I don't live in the kind of city that gets Lady Gaga live for one night, or Taylor Swift.
I live in the kind of city that gets a Journey tribute band that sounds just like Journey if you're drunk. Sometimes, at some limping, underfunded civic event, we get a band that still has one of the original band members from the days of their greatest ...Read more
The old man's idea of paradise is inertia.
Right now, there's an old woman looking sadly out the window of her apartment, seeing the vacant store where the "good" bakery was, or the kosher deli, or the bar with the neon shamrock in the window. The Dominicans and Haitians who moved into the neighborhood didn't have much use for those places. ...Read more
There's probably still a bar that uses the old beer schooners. Maybe in Chicago or Topeka or Bemidji, one of those towns with a flair for the traditional, for ethnic sausages and casseroles and good barbecue.
The schooner, if you remember, is a beer glass with a wide base, then a thick glass stem that suddenly blossoms out into a heavy glass ...Read more
Like high school itself, high school sports are the unimportant masquerading as the hugely significant.
Every time an adult told high school me that "these are the best years of your life," I used to pray the guy was wrong.
And I liked high school. My parents got along. We lived indoors. I usually had a girlfriend.
But, bedazzled ...Read more
So, let me get this straight. You DO want to see muscular men in tight pants play football. You do NOT want to look at Taylor Swift.
This, you tell me, is manliness. You tell me that right before you begin sobbing into your hanky.
There's a lot of beauty in manhood, and a lot of ugliness. The beauty is the guy working two jobs because he's ...Read more
My wife, who worked at a desk 13 feet away from me in the newsroom, noticed it first.
"The parking lot of the Walmart reeks of weed," she said. "I mean all the time. In the afternoon, in the morning, at night."
"Sometimes, even inside." she said.
A few months later, she reported back from a local grocery store.
"Not in front of the Stop & ...Read more
I'm a reasonable man. I do not raise my voice to my wife. If you cut me off on the highway, I do not make rude hand gestures. I do not roll my eyes and sigh if there are other people in line at the grocery store.
So, of course, I don't support former President Donald Trump. He is not a reasonable man, he believes and says unreasonable things,...Read more
Understand. I live in an urban area full of old multifamily homes and Hyundai sedans with duct tape on the upholstery.
This means that my small, northeastern city looks best at dusk. In the full black of night, it seems dangerous. In bright sunlight, it's too harshly lit, and the sunlight picks out every flattened cigarette butt in the gutter...Read more
Former President Donald Trump is innocent of directing, fomenting, encouraging or concocting an insurrection.
He is innocent of these things until he is found guilty. This is because, in America, you are innocent until proven guilty, one of the facts I retain from a civics class taught by an assistant basketball coach.
That's a weird thing for...Read more
Being an American of working-class origins, I've lived most of my life among people who say "statue of limitations" instead of "statute of limitations." That's OK. I always know what they mean, and the main purpose of language is for us to know what the person we're talking to wants to say.
I've also lived a lot of my life among statues ...Read more
Luke 2: 8-14
And there were in the same country (Which country? Open border or closed? Communist or Socialist?) shepherds (Agricultural laborers. Were they legal?) abiding in the field (In the field? Were they homeless? Part of a caravan?), keeping watch over their flock ("their" flock? One flock? Several shepherds? Sounds Communist if they ...Read more
When I was in high school, my late mother was a receptionist in a dentist's office.
Over her desk was a poster that said, "If you ignore your teeth, they'll go away."
It's true. You don't have to shoot your teeth to get rid of them, or have a car accident, or be punched in the mouth by some guy who says you were "looking at" his girlfriend. ...Read more
However you vote, whichever lives you think matter, you may be forgiven for asking one question.
When former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was stabbed 22 times in prison, did he say to his attacker, "I can't breathe"?
The "I can't breathe" quote was supposedly uttered by George Floyd, the criminally inclined Black man Chauvin ...Read more