I Am Cuba (October 23, 1996)

Port Townsend, Washington, 10/17/96 — If there really is a culture war raging in the US — right vs. left, hippies vs. rednecks, New Age vs. Old Country, etc., this little town of 7,000 people is a prime example. In the upcoming County Commissioners’ election, good ol’ boy property-rights factions are pitted against younger, seemingly […]

More Mediocrity & Music (July 16, 1997)

For one reason or another, I’m on a mission to document the trials and tribulations, the travails, of an adult musician (me) in his (my) efforts to work, even exist, in a small town whose core values are largely false and hypocritical. This entails various logistic as well as psychological difficulties. Right now, I’m exploring […]

Scandal (December 4, 1996)

Port Townsend, Washington, November 13, 1996 — A couple of years back, I worked as a delivery driver for a local pizza joint. During slow periods I had no choice but hang around the restaurant waiting, usually outside, but inside when the weather was cold. One of the owners, or “bosses” of the place was […]

Paradigm Lost (July 6, 2005)

Here is my all-time favorite cartoon: a man is hanging from his pickax, which is hooked, barely, over the top edge of an impossible precipice. A second man hangs on to his ankle. There is no visible bottom, the fall, obviously fatal. The man holding on with the pickax is saying to the man hanging […]

Packaging

In my father’s day, people who did specialized, skilled things were called engineers. He was an electronics engineer. He maintained the radar apparatus at Chincoteague Island, watching for German U-boats. Later he designed circuitry for guided missiles. He taught a night class for beginning engineers. His tendency was to call skilled people engineers of one […]

The Two-Headed Right

I was going to say “extreme” right but that would have implied nazi salutes and torch marches. This is the mainstream right, which isn’t that far from extreme any more. It was interesting to read about Marilyn Davin’s visit to Jerry Philbrick, and to note that politics were not really discussed. Philbrick came off as […]

Shooting the TV

Elvis Presley shot the TV when Robert Goulet’s face came onscreen. That’s how I feel when I see Trump’s phony-baloney face makeup, fake tan and hairdo. Luckily I don’t have a gun. Trump seems to be sticking with places like West Virginia and Mississippi, where inexplicably there are still people who believe his bullshit.  Now […]

Chicken, Steak & Hut Dawgs

This is the story of Shirley and Spike, as much as I know and can recall. A very odd couple from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was 1967 or so and my band was playing at at the Blue Moon, a Mafia-run club in Lowell, Mass. We had long hair but were far from being hippies. […]

The Big Red Truck, Part 3 — Epilog

After all the attempted thefts and failed installation of cameras and night lights – including a motion sensor that activates an obnoxious flashing light on the front bumper, and now, in the middle of construction of a fence behind which to hopefully, finally, conceal the Big Red Truck, the truck is wrecked, totally.  The irony […]

Bath House Logic

Conservative writer P.J. O’Rourke, who used to butt heads with Molly Ivins on TV, came on the Tonight show once and explained right wing logic: “If you weren’t a liberal when young, you had no heart. If you’re not a conservative when older, you have no brain.” Tell that to Chomsky… or Molly Ivins’ ghost. […]

The Big Red Truck

The Big Red pickup truck. Bright red with huge wheels that lift it high off the road. Guy moves in next door with this monster, parks it on the street with a “club” on the steering wheel to prevent theft. Someone tries to steal it anyway, here in the land of the big macho truck. […]

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