Category: Thoughts

Those Ridiculous Clerics!

The nerve of these people! We are outraged. We are livid. This kind of barbarity cannot be permitted in civilized society. Mahmoud Shaaban is an “ultraconservative” Islamic cleric in Egypt. “Hard-line,” “orthodox” – whatever. In the name of his great religion, he and his fellow cleric Wagdi Ghoneim have issued fatwas (edicts) calling for the...

A Modest Proposal For Solving Our Gun Violence Problem

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...

Very Short Books

Books are far too long, right? Who has time for 300-pages of blabbering on about nothing? Do you know how many tweets you can read in the amount of time it takes to slog through one stupid novel? A lot. And they’re usually way funnier. And unlike books they’ve got hashtags, like #betterthanactuallyreading. Still, in...

Stress

Certain amorphous concepts exist only in the theoretical realm: truth, justice, beauty. Time. Yet we “know” (or think we know) they’re there. Indeed, we’re the ones who manifest them. By observing, say, a ravishing Southern California sunset, or the blossoms of a cherry tree, or our lover’s face, we feel quite sure that Beauty is...

A New Definition of Family

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...

Life as a First-Person Shooter

The world didn’t end. We went on. After the last of the murdered children was laid to rest, buried in the Connecticut dirt, it was time for life to get back to normal. To play our “first-person shooter” video games – “Assassin’s Creed” anyone? – and watch our TV programs – Criminal This and Criminal...

An Interview with Michael Konik about His Novel “Becoming Bobby”

In the days preceding the publication of Michael Konik’s eighth book, a darkly satirical novel called “Becoming Bobby,” writer and Vegas Lit Managing Editor Arnold Snyder interviewed the author. Much was revealed about the creative process and Konik’s motivations for writing a book so drastically different than his previously published work. The interview originally appeared at Write-aholic....

Bad Endings

I helped an old man load his groceries into the trunk of his car, which was parked curbside near the entrance to a 99-Cent store. He walked with a cane and seemed to have trouble handling his bags. A watermelon had fallen to the sidewalk, somehow escaping unblemished. But things didn’t look as though they...

Picking Sides from the Pulpit

We attended a Bat Mitzvah the weekend before the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was announced in Gaza. The service was held at a reform Jewish temple, a thoroughly modern place of worship where men and women are permitted to sit together, where the cantor accompanies himself on a djembe drum. The ceremony was part...

The NASCAR President

So long as the American people are quite alright with their elected offices being available for rent, let’s have some fun. We’re resigned to a world where money is speech, not property, a world where no one minds that half their Members of Congress are millionaires (as opposed to 1% of the population-at-large), where $372...