As everyone undoubtedly knows, there was a solar eclipse yesterday. Idaho was fortunate to be in its path, the band of totality beginning about an hour north of Boise, where I live, and ending less than two hours north — a mere fifteen Continue reading My Totality
I’ll admit, I used to think it was funny. Back in the beginning — when a red-faced, bulging-veined Rush Limbaugh was still relatively new to the nation’s airwaves and didn’t yet have a huge following. His show seemed so foreign and outrageous, like some dark, twisted parody of Archie Bunker. Continue reading I Used To Think It Was Funny: Before the Right Wing Media Supplanted Moderate-Conservativism, Created an Ideological Monopoly, and Became a De-facto Propaganda Arm for the Extreme Right’s Agenda
This is a sequel to a blog I ran last year entitled “80 from the ’80’s,” here. This time it’s “70 from the ’70’s” — 70 albums from the 1970’s that still sound great today. It’s not intended as a “best of” list; rather, a more personal take on a great decade of music, including some albums and genres that don’t always make these kinds of lists (no offense, Led Zeppelin IV).
This time, I’m stoked to include picks from several guest contributors. They include Continue reading 70 from the ’70’s
That’s me (bottom) and my older brother, Jeff, playing “pirates” on the back porch of the house we grew up in in rural Northwest Ohio. If I had to guess, I’d say it was around 1974 — the same year Jimmy Buffett released one of his most enduring songs, “A Pirate Looks at Forty.”
Mother, mother ocean, I’ve heard you call
‘Wanted to sail upon your waters
Since I was three feet tall
You’ve seen it all, you’ve seen it all
I should acknowledge up front that I was never really a pirate at heart — even Continue reading A Pirate Looks at Fifty
Trump Fires Comey
This week, Donald Trump fired the Director of the F.B.I., James Comey, who was leading an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, including possible collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign. Continue reading Who will save America?: On the Crumbling Pillars of Our Democracy
I’ve been thinking a lot about art lately. As some of you know, I’m a fan, as well as a dabbler. I recently joined the board of a local arts organization and am super proud of the work it’s doing. My brother, Jeff, is an accomplished writer and creative writing instructor. Art is important to me, my family, and many people I know. For some, it is their livelihood.
And the arts are under attack. Again. Continue reading Thoughts on the War on Art
A lot of narratives have emerged since Donald Trump’s recent electoral victory. Some have held some merit. Others, not so much. Political narratives can be important, I think, especially Continue reading A Belated Post-Election Narrative About Narratives
Just as I sat down to write this morning — to yet again try to write something meaningful and insightful, that might somehow make a dent in the current wall of confusion — I was startled by a loud “thump” against my window. Continue reading On Birds and Words and Metaphors
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
Reprinted with gracious permission from the author. Copyright Maggie Smith, all rights reserved.
“Good Bones” first appeared in Waxwing http://waxwingmag.org/items/issue9/28_Smith-Good-Bones.php
There is a beautiful, limited-edition letterpress broadside of the poem available here: https://www.tupelopress.org/product/good-bones-broadside/
Please visit Maggie’s website where you can find more information about her, her poetry, and publications. https://maggiesmithpoet.com
A once-upon-a-time meritocracy
Not long ago, being president of the United States was considered a particularly difficult job, one requiring keen intelligence, high moral character, and a long record of distinguished public service. Continue reading When Being President Was Considered Difficult: How GOP Strategy and Ideology Supplanted Notions of Meritocracy in Respect to the U.S. Presidency