I swear I’m not crazy. I’m not untethered from reality like the folks on MTV’s Catfish who are brave enough to broadcast their fictitious relationships to the world. I’m also not socially awkward. That being said, I’ve never met my best friend. We’ve known each other for three years, we talk daily, but we live on separate continents. His impact on my life has been remarkable.

Three years ago, in a fit of boredom, I changed my Tinder location from my sleepy hometown in Connecticut to London (I shamelessly paid extra for that feature). I began swiping on the endless…


President Trump and Vice President Biden at the first presidential debate on September 29, 2020.

I’m not sure if posting my political opinions online is effective, but I know this election is particularly significant, and ordinary voters shouldn’t sit on the sidelines of the discussion. Over the next several paragraphs, I outline why I’m voting for Joe Biden, and I make an argument that moderate Trump supporters and fence sitters should seriously consider doing the same. Just to be clear, I have numerous conservative friends and family members, and a considerable number of them support President Trump. Some offer their support wholeheartedly, and others do so in a tepid manner. …


Pablo Larraín’s “Jackie” takes place in the moments and days following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and is the story of the former first lady’s attempt to suppress her shock and grief so that she might hastily construct her husband’s legacy. At the opening, a reporter (Billy Crudup) approaches an eerily deserted Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts for Jacqueline Kennedy’s first interview since the president’s death. The reporter, who is loosely based on renowned historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., finds Natalie Portman’s Jackie to be a guarded, combative widow who is fiercely loyal to an idealized version of Jack…


Director Josh Trank’s “Capone” stars Tom Hardy as the eponymous American mobster in the twilight year of his life. Capone, who is referred to almost exclusively as “Fonse,” was recently released from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on account of his late-stage syphilis, and lives in exile, and under government surveillance, on his gilded estate in Palm Island, Florida. His illness has affected his brain rendering him increasingly volatile, paranoid, and hardly lucid. Capone’s wife Mae (Linda Cardellini), his emotionally exhausted caretaker, enlists a doctor (Kyle MacLachlan) to assuage his worsening mental and physical health. …


What is the role of the first lady of the United States? Technically? Nothing. She is not mentioned in the Constitution, nor does she have any explicit, official duties. She is not a public servant. But, practically speaking, she acts as an unofficial advisor to the president; hosts state functions; uses her popularity, which often eclipses that of her husband, to campaign on his behalf; and occasionally salvages priceless paintings from burning buildings. She is generally well liked but self-effacing in contrast to and perhaps because of her husband’s gravitas. …


I recently watched Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name” and was struck by its uncanny resemblance to life during the coronavirus pandemic. It is unhurried, isolated, and seemingly suspended in time.

The film’s protagonist, Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), is a 17-year-old bored, angsty Italian-American who is spending the summer of 1983 with his parents in a sleepy town in Northern Italy. The two hour and twelve-minute production explores Elio’s ephemeral yet romantically formative relationship with Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old graduate student assistant to Elio’s father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an archeology professor. Although initially at odds with one another, Elio…


Our flock of chickens pictured inside their enclosure
Our flock of chickens pictured inside their enclosure
A recent photo of our curious hens

I suspect this pandemic will bring attention to sustainable ways of living that do not rely on complex global supply chains, or at the very least, can act to supplement our dependency on them. There seems to exist a deep yearning, a natural desire, for sustainability at the local and individual level; there is something viscerally satisfying about growing your own food. …

Brendan John

Living and working in Washington, DC

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store