Author: Michael Konik

One Genius Departs, Another Arrives

It’s been a terrible year of loss for those of us who consider the weekly collection of New Yorker cartoons one of the best reasons for living. William Hamilton, Michael Crawford, Frank Modell — all these legends died recently. And now Jack Ziegler. Even if you didn’t know the name or the man, you’ve seen his cartoons,...

Being More Like Billie

She loves everyone. That’s a good place to start. As the world seems to be getting angrier and crueler by the hour, our 10-month-old puppy, Billie Henrietta Konik, seems to be getting sweeter and kinder. Yes, of course: she’s the cutest, most adorable creature ever, as all dog owners understand about their pet. But what’s impressive...

Amy Bennett, Artist

The results of the artist Amy Bennett‘s work speak for themselves. The process of how her paintings come to be needs a little explaining. Bennett paints exquisitely detailed townscapes, quaint villages and bucolic communities viewed, often, from a cloud’s-eye-view, with a startling combination of panoramic sweep and deep-focus detail. These mesmerizing pictures are based not...

Evictions for Profit: The Ellis Act

The wiki description of California Government Code 12.75, known as the Ellis Act, named after the San Diego state senator who introduced it in 1985, sounds innocuous enough:  “The Ellis Act is a California state law that allows landlords to evict residential tenants in order to ‘go out of the rental business,’ in spite of desires by...

Resistance Action Plan

EXCERPTED FROM “How The Revolution Started: Essays & Impertinent Thoughts “(Eggy Press). How are you resisting? We’ve been asked this question often. How are you resisting “the occupation?” The “fascist state?” Knowing fully how woogie-woogie the answer sounds, we sometimes make a joke about having nothing to resist, what with the current administration’s glaring and...

Chess24.com Commentators

Fanboy alert! We’re developing a platonic man-crush on the smart, eloquent, adorable commentators at the Chess24 site, where players from around the globe congregate for online matches, breaking chess news — yes, there is such a thing — and analysis of the day’s top games. The core stable of erudite talkers includes three Grandmasters (the...

A Celebration of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Our nation’s newly installed Attorney General, the honorable Senator Jefferson Sessions, from Alabama, one of the five United States that celebrate Jefferson Davis, leader of the Confederacy, on Martin Luther King Day, has been in the news this week. Some liberal blowhards have a problem with a meeting he might have had with some Russian...

How to Make Yourself Irresistibly Attractive and Attractively Irresistible

Been hiking a lot lately, where what is and isn’t a “fact” seldom is argued. How nice to get away from “the news” — fake and otherwise. How nice to commune with the birds and the trees, basking in the sun, which, incidentally, is in no way whatsoever responsible for warming the planet, since the...

The Kindness of Strangers

The recently published anthology, “The Kindness of Strangers” (Wising Up Press), contains dozens of interesting perspectives on one of humanity’s best (and seemingly rarest) qualities. We’re quite fond of the prose-poem “Take Care of Each Other,” on page 59. But we find ourselves returning to the book’s introductory essay, by co-editor Heather Tosteson, whenever we...

Jersey Limericks

There once lived a man from Secaucus (the part of New Jersey that’s raucous) His house was a dump Befitting a chump Intending to insult and mock us His dream was to live in a tower Symbolic of great phallic power A spire so tall The masses would crawl And grovel and moan and cower...