You’re Not Listening

Back in the Old Country — well, okay, Oregon — occasionally we would need to skip town now and then, and leave our cats with our parents. Our mom once marveled at how talkative they were, which struck us as an odd thing to say, because of course they were talkative. We talked to our cats all the time. And they talked back.

It’s really not hard to understand cats. “I’m hungry” and “I want outside” and “I’m fucking pissed” pretty much runs the conversation. (With dogs, it’s all “Do you love me?”) Talk to them like a grownup — “That tabletop is my turf!” — they’ll get the message.

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Other Omens of the Apocalypse

Everybody loves a Western.

  • Malcolm X on the Ten
  • Wall Street CEO perp walks
  • Smash hiphop musical about Grover Cleveland

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Prince Rogers Nelson, 1958-2016

Singer Prince dies at 57 [CNN]


Five bars on Mount Sinai.




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Why I Am Not Running for President

  • Don Rickles unavailable to ghostwrite insults.
  • Wife refuses to rehearse Adoring Gaze for when I’m caught with exotic Eastern European hooker.
  • Satanic coven won’t release me from Vows.

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Rude Mechanicals

Get… off… my… LAWN!

Growing up, we thought our grandparents had witnessed the most amazing era in human history. Sure, we saw the Moon landing on TV, but we were only ten at the time, and while it was certainly cool, we lacked the experience and understanding — and poetry — to put it in a larger context. Our grandparents had seen biplanes, for chrissake. They knew what the Moon meant.

We would have been old enough to hang out at the pinball arcade when we started having thoughts like that. The place was an ad hoc mechanical museum, not because the proprietor had any taste, but because some machines were cheaper to rent than others.

The old ones had their charms, all bells and spinning scorewheels and worn boards. But the lines formed around new shinies like Captain Fantastic, with electronic sounds and digital numbers. Truly that was the future of quarter-enabled entertainment.

Until the night Pong showed up.

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One Damn Thing After Another

Listen, Mr. Luthor, maybe this guy that flies is just sort of passing through, you know?

We love third-string Marvel characters, the ones who aren’t big enough for movies or networks, and so end up dwelling in the Netflix basement. We love them because Saving the World has gotten pretty boring at this point in cinematic history — Superman reversed time forty years ago, after all, and after you’ve shown that you can rewind Earth’s spin without throwing everybody into space, you’ve pretty much established that the planet won’t blow up next time.

Besides, Beneath the Planet of the Apes blew up the planet forty-five years ago, so no point going there either.

The Marvel bench lives in the world the first-string saved, satisfying the Gods of Continuity, but their problems don’t amount to a hill of beans in it. That actually makes them more interesting in practice, since their writers have to stretch to make them even worth watching. We have no inherent reason to care about street crime in Hell’s Kitchen. Unless you provide one.

Case in poi—

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