Artem Bali

Most of you probably made your way here via my most-read articles,
Capitalism Has Failed, and Jay-Z’s Streaming Scandal Is Proof and The Difficulty in Defining Donald Glover’s “This is America.” These were among the first pieces I wrote, and I was lucky enough to have Medium’s editors select them to be Member Feature Stories.

My collection of my favorite essays, Disposable People, Disposable Planet is available for purchase here.

Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay

It is impossible to return to an old life. As time’s arrow continues its surge forward, marked by the creation of entropy — random disorder — too much changes. The arrow of time moves in only one direction — always and only forward — and the changes it records cannot be reversed. The growing disorder guiding it will never arrange itself into order. Even so, as time marches grimly forward, our perspectives can change and widen, as can the paths we choose. …

Photo by Prateek Gautam on Unsplash

Trigger warning: Discussion of suicide.

I don’t fear death. In fact, for much of my life, death has beckoned me, and I have longed to answer its call. “I was a lead weight sinking slowly to the floor of an oozing black bog. A large part of me longed for the metaphor to come to life. I yearned to be enveloped by the darkness. The void beckoned me ceaselessly, tempting me with its promise of eternal stillness and peace. I longed for the comfort of death, for it all to end, and it took all my strength to resist the…

Image by 173131 from Pixabay

We are taught that work is life. We are groomed from the cradle to prepare ourselves for jobs around which we are meant to organize our lives. Our identities become inextricably tied to what we do for a living. To that end, we have to go to the right schools, study the right subjects, find the right mentors, and on and on. I got much of that right on paper (good high school, Ivy League undergrad, law school, top international law firm), but a lot also went wrong along the way.

It took me a long time to shake off…

Image by Nile from Pixabay

I used to think time was a simple matter: 60 seconds make a minute, 60 minutes make an hour, 24 hours make a day, and so on. The feeling of the passage of time doesn’t follow this regimented march, though. How we experience time changes with our circumstances. The three months of summer that used to feel like an eternity in childhood now pass by so quickly, too quickly. A shocking or traumatic event plays out in slow motion. Time turns into Usain Bolt when we’re up against tight, can’t-miss deadlines. Time, as we experience it, mutates and shifts.


Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

Our minds seem to exist outside of three-dimensional space. There is my brain, which is inside my skull. It has mass. It’s where the neurons are firing, where the neurochemicals are supposed to maintain an equilibrium we call sanity. Even when all this is perfectly in balance, the notion that our minds are physical seems like a misperception. There seems to be an ether in which the mind floats. My consciousness (my soul?) feels both inside and outside of me at the same time. As a teenager, I often wondered if that sense of connected disconnection was something everyone else…

Photo by That’s Her Business on Unsplash

Hi everyone,

I have some offline projects that I’m really excited about working on and require a whole lot of focused time and effort for the near future. As a result, I’m taking a hiatus from Medium and social media. In addition, every 12–18 months, there is a massive change to how Medium operates that requires a lot of adjustment, if you don’t already have a massive following. There’s a lot of uncertainty. As much as I’ve enjoyed my time on Medium, it’s taking more and more effort for less and less reward. I’m not sure the opportunity cost is worth it anymore, and I’ll be thinking about if and how I want to continue to use the platform.

Thanks so much for following and for your support!


Day Fourteen: Comfort

By Kitanya Harrison, writing as Harrison Kitteridge



Cover of Before Holmes Met Watson. A raven against a red background with white lettering.

While John had been wandering through purgatory, Sherlock had been getting to know Mark better.

“You’re married, aren’t you?” Sherlock asked on their first morning together. Mark hadn’t exactly pulled away from him or got any cooler, but he’d been squaring his shoulders and seeming to steel himself while he prepared them a simple breakfast of tea and toast while Sherlock sat and watched. Sherlock thought he’d spare them both the awkward exchange.

“How long have you known?” Mark asked.

“Since the moment we met,” Sherlock responded. “Well…

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

You can’t expect accountability from a narcissist or their harem of confederates and enablers. The log-jam happens at the very beginning with the need for self-reflection about harm they’ve caused. Narcissists lack the emotional raw material to examine themselves, because their personalities are masks they project. Their egos are shattered, and their existence is driven completely by trying to make up for that lack and covering it up. A person can’t meaningfully wrestle with a false self-image. Narcissists can appear to change when they choose a new false mask, but their core never does. The surface-level adjustment can be extreme…

Kitanya Harrison

*squinting in Nanny of the Maroons* | Read my essay collection, DISPOSABLE PEOPLE, DISPOSABLE PLANET: | Rep: Deirdre Mullane

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