Elvis TrueStrange magazine June1957 1500 crop2

fantastic prescience of the 21st century in a ’50s men’s magazine?

SEARCHING FOR IMAGES ON THE INTERNET for one project often leads to some very un­ex­pected dis­cov­eries. In this case, I was looking for some sharp photos of a couple of rather rare Elvis Presley records from the ’50s when I came across True Strange mag­a­zine. There I saw what looked like a hint of prescience. [Continue reading]

NoamChomsky AnandGiridharadas 2020 1500

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

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. [Continue reading]

GodPlayingCards 1500 crop

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

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. [Continue reading]

Woodstock crowd buses 1500 crop

the newsstand’s “house hippie” heads for woodstock

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. [Continue reading]

TableTennis PaddleBall 1500

trump and forbes and the one that got away

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! [Continue reading]

LeftBehind teddybear2000

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

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. [Continue reading]

Joke Beethoven skull

three days after the burial of the beethoven

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. [Continue reading]


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.

[Continue reading]