Moby Dicks: Critique vs. Criticism

Saturday, February 28, 2015 | 0 Comment(s)

"We all can't be bloggers for a living."

He wrote that to me publicly on Facebook. I barely knew this guy and here he was posting the very question that kept me awake at night.  He was obviously ribbing me, but there was a tinge to it.  Kinda like that an adolescent male buck tentatively knocking horns with the alpha, just to make sure the ol' guy still had it in him and was willing to put up a fight.

I had to ram my head back into his, that much was clear.  I typed my first response, something flippant and douche-filled that referenced my Ph.D.  Über douche.  As I reread it I hated the person whose voice it came out of.  I'm not self-conscious about my intelligence. Throwing all of my formal learning in his face would only prove him right. When your only defense is letters on a piece of paper, you got nothing. Advanced degrees are just symbols of knowledge, but is the knowledge itself that carries value. That first attempt was quickly highlighted and deleted.

He certainly is a Moby Dick . . . .        (illustration by Michael Hawthrone)

Pine Sap: The Oscars, the Grouches, and Yet Another Award Show

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | 0 Comment(s)

The Oscars both happened and didn't really matter once again.  Even with the acceptance speeches being less roll call and more message-based, it is hard to deny that we are making a huge fuss about the wrong people. Something about how these stars pay lip service to inequality while reaping the benefits of the greatest inequity of our time: Money.

I have a novel idea, why don't they hold a new televised award show. I know, I know, even the joking idea of adding more of these makes me queasy.  And while this new proceeding will have all the glitz and star power of the Oscars, those famous faces will be there merely to see and be seen.  In other words, Hollywood's so-called elite will serve as the presenters and performers for the event -- as is appropriate.

The recipients of the awards, however, will go to deserving winners who have made accomplishments to better the nation this year.  How about "Greatest Contribution to Renewable Energy," "Best Performance in Eliminating Hunger Worldwide," or "The Making Impossible Possible Award."

Dare I say that I would love to applaud these winners.  Not to mention that the clips they would show of all the nominees' works would be a free public service announcement that humanity is still surging forward as the typhoon of global destruction and discord nips at our heals. Let's make one award show that matters, out of the 47, let's get just one of them right.

And then, there is this guy:

So much sadness

Johnson & Johnson's Baby Onions

Friday, February 13, 2015 | 0 Comment(s)

I have strong opinions regarding onions and most other vegetables as well.  I just do.  While onions may be my favorite vegetable to dice, and delicious to eat, I'm not so into plant matter that defends itself. Except Venus flytraps, cause they obviously rule so fucking hard. But layers of cry-inducing skin? Pass. If I wanted that, I'd just chop a live chicken or something.  At least I'd end up with a main course instead of just one ingredient to compose a side dish. Hell, after onions reduce, they practically disappear altogether. Pussies.

With that established, you would think that this report in The Telegraph left me clicking me heals mid-air.

photo credit:
It did not.

That is way over the line Smokey. Mark it zero.

When you read the report, it doesn't mention the words "genetically modified organisms" anywhere because the very whisper of the GMO acronym sets off a debate that drowns out all other information trying to be conveyed. But these British farmers didn't one day go into their fields and lo and behold, "Hey we've got magic onions!"  No. It wasn't like that at all.

A Poem for Winter

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 | 0 Comment(s)


A Pharaoh Ant crawls its way across the brown cracking skin
of a tree it met yesterday.
The surrounding evergreens sway in stoic witness.
Their sticky pine forming lava flows of semi-transparent tributaries.

Not all snow colors are created equal,
The red a scarlet slash of injustice;
of violence and fear and loss.

Our repetitive footsteps grind grit and gravel,
down down down to the blacktop of our font door.
Melted runoff snakes through the waterlogged planks of the porch.
A dripping roof concealing a hidden fortress of reflective pools,
where we can smoke in peace.

Memories form a mirage refracted in the puddles of forgotten snowmen,
and the women who made them great.
Come now, away from this place of haunted backyards,
of unbaptized snow which will never again known the joy of destructive paw prints.