Things are weird in the USA — and over the next few months they are going to get weirder. I find it necessary to lay out where I stand and the line I will walk as we turn and turn in the widening gyre. I am weary of people telling me (as they have for about 20 years) that I […]
“If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers, and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule: That was the American dream.” — Edward Abbey * Stuff that works Stuff that holds up The kind of stuff you don’t hang on the wall Stuff that’s real Stuff […]
Part of the natural evolution — and devolution — of language is that useful terms of art gain popular acceptance and then are debased through overuse. This process is accelerated in the sticky, humid and overwrought hothouse conditions of cultural conflict. The decomposition of useful terms is frustrating for those of us who make our living […]
It was late June, but there was frost on my bedroll when I woke up in the dark at the Murphy Ranch cow camp on South Flat, about 25 miles up the Chewaucan River from Paisley, Oregon. I was there — along with cinematographer Samuel Pyke – to begin filming The Len Babb Movie Project, which was an idea that flashed into my head two months earlier while riding my colt.
For some lighter fare, I give you a Hound and a chicken. Better make that two chickens. We are living in a time of Maximum Bloviation. Everybody has a platform, and discourse on all of them seems to have fallen to the low common denominator of the Facebook rant. Whenever I tire of listening to blowhards flap their jaws, I fire up this brilliant […]
But from that great herd — that single wild creature hurtling into nowhere across the sunset-crimson plain — one bull will at last break free from the rest. One bull who will not run with the others — into nowhere, or into the gorge, or into the sea. He does not fear the herdsman or […]
From childhood, when I stood at the end of a long dirt road waiting for the school bus to come grinding through the Honey Lake Valley, and where in spring the irrigation sprinklers created a kind of rhythm-section background to the yip of coyote pups on Bald Mountain, I have been a fan of meadowlarks. The meadowlarks then, as now, were thick in that country, and mornings they trilled in the buckbrush, or on the fenceposts, or on some pungent sprig of sage.
I’ve been mighty quiet on The Running Iron Report. I don’t feel good about it. Actually, I feel negligent. The strange and disconcerting thing is that, now that the Crash that Rullman and I have been anticipating for years is upon us, I don’t seem to have much to say about it. I feel like I’m just standing by some […]
There’s battle lines being drawn And nobody’s right when everybody’s wrong — The Buffalo Springfield, For What It’s Worth * In another case of the uncanny synchronicity that often strikes like a bolt from a Sisters Country lightning storm around The Running Iron Report, the unlaid ghosts of the Vietnam era rose in recent weeks, asserting their undying influence […]
I feel extremely fortunate to have escaped much of the Cat 5 Garbage Tornado that is Big America while down in Paisley, Oregon, with videographer Sam Pyke last weekend – where we began filming for the Len Babb Movie Project.
As COVID-19 began hitting urban centers in March and governors began issuing lockdown orders, sheriffs began quelling rumors of checkpoints and mass arrests. “This is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia where you are asked for your papers!” wrote Sheriff Scott Nichols of Franklin County, Maine.
On a beautiful November day John Maloney delivered a sweet, brilliant eulogy for his friend Frenchy, voicing the admiration we all felt. Marines shed uncontrollable tears, duty bound to serve in Iraq and resolved to stay tight and honor this sacrifice. My unit prepared for Iraq and an instructor noted one unit that performed better than mine. It was John’s.