In 2007, when I was 19, my Bisabuela (great-grandmother) passed away. She was a venerable matriarch; relatives from as far away as her native Ecuador flew to southern Ohio to celebrate her life. It was the single largest funeral I have ever attended.

As it happened, this was shortly after…

Content warning: mental illness, fictitious violence, suicide, and a brief discussion of current events

Breakfast of Champions, on the counter at Waffle House

I first read Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut when I was in my preteens. I was way, way too young to understand it, but I did recognize that it was probably the best work of…

Ah, 2020. It’s election year! And the presidential campaigns are already well under way. All this democracy sure gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Or maybe that’s an oncoming fever. Come to think of it, my roommate just visited China…

Okay, let’s think about something else. I haven’t thought…

I would like to tell you some things about my new favorite video game, but first I’d like to tell you about my first favorite video game.

I still have the disk. It doesn’t work anymore.

Diablo II was the game that turned me into a gamer.

I’d played computer games before, of course. First it was childen’s educational…

This is a story about how I stopped caring if my potential employers see what I post online. There will be some sexual content.

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

I have one major social media account that I use for almost all my social media needs: my personal facebook account. It has my “real” name…

Patricia Taxxon didn’t get name-dropped in this essay but she’s good too.

Lately it’s become more and more clear that one of my favorite kinds of media these days is media criticism and commentary. In fact, I recently came to admit that I enjoy film criticism more than I enjoy movies. I also enjoy video game criticism and commentary more than I…

Photo by HelpStay.com on Unsplash

Content warning: potty language, toilet talk, and bathroom issues.

My cousin once told me that having to go to the bathroom and being unable is one of the worst, most awkward feelings a person could feel. At the time I was a teen and she was a preteen, and I…

Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

Say you love nature and animals, and that has led you to consider yourself a conservationist as well as an animal rights advocate. If you don’t personally hold those values, then try to consider the perspective of someone who does.

Now imagine you’re given a choice: whether to kill a…

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

In this life, we’ve each been dealt a hand of cards, and the only way we can influence the outcome of the game is by when and how we play those cards. Some cards are more powerful than others. The wealth card can be played in more ways and to…

I started this journey of essays on Medium with one called “The Last Thing I Will Ever Say About Freedom of Speech.” I admitted that the title was a bit of an exaggeration, but thus far I’ve stayed true to it in the sense that I’ve written about speech and…

Sy Castells

I write essays about social issues. My patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sycastells

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