My subconscious composed – well mostly composed – this amazing story about our friendly neighborhood web-slinger during my R.E.M. cycles. Amazing isn’t it?
Strange Loop, Texas. 1982.
I stood before the toilet holding IT in my hand. IT was big and fuzzy and IT was wrapped with duck tape. On the duck tape, I’d written, “Howdy!”
While I think the 5–7-5 structure of haiku best suits its native language of Japanese, a small kite helplessly caught in some power lines inspired me to compose this haiku.
We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big Eastern syndicate, you know? —Lucy Van Pelt
Last night I promised my girlfriend that I’d attend a party with her. I dressed, gathered my keys and my wallet, and headed for the door when my dad yelled, “Hey! The Charlie Brown Christmas Special just started!”
First published May, 4, 2008
Years ago I flirted with cut up engines. Like all flirting, it was short lived, but did produce one short piece from the experiments. The result is something that’s reminiscent of So I Married An Axe Murder or the Hep Cat beatniks from Pee Wee’s Playhouse. So when you read it, think of roasted coffee and a jazzy, bouncy bass.
Originally published November 2005.
One night as Amber and I lay in bed, I asked, “Hey, you ever pretend your Ken and Barbie had sex?”
“Nah,” she said and as she snuggled closer added, “I had nine Barbie dolls and a Ken. I rarely whipped him out—most of the time he sat in the closet without his pants.”
On the eve of 2012, our Congress passed and our President signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. Here’s a jingle celebrating the passage of this momentous legislation.
Aphorisms have a prominent place in the long history of world literature, and many of my favorite writers – Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, and Montaigne – wrote them. They pose a particular challenge since the writer must combine clarity of insight with brevity.
Days ago I learned that Marvel plans to launch Marvel NOW in order to modernize many of their flagship characters. At first blush, I was skeptical, but after reading their press release, I now understand Marvel’s desperation, and it is the same desperation that drove DC to create the New 52 and years before it, The Crisis on Infinite Earths. Continue reading
“Some bear it better than others. We Savages, I think carry it poorly.” —Patricia Savage, “I Died Yesterday” (1948)
Two weeks ago, I finished Lester Dent’s “The Black, Black Witch” (1943) and enjoying it enough, revisited the stack of Doc Savage magazines sitting on my bookshelf. I picked up a reprint of “Devil on the Moon” (1937) because I am a sucker for a moon base, but after two chapters, I bailed, frustrated by Dent’s inability to substitute a personal pronoun for a full name. So I flipped to the back of the magazine and started reading “I Died Yesterday” (1948) and this time, finished the story in only a few hours.
For your consideration, I submit the following plot structure from SONY’s Amazing Spider-Man (2012). This post is all spoilers so be warned. Continue reading
Are you a technician or a driveling idiot? — “The Proud Robot” (1943)
The story goes that Galloway Gallagher got his name when his author, Henry Kuttner 1, called the frazzled protagonist Gallagher in the “Time Locker”, but when writing its sequel, mistakenly called him Galloway. The author, recognizing this accident, joined the two names and thus, Galloway Gallagher was born. Whether fact or fiction, two names are fitting since Mr. Galloway Gallagher is a man divided; he is on one hand a laymen possessing only enough technical savvy to press a button, and on the other, a scientific and technological virtuoso when unconscious.
I signed into Facebook today and after glancing over and scrolling down the news feed, I wondered, “What the #$%& has happened to us?” Continue reading
Originally written June 16, 2007.
This evening I was woofing down dinner while waiting for The Abrams Report when something raised my ire—that something was Keith Olbermann. His show, Countdown, featured a story on Honda’s unveiling of Asimo II – a robot that boasts a humble nineteen joints and using them, can walk like a human while reaching the modest pace of three miles per hour.* Olbermann like that blockhead from Fox Evening News, ridiculed the little robot. What I cannot understand is why cable news finds these modest gains in robotics quaint to the point of being amusing? Before we scoff at Asimo, we might remember how this these experiments with robots is reminiscent of Robert Goddard’s experiments with rockets. Continue reading
This is my attempt to write a short, focused essay in the style of Roland Barthes, a critic famous for his 1967 essay, “The Death of the Author”, in which he argued authorial intent is an unimportant consideration for criticism. Barthes published many works using structural linguistics to analyze literature, movies, advertising, and commonplace items. I most admire his Mythologies (1957) with “Einstein’s Brain” and “Plastic” being favorites. Continue reading