Stuck in the Middle with Bruce

The Super Bowl, in earlier days, was as much about consumerism as it was about football. With the largest TV audience of the year watching, the network airing the game could charge millions of dollars for a 30-second spot. And the companies who were paying these top-dollar rates spared no expense to put the WOWContinue reading “Stuck in the Middle with Bruce”

More Incalculability in 2021

Does anyone remember this cover of the New York Times? I sure do. The precise date that COVID-19 arrived on these shores might never be known, but the first known death from the virus occured on February 6, not quite one year ago. At that time, our government was busy telling us that everything wasContinue reading “More Incalculability in 2021”

Meeting the Moment

In the terrible disaster that has befallen this nation since early 2020–and continues unabated to this day–there have been moments of hope. For me, a moment of hope comes each Thursday night, when I gather with friends from both the real and virtual worlds to share poetic selections with each other on Zoom. Poetry wasContinue reading “Meeting the Moment”

Why there was more than just a “riot” on January 6

The Capitol dome in Washington D.C is a place that every American needs to see for themselves. And as one who has seen it, the scenes of mayhem from inside the building are all the more unsettling. The entire scope of American history–the whole of this nation’s collective experience, really–are found within those walls. It’sContinue reading “Why there was more than just a “riot” on January 6″

The Peppermint Patty solution, and why it won’t work this time

There’s a cocktail of despair and outrage that has been building inside of me since January 6. And with each passing day, that mix becomes more potent. The video above was posted onto Parler on the day that it happened, and was somehow retreived from the archives. I won’t pretend to know about the technologyContinue reading “The Peppermint Patty solution, and why it won’t work this time”

What a mobocracy means for this nation

Abraham Lincoln served a single, two-year term in Congress, as a representative who opposed the war with Mexico. He was in the minority who realized that the addition of vast new amounts of land would lead to problems over what to do with slavery in that territory. By the time he returned to the nation’sContinue reading “What a mobocracy means for this nation”

Haiku for the Insurrection

President Lame Duck Incited an ugly mob And must be removed Last summer I wrote a limerick in response to the clearing of Lafayette Square, when Donald Trump held up a Bible and glared at the cameras. And I truly believed that was rock bottom, for him and our country. But since then, he’s shownContinue reading “Haiku for the Insurrection”

The Modern Confederacy Has Failed

If you’re a Republican who doesn’t support Trump, and especially if you do, this one’s for you: It’s over. That is all. Once upon a time, I would have spent an hour or more going on about this subject, but at this stage in life I realize how futile that is. Whatever therapeutic effect IContinue reading “The Modern Confederacy Has Failed”

Tails and Legs and “Fraudulent” Presidential Elections

There’s no single subject I’ve written about more often on this blog, in the nine years I’ve been doing this, than Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps that’s because time and again, examples from Lincoln’s life and times bear a striking relevance to our own. The disputed (by some) presidential election of 2020 reminds me of a storyContinue reading “Tails and Legs and “Fraudulent” Presidential Elections”

Dancin’ in the street

At my age, any new experience is something to savor. And when the term “dancing in the street” actually comes to life, it’s damn year impossible to resist. Such was my experience on Saturday, November 7, 2020. When the AP called Pennsylvania, and thus the presidential election, for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, a waveContinue reading “Dancin’ in the street”

What Trump’s really offering is thirty pieces of silver

As I’ve stated here on many occasions, I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school through the end of high school. The teachings of the Church didn’t match my worldview, and it’s been decades since I attended a church service that wasn’t a wedding, a baptism, or a funeral. But some of the stories fromContinue reading “What Trump’s really offering is thirty pieces of silver”

Dear Mr. President

I fully expect you are unaware of the origin of the title of this post, or that you will ever actually read it. You don’t read much of anything, and we are all poorer as a result. Reading is for eggheads, or to use your language, for “elites.” So I’m writing for myself, more thanContinue reading “Dear Mr. President”

Calling out an act of betrayal

One of the things I can definitively say is that I never have, and never will, serve my country in uniform. Time has effectively closed that window, and I can’t say that I exactly regret this fact. But I wonder sometimes about how life might have been different if I had taken the step ofContinue reading “Calling out an act of betrayal”

The cynical political calculations of President Donny Reb

I’ll be the first to admit that the quest to find a good nickname for Donald Trump has been a long one. Ones like “Cheetolini” and the “Orange Menace” and even “whiny little bitch” have all felt good at various moments, like how a cold drink cools you off on a summer day. But aContinue reading “The cynical political calculations of President Donny Reb”

Sharing my concerns about a Confederate statue in Chicago (Updated x 4)

Image source: TheGlitteringEye.com Dignity Memorial operates more than 2,000 burial sites, including one not far from where I live. But a site that they operate on the South side of Chicago, Oak Woods Cemetery, is notable for being the final resting place of more than 4,000 Confederate troops who were captured on the battlefield andContinue reading “Sharing my concerns about a Confederate statue in Chicago (Updated x 4)”

What we need in these difficult times

As 2020 has evolved into the most chaotic and divisive year I’ve ever seen, I have often seen it compared to 1968, the year I was born. In fact, I was born just over a week after Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Los Angeles. Only two months before, he had delivered theContinue reading “What we need in these difficult times”

A limerick for these times

The USA has a President Trump Who everyone knows is a chump He gassed his own people And then walked to a steeple Just like a malevolent gump   Dedicated to everyone who was injured at Lafayette Park on June 1, 2020. We must be better than this.    

Here’s what I want for my birthday this year

One of the best things about joining Facebook is that once a year, on your birthday, you hear from dozens of people, from just about every stage in your life. And all of them want to celebrate the day you were born, in one way or another. Facebook makes it easy, too. Not only doContinue reading “Here’s what I want for my birthday this year”

Trump will never be another Lincoln

The photo op at the White House yesterday was perhaps the most absurd and unsettling moment I can imagine. Peaceful citizens standing in front of the White House, doing nothing more than peacefully assembling as the First Amendment allows, were tear gassed and shot at with projectiles, so that the national disgrace that is DonaldContinue reading “Trump will never be another Lincoln”

America’s troubled days

I took this picture on a beach in Evanston, Illinois a number of years ago. It was a cold and windy day, with the wind whipping in off of Lake Michigan and not another soul around me. The red sign on the empty lifeguard’s chair reminded me that I was on my own. But thatContinue reading “America’s troubled days”

The root as a metaphor

With all of the troubled times that are happening in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, it helps to have a point of reference to draw on. Similes are good because they can take an everyday idea and make it relevant to a particular circumstance. “Cold as ice” works because, well, everyone knowsContinue reading “The root as a metaphor”

There’s a war out in the streets

The death of George Floyd is an American tragedy. The image of a white police officer putting his knee on the neck of a black man—until that man’s life has been literally snuffed out—is painful to watch. Like every right-thinking person in this country, I am saddened for this man and his family an friends,Continue reading “There’s a war out in the streets”

Indifference is not an option

Three months ago, there wasn’t a single death from COVID-19 in this country. The first death was reported on February 29 (Leap Day, how ironic is that?), and it made some news but only in a glancing fashion, because it happened far away in Washington state. But it couldn’t come here, right? As everyone nowContinue reading “Indifference is not an option”

This says it all

We are at war with a virus that can’t be bombed, bullied, or threatened in any way. And the head of the resistence to this virus has never taken his role seriously. He is profoundly unqualified for the position he holds. May this be the last Memorial Day that he holds the title of Commander-in-Chief.