A Break From Our Regularly Scheduled Agnosticism

I try to avoid these sorts of political ramblings, but sometimes it just becomes unbearable–the sin of silence, we call it, during Yom Kippur. It is marginally related to media criticism, so spot me one here. The tone has become noticeably conciliatory over at Power Line these days. True, the local detachment of the 42nd […]

From A Dream In Progress

1) This, Vesithia LaRue said, is not living. Decidedly. Not. Living. Ms. LaRue was in the bar of a Chinese restaurant, where she was sitting straight as a pin at a corner table and bathed in an almost infernal red light. Though she was a non-smoker, she had the mannerisms and dramatic demeanor of someone […]

Bust a gut time

Gerrymandering. Wasn’t he the guy who played “The Beaver”? Here is the first line from Tom Delay’s statement on his indictment: “This morning, in an act of blatant political partisanship, a rogue district attorney in Travis County, Texas, named Ronnie Earle charged me with one count of criminal conspiracy.” Imagine, someone with prosecutorial power using […]

Go directly to jail, do no collect $200

What’s a guy gotta do to get arrested in this country? The news today, if you are paying attention to anything other than Bush’s attempt to convince us he cares about poor people on the Gulf Coast, is that Private Lynndie England is going to prison for three years for her part in the Abu […]

Walking Backwards Into Babylon

It’s pretty obvious by now that I’ve run out of gas. I think everybody has run out of gas. The only thing more depressing than a baseball team playing out the string in late September is a baseball team from which you expected big things playing out the string in September. It messes up your […]

From The Ruins

There will come a day, mark my words, when every conceivable disappointment will meet in a giant hangar somewhere in Kansas. Every dashed dream and broken heart from all over America will converge there on the edge of some dusty little town to awkwardly mingle and avoid eye contact. Just as in Vegas, in the […]

Does It Suck, or is it Just Me? Or Both?

I was surprised to see last week’s New Yorker, the Style Special, for a couple of reasons. First it was poly-bagged with a supplement called “Fashion Rocks” (more about this in a moment), and second, because it contains what I first thought to be one of the bigger flubs in New Yorker history. Considering that […]

Rilke, Badly Mangled, With A Line Stolen Outright From Stevie Smith

I live my life in shrinking orbits, which move inward from the things of the world. Perhaps I can never fully silence my heart, but that will be my attempt. I am shadow boxing with God, around and around this small, dark room, and I have been plodding in circles for a thousand years. And […]

That Will Be Fine. I Think That Will Be Just Fine

Time stands still And we and things go whizzing past it, Queasy and lonely, Wearing dogtags with scripture on them. –James Galvin, “Two Horses and a Dog” We’ll be all right if nothing goes wrong with the lighting. –Robert Frost, from “It Bids Pretty Fair” All day words were swirling, assembling themselves, unbidden, in inspired […]

Funny-Ha-Ha Versus Funny-Weird

Amid all the news of the End Times, you may not have noticed that the New York Times Magazine introduced a new department last Sunday. They are calling it “The Funny Pages.” They are not funny. The most obvious attempt at what would normally be called humor was Elizabeth Gilbert’s confessional essay on yoga, in […]