People who don't like to speak to groups are sometimes told to picture their audience naked, or in their underwear.
This is bad advice. For one thing, it's just plain creepy. For anther, I tried it, and I became way too interested in a woman in the third row who looked a lot like Beyonce.
When I think about famous people, particularly famous ...Read more
I wish to remark, and my language is plain, that I have said far filthier things than Cardi B has ever rapped. Horrible things. Repulsive things.
Ms. B, if that's how you formalize her name, has recently released a song whose title is so obscene I can't write it in a column. These days, that takes some effort.
Despite my gray hair and pale ...Read more
My wife, Deborah, bought me a piece of cheesecake yesterday. The market she goes to sells individual pieces of cheesecake in clear plastic boxes.
"Look," she said happily as we put the groceries away. "I got you a piece of cheesecake."
She's always doing that kind of thing.
"I got that barbecue sauce you like," she'll say, breezing in from ...Read more
An old editor once told me, "If everyone believes it, it's probably wrong," which is why Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy lost a primary battle for Senate in Massachusetts. He lost to Ed Markey, a career politician who can't see himself in a mirror because most of him has vanished into a lifetime of incumbency.
And, of course, every self-appointed ...Read more
My father used to say: "Time was invented so everything doesn't happen all at once. Distance was invented so everything doesn't happen to you."
Maybe he read that, or maybe he heard it from some weary half-a-thief in the days when my father tended bar.
I've lived in some big cities, but I've lived the last 28 years of my life in Fall River, ...Read more
Creamsicle-colored Pres. Donald J. Trump uses more makeup and hairspray than my wife (and she is fond of both), but he is not Satan. He is not Satan's hoof, or hump, or rump. He is not even the big toe of Satan.
I dislike the man intensely, and I hate watching him bull his way through what may be this nation's last presidential election, but I ...Read more
What kind of Black are you?
Are you Barack Obama Black -- with a Black father who wasn't around much and a white mother?
No. Scratch that question. Obama became president and, for millions of drooling right-wing Americans, became the blackest man in the world, carrying a huge load of unforgivable blackness.
No, once they compared Obama's ...Read more
If it felt at all safe, I would finish this column and go out for a beer.
How incredibly old-fashioned it sounds to talk about going out for a beer.
"Honey, I'm going to go out for a beer," I'd say. "I'll be back by 10."
My father said that to his wife, and my grandfather said that to his wife, and I have said it to my wife. Though, in these ...Read more
Who won't they gas and beat?
I'm talking about the camo-suited soldiers of Pres. Donald Trump's palace guard.
They've shattered the hand of a Navy veteran, turning every bone into several smaller souvenirs of the event.
A line of moms looking to protect their protesting sons and daughters? Fire the gas canisters! A line of ironic dads with ...Read more
I'm a white man. I'm not "courtesy white," either, like some of the very light olive ethnics. It takes generations of living in cold fog and eating root vegetables to produce my kind of white. And, no, I can't dance, not even a little.
I'll tell you how white I am. I'm white enough for Pres. Donald Trump to trust me if I were rich and con me if...Read more
Most Americans don't live downtown, and they don't live in the country, either. They live in the suburbs. We are a suburban people. Loaded potato skins in a chain restaurant that calls itself an "eatery." Off-street parking. Schools where the kids get free Chromebooks. Above-ground pools. Luxury on an average scale.
That's why you shouldn't ...Read more
Joe Biden, D-Forever, is as uninspiring a candidate as Hillary Clinton. Clinton ran her last presidential campaign the way a state representative does if he's running unopposed.
But she wasn't crazy.
How we long for "not crazy"!
Biden's main campaign plank is that he's not crazy, not even a little.
He may be more confused than he ought to be...Read more
The radio station where I work part time has 12 parking spaces in the lot, though there are seldom more than seven cars parked between the yellow lines. There is a cemetery at one edge of the lot, a cemetery from the 1700s because this is Massachusetts. Inside the cemetery, broken gravestones are piled up on the ground. Others are worn down like...Read more