Essay

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One of the concerns on many people’s minds is what will happen to the Affordable Care Act. Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank is one of them:

As plans to repeal and replace Obamacare pick up steam, historically minded Republicans are thinking about the bloody shirt - no, not a medical bloody shirt, but a political one. For decades after the Civil War, the Republican Party used "waiving the bloody shirt" as a sure-fire device for winning presidential elections.

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The classic images of Christmas so often include food: families sitting serenely around a table filled with food; Santa Claus, climbing down the chimney with a picturesque plate of cookies awaiting him.

For some, these familiar scenes set the standard for the ideal Christmas experience. But as Lake Effect essayist Meagan Schultz explains, real life doesn’t often imitate art.

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Have you sent out your holiday cards yet? Many of us have or will send out cards that comprise a photo collage from the past year. There are dozens of websites that let you put them together with fairly little effort. That’s meant that fewer of us are sending the long update letter along with our holiday cards. But, as essayist Jim Spangler points out, they haven’t gone away entirely.

Essay: Deck the Halls

Dec 19, 2016
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If you make that trip out to the mall or the game store or wherever you buy your gifts, you might well be confronted by that ubiquitous phenomenon this time of year - Christmas music, played over whatever speakers are at hand.  You might think Lake Effect essayist Joanne Weintraub would be unhappy about that - but you’d be wrong:

If I were small enough to sit comfortably on Santa's lap, which I assure you I am not, I'd have only one thing on my Christmas list. It's not a toy, not even the $80,000 automotive kind that big girls and boys like. No, it's a wish.

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The intersection of history, memory, and flavor are on the mind of Lake Effect essayist Cari Taylor-Carlson. 

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Are you going home for Christmas this year?  Or are you at home, looking forward to the day that someone else will be coming home for Christmas?  Lake Effect essayist Jim Spangler believes there’s more to coming home for Christmas than simply bridging some distance:

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The death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro marked the end of an era in several ways. Lake Effect essayist Mark Siegrist thinks a pop song is the perfect metaphor to what Castro symbolized to his generation.

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Whether you enjoy holiday traditions, or find them stressful, there’s one thing most people can agree upon this time of the year: we could all use some comic relief. Of course, not everyone has it in them to be a stand-up comedian who talks politics. Some of us would be more comfortable being political comedy writers. It’s to those people whom essayist Joel Habush is speaking:

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Almost three weeks have passed since the Presidential election. News analysts and regular people alike are still trying to assess what transpired on November 8th.

Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says contrary to much public opinion, there was some precedent for the way the electorate swung:

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” The ironic statement is from the durable comic strip “Pogo” by cartoonist Walt Kelly, widely syndicated in newspapers from the late 1940s into the 1970’s.

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Milwaukee is home to many great writers, from novelists to screenwriters, to bloggers. Lake Effect essayist Meagan Schultz says you, too, could live the life of a writer if you follow her step-by-step guide.

1. Always be prepared. Of course this means having a perfectly clean writing space. If you must spend an hour sorting through old letters, arranging your stationery by size, color and purpose, or organizing your pen drawer, so be it. It will be impossible to work with that chaos surrounding you.

Essay: Voting

Nov 7, 2016
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No matter who you vote for in tomorrow’s elections, there’s a good chance you might be disappointed by the results of at least one race.  That’s OK, says Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank – it comes with the territory:

Essay: Go, Cubs, Go!

Oct 27, 2016
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In case you’d missed it – and it would be hard – the Chicago Cubs are trying to do something they haven’t done in 108 years – win a World Series. They haven’t even been to the Fall Classic for decades.  Lake Effect Avi Lank remembers someone who would truly appreciate this post-season:

Essay: In Praise of Small Towns

Oct 26, 2016
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This campaign season has brought many divisions this country faces to the forefront. But beyond the liberal-conservative, black and white, and male and female divides, essayist J.F. Riordan says there is another division that has become a regular part of life in America:

A writer in a national magazine recently theorized that small town voters who are worried about the deterioration of American culture are “insular”, and unenlightened, stuck in the past, resistant to progress.

Since You Never Asked: 'Selfie, Schmelfie'

Oct 25, 2016
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If you stop by Lake Effect’s website, you can see pictures of each of our contributors.  That includes essayist Jonathan West, who would like to point that he did not take the picture of himself:

Since you never asked…

…I’m not good looking enough to curate a gallery of Jonathan West selfies. Besides, I almost always look like I need a shave, and who really needs to see that?

Essay: Stitched to Kill

Oct 21, 2016
David Szymanski

Whether you usually shop at The Gap, or Target or Nordstrom or a small boutique, chances are good that there’s probably at least one item of clothing in your wardrobe that was once worn by someone else.

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