us-flag-distress

Poem for the Trump Inaugural: “The Turning”

us-flag-distressThese truths we hold to be self-evident…

The Turning
     – Samhain 1991

1.
In this dry land 
crickets fear to chirp
for waste of moisture.

Rattlers bleach their bones,
listless in the summer scald.

2.
I don't want to say too much

	for fear of being misconstrued
	or maybe 
	for fear of being understood all too clearly 

so here's your warning –  Continue reading 

Dear Jerry Jones: please live forever

What’s the longest an NFL GM has lasted without winning a playoff game, anyway?

In case you missed it, the Green Bay Packers executed a miracle yesterday to get golf season started for the #1 seeded Dallas Cowboys.

In the 1995-6 season Troy Aikman led America’s Team® to a 27-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. In the 21 seasons since that glorious day in Tempe, the Cowboys have: Continue reading

The LL Bean/Trump row: time for (another) free speech lesson

You have the right to speak. You have no right not to be disagreed with.

Let’s start with a brief quiz.

Bob says X. Fred says no, X is wrong. Has Fred:

a) infringed Bob’s free speech rights, or
b) engaged in free speech the way the Framers intended?

Answer below, in case you don’t understand how freedom works.

This isn’t a big deal, really, but I saw something this morning that reminded me just how little Americans understand liberty. So I thought I’d offer a brief refresher for those who slept through Civics class.  Continue reading

ignorance-is-power

Rural elites: I’ve had it with the arrogance of ignorance (and its promoters)

ignorance-is-powerThe only thing worse than the willfully ignorant is the legion of apologists enabling them.

Since the election – before, really – we’ve heard a lot of talk about how all those urban liberal elites need to stop being so arrogant and start listening to very real concerns of real Americans in rural flyover values America.

We have more recently begun to see some informed pushback against this silliness self-serving rhetorical engineering masquerading as good-faith socio-political analysis. Now we’ve hit the daily double, though.

First, our friend Otherwise passed along a righteous rant from a very frustrated Melinda Byerley, CMO of TimeShare. Have a quick look. Continue reading

Dotsun Moon finds an answer on vox: Saturday Video Roundup

Dotsun Moon’s new singer, Maria Sebastian, is simply wonderful. Here’s proof.

In my top CDs of 2016 list last week, I propped Rich Flierl and Dotsun Moon, a band doing some serious soul-searching after losing its very talented lead singer. Rich dropped some new tunes on me the other day, and they suggest that in Maria Sebastian he has found an answer on the mic. Here’s what I mean – this is “My Apology,” and it’s heartbreakingly lovely.

Continue reading

Gary Kubiak steps down: here’s one Bronco fan’s wish list for a new coach

Denver should be an appealing destination for nearly any coach. Here’s what we’d like to see.

Kubes steps down: who's next?

Kubes steps down: who’s next?

The speculation has swirled for a couple days, and this morning Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak made it official: he’s resigning.

Gary Kubiak has stepped down as the head coach of the Denver Broncos, the team announced Monday morning. Continue reading

new-years-resolutions

The most common New Years resolutions and me in 2017

Some yes, some probably not, a little bitch please….

new-years-resolutionsPart 3 of a series

I posted my two big resolutions for 2017 already: aim high and shoot straight and insist that support be mutual. But what will I do about all the standard resolutions? You know, the ones everybody makes and breaks every year?

Here are 15 top New Years resolutions. And what I plan to do about them.

Lose Weight and Get Fit

Well, I’m already doing that. In terms of strength I’m in the best shape of my life already. So this is more like I resolve to keep doing what I’ve been doing, only moreso.

Quit Smoking

Never have, never will, so it doesn’t matter. Continue reading

Doc's 2016 Playlist

@Doc’s Best CDs of 2016 List

2016 was an odd year for music. But at least Bowie left us a masterpiece on his way out the door.

David Bowie - BLACKSTAR

David Bowie – BLACKSTAR

If I were doing my year-end ratings and reviews the way I used to I have no idea what I’d make of 2016. It started horribly, with David Bowie, one of the most influential geniuses in rock history, releasing Blackstar and then dying almost immediately. He was followed, in short order, by a lot of other people, including Prince, Paul Kantner, Glenn Frey, Sharon Jones and 2/3 of ELP.

So it seemed like every good new release was tempered, to a degree, by the fact that the Reaper was taking more than his share. Which meant, I think, that I never got into my usual new music groove.

