Re-Blogging: Notes from the Slush Pile: Endings — Al Kratz

This is where it all ends. This is the opening lyric to the Cult’s 1989 album Sonic Temple. I remember it like it was yesterday. Standing in my dorm room, unwrapping it to the excitement of getting to hear something new, the first few guitar riffs unrolling to Ian Astbury announcing as much as singing […] … Continue reading Re-Blogging: Notes from the Slush Pile: Endings — Al Kratz

Jeddah Attack Analysis 2

ABC News details the deadly attack by five terrorists against the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Read Part 1). Three minutes into the attack---11:19 on Dec 6, 2004---the U.S. Marines bolt from their temporary barracks, unarmed, under fire, to access the chancery through the rear hatch. It happens in a flash. Security camera footage … Continue reading Jeddah Attack Analysis 2

Abused

We interrupt this abuse of the First Amendment to bring you this abuse of the Second. #MourningInAmerica       ##

Citizen, Censored

....were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. In 1787 Thomas Jefferson summarized the essential nature of a free press to ensuring democratic governance with the following lines, written from Paris where he … Continue reading Citizen, Censored

The Story Belongs to All

In search of distraction from my low mood, and the month of foul headlines that created it, I turn to the library of familiar books recently arrived to the shelves of our Mumbai flat. Narratives on writing by V.S. Naipaul catch my eye. The author's self-indulgence aside, he shares my way of thinking when it comes to … Continue reading The Story Belongs to All

Ozymandias and the Alter Ego

Dunking Ganpati into the sea is all about dissolution (more). Even so, witnessing his mortal remains embedded in the mud tonight brought to mind the enormous ego of past Lords: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, … Continue reading Ozymandias and the Alter Ego

Imagination–Reblogged from Valor and Compassion

Writing insights worth re-posting: Silence, too, is a tool in the wordsmith’s toolbox–perhaps the most potent of all in an art wrought by and from words. The caesura, a moment of silence in music and a metrical pause in poetry, allows readers (and musicians, and writers) to catch their breath. This pause also allows emotion … Continue reading Imagination–Reblogged from Valor and Compassion

The Impact of Public Diplomacy

Reflecting on U.S. Diplomacy. An excerpt: The next-to-last time I saw Mohamed---11:15 a.m., December 6, 2004---a blast-resistant window separated us. The day’s final applicant, he was alone in the waiting room when the high-low alarm started wailing. An Afghan male taking refuge in Saudi Arabia from the time of the Soviet invasion of his country, … Continue reading The Impact of Public Diplomacy

Finite Jests

There’s nothing pithy in the title ‘Before We Break for Lunch, Let Me Repeat Everything Already Said at This Meeting At Least Twice.’ And that's exactly the point. By sticking its finger in the eye of brevity, this piece at the tail end of Flash Nonfiction Funny captures everything that’s beautiful and funny and sad … Continue reading Finite Jests

Books Not Presently Up at Amazon

  The Attorney for the Attorney Representing the Client’s Attorney---A Legal Thriller Balzac’s Listicle of SCOTUS Decisions on Penal Reform Other People We Must Arm & Why---Essays on fear-mongering from the NRA Nantucket: Beyond the Limericks Dirty Rhymes, Inappropriate Puns, & Other Reasons Dad Shouldn't Drink So Much Dr. Pepper Treats Sgt. Pepper’s Chest Wound: … Continue reading Books Not Presently Up at Amazon