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Ryan Dennis

Ryan Dennis is the son of a New York dairy farmer and a literary writer whose early essays were originally published in Progressive Dairy.

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In our old stanchion barn there was a large fan built into the wall. The blades turned quickly and the image of the calf hutches outside flickered in front of you. One of the first lessons I remember as a child was being told not to stick my hand in it.

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Hollywood is a $500 billion industry that, among other things, makes a profit from combining two seemingly un-joinable things: Cowboys and Aliens. Sharknado. Beverly Hills Cop. Part of my academic research is considering farming narratives in their various forms. This led me to another odd couple: agriculture and space.

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This past year, our television sets have asked us a very fundamental question: Where’s Jill?

The query was posed by a concerned horse, and a quick answer was given by a white dog with a Southern accent: She was really lonely and out walking the cornfields again.

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I had always considered tea an effeminate drink.

I should clarify: hot tea. Surely, hard-working men would have a glass of ice tea in the summer coming in from the fields. Hot tea was, well, girly ... or worse, urban.

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“God help us, we’re in the hands of engineers,” exclaims Dr. Ian Malcom, staring at the recreated dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. It turns out, Spielberg might be a prophet.

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My grandfather, Dieter Kramer, had always told me: “Ryan, don’t be drinking the water beer.” Water beer was his term for any domestic lager. It was as fine a metaphor as any other for life.

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