Regardless, 2016 did present us with some wonderful sounds across a range of genres. Continue reading

asshole-of-the-year-2016

The 2016 Asshole of the Year is … 2016 itself

2016 isn’t a person or a monster, but the collective assholery of all we experienced transcends the normal rules. Here’s to you, 2016 – and good riddance.

asshole-of-the-year-2016

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Continue reading

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Remembering 2016: the year when everyone died

No, famous people won’t stop dying on January 1. But we lost too many bright lights this year and we hope that 2017 will be better. Here’s a list of noteworthy people who died in 2016.

For the past several months a lot of us have been saying we can’t wait for this damned year to be over.

2016 gave us the worst election season I can remember, and every ten minutes or so another beloved artist would die, it seemed. Any year that gives us Donald Trump and takes Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, Prince in return has done more damage than some decades.

No, people aren’t going to stop dying at the stroke of midnight tomorrow. Continue reading

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New Years Resolutions, pt 2: support is a two-way street

I have always supported independent artists, but that support has not often been reciprocated. This bothers me.

Part 2 of a series

support_independent_artists_invitation-r6303469af3264b2a811939c475b2c50f_zk9yi_324[Caveat: I’ll apologize in advance if this one sounds a little bitchy. That isn’t my intent, but I know people don’t always hear what I think I’m saying.]

Ever since we started this blog in 2007, and really for a good number of years before that via different media, I have done all I could to support the efforts of artists I found worthy, especially the seemingly numberless independent artists out there who are being all kinds of brilliant without much help from mainstream media or the industry institutions that dominate the areas in which they work. Music, visual arts, photography, literature, you name it – if you’re like me you run across a lot of fantastic creative work, and if you’re like me you want everyone else to appreciate it as much as you do. Continue reading

new-years-resolutions

New Year Resolutions, pt 1: aim high and shoot straight

new-years-resolutionsI resolve to be more honest and direct in confronting ignorance and hatred.

Part 1 of a series

When I was a little boy, my grandparents read me the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25: 14-30). They had a particularly Southern Baptist working class interpretation of what it meant. If you had a gift, the Lord intended you to use it to make the world a better place. If you didn’t, it was a sin and the gift might be taken from you.

“You’re smart,” they said to me. “God means you to use your brain to help others.”

Whether because my ego liked the idea of being smart or because I was innately concerned about other people’s well being, the lesson never left me.

When I got older and started my career, I developed a reputation among those I worked with as a guy who was honest. Continue reading

hillary-clinton-weak-men-fear-strong-women

ALL OF THE ABOVE: The REAL reason(s) Clinton lost the election

Analyzing Clinton’s loss: can we PLEASE let go of our compulsive binary either/or thinking?

hillary-clinton-weak-men-fear-strong-womenEver since the stunning outcome of the election several weeks ago we have been subjected to one analysis after another as to why Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. Dozens and Dozens. Hell, make that hundreds and hundreds, probably. I’m seeing more of these stories in my Facebook feed these days than I am pictures of cute kittens. Telling us what happened and how it happened has become a whole new industry, it seems.

Some of these stories are insightful. Some tell us what we already know, although the authors often try and package their reasoning as something more original than it is. And some aren’t helpful at all. But it seems like the one thing each author has in common is a need to cast his or her reason as the reason. Continue reading

hb2

WTF is the NC GOP up to with the attempted “Bathroom Bill” repeal?

The people who passed HB2 now want to unpass it because they hate teh queers, love the money and fear the people.

[Note: Please forgive the snark in this post. I’m in one of those moods, but despite the tone this is a wholly factual analysis.]

The yahoos who run my native state of North Carolina have been a marvel to watch in recent months. Their latest act was to convene another of their dread “special sessions” for the purpose of repealing the state’s infamously discriminatory HB2 – the “bathroom law.”

Of course, things fell apart. If you’d like a self-serving blow-by-blow from one of the perps, I highly recommend the narrative from NC District 41 (that’s Lincolnton, I believe) Senator Jeff Tarte. If you can’t stomach that, here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

  • Charlotte passes ordinance to outlaw discrimination against LGBT citizens
  • Republican lawmakers pass HB2, which makes it illegal to interfere with civil rights violations against gays, lesbians and transgender citizens
  • The world shuns NC, costing it untold millions of dollars
  • Now, on the way out the door, Gov. “One-Term” Pat McCrory decides to repeal the law
  • However, the repeal fails because apparently it was predicated on Charlotte repealing the ordinance that started the legislative ball rolling in the first place

So, what’s the GOP’s motivation here? Continue reading