National Poetry Writing Month begins today. Will you write 30 poems in 30 days?
Well, no. I won’t, not me personally. I retired from writing poetry a couple years ago. But before I did I wrote four books and am currently looking to publish them, so I definitely salute the annual celebration of the art.
Here at S&R we have a deep and abiding respect for verse, and we encourage you to break out the quill and parchment (if you don’t have a quill and parchment pen and paper, or even a word processing package such as Microsoft Word will do) and get your poetry on. Read more
I’m heading out for a friend’s all-day bachelor party event here in a few minutes. Back when I was DJing I did a lot of wedding receptions, and I always made sure to play three songs. Somehow, I never got punched once. So in honor of my buddy’s upcoming nuptials, here’s a matrimonial threefer.
First, I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll.
It’s been a tough week in the Famous Death Department. First we lost Dandy Don Meredith, whose work with Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford in the Monday Night Football booth was one of the most important factors in the explosion of the NFL’s popularity over the past several decades.
Then Elizabeth Edwards left us the other day. I try to remain cognizant of the fact that you never really know people unless you know them, and maybe not even then, but to all appearances she was a woman who deserved a great deal more from her final years than she got. Rest in Peace.
Finally, today marks the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon. Read more
What the hell is up with 2010? And will it ever end?
This has been the worst year of my life. I guess those who were there to see the trainwreck that was 1988 might argue that it was marginally worse, but the point is that this year has sucked from the outset. It began with the collapse of my marriage. Which led, as you might expect, to extraordinary amounts of depression, self-recrimination, loneliness, etc. Then it kind of kept getting worse.
But it’s not just me. I look at the lives of the people close to me, and extreme stress is an all-too-dominant theme. For instance:
- A close friend who happens to be one of the brightest guys I know got fired from his job last year. Read more
Tiger Woods wrapped up the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrews tied for 23rd and 13 strokes off the pace, “his worst finish at a major in which he completed 72 holes since a tie for 24th at the 2004 PGA.” You might remember that Woods had a little domestic dustup last November, and since then he hasn’t exactly been his old competitive self. For instance, have a look at his post-Tigergate results:
- Masters: Tied for 4th
- Quail Hollow: missed cut
- Players: withdrew (injury)
- Memorial: Tied for 19th
- US Open: Tied for 4th
- AT&T National: Tied for 46th
- JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am: Tied for 24th
- British Open: Tied for 23rd
Excuses are easy to come by: long layoff, off-course distractions, injury, etc. A lot of people would be 0-fer under these circumstances, but a lot of people aren’t Tiger. With Woods, there are two outcomes: first is first and second is last. Read more
So, Rush Limbaugh just got married. Congrats, Rush – we wish you well.
We wanted to note this momentous occasion because, as you know, Rush is a big proponent of family values, and few things say family like walking down the aisle and publicly expressing your lifelong commitment to the person of the opposite gender that you love.
Especially when you’re so committed to traditional values that you do it four times. Wow.
Sir Elton John, whose raging queerness makes him incapable of family values, was allegedly paid $1M to play the reception. Read more
If you’ve been off-planet for the last few months you may have missed the news: Jon & Kate have split, and in the process migrated from the relative banality of the TV listings over to the hyper-banality of the tabloids. I’m still not sure what the future holds for the popular “reality” show, but whatever it is, Gosselin family 2.0 equals Jon minus Kate.
It occurs to me that these events represent something significant in our culture. Since about 1980 or so we’ve been in one of our periodic “childrens is the most preciousest things in the whole wide world” phases. (For more on the generational cycles that produce this dynamic, see Generations, 13th Gen and Millennials Rising by William Howe and Neil Strauss, two men whose work I have referenced a number of times in the past.) In the previous generation (Gen X), children were an afterthought for most parents, who had been socialized in far more self-centric times. Read more
Well, here’s a fine howdy-do: Rick Warren, pastor of the mother of all mega-churches, has been tapped to channel Jesus conduct a seance deliver the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration. Because Warren is, you know, a “moderate.”
…in 2004 Warren declared that marriage, reproductive choice, and stem cell research were “non-negotiable” issues for Christian voters and has admitted that the main difference between himself and James Dobson is a matter of tone. He criticized Obama’s answers at the Faith Forum he hosted before the election and vowed to continue to pressure him to change his views on the issue of reproductive choice. He came out strongly in support of Prop 8, saying “there is no need to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population … Read more
Welcome to part three of S&R’s first annual year-end round-up. I’ll begin by apologizing for my colleagues, who have wasted a lot of their time (and yours) yammering about “important” issues. Of course, I admire their intellectual gravity, but let’s be honest – that sort of seriousness is really misplaced when the intended audience is the American public. As we have observed before, the US is not exactly a nation of thinkers.
So today 2007 in Review will be addressing the public interest. For those who have forgotten, the public interest is what the public is interested in. Read more
The gig is up for Warren Jeffs.
ST. GEORGE, Utah (Reuters) – U.S. polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed “prophet” of a sect of breakaway Mormons, was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years to life in prison for having forced a 14-year-old girl to marry her first cousin.The leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or FLDS, received five years to life for each of two felony convictions on charges he was an accomplice to rape. The sentences will be served consecutively and a state board of pardons will ultimately determine how much time he spends in prison. (Story.)
The FLDS features all kinds of oddness, including “blood atonement” (“the extrajudicial killings of certain sinners”), “child brides, rabid racism, multiple wives, and a secretive, religious dictator” (that’d be our boy Warren, by the way). Read more
In my most recent post, one commenter repeatedly insisted that I offer a solution or an alternative for the problems I was pointing to. As I noted there, I never suggested that there was a problem, and even if there were, it’s hardly my job to be proposing a lot of solutions that aren’t going to be acted on. If you believe there’s the slightest plausibility of change wafting in the wind, you haven’t taken a good look at the likely presidential contenders in your two major parties.
However, for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that I think America’s current condition constitutes a “problem” and that I’m tasked with offering a solution. I would begin with one critical observation about your system of governance: The problem with democracy in America is that too many people are allowed to participate. Read more
And away we go! Sen. David Vitter, a conservative Louisiana Republican, has become the first major pol linked to “DC Madame” Deborah Jane Palfrey.
[UPDATE: Won’t you please help save Sen. Vitter’s winky?]
A bit of context is in order.
- Vitter is a no-compromises god-n-country anti-hanky-panky conservative who in 1998 said that Louisiana Rep. Bob Livingston’s resignation over marital infidelity “makes a very powerful argument that [President Bill] Clinton should resign as well.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 12/20/98. Pg. 04D] Read more
Mitt Romney said a couple curious things Saturday. Fortunately for him, he did so at Regent “University,” which isn’t a place you’re likely to encounter a lot of critical thinking. The most entertaining assertion was this bit:
“It seems that Europe leads Americans in this way of thinking,” Romney told the crowd of more than 5,000. “In France , for instance, I’m told that marriage is now frequently contracted in seven-year terms where either party may move on when their term is up. How shallow and how different from the Europe of the past.” (Story.)
Mmmmkay. I’ve turned the Internets inside out and can’t find a scrap of evidence to support this claim. Read more