Author: Michael Konik

MOPDTK’s “Mauch Chunk”

Mostly Other People Do the Killing’s latest iteration, a quartet, is led by bassist Mopppa Elliott, whose modern bop compositions are featured on the band’s new album, “Mauch Chunk,” a rollicking, raucous  dash through jazz history that’s firmly in the right now. MOPDTK’s sax man is Jon Irabagon, one the most exciting players in the world....

An Open Letter to a Naughty Podcaster

Dear Person Who Shall Remain Nameless in Order to Preserve Whatever Shred of Credibility You Might Still Have Among Your Listeners, Although for years you’ve railed against big banks, multi-national corporations, and the rich (mostly white) folks who benefit from quotidian financial chicanery, when a candidate for President of the United States, Bernie Sanders, recently...

The Debt Resistor’s Operations Manual

An offshoot of the Occupy movement, Strike Debt is helping defaulters retire debt for pennies on the dollar. They’re also helping the 99% understand that the design of our financial system is built to keep masses of workers indentured to creditors. In Strike Debt’s easy-to-understand book, “The Debt Resistor’s Operations Manual,” the entire concept of who owes...

Greatness

There are many paths to greatness. This is one man’s. + Be the son of an already-rich real estate magnate. + Enjoy every advantage commensurate with privilege and nepotism. + Buy your way into the Atlantic City gambling business, where your “customers” are known as losers. + Extract hundreds of millions of dollars in personal...

Immigration, Income, and Making America Great (Again)

EXCERPTED FROM “How The Revolution Started: Essays & Impertinent Thoughts “(Eggy Press). Contrary to what Donald J. Trump and his followers claim to believe, immigration is not what’s keeping America from being great (again). If folks who live in Iowa and New Hampshire who are convinced that our national safety rests on the construction of...

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...

Zombies Are Blameless, and So Are We

Excerpted from “How the Revolution Started: Essays and Impertinent Thoughts.” If you voluntarily buy burritos from Chipotle or pay for TV programs owned by Discovery, companies whose CEOs earn 1,000 times more than the average employee they oversee, then you probably don’t have any problem with wealth and income inequality. You’re certainly not going to...

Poem: Life Sculptor

We don’t author our biographies. We sculpt them, chipping and chiseling, peeling back the onionskin strata accretions of time, calcified history. The layers of remaindered remnants. What’s been piled on previous to our arrival taunts just beyond our reach, like the inscrutable object of desire who can’t and will not ever requite our boundless love....

The Better Angels Soundtrack

It’s been nearly five years since our favorite singer, Charmaine Clamor, released a new album. In the interim, she’s taken her much-noted talent and made it deeper, stronger, richer, imbuing her expressive voice with enhanced gravity. On “The Better Angels,” Charmaine sings 11 songs of hope, all of them connecting in  some way to the higher...

Poem: The Right Kind of Person

If you’re the kind of chappie who believes in predestination, a Calvinist narrative to be unspooled one frame at a time, this poem is not for you. If you are the kind of lassie who believes in free will, a steadfastly laissez-faire Locked fantasy to be imagined and enlivened one moment at a time, this...