Sometimes, you just want to know you’re not alone.

That’s the point of OK Doomer.

This newsletter talks about what’s really going on in the world, with an unfiltered but empathetic perspective. I have a Ph.D. in English, but I study language and communication, including the history of both. This is where I go to post my blunt thoughts about politics, culture, and education.

A few years ago, I didn’t think I’d be writing about pathogens and pandemics, but circumstances compelled me to start speaking up against mainstream narratives that I found harmful and counterproductive. I saw populism and wishful thinking overpowering the saner voices in the room. It disturbed me. I couldn’t keep quiet, so I started posting my opinions online.

A lot of my work addresses the social and psychological dimensions of our biggest problems, especially public health and climate change. I also write about equality. I’m frustrated but fascinated by the forces that often compel large portions of the public to ignore, downplay, or reject the truth.

There’s an edge in my writing, and that’s because I’ve spent most of my career working with marginalized students from some of the poorest school districts in the entire country, arguably the entire world. If you’ve worked as a public servant, you know how deeply infuriating it can feel to watch so many of your efforts get undone by poor leadership and public apathy.

I’ve often thought about leaving education over the last few years. There might come a day when I have to resign to protect myself and my family, or I might get fired for doing what I consider the right thing. (Tenure used to mean something, but universities can always get rid of troublemakers.) In the meantime, this newsletter keeps me going, and I hope it keeps others going.

If your honest opinions often anger your friends and family and cause them to lash out, this newsletter is for you.

Jessica Wildfire

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