Monday, May 29, 2023

I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night

Unions exist to see to it that workers get their fair share of the value of their labor. But what happens when the value of that labor falls to near zero? The jukebox, the synthesizer, disco, karaoke, all contributed to destroying the market for the blue-collar musician. Go to wedding anymore and instead of a band you’ll see one jamoke with a laptop. Now the TV writers are worried that AI will take their jobs, and I don’t blame them. When it comes to stamping out endless streams of the same old crap the machine is always going to win.

Monday, May 22, 2023

The Slipstick of Redemption

It’s a low point when you realize your life is driven more by aversion than hankering. I don’t want to watch my television or get on an airplane. I don’t want to eat at McDonald’s or break in a new pair of dress shoes. It feels like my bucket list is all negatives. That’s no way to live. But here’s the thing: humans could be defined as the monkeys that seek. There are always unscaled peaks, unsailed seas. Metaphorically, of course. I prefer to avoid literal climbing or sailing. I would, however, like to learn to use a slide rule.

Monday, May 15, 2023


If you are reading this, you can be sure that for some reason or another I haven’t the slightest idea what to write about and so have opened the sealed envelope containing the Emergency Desperation Rant which I had hoped never to use. It means that even such compelling topics as Very Big Pencils, The Lives of the Philosophers, or Unpleasant Aspects of Aging (Cranky Geezer Monologues) have failed to stimulate any fruitful mentation. It means that this meaningless dollop of verbiage is all you’re gonna get. And it means I now have to prepare a new Emergency Desperation Rant.

Monday, May 8, 2023

this scrunching behavior

Some thrifty biologists enjoy working with planaria, a genus of flatworms, because you can chop them up and each piece grows into a whole new flatworm which means you only ever have to buy one. Some experiments have involved grinding them up and feeding them to their peers to see if memories could be transferred in this way. Which – Eeeww – but also this later reassessment: “Subsequent explanations of this scrunching behavior associated with cannibalism of trained planarian worms were that the untrained flatworms were only following tracks left on the dirty glassware rather than absorbing the memory of their fodder.”

Monday, May 1, 2023

In which the author proposes a droll jape

Here’s a thing I’m definitely going to do: Go into a local tavern on a Tuesday and order some tacos and eat them and leave. Then the next day I’ll go back and order some tacos and when they say, “We only have tacos on Tuesdays,” I’ll say, “Oh, okay, I’ll come back yesterday.” Now if the same person doesn’t wait on me the zany effect of my little jest will be somewhat muted, and also probably somebody’s already done this, or maybe they have tacos on Wednesdays. So there are downsides. However, I will get to eat some tacos.