My worst year started with a bang, literally. I was downtown for a meeting in the morning and walking toward Dagny’s when I saw a well-built black man running along 20th Street in my direction. I paused to let him pass, but he didn’t run past—instead, he punched me in the face while speaking loudly...
Diary entries describing finding my son after fifteen years of separation.
Thirty-five new character names for adventures, like Noseworm, Twoo, Goober Hawking, and The Fartful Codger. Presented for fair use.
The following selection from my Prison Diary assumes that the reader is thoroughly familiar with Ernest Hemingway’s famous story, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.” Material in brackets was added for the convenience of blog readers.
Dawn grew like a time-lapsed flower. Sunrise went “sproing.” The sun came up with a clatter of castanets. Sunrise shattered the night. The sun shattered the mirror of the eastern sky.
Some of these, maybe all of these questions can be answered, but the sense of mystery remains: what am I that I can understand these things and ask these things? What kind of answer am I looking for? What kind of answer would not be “just words”? Must there be something unanalyzable, always, at the base of our knowledge?
“Columbus discovered America in 1492.” This paradigmatic bit of knowledge was taught to me in the innocent 1950s (were they “innocent”? Or was this just another of the Lies My Teacher Told Me?). It might still be taught this way somewhere in the U.S., perhaps in a few schools in Tennessee or South Carolina as required by state law, but a likelier formulation might be...
What I most like here is the idea that we learn to be bored. It may be possible to study our boredom to learn ways to turn it into something positive, either to increased self-understanding or as a cue to something subtle. [Mary Catherine] Bateson suggests, when bored, taking a closer look at what’s happening in the environment. But then, she wasn’t in jail. How about the Perfect Moment?
I began drastically reducing my intake of sugar. First to go was sugared sodas. While I usually had diet sodas at home, the fast-food fountain sodas use saccharine or some other sweetener that I can’t stand, so I had sugared sodas (Dr. Pepper, if you must know) whenever I ate out, and was glad to get it; now I drink strictly water when eating out.
Here I discuss Pierre Bezuhov’s spiritual questions in Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and a few additional issues from Milton’s Paradise Lost, Mishima’s Temple of Dawn, and other works. Includes "The 10% Solution" of what a "moral person" should do with their life.
“You know, I do not understand why you are treating me like an an old shoe that’s tossed aside. But let me clue you in on a few things! I’m not one of your old shoes nor [?] am I anything you need to be tossing off or away! That’s certainly not the way you are supposed to treat a friend!...
Continuing my brief introductions to the books of my Best Books list, this time novels and plays.
Hollywood corn, poor script, nothing special from Marvel, aside from the obvious.
One late evening I poured into twitter my pain over the Florida shooting victims. Here are those tweets, thrown together.
Continuing my brief introductions to the books of my Best Books list, this time Psychology, Mind, Human Nature
Savage Los Angeles writer Charles Bukowski (1920-94) is well worth a look; here I tell of my experience as a reader of "Buk."
Continuing my brief introductions to the books of my Best Books list, this time Politics, Economics, and History
For those who cannot get enough of me on Twitter, I have collected my best for posterity, ICYMI.
Continuing my brief introductions to the books of my Best Books list.
This is an email to the leader of a classics book discussion group, suggesting some titles for future discussion.