Monday, November 24, 2014

They're here.

It was the dogs I noticed first. Fewer catahoula mutts, fewer pits, and more golden retrievers pulling scrubbed pink people pushing expensive perambulators containing The Heir. The humans avoid eye contact; if they do smile or nod it is with a tight opaque face. I'm seeing more Volvos, fewer clapped-out minivans with ladder racks. Fewer folks sitting on porches or stoops, in fact fewer porches and stoops and more blank tall gates. Every new house is like its own American compound. I feel so... colonized. I get it, though. They love the location, they're just not crazy about the neighborhood.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Avant Gradschool

How can you have a fringe festival that's not on the fringes of anything? It's all fringe, I guess, like a whorehouse curtain. Let's go sit in a black box. There will be cuss words and exposed flesh, ironic use of clown white, and young performers wishing desperately to be misunderstood. We have gotten to the point where competence may be the only transgression left, rare as tits on a snake. Still, it's our culture, and this is its expression. You can't complain about art you don't like an more than about the proliferation of flies on a dung heap.

Monday, November 10, 2014

I miss onionskin

This thing used to could happen: A person would be typing and stop for a sip of coffee and set their cup down and type to the end of the line and the carriage went ding. You would slap the return lever to start the next line and damned if I hadn't set the cup down in exactly the wrong place because POW! Coffee everywhere. Also, the handset of older dial telephones was quite heavy and you could give yourself a concussion if you answered too enthusiastically. Otherwise, I can think of no way that technology has improved human life.

Monday, November 3, 2014

As I look out at this puddle of faces...

Back in May, Jimmy Page accepted an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music. (No word on whether he's willing to share academic credit with Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, and Randy California.) A lot of celebrities get honorary doctorates at graduation time; it's a way for schools to get name speakers to show up, and for Doctor Ralph Stanley to start his lucrative sideline in shade tree lobotomies. Usually, these degrees recognize a lifetime of valuable contributions to the culture. But what about people of more humble accomplishment? I'm lobbying here for an honorary associate degree from Cuyahoga Community College.