Posts in category "Musings"

Save the Slashers: In Defense of 80's Horror Movies

Save the Slashers: In Defense of 80's Horror Movies
How many of us remember sitting in our rooms on a fall evening, wrapped in copious amounts of blankets, and popping in a crusty VHS of Friday the 13th we rented from the video store. The taboo of the slasher movie was in full force, and watching one was a right of passage for all... Read more »

Nazi Dr. Seuss, a world full of micro-managing parents, and the divine art of the open mind

Nazi Dr. Seuss, a world full of micro-managing parents, and the divine art of the open mind
How often have you wandered into a bakery and searched for a subtle, beautiful cake, only to find a forest of monstrosities slathered with what looks like spackle and alien ejaculate? And they taste like a wet sponge because we’ve banned sugar because one child got hyper and Mrs. Smith can’t have little Billy going... Read more »

"It is you, it is they who desire to live": Finding solace in words after the Dallas tragedy

"It is you, it is they who desire to live": Finding solace in words after the Dallas tragedy
I won’t summarize what happened in Dallas, as I don’t have the words. We’ve been following the story with its images of blood, death, and destruction. The very essence of humanity is challenged in these proceedings. The value of human life is plunging into depths of deepest despair. “Those who most long for peace now... Read more »
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The Sizzle Went Out with the Steak: Finding a lesson in the decline of the Playboy image

The Sizzle Went Out with the Steak: Finding a lesson in the decline of the Playboy image
(The above is a facsimile of Hugh Hefner’s mission statement from the first issue of Playboy Magazine, published in December of 1953.) To a child growing up in a house that had a subscription to Playboy, like I did, the magazine represented the other side of life. It epitomized style, class, and the pages were... Read more »

Warning: Nostalgia or "Living in the past can drive you NUTS"

Warning: Nostalgia or "Living in the past can drive you NUTS"
“I wish it was like the good old days again!” How many times have we heard that tired aphorism in our lifetimes? People yearn for days of yore, childhood moments where life was simple and the world was seen through rose-colored glasses. We remember moments that warm our hearts, bring a smile to our faces,... Read more »

"I write to understand as much as to be understood": Celebrating the life of Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

"I write to understand as much as to be understood": Celebrating the life of Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)
When I wrote my blog about Elie Wiesel’s memoir Open Heart, I had no idea that in less than half a month he would be dead. Wiesel died today at the age of 87. In our lifetime, we have figures who stand at the finish line of tragedy and teach the world to learn from it.... Read more »
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"Death and Taxes": Singing for Funerals, The Fountain of Youth, and the Brittleness of Mortality

"Death and Taxes": Singing for Funerals, The Fountain of Youth, and the Brittleness of Mortality
Everyone always thinks that the life of a professional musician is glamorous. Their picture is The Beatles, with millions of screaming fans devouring every song. Their image is of The Rolling Stones, jet-setting and drugging to every “sextreme.” The reality is, unless you’re Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger, you’re going to have to take some... Read more »

“Here pity only lives when it is dead": a moment in the Chicago neighborhood of John Wayne Gacy

The quote in the title of this article is from Dante Alighieri’s immortal poetic depiction of hell, The Inferno. The Inferno is a perfect moniker for where I wound up yesterday on a beautiful Monday in Chicago. Throughout my childhood I heard the name John Wayne Gacy passed around like a boogeyman, a hush falling... Read more »

"All he does is yell, yell, yell!": The Case of Dr. Seuss vs. Donald Trump

"All he does is yell, yell, yell!": The Case of Dr. Seuss vs. Donald Trump
As I was browsing through the stacks in Barnes & Noble, an intermission from my main mission of purchasing Stephen King’s new masterpiece, I happened upon a book entitled Seuss-isms! A Guide to Life for Those Just Starting Out…and Those Already on Their Way. It is a short “self-help” book on how to deal with... Read more »
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"The line between the past and the present": What I DON'T want to know then what I know now, and why it matters (Blogapalooz-Hour: Volume XXXII)

"The line between the past and the present": What I DON'T want to know then what I know now, and why it matters (Blogapalooz-Hour: Volume XXXII)
A man saunters into the booth next to me in a restaurant, sliding a piece of soiled white paper across the table to my trembling hands. All month I’ve known this was coming, like the fabled menstrual cycles of old. The man’s hands were rough, coated with sawdust, and his beard was, well, let’s say a... Read more »