Cover art for my upcoming book, tentatively titled “Millennial Marxist”

If you’re wondering who I am or what gave me the nerve to write a book, let me briefly explain my origin story and my credentials. In 2007, I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography. After serving in AmeriCorps for a year, I began looking for a job in my field of study amid a frenetic financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession. The job search proved rather difficult and frustrating. Every place I applied to either wasn’t hiring or was actively downsizing. This went on for months. …

A lot has happened during the last year. There was an unprecedented global pandemic that is still raging out of control in parts of the world. A man named George Floyd was murdered. If Floyd had been born white, he would likely still be alive. A massive protest movement erupted, some say the largest in U.S. history. The perpetrator was arrested. The protest movement continued. People began questioning the very notion of policing — embracing ideas like defunding and abolition.

Now the perpetrator has been convicted, but what happens next?

A heartening aspect of these events was the tenacious spirit…

A Palestinian boy and an Israeli soldier in front of the Israeli West Bank Barrier (Wikimedia Commons)

An op-ed by Jason Horowitz headlined “Stop Calling Israel Apartheid” appeared in the Times of Israel blog section today. This is my response.

While discussing the recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report concluding that Israeli policy constitutes the crime of apartheid, Jason Horowitz never articulates a strong personal position on whether he agrees with this assessment. The closest he comes to a judgement on this controversial term is in his last paragraph, which could be interpreted as a denial that apartheid exists in the West Bank. However, the time period he references was before two major reports were released. Furthermore…

A work of fiction in which each sentence begins with a sequential letter of the alphabet

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Audrey was despondent. Better days had come and gone, and this formerly lighthearted service industry worker had developed a bleak outlook. Cinnamon and ginger filled the air — scents that were known to please most patrons, but not her — not anymore.

During her break, Audrey contemplated the dreams she had as a child, all those aspirations and fantasies that had not come to pass. Eventually, the sentiment became ominous, as though the weight of reality was crushing her, pummeling her sore feet into the tiled floor.

Feeling a bit disoriented, Audrey reached for a pint glass filled with dark…

White discomfort is a necessary component in our effort to defend Black lives

A photograph taken during the 1963 March on Washington (

*While this is a true account, pseudonyms and small fictionalizations were used to protect the identities of the subjects described herein.

I only recently unearthed dormant childhood memories of my Aunt Karen referring to Brazil nuts as “n***** toes.” She said it a number of times over the course of many years. Was it five times? Was it more? I couldn’t be sure. But I realized that, at the time, I didn’t understand the meaning behind this strange phrase. …

Wikimedia Commons

A pleasant surprise arrived on the annual stoner holiday known simply as 4/20. After a tumultuous year of monumental protests during the deadliest pandemic in recent history, a verdict on the Derek Chauvin case was finally reached. As CNN reported, “Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted on all charges in the death of George Floyd,” and “faces up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.”

Understandably, celebrations ensued.

But before the dust had settled, we received heart-wrenching news that another Black…

A work of fiction

Many years ago, I visited a museum exhibiting the work of Mark Lombardi, a conceptual artist who researched “the political and social terrain” that surrounded him. Over the course of several years, Lombardi mapped his findings in an aesthetic manner, constructing unique visual representations of complex financial transactions involving war, drug trafficking, exploitation, imperialism, terrorism, and other forms of social injustice. The diverse array of subjects included the bin Laden family, the Italian Mafia, prominent religious figures like Pat Robertson, former presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and more.

Lombardi’s final collection of diagrams, entitled “Global Networks”, was drawn…

Original image from (Photoshop editing by Matthew John)

A poem

About a year ago, after I had been posting more content to my Instagram business account (including some original graphics), I noticed I was consistently gaining followers. I felt I had achieved a milestone at 1,000 followers, but the audience just kept increasing — sometimes by as many as 50 or 100 followers per day. By the beginning of November, 2020, I had 3,600 followers, and on January 5 of this year I reached yet another milestone: 10K followers! The interest in my page has shown no signs of slowing down, and I am now quickly approaching 20K followers.


Frustration overwhelmed me as I feverishly searched the Uber Eats driver app on my phone, attempting to figure out why I couldn’t transfer the money I had earned. What was the point of doing these deliveries if I couldn’t access the funds when I needed them? The fact that my family was struggling financially merely days before the election was an apt microcosm of the material conditions in the world’s most “exceptional” nation. We knew the presidential election wouldn’t result in substantial change to said conditions, regardless of which old, white conservative ended up winning. …

Matthew John

Communist. Herbivore. Husband. Artist. I primarily write about politics and history. My work has also been published by The Hampton Institute.

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