that’s what I’ve been telling people for fifty years!

NoamChomsky AnandGiridharadas 2020 1500

NOAM CHOMSKY HAD AN INTERVIEW sched­uled with Anand Girid­haradas for The.Ink web­site. While each in­ter­view promises the po­ten­tial of unique an­swers and even the pos­si­bility of new thoughts, de­pending on the in­ter­viewer, Chomsky pre­pared some notes to make cer­tain he men­tioned cer­tain points. So, Noam called me and said, “Neal, here is what I am preparing to say in my in­ter­view with Anand Girid­haradas: ‘The left po­si­tion is you rarely sup­port anyone. READ MORE

blaming God for the bad but not crediting Him for the good

GodPlayingCards 1500 crop

IT’S QUORA QUESTION TIME AGAIN. This time the ques­tion was about the Cre­ator: “Why do people tend to blame God for the bad but never give him credit for the good?” Even though my ex­pe­ri­ence with my fellow human be­ings who are be­lievers is the exact op­po­site of that, I couldn’t re­sist livening up Quora with an an­swer:

God drops by my house once a month to play Cinch with me and a couple of my neigh­bors from Penn­syl­vania. READ MORE

the newsstand’s “house hippie” heads for woodstock

Woodstock crowd buses 1500 crop

I WORKED ON THIS PIECE FOR A WEEK! I in­tended to pub­lish it on Au­gust 15, 2019, the first day of the 50th an­niver­sary of Wood­stock. But no matter what I wrote or how I wrote it, ei­ther I came out sounding far more con­ceited than I was in 1969 (ah, but I was so much older then) or the whole thing came out sounding like a sappy Hall­mark movie. READ MORE

trump and forbes and the one that got away

TableTennis PaddleBall 1500

I’M NOT FEELING WELL. It could be some late-Summer thing or an ad­vance taste of what the up­coming flu season has in store for us. But it’s a low-grade headache and fever, sore and swollen throat (that makes me squeak when I try to talk, so I don’t) (which some con­sider a blessing), and Grate Grom­mett in Heaven do my mus­cles ache! READ MORE

two men standing in a field, then there was one (on being a left behind)

LeftBehind teddybear2000

MANY PEOPLE with a pro­nounced right-leaning po­lit­ical per­sua­sion have had the ex­pe­ri­ence of meeting me and, perish forbid, en­gaging me in an­i­mated dis­course. Many come away thinking me a li­brull ar­se­hole. So, does that make me a left be­hind?

I found the lovely photo of the teddy bear in the woods at the top of this page on the Reigning Life site ac­com­pa­nying the ar­ticle “Who Gets Left Be­hind” by Jordan Hard­grave. READ MORE

three days after the burial of the beethoven

Joke Beethoven skull

ON APRIL 1, 1827, three days after the burial of the great Ludwig van Beethoven in the ceme­tery at Währing (in north­western Vi­enna, on the edge of the Vi­enna Woods), an ar­dent ad­mirer of the mae­stro’s glo­rious music ven­tured to his gravesite to pay his re­spects. He was quite shocked when he heard what sounded like gar­bled music coming from within the grave. READ MORE

how do you know the neighbors are having sex?


FRIENDS OF OURS and former neigh­bors—let’s call them Bill and Pam—have a pre­co­cious 8-year-old son named Shaun who loves root beer Pop­si­cles. He takes his time eating them to make the flavor last as long as pos­sible. At first, Bill and Pam found this a little an­noying, be­cause Pop­si­cle’s melt and get messy.