Top 10 albums as a teen

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Pointless exercise. But maybe that’s all we have left on this here Internet, other than “tweetstorms” and “takedowns.” Nirvana – In Utero Sam Cooke – the Man and His Music Sam and Dave – the Best of Alice in Chains – Jar of Flies Black Sheep – A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing D’Angelo – Voodoo […]

A new old friend

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Occasionally, with eyes open, you can stumble upon something hidden in plain sight. It may even be something of unique beauty – something that didn’t mean much in years past. Lou Reed and the Velvets were pretty important in a sometimes-wild youth for me. Less understandable was his stuff after the 1970s. I’d give albums […]

A Noir Tale for Your Ears

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A few years back, I published a hair-raising story of a young man and his older lover. It’s basically a rip-off of Sunset Boulevard, but in a loving way. The magazine has gone kaput, apparently. (The single issue is still available here). So I decided with the one half hour I’ve had free recently to […]

Muhammad Ali – the man who was America

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“Joe has started smoking ; it should be pretty even just about now…” Announcer, Thrilla in Manila,  before Round 7   This guy was pretty special. He was not only an athlete who was just better than his peers; he made that superiority into a confident fireworks unseen this side of Shakespeare. What a man. […]

A Prince Among Men

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Prince was probably the best live show I’ve ever seen (Worcester, Mass., the night of the 2000 Presidential Election. Strange times indeed). The man was so many things, it’s been a little sad to see writers of all stripes bungle the obituaries. They focus in on this or that, and miss entire eras of the […]

Two Ice Cubes

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Not in my martini shaker – just two of the greatest West Coast rap tracks from the 1990s. Kanye West could never put together beautifully simple art like this. First is Cube’s perfect pop single. Second is the greatest rap diss track in history (which doubles as a hateful party song.)

Conspiracy

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Just read an unsettling book – The Conspiracy Against the Human Race by horror writer Thomas Ligotti. A non-fiction philosophical treatise, recommended my way by a friend who found it through the musings of the main character in the TV show True Detective. This was heavy stuff, laid on a foundation that human life is […]

Ghosts of 20th C.

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The Cracked Eye published one of my longer stories this week. “No Man’s Land” takes place during the Battle of the Somme, D-Day, Khe Sanh, and a humdrum invasion of a Middle Eastern nation in the 21st century. It owes a heavy debt to Joseph Conrad’s structure of Heart of Darkness, Rod Serling, the sentiments […]

Ignorance is Strength

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“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” -Horrible Cliche The more power of knowledge that people are given, it seems, the less they can handle the responsibility. Reviewing the Facebook chatter on a sick day home from work on a blustery Friday, and I notice one relative of mine […]

Your 2016 candidate

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Followers! Lemmings! Step right up. Take a moment, reflect. Reflect whether your candidate matches the following prescription, description and formula. I know you like him. I know you like her. I know you get a tingly feeling! I know you think things will change for your better! I understand you’re making some kind of point […]

A Haunting.

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I had the chance to investigate a haunted house with my reporter’s hat on during a dark rainstorm in late October. A local newspaper story came out of it – but so too did a tale of horror. That fiction story was published this week by a fine publication called The Molotov Cocktail. The inspiration […]

Exeunt, Bowie

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Now that the chatter and the clatter has subsided, the death of David Bowie is left to settle among us fans who aren’t going to make hay or hashtags of it. The man’s music and lyrics were way too good for more than a decade to make his art pop – so David Jones swapped […]

Bad Bet called in from the 1980s

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The Cracked Eye published a short story of mine this weekend. It’s about four friends who make horrific choices one fateful 1980s night in Atlantic City. File it under “C” for Cautionary Tale. The beautiful illustrations are always a kick to see – to see your vision come alive, etc. The story is based on […]

Mnemonick Deep, 2015

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The book is nearly shut on another annus mirabilis. There were tragedies worldwide, breakthroughs, massacres and salvation, births and deaths, and personal blunders and triumphs. The only assurance is the future will hold Agony and Ecstasy for all of us, in this tangled web we weave. It was said much better, albeit anachronistically, by Pynchon: […]

PC – 20 years ago

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Written in 1994, by Richey James and Nicky Wire: “Teacher, starve your child, PC-approved As long as the right words are used Systemised atrocity ignored As long as bi-lingual signs on view Ten foot sign in Oxford Street Be pure – be vigilant – behave Grey not neon, grey not real Life bleeds, death is […]