Category Archives: National

today’s journal entry

Reading Bob Dylan in America, I remember that Dylan sees around corners. He realized ten years ago that Americans were becoming besotted with virtual reality and that the real mccoy was in danger of becoming quaint, even obsolete.

Teens and the Elderly

Nature makes teens and the elderly mean. Otherwise, we would never let them go.

–a grandmother

Stealing Fire

“Ok, so you stole fire but you lack two things, justice and reverence. Without justice and reverence your stealing fire will be your undoing.”

–Zeus to Prometheus.

So Long, Pinetop

Pinetop Perkins, one of the last original Delta bluesmen, is dead at 97. So long, Pinetop. I was fortunate enough to see you perform before you left. You showed me and the world the gut bucket joy and low down sexual drive that makes the blues a universal art form. You didn’t clean up the blues, but left them in their raw, electric, visceral glory.

Young Men and Danger

Another big wave surfer, Sion Miloski, is drowned at Mavericks. He left two young children. Someone, maybe them, wrote “we love you Daddy” in the sand at the beach where they found his body. One could say, how self-centered and foolish to surf 60 foot waves, especially with little kids at home. However, moralizing is a poor container for what will not be contained. There is a fierce and terrible beauty when young men tempt fate. They would agree with you if you called them fools.

A Serpent’s Tooth

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.

Shakespeare, King Lear

Only in Portland

On my evening commute in a brutal downpour of hail and rain—I see a guy in the bike lane, totally nonchalant, heading home on a big, four foot wheel, fat tire unicycle. Ah, fair Portlandia!