I showed my blushing bride where I picked tomatoes (and strawberries and raspberries). Shortly after that, Clara fell down the basement stairs. After the funeral was the only time Anne got to visit the Ball family graveyard in North Creek, Ohio.

(Not that I’ll be buried there. You know what I want done to my body after consciousness is no more? I don’t care! I’ll be DED!)

A few years later, when EK was little, Robert died after not being able to walk or talk for over a decade. Team Green-Ball drove across Ohio on the Turnpike under the heavy, grey, Midwestern sky. E was sick, so Anne tended to them in the vestibule of the church. After everything was over, I was driving us to Tiffin for the night when I thought, “What is that smell? What is that smell?”

You guessed it! The smell was Funeral Suit.

And pics from today:

Monday, June 20, 2022

Santa Fe

We met my sister (not this sister) in Santa Fe last month, but didn't take any pictures when together. DOH! 

Walking out of the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, as I tried to attach my clip-on sunglasses, the right lens fell out of my glasses.

Now I’m quite nearsighted. (And yet also somewhat farsighted – intelligent design!) My right-eye script is minus fourteen. So it was really bad to not have glasses! (And Anne certainly didn't want to drive in an unfamiliar city.) So using the phone (thanks again, Google!) we found an optical shop a few blocks away. Anne carefully led me there, around people and obstacles and cars.

That event happened exactly as written, May 2022. But it is, of course, also a metaphor.

Anyway, here's pictures:

Anne wants that kitty.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Feelings vs Suffering

I've gone after EAs a lot (e.g., electrons earlier this month, expected value from last year). But this ~14 minute read, On Caring, is a good take on what EAs can be.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

It Is Done (PS: Funny)

I've submitted to the literary agency LGR for consideration. (Edit: based on another friend and fellow author's recommendation, I've also submitted to Ultra.) Fingers crossed!

If you pray ... well, if you pray, you'll hate my book. So ... solicit good fate from the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

PS: Nick Offerman was an undergrad at the University of Illinois when Anne and I met there in grad school! Sadly, he did not come to any of my Students for Animal Rights meetings.

Monday, June 13, 2022

White Sands (now a National Park)

This place really is just mind-blowingly incredible. Pictures don't do it justice. 

Love New Mexico architecture. More of these types of pics to come.

Up up up.