The Literary Excellence, II

My nominations for The Stephen T. Colbert Award for The Literary Excellence continue. Writers, friends, and fellow bureaucrats looking for the most eloquent way to describe their mood this past week should look no further than Sterling Johnson's masterpiece of contemporary literature: English as a Second F*cking Language. This gem, in the shape of Strunk & White’s classic treatise … Continue reading The Literary Excellence, II

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The Literary Excellence

Seriously, wake up America. These are the times you live in now. "Heroes, by buying and reading this book, you've proven you get it--and are therefore now members of the nominating committee for The Stephen T. Colbert Award for The Literary Excellence." Use the medallions below to nominate any book that you feel embodies the values of … Continue reading The Literary Excellence

Street Food with Lou Stoole

I don't watch Anthony Bourdain's television programs but I understand the attraction behind them. Here's a guy traveling the world to sample bizarre cuisine, satisfying the viewer's appetite for the exotic and the edible. His narrative is wry, crisp, and authoritative. His locations distant to the point of being surreal. His choices of food---practically supernatural. But what happens when … Continue reading Street Food with Lou Stoole

An Interview with Fred

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing an old friend who pops up at inconvenient times, Frederick Butts-Insky. He's got a job not a lot of people know about, though he works for an organization we're all familiar with. They are charged with protecting, among other things, the integrity of our great democracy, and I … Continue reading An Interview with Fred

Avery Dick Disappoints

I had high hopes for the Avery Dick series. Diplomatic Security (DS) Agents have some of the most colorful stories in the Foreign Service trade. They walk like cops. They talk like cops. They’re security professionals steeped the gritty detail of protective service. Their beat is peculiar: sniff out bombs and throw up barricades; investigate … Continue reading Avery Dick Disappoints

UN-der Woman

Last month the high-flying poobas of the world donned their UNGA-wear and boarded private jets to attend the United Nations General Assembly. Oh! How they did clog the streets of Gotham in pursuit of... What exactly is it they pursued beyond a display of wealth and power? And now the UN---it's very name suggestive of nothingness, the opposite … Continue reading UN-der Woman

Sad Sock Story

This story tells itself. A first grader gives his socks real personality. And attitude.

Debate Predictions

With an hour til tip-off, here's how my money rides. The number of times Trump does the following ten things: Sniffs the mic: 120+ Makes a tiny circle with his thumb and forefinger: 30+ References rigged elections: 20+ Notes Hillary's lies: 15+ Notes Hillary's corruption: 15+ Says "Crooked Hillary": 12+ Lauds his business smarts: 12+ … Continue reading Debate Predictions

Absentee Ballot

Here I sit, brokenhearted Came to vote but only farted.* How the air is thickening! Oh, the stink is sickening! I have to choose between these two? I'm on the throne just let me poo! I'll never again vote absentee While squatting here, in luxury. Don's soft wipe will be mine soon That hair of his … Continue reading Absentee Ballot

Short Stories from the School for Damaged Children

Deep oppression pervades Brian Booker’s collection of seven stories Are You Here for What I’m Here For? (Bellevue Literary Press, 2016). The mood is confining, suffocating, maddening, the writing evocative of a heart pulsing beneath the floorboards of a cabin far from anywhere. Booker awakens---allays---awakens---allays---and awakens again profound tensions: Something is wrong. Everything is ok. But something is … Continue reading Short Stories from the School for Damaged Children