I talked with a group of poets yesterday. Poetry operates at a level beyond my ordinary grasp; often it reads like an excuse for lazy incoherence rather than stabs at truth. In yesterday’s case, the writers had forged their art around efforts to ensure equal rights and legal protections for women. The event rose above … Continue reading Poetic Feminist Rant
The monsoon retains a grip on Mumbai. Heavy storms blow in today, sideways, slashing bellows of water from the sky. Socked in on the 14th floor, we overlook only mist and cloud, the teeming city obscured. Twenty-five million people hunker beneath this umbrella of rain. Some of my pleasantest hours were during the long rain storms … Continue reading Rain
The wordless cartoons of Nurit Karlin. The sketched illustrations of R.O. Blechman. Turns out these staples from The New Yorker have an antecedent in Henry David Thoreau. Had The New Yorker been around, how might Thoreau have captioned this sketch from Journal XVII, kept February 1854 to September 1854? Certainly not as follows: At the steam-mill sand-bank was … Continue reading Thoreau’s First New Yorker Cartoon
Noble and wise, Henry David Thoreau also could be irascible, judgy, and temperamental. In Walden, we learn why: a conspicuous absence of coffee. Take his list of supplies: Rice..... $ 1.73½ Molasses..... 1.73 Cheapest form of the saccharine. Rye meal..... 1.04¾ Indian meal..... 0.99¾ Cheaper than rye. Pork..... 0.22 Flour..... 0.88 Costs more than Indian meal, both money … Continue reading Thoreau, Hold the Joe
All is quiet. Both sons, sound asleep. Dad enters and taps the top bunk. Top: Why are you waking me? Dad: Shhh. You'll wake your brother. Bottom: Zzzzz.... Top: Why are you waking me? It's Saturday. Bottom: Zzzzz.... Dad: You have land training. Top: Uhhhhhhh... Dad: [brightly] I'm making eggs and toast. Bottom Bunk: Toast?!
Not long ago, selecting deodorant came with a sense of... not humiliation, exactly. Not quite shame. Mild embarrassment? Here, in the grocery store, under fluorescent lights and warbling muzak, I admitted to an indefatigable human failing: my stinky pits. No more. Thanks to Old Spice, all dressed up for modern times, I need not hide … Continue reading Swagger Stick
Distraction, or possibility? After a few weeks mulling and several hours research, I'd say it's the former over the latter. But I'm open to hearing about the experience of others. I've already published my thoughts about Wattpad -- Library, Roller Rink, or Click Farm? -- and despite a few sensible comments by experienced authors who view … Continue reading The Webnovel
A man went looking for America, and couldn't find it anywhere... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXaqNVefOwE A film about intolerance and fear of "the other" as much as anything, Easy Rider today is as timely as ever. RIP Peter Fonda.
Must applaud the good fortune visited upon author Ted Gup this week in the form of free advertising for his former best-seller The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives. Published almost two decades ago, Gup's book found renewed celebrity when it appeared on the front page of New York's gift to … Continue reading Sold Out at In-N-Out
Dangerously unsafe wiring? The editors at The Washington Post have doubled down on their negative assessment of Woodstock's electrical currents...