Originally posted February 3rd, 2013
By Michael Konik
Guns are not the problem. People are not the problem. Young people are the problem.
They don’t listen. They play awful video game simulations of mass murder. They shoot six-year-olds.
And no amount of background checks or ammo-clip restrictions will change that. There’s only one way to solve the gun situation, one way to bring peace and civility back to our public areas while also not trampling on our inalienable American right to bear arms (as outlined with great clarity in the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America).
The maintenance of civil order in our fragile society rests on a rock solid foundation of family discipline. A child who disrespects his parents must be removed from society. Permanently. So that other children will see the importance of respecting their parents.
Originally posted January 6th, 2013
By Michael Konik
If you wish to align yourself with a mindset that no one will dispute and most will acclaim, proclaim yourself a paragon of “family values.” Earn a reputation as a “family man.” Put “family” before self. Found a right-wing Christian political bribery machine and call it “Focus on the Family.” Do whatever it is you want to do with your life, but remind everyone that whatever it is you do with your life it’s all about the family.
Repeat the word. Family. Say it clearly and often. Family.
Is there anything better? Is there any concept more sacrosanct? Ah, how we love our children and how we love our parents. They’re more important than anyone or anything in the universe.
Family: the folks we can trust and love, celebrate and forgive, rescue and remember, support and adore and abide. Family is the . . . → Read More: A New Definition of Family
Originally posted June 30th, 2006
By Michael Konik
My beautiful mother, Renice Konik, turns 65 today. She’s now officially a senior citizen.
I would suggest, however, that if you didn’t have access to her government-issued identification — or a Web page trumpeting the fact — you wouldn’t guess that this vibrant, vivacious lass is eligible for Social Security (and bargain matinees). My mom continues to teach elementary school, where, far from being considered “Old Lady Konik, the Dour Ogre,” she’s lauded as the most inventive and creative pedant in the building. Her classroom, which has as many animals in it as books and inspiring epigrams, radiates the spirit of curiosity, and her students can’t be bored no matter how hard they try. There’s just too much to do and process and question. Plus, the youngsters must take care not to let their guards down. Fair and balanced be damned: Mrs. . . . → Read More: Happy Birthday, Renice Konik
Mother’s are like dogs: Everybody thinks his is the best.
Unless we’re living in billions of parallel universes, everyone having the best mom (or dog) is impossible. So I would like to clear up any confusion surrounding this question and set the matter straight. It is I alone who have the best mom in the world.
Sorry. I’m just a lucky guy.
Now, I’m big-hearted enough to recognize the lovely and endearing qualities all the other mom’s out there possess, and I’m gladdened to know that countless sons and daughters enjoy something approaching the satisfaction I enjoy. Nothing in life matches a mother’s love and affection, her concern and care, her passion for her children. Maternal nurturing is one of the brightest forces in the known universe, and all of us fortunate enough to have a mother to guide us and protect us know the beauty . . . → Read More: My Mom
Originally posted August 15th, 2005
By Michael Konik
When I was a child, once a year my family would conduct what my uncle the Marxist called “the great purge.” We would cull from our closets old clothes and other unwanted stuff, and make a giant charitable donation to Goodwill Industries, a local organization aiding the developmentally disabled. There was a sense of cleansing and renewal as we stuffed worn jeans into plastic trash bags. Letting go of unneeded possessions instantly created new space, new possibilities, and soon thereafter these spaces would be claimed by fresh clothes, slightly larger than the old ones and more in tune with whatever the fashion key was at the moment.
I still try to execute a great purge once a year, though I’m finding as I grow older that the fewer clothes I have the happier I am with my closet. Where the concept of clearance-and-renewal is most compelling to . . . → Read More: Grow, Purge, Renew
Originally posted April 8th, 2004
By Michael Konik
A study published this month in Pediatrics magazine suggests that toddlers who watch TV risk attention problems, including difficulty concentrating, acting restless and impulsive, and being easily confused.
This discovery won’t come as news to my parents, who raised me on a strict diet of one-hour-of-TV during the school week. At the time, of course, I resented the fascist restrictions on my youthful desires. While other kids at school were talking about The Fonz and Laverne and Shirley, I nodded dumbly and pretended I was in on the joke. And though I would beg Mom and Dad to let me vegetate in front of the glowing screen like most of my classmates, they were adamant that I would be better off reading a book, drawing a picture, or constructing an elaborate fantasy game with my brother.
Casinos depressed Douglas Bishop. Disinclined to mathematics, he didn’t understand any of the games, and the haze of cigarette smoke triggered his tendency toward hypochondria.
If it were up to him, they never would have stopped in Tunica. He and Lenny would have driven straight through from Memphis to New Orleans, where Doug was keen on meeting Amandalou Breaux, the Voodoo Princess of Storyville, queen of the notorious red-light district. (He also wanted to see…
On a recent trip to Madagascar in search of wildlife in its natural habitat, we visited the magnificent Andasibe National Park, where a dozen species of lemur monkeys found nowhere else in the world make their home in the forest canopy. Viewing sifaka (“dancing lemurs”) normally seen only in captivity…
The Enemy Who Hates Our Freedoms has gotten unruly, crossing borders dreamed up by imperial empires. Impudent weeds with AK-47s and machetes impertinently raise their masked heads, taunting, braying, slashing American throats and luring the big bad bully into yet another unwinnable war. It’s time to mow the grass. Here…
This year the United States economy recovered all of the jobs lost during the great Wall Street Recession.
But here’s the even better news: The newly created jobs pay an average of 23% less than the ones lost in the “downsizing.” According to a report issued by the United States…
As we make final preparations for the most solemn American holiday, Labor Day, our mind turns to ways that we, and perhaps all of us, can make Monday’s national celebration of workers into a perfect expression of how we all really feel about laborers.
Another less exalted…
Originally released in 2002, Adam Curtis’s “Century of the Self” was a four-part series on the BBC that examined how Sigmund Freud’s theories of human psychology have been employed (and refined) by the rich and powerful to control the dangerous impulses of the masses. Much of this dazzlingly entertaining yarn focuses on Freud’s nephew Edward [...]