Archive for the ‘Observations and Commentary’ Category

Most of us never see artists at work. Most of us never want to see artists at work. The process of visualizing, creating, refining, and polishing is the best left in the shadows. The multiple iterations required to arrive at a completed piece are neither appealing or interesting to most of us. The mental and emotional gyrations which spun and swirled in Van Gogh’s head and hand as he accelerated towards The Starry Night or Café Terrace at Night may fascinate, but they hardly make good viewing. Bach’s endless tinkering with notes and sounds while he composed the Brandenburg Concertos may appeal to the musicologist, but the rest of us are satisfied listening to the music. Nobody wants to see Meryl Streep stand in front of a mirror practicing gestures, accents, and tone while preparing for a role. The image of Anne Coates viewing reels of film in a cramped editing room, then manipulating them in search of the proper pacing for Lawrence of Arabia, is best left to film students. We just want to see the movie. The effort behind (more…)

we watch

Posted: August 27, 2020 in Observations and Commentary
Tags: , ,

We watch the world like it is a video game, full of carnage and mayhem, but never tactile or real. We watch chaos erupt in metropolises, cities, and towns. We watch protectors turn aggressor. We watch frustration turn to anger and anger turn to rage and rage turn to destruction. We watch military grade weapons filter into the hands of the unprepared and unstable. We watch youthful fervor morph into (more…)

Several months ago Amazon announced they planned to open a second corporate headquarters in either the United States or Canada. They named this new venture HQ2, not to be confused with the old school television shopping channels HSN and QVC. (2-3 weeks for delivery? How quaint!) Metropolitan areas were invited to pitch their “Pick Me!” stories. 238 proposals were received. Amazon promptly placed them in the “Save for Later” section of their shopping cart and continued their hugely successful mission to keep cardboard manufacturers busy.

Well, “later” has arrived. Sorta. The top 20 finalists were announced today. It is an understandably exciting time for these hopefuls. Amazon projects (more…)


Tom Petty has been gone for three months, but it still doesn’t feel real. Since the mid-70’s he has always been there doing his thing without much fanfare, like bedrock. His songs, especially the earlier ones, routinely pop up on classic rock stations. Whenever that happens the volume gets boosted a bit. Part of the reason is the songs are solid; the other is they offer warm familiarity. This may be true of all music you enjoyed as a kid, but not of all that music endures. Petty endures, like bedrock.

I was never a superfan, but I like a lot of his work – and love some of it. I saw him live for the first and only time in 1979. Back then huge video screens did not flank the stage, so unless (more…)

Man, the years keep on keeping on, don’t they? It seems like just yesterday when 2016 exploded into 2017 and the prospect of the new year brought with it an impending sense of doom which lurked just around the corner of January and 20th. We use “impending” as a harbinger, a warning that it is time to prepare for bad, bad juju because it will soon be spewing from every crevice and pore. One does not think of an impending ice cream cone or an impending night out at the cinema. No sir. Impending is saved for the serious shit – an impending (more…)

Chest thumps spreading just like wildfire
An imaginary war grows
Yule-tide ornaments hang from every wire
But the outraged see only foes

Everybody knows that it’s Christmastime (more…)

Not so very long ago Americans knew who Charles Whitman was. On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman shot 46 people from the 27th floor of the University of Texas Tower in Austin. Fifteen died. It shocked the country. The following week the cover of Life magazine was a sobering photograph of the UT Tower through a window with two bullet holes. The shooting was so horrifying and unique that the two major wire news organizations (more…)

Many years ago, I was traveling from Dallas, Texas to Norman, Oklahoma. It was the familiar interstate route, a straight shot north. It was also dull and repetitive, so I decided to hop onto the local roads and find my way across the state border at a new unknown spot, a pioneer in a Plymouth Fury. The Texas blacktop led me through small cow towns where experience told me my New Jersey accent would not be an asset. I double-checked my fuel gauge to ensure I could make it into Oklahoma without (more…)

Holy shit, nobody saw that coming. Forget about the blindsided pundits and the humiliated pollsters. You know the president-elect, his advisors, family, and many ardent supporters were also shocked. Let’s face it, you don’t froth at the mouth about a rigged election before the actual election if you expect to win. It is interesting to wonder what thoughts lumbered through Donald Trump’s head last Tuesday night as the results poured in. On a purely instinctive level he must have been elated; he had to be. Seriously, what better way to (more…)

Thankfully, Election Day is almost here. The mood is such that by now Tuesday could arrive accompanied by bushels of chocolate covered strawberries, truckloads of bouquets, puppies and kittens for all, the Rockettes, and cures for every known communicable disease – and it still wouldn’t be more welcome than it already is.

During this exhausting year we have all suffered through relentlessness, excessive levels of hate, dismissiveness, abuse, moral and intellectual superiority, highhanded behavior, lies, and degradation. Our anxiety is (more…)