U.S. intelligence officials have little comfort to offer a pandemic-weary planet about where the world is heading in the next 20 years. Short answer: It looks pretty bleak. — The Washington Post, April 8, 2021 There is supposed to be some cold satisfaction in being able to say “I told you so.” I’m not feeling that, and I’m […]
Running Iron Report reader John Dutcher scouted up what may be a perfect example of a worldview that RIR stands against. L.A. Times columnist Virginia Heffernan was knocked sideways by a powerful gust of cognitive dissonance when when she discovered that her Trump-supporting neighbors had done her a kindness. Oh, heck no. The Trumpites next door to our pandemic […]
Twice in the same day I saw the concept of the “heroic” badly misunderstood. When that sort of thing happens, I figure it’s time for a RIR post. The first was in the context of the passing at the age of 81 of Texas songwriting legend and larger-than-life wild man Billy Joe Shaver. “Trigger” the keeper of the […]
“NO BLOOD FOR OIL, man!” That’s what the guitar player said as we listened to the news on the radio, trundling down the 405 Freeway in a panel truck. It was 1990, the U.S. was fixing to boot Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait and I was serving as a roadie for a 1950s-themed rock-n-roll band heading southbound from Los Angeles […]
August 23, 1572 — St. Bartholomew’s Eve. Man of Commerce and Soldier of Fortune Mattias Tannhauser rides into Paris, where all hell is about to break loose. At a tavern called The Red Ox, he pauses to take his repast and reflect upon the state of affairs in his adopted country… “Tannhauser had abandoned all involvement and even […]
Shakespeare was right, of course. We come sliding into the world and, drawing our first breath in it, seem to somehow intuit life’s pre-eminent lesson: we are entitled to precisely nothing — not food, not water, not toilet paper, and certainly not surgical masks and ventilators. And so it is that in our first few moments in the arena we give a great angry cry in protest — until someone sticks a tit in our mouths.
Coronavirus is probably NOT going to kill us all. You might be forgiven for thinking otherwise, since the reporting on this respiratory illness tends to severely hyperventilate. According to WebMD reporting, as of Tuesday, February 11, there are about 43,000 cases, the vast majority of them in China, and the number of deaths crested 1,000. […]
My wife and I were down in Bend, Oregon, the other day, to visit with some friends and to spend the afternoon watching the Oregon Ducks smash helmets with the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl. I had no dog in the fight – my alma maters are both mired in long-term football mediocrity — so instead of pulling for one side or the other I played the role of annoying snarky guy while munching on some terrific jalapeno poppers and perfectly smoked – and I really do mean perfectly — short ribs. It was a great afternoon full of delightfully low-brow conversation.
It’s not the apocalypse, of course, it’s just history, but if you thought the shape of history was meant to be an upward curve of progress, then this feels like the apocalypse. — Dougald Hine, co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project It can always sound really glib when historians start dancing up and down and saying, “hey, […]
I’m growing older but not up My metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck Let those winds of time blow over my head I’d rather die while I’m livin’ than live while I’m dead — Jimmy Buffett The winds of change have been blowing pretty hard around here of late. Some men of my community who were strong and vital when I met […]
The quality we admire most at The Running Iron Report is resilience. Nobody escapes the injuries, the wrecks, the traumas big and small that life dishes out. The 21st century therapeutic culture, which often valorizes victimhood, has led us astray from old, heroic virtues, and indeed casts them in a negative light. But those are the […]
Americans have a skewed image of what civil war entails, mainly because ours was somewhat exceptional, if not unique. Two vast geographical regions squared off and went at it in a large-scale conventional war featuring classical Napoleonic movement of great armies and titanic battles like Gettysburg, Antietam, Chickamauga and the sieges of Vicksburg and Petersburg. Victory or […]