Tagged: michael konik essayist

Save the DHS!

Because of another political fracas between competing brands of The Money Party, your child’s life is at risk. And so are you. And so am I, which is why I’m terrified. Not terrorized, since, technically, no act of terror has yet occurred in my neighborhood of Los Angeles. But frightened. You should be, too. If...

Stealing From Shareholders to Enrich the Poor

Shares of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer of disposable flotsam, are very likely a part of my vast portfolio of blue-chip stocks. I can’t say for sure. I don’t have time to read financial statements. I have no interest in the month-to-month vicissitudes of my fund holdings. I just know the stock market is going...

Leaders Leading With Leadership

A man named Salvatore J. Cordileone should not be confused with the Godfather of Mario Puzo’s fictional crime family. That would be Corleone. Mr. Cordileone is the leader of a different kind of mafia, the Archdiocese of San Franciso, where he is the Archbishop, the Vatican’s man-on-the-ground in the historically liberal Bay Area. As the...

Good Guys vs. Bad Guys (USA vs. Islamic State)

All of us who treasure the privilege of being Jordanian (or a citizen of any other feudal time-warp that isn’t controlled by Al Qaeda) were spiritually uplifted this week when a squadron of Jordanian airplanes dropped hundreds of bombs on Islamic State targets in what used to be Syria and Iraq. When the bombs exploded,...

Neurons to Nirvana

Among the catastrophic costs of our absurd “War on Drugs,” the virtual halt to scientific study of the medical benefits of psychotropics is one of the saddest. The stylishly constructed documentary “Neurons to Nirvana” combines archival propaganda footage of the “Reefer Madness” variety with enlightening interviews from some of the leading academics in the field, including...

Housekeeper Aspirations

When revolutionizing one’s consciousness, a useful question to ask is: Do I disapprove of rapacious greed and selfishness because it’s the root cause of our ongoing struggle to achieve social justice? Or am I just jealous? Most people find it noxious when White Men flaunt their wealth and privilege in the form of conspicuously consumed...

Hypercolor

If, like us, you’ve wondered what would happen if a punk band (or at least one with a punky aesthetic of reject-the-rules) had conservatory training and could apply virtuoso technique and advanced understanding of musical structure to their rockin’, kickin’, slammin’ music — the answer has arrived. Hypercolor, the self-titled debut recording of guitarist Eyal Maoz,...

The Righteous Delight of Whiteness

Life is grand. Especially for people who look like me. I don’t make society’s rules, I just benefit from them. I didn’t decide to be a White Male, that’s just the way I was born. You know how it is — especially if you’re Jewish. Some of us are Chosen. Fate, dumb luck. It’s terrific....

Slow/Fast’s “Settle”

Reedman, composer, Bang-on-a-Can-All-Star and Gutbucket alum Ken Thomson leads his Slow/Fast Quintet — Russ Johnson, trumpet; Nir Felder, guitar; Adam Armstrong, bass; Fred Kennedy, drums — through a universe of musical possibilities on the group’s September, 2014 release “Settle.” Everyone here is a virtuoso, which helps with music as technically demanding and intricate as Thomson’s, but that’s...

How Police With Grenade Launchers Make Us a Better America

As tax-paying property owners who love America primarily for its ability to deliver security to the landed gentry, we were reassured in the aftermath of Ferguson to see that law and order would be maintained properly, with military-grade weaponry. Because when citizens congregate in large (and potentially unruly groups) to shout and wave signs they...