Tagged: cultural criticism

Privacy Shmrivacy

The comedian Pete Holmes used to do a bit about how Facebook was actually a giant government conspiracy to get us to give up our privacy rights. Three years ago, it seemed funny. That a shockingly large percentage of Americans believe Edward Snowden ought to be tried for high crimes – treason is the offense...

Pep Talks

These days every other person with a computer and a microphone hosts her very own podcast. Some are worth listening to, and some, like “Pep Talks,” require regular monitoring. Something brilliant and funny and true might be said, and you don’t want to miss it. The show, on the All Things Comedy network, is the...

Poem: Yoga Lesson

What is arrogant contrary to your view would be to presume that the threshold of excellence you’ve artificially set  — what does and doesn’t qualify for literature art excellent worthiness – earned along the way the organic certification, the one we all hope we’re worth. In fact, my dear, my darling, my [insert pet name...

Poem: The Story of You

This story is about You. You don’t need descriptions of what You look like. Or how You feel. Or windy conjectural explanations of what You think. You know all that. What You want is to hear what happened. How You got here, how You arrived at this particular moment in the space we call wherever...

A Los Angeles Worthy of Candide

Everything’s working perfectly. The Los Angeles City Council has allowed several major real estate developments, including residential towers, to begin construction in Hollywood on or near major earthquake fault lines. Geologic surveys were never ordered, but the developers, major political donors all, assured everyone that there was no problem, so it was therefore decided that...

What Has 2014 Wrought?

There once was a magic crystal ball that “fell” to Times Square on the stroke of Midnight. When the magic ball dropped, 2013 changed into 2014. And suddenly everything was different. Well, not everything. Orwellian doublespeak was still flourishing. Time Warner was still telling their customers that an impending 18% price increase was in fact...

Poem: Poet Philosopher

Let this be my manifesto to be tacked upon cathedrals and posted on digital walls where everyone in the world goes to look at what isn’t happening to them. It has thusly been decreed that He is I and I is He – another way to say that I is We, and He and You...

Poem: Scandal

IN MEMORY OF EUGENE KONIK, born February 27, 1936. R.I.P.   And although I don’t share your candid misanthropy I understand and I am sorry. Father who left us all too soon I understand and I am sorry. Our species, the one you claimed to despise, having peered inside yourself and all around the carousel, having...

Family Problems

In the aftermath of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, where thousands died and hundreds-of-thousands more were left homeless, almost everyone I spoke to asked the same question: My Filipina wife — was anyone in her immediate family affected? Everyone was greatly relieved to learn that, no, none of my wife’s immediate...

Laurence Hobgood’s “Christmas”

We’re on the record: the world needs another Christmas music collection about as much as another porno clip. We’ve got plenty. What more needs to be added, what else can be said on the subject of Christmas songs that hasn’t already been said wonderfully well by hundreds — thousands? — of others? Pianist-arranger-composer Laurence Hobgood,...