“A tongue can accuse and carry bad news The seeds of distrust it will sow But unless you’ve made no mistakes in your life Be careful of stones that you throw… — Hank Williams, “Be Careful Of Stones That You Throw” * This is how this rolls: Somebody, somewhere, with an ax to grind digs […]
Readers of this site generally accept the proposition that our American experiment in self‐government is taking on water. I would argue that, all things considered, the ship is actually beginning to list heavily under the combined weight of a wholly unaccountable administrative state, a surreal burden of debt we will leave to our grandchildren as a kind of cynical stocking stuffer, third‐world education standards, tribal strife stoked by retail journalism, a new and prevailing cultural adulation of the victim mentality, meme‐think politics, and a Congress that is more or less directed by the parasitic whims of a guild economy.
“This is the kind of surveillance that people can actually like. There’s satellites up there not only to spy on us, but to help us lead better lives.” — Marcel Salathé, head of the Digital Epidemiology Lab at Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne on using satellite photographs to correlate obesity and environment. Oh, fuck […]
By Rick Schwertfeger for RunningIronReport.com Evidence increases in the United States today of two processes underway simultaneously: One, a potential collapse of key institutions that underlie the existing American economic, political, and social systems. Evidence abounds of an economic system that concentrates wealth in a small minority of Americans, and leaves the majority struggling with insufficient income, […]
I often return to the poets these days. From great translations of the Illiad and the Odyssey to Beowulf, from Shakespeare to Dylan Thomas, and more frequently to the modern giants like Charles Wright, Richard Hugo, or Galway Kinnell, I find a touchstone that gentles my nerves. That ritual works for me because fine poets fire the language with precision, and stoke the imagination with what John Keats called “Negative Capability.” Our world is sorely lacking in appreciation for the mysterious and the levitating these days, and the airwaves are so rich with insincerity, so over‐cooked with political certainty and righteous declarations, that the daily and endless caterwauling amounts to a kind of relentless propaganda bullhorn.
“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined… could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make […]
A recent letter to the editor in The Nugget Newspaper, which I edit and where Craig has a column, defended “political correctness” as “basically another term for respect, consideration, kindness, and generosity towards others despite their race, ethnicity, gender, or disability.” This definition elides the modern origins of the term, which lie in totalitarian attempts to own […]
I’m drawn to those quiet little outbursts of humanity demanding attention, that impulse to declare with some permanence: “I was here”. It is the same impulse, I suppose, that drove my wife and I to put our handprints and our names in the wet concrete when we built our barn. For good measure, we added the paw prints of our dogs, and I scratched the date in with a nail.
“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 […]