Category: Writing

Dying for a Cause: The Termite Squad

We all have  to die some day. Most of us will be completely forgotten not long after we perish, as though we never existed. Even by our families. How often do you discuss your great-great-grandmother? Your great-grandmother? Many of us don’t even know the names of these people, let alone their accomplishments/exploits/passions. Even with the...

The Leak You Weren’t Supposed to Hear About

Comb through Wikileaks carefully enough and you’ll stumble over United States Government documents that make you wonder, “Can this possibly be real?” You realize why the people who run our government want to keep their programs secret: when something is so outlandish that it makes the average citizen think “they’re making this up,” it’s probably easier...

Tenth of December

George Saunders writes stories about regular people who aspire to be better. Better fathers, better husbands, better achievers. They almost never succeed. Their heartbreak, their delusions — this is the crux of Saunders’ work, and although his stories are laugh-out-loud funny, they’re never cruel. He writes about America — about us — with unwavering compassion....

The Biology of Story

Warning: If you’re a literary-minded person, you must handle “Biology of Story” with care. The project, an interactive documentary that explores Story as a living being, is ambitious, enormous, and possibly comprehensive. Once you dip into the oceanic trove of filmed interview segments, it may be several hours (or days) before you emerge from the...

All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr’s sprawling 2014 novel “All the Light We Cannot See,” is the rare work of art that succeeds in being both transcendent and popular. The book has won several major prizes and sold phenomenally well to what’s left of the reading public, pleasing consumers and critics in equal measure. The plaudits are warranted. Doerr’s...

The Areas of My Expertise

The short title of John Hodgman’s 2005 book is: The Perfect Bathroom Companion. True, as it lends itself to random visits of indeterminate length. The complete title is: An Almanac of Complete World Knowledge Compiled with Instructive Annotation and Arranged in Useful Order by myself, John Hodgman, a Professional Writer, in The Areas of My...

Katie Bull

On her fifth album, “All Hot Bodies Radiate,” Katie Bull continues to redefine the concept of “jazz vocalist.” She’s no chick singer. Bull’s instrument, her voice, isn’t extraordinarily powerful, plangent or peculiar, and she doesn’t project conservatory-trained technique and tuning. Yet her work mesmerizes and invites repeated listening. That’s because Bull is a singing poet, a writer...

Mortal Coil

The novel “Mortal Coil” is a clever chameleon that passes itself off as, variously, a thriller, a fantasy, a romance. But this splendid book is foremost a work of intensely considered philosophy, a metaphysical exploration of heaven and earth, reality and imagination, humans and angels. The author is Amnon Buchbinder, a Canadian screenwriter, director and...

Poem: Pimped Out Poetry Slam Five-Sided Story

This is not an insult. This is merely a minor reminder mainly meant to catapult adult minds toward new thinking instead of the usual repeated drinking of the poisoned Kool-Aid propagated by the war-machine cult. At least that’s the expected result!   This is not a jabbing joking jibe. This is not a fleet-footed treatise about...

Poem: The Fine Line

Between a reason and excuse A fine line, a filament, a dilettante rope Unfurls and hides. We might not see yet can’t refuse The shades of meaning found in joy and hope. Choose words carefully – That’s the lesson, the lemon, the luminosity. Should you be charged with loquacious verbosity, Sentenced to the slammer, Annealed...