you probably overrate that which you love

SigmundFreud Surrealists 1500

THIS MORNING, the ques­tion on Quora was, “Who is the most over­rated music star of all time?” Rather than an­swer the question—which I don’t be­lieve can be an­swered to every­one’s satisfaction—I ad­dressed the as­sump­tions of the ques­tion it­self.

My an­swer is in­dented below be­tween the im­ages of Bert Blyleven (with the ball) and Sig­mund Freud (with the cigar). READ MORE

symbolist poet arthur rimbaud has nothing to do with this post

ArthurRimbaud caricature Pericoli 1500 crop

ANOTHER DAY, an­other ques­tion on Quora beg­ging for an an­swer from me. (Well, maybe not beg­ging, but looking like it re­quires my at­ten­tion.) Hope­fully, my an­swer will be un­like others that will be posted and if it doesn’t in­form, will at least en­ter­tain.

The ques­tion was, Can you name an artist or mu­si­cian you had never heard of that people said was good and you dis­cov­ered those people were right? READ MORE

I guess I’ll just have to remain anonymous

PsychedelicLandscape 1500 crop

THIS TIME, the ques­tion on Quora was “Why do you not want to be fa­mous?” and I read it at four in the morning. That’s be­fore I’d had the first sip of my Cafe Bustelo (a good coffee to wake up with). So I put on Miles Davis’s WALKIN’ (a good album to wake up with), took a gulp from my mug and re­sponded with this:

If I was fa­mous, there’d be all these in­ter­esting young men with ex­tra­or­di­narily ex­otic mind-altering drugs that I’ve never even heard of who would want to hang out with me and be my friend and have fas­ci­nating con­ver­sa­tions about re­ality just be­cause I was fa­mous. READ MORE

on the “rich lifestyles” of music artists and movie stars

SandraBullock AllAboutSteve stairs 1500 crop

TODAY’S QUESTION ON QUORA that caught my at­ten­tion was, “How do music artists have such rich lifestyles if every­body pi­rates their music?” Since I had just fin­ished my mon­ster mug of Cafe Bustelo—and I tried honey in­stead of my usual light brown sugar as a sweet­ener, which I won’t be doing again—I thought I’d give it a go.

My an­swer to the ques­tion How do music artists have such rich lifestyles if every­body pi­rates their music? READ MORE

can we call trump’s tweeted temper tantrums “tweetrums”?

Trump CryBaby DonkeyHotey 1500 crop

RESPONDING TO A QUESTION on Quora, I used my an­swer as the basis for a short ar­ticle that I ti­tled, “Con­ser­v­a­tives Not Ex­actly En­thralled by Trump Are a Problem.” I was ad­dressing what I as­sumed was a con­ser­v­a­tive in­di­vidual who posted that some con­ser­v­a­tives “aren’t ex­actly en­thralled” with Trumps’ pres­i­dency.

The point of my piece was to take the ques­tioner to task for so timid a re­sponse to Trump. READ MORE

conservatives not exactly enthralled by trump are a problem

Trump Atlantic Autocracy 1500 crop

THIS ONE IS A DOOZY! The ques­tion on Quora was, “Would lib­erals be sur­prised to learn that con­ser­v­a­tives aren’t ex­actly en­thralled with Donald Trump ei­ther?” One must make some as­sump­tions when en­gaging other In­ter­ne­tally, so I as­sume that the person who posted this ques­tion is po­lit­i­cally con­ser­v­a­tive. I also as­sume that he as­sumes that asking it dis­plays his feel­ings and opinion about the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion as being rea­son­able. 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

a crusty old fart answers a question about today’s popular music

HeavyMetal art Nicolasaviori 1500

ON QUORA,  a young man asked me to an­swer the burning ques­tion, “What do heavy metal music fans think about modern pop music?” my first thought was, “Wow! Did you come to the wrong person!” Then i though, “I can do this and have some fun along the way.

I’m posting my re­sponse here on Neal Umphred Dot Com even though this might be better on one of my music blogs.  READ MORE

so atheism and agnosticism don’t do it for you—are you man enough for secular humanism?

VonnegutKurt 1500 copy

DID YOU GROW UP with a “normal” re­li­gion an then re­jected it and all tra­di­tional re­li­gions? Atheism and ag­nos­ti­cism not enough? Want the mar­vels of sci­ence re­vealed to you? Ever want to know what the hell the re­li­gious right are talking about when they men­tion Hu­manism, or (shudder) Sec­ular Hu­manism? 

First, Hu­manism is a phi­los­ophy based on sci­ence, not a re­li­gion. READ MORE