Monday, January 15, 2018

And that's the way it is.

Suppose you attended journalism school with a minor in political science. Suppose further that you had decided that a career in broadcasting was what you wanted, that you had interned first at a small-market station, become a stringer, a staff reporter, finally gotten a shot at the big desk. And from there the quality of your work and your studied on-air gravitas have earned you a national audience. You have the respect of your colleagues and the trust of an audience of untold thousands. What is left to strive for? The opportunity to repeat the word “shithole” on the air.

Monday, January 8, 2018

On reflection

A hospital near Bangkok is providing penis lightening laser treatments. Longtime readers will know that I’m not the kind of writer to use this news as license to make cheap jests invoking schoolboy euphemisms for the male genitalia. Not happening. But I do have questions. Like, isn’t this something to be avoided? I know if someone asked me, “What should I do with this laser?” I would likely respond, “I don’t care, just don’t point it at my penis.” In fact, didn’t Goldfinger threaten James Bond with this very treatment? And finally, are these people simply confusing albedo with libido?

Monday, January 1, 2018

The one best rant of 2018 so far

Everybody makes these lists for the new year, so me too. Even better, mine is a countdown of lists. Okay: Five things I will never ingest again: Tang. Space Food Sticks. Pimento loaf. Those candy dots on a strip of paper. And this one big bug that fell out of a tree (I was drunk). Four people you didn’t know weren’t Jewish: Dave Brubeck. Charlie Chaplin. Bruce Springsteen. Rachel Maddow. Three Stooges who are not the Three Stooges: Joe Besser. Joe DeRita. Joe Lieberman. Two perfect things that we’ve actually gotten right and don’t need to change ever: Shoelaces. Pencils.

Monday, December 18, 2017

We lived our little drama

In Alabama, a state that seems to exist primarily so Mississippi has somebody to look down on, it must have seemed for decades that it took everything you could do just to make things go from bad to worse a little slower. A whole lot of people hunkered down and bided their time. They did their work. That’s the story. You hang on, treat everybody right the best you can, and some days you catch a break. So when everything turns to shit, remember you’re not expected to fix it all. But you’re not permitted to just walk away either.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Guest Rant: Yehudi Menuhin

“This wasteful governing by fear, by contempt for the basic dignities of life, this steady asphyxiation of a dependent people, should be the very last means to be adopted by those who themselves know too well the awful significance, the unforgettable suffering of such an existence. It is unworthy of my great people… who have striven to abide by a code of moral rectitude for some 5,000 years, who can create and achieve a society for themselves such as we see around us but can yet deny the sharing of its great qualities and benefits to those dwelling amongst them.”

Monday, December 4, 2017

Check your Eloi privilege

Time travel stories are cool, but they’re not really science fiction; they’re pure fantasy. As I like to say, if we were going to have time machines ever we’d have had them always. We get our little tastes of it, though. Like every time you wake up you’ve travelled another day into the future. And what is dying but moving your entire life into the past? All that without a clumsy machine and the problems of finding a recharging socket in the Pleistocene. And even if you invented a time machine, someone would get to the patent office before you.

Monday, November 27, 2017

jockies or boxers

For most guys, the guy things you enjoy are the ones you learned from your father. If your dad took you fishing, you like fishing. Same for hunting, bowling, or ambitious and ultimately destructive appliance repair. Also football; I really couldn’t care less about it which is how I emulate my primary male role model. Nowadays more and more folks are unfollowing the NFL, their reasons split along ideological lines. On the left it’s the brain injuries while on the right it’s the whole anthem thing. Tell me why you hate football and I will tell you how you vote.