New Age Narcissism

It won’t come as news to most AVA readers, but as I was recently reminded, there’s no narcissism like New Age narcissism. “New Age” ideas allow the already self-absorbed to go beyond mere egotism into an advanced — one might say more evolved — form of Holier-Than-Thou solipsism. New Agers aren’t “more devoted to God” […]

Digital Snow Job

This morning in the supermarket parking lot, I was assaulted by a loud, unpleasant sound coming from the wide-open door of a shiny new sport utility vehicle. The sound was a commercial music recording played through one of those wildly over-powered stereo systems most often heard in the vehicles of suburban teenagers as they cruise […]

Thank God for Disorderly Behavior

Here Lies the Good Citizen. He Died Bitter and Frustrated but He Obeyed the Rules, Damn It. Even if I’m wrong in assuming that yet another out-of-town, laugh-all-the-way-to-the-bank consulting firm is involved with the currently circulating survey on “disorderly conduct” in Port Townsend, the concept is still ludicrous. This is the only place I’ve ever […]

More Mediocrity & Music

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 […]

Trivia, Trivia

Rock and Roll Trivia — This may be the most trivial bit of rock and roll trivia there is. Everyone knows what a “groupie” is; the word started out meaning girls who followed musical bands or “groups” and usually had sex with one or more of the musicians in any given combo. Eventually it came […]


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 […]

I Am Cuba

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 […]

The “Power” Con

Bumper Sticker Idea of the Week: CONSUMERS SUCK. Chuck Berry may have been something of a visionary if not a leftist in the rock-and-roll 50s. (He invented rock-and-roll music simply by being a rhythm-and-blues musician attempting to write a country song. The result was “Maybelline.”) Berry has always been up-front and unrepentant about being in […]

Those Damn Californians

I’m sick of all this Baby Boomer crap, the endless articles and quotes from the likes of Christopher Hitchens telling me, who just turned 50, who I am, what I do, and what I’m like. It may be perfectly true that many, maybe even the majority of my contemporaries were phony Peace and Love hippies […]

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