“How is it,” asks my interlocutor, “that you immerse yourself in all of this dark history, and yet you don’t seem cynical?” Well, that’s a fair question. I’m tempted to simply throw down another Edward Abbey quote and let it go at that: “Don’t let yourself become cynical. Cynicism is a cheap emotion, a craven substitute for thought […]
After a quarter-century as an Oregonian, I finally experienced one of the state’s iconic events. My daughter and I attended the Oregon Country Fair. This countercultural extravaganza on six acres of oaks along the Long Tom River west of Eugene has been encouraging thousands to let their freak flag fly since 1969. There are multitudes of angles to […]
My hometown is fixin’ to get the blues in a big way the first weekend of August. A couple of music-lovin’, cable-stringin,’ hammer swingers are making it happen out of their own passion and pocket. I love that. I love it in the abstract, and I love it because it’s the same damn-fool thing I and a few other people did […]
I used to play in the orange groves Till they bulldozed all the trees Then I’d stand among those dead stumps And smell the blossoms on the breeze… — Dave Alvin, “Dry River”* * I don’t know why I like to drive ’em like I do You know it ain’t nothin’ but A hundred and seventy-five thousand […]
My brain tends to behave like a .22 bullet: Thoughts ricochet around and wind up in weird places where they shouldn’t be. You’ve heard the stories: Guy gets shot in the right ankle and that little 40-grain pill bounces around and pops out his left eyeball; that’s how it works. This is NOT a systematic or […]
The meeting between the Blackfoot party and Lewis’ own did not end well. The following morning several of the Blackfoot – according to Lewis – crowded around the campfire and stole a number of rifles, including those belonging to Drewyer and Lewis. A chase ensued in which there was a fight, and R. Fields stabbed a Blackfoot through the heart with his knife. The fight then was then general – as other Blackfoot were attempting to steal horses — and ended when Lewis shot a Blackfoot in the belly. It was a close run thing, as Lewis wrote upon the return fire he “felt the wind of the ball very distinctly.”
I’ve read speculative reports that Trumpy has suggested throwing up a few McDonalds restaurants in North Korea, and as funny and ridiculous as that sounds, maybe the Golden Arches could serve as a kind of ping-pong diplomacy for the modern age. Because even the most ardent communist occasionally, deep down inside, craves a Big Mac and fries.
One of the perils of doing the work that we do at The Running Iron Report is that there’s a tendency to focus on the negative. While we’re certainly about diagnosing the illnesses of the Empire, our true purpose is scouting out a path to a worthy, honorable way of living in these strange times. We cannot afford […]
The cast of players who inhabited the Country Club on a Saturday night only reinforced the notion. Miners, cowboys, truckers, hunters, itinerant singers, Indians, Mexicans, Whites and Basques, we were all drawn to Bruno’s in a kind of marvelous modern rendezvous. It could, and sometimes did, get rowdy.
Looks like the punditry is catching up to a principle that underpins The Running Iron Report’s worldview: The Imperial Colossus is just too damn big. In a May 11 op-ed in The New York Times, sociology professor Neil Gross notes that: Last month the Pew Research Center released a poll showing that Americans are losing faith in their […]
If you were ever lucky enough to live out on the great sagebrush sea, like I was during a certain vanishing era, you might have enjoyed a slice of old Americana in perhaps the rarest of ways: trailing cattle and working horses. The outback was, in those days–and still is to some degree–a kind of underworld, a parallel universe, richly populated with characters and stories both real and imagined.
Lately I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about toxic masculinity and its destructive effects on individual men, and by extrapolation on society in general.
But what is it?