Street Jazz

The day I hung up on Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison, who has had more influence on my writing than any other writer, has died.
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Michael Savage’s Countdown to Mecca: Mesmerized by bad writing

It was as if everything in the world had vanished and the only things still in existence were myself and the book I was gripping in my hands.

Ripples in a stream: How removing kids from their parents will Create a generation of people who will hold America in contempt

Donald Trump, a man almost pathological in his need for love and praise, seems totally unaware of the long-term consequences of the current policy of forcibly removing children from their parents at the border.

“Message Books” for kids: the literary equivalent of cod liver oil?

Offhand, I can’t think of a better way to ensure yet another generation of nonreaders than to give kids “message books,” whether the message be about loving and accepting yourself, others or espousing a particular world-view - no matter what that world view might be.

Facebook memes and idiotic thoughts

Everyday on Facebook one can see countless memes featuring the likes of Gene Wilder, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Sam Elliot and others, supposedly expressing notions which would see the average person laughed out of the room.

Eviction Circus: If you take away someone’s home, give them the money to rent a new place

Eviction Circus: If you take away someone’s home, give them the money to rent a new place

The Second Lieutenant and the National Anthem

I’ve written about this fellow before, but I think his story deserves to be told anew.

On not being “The Guy with Cancer”

Tracy asked, “Have you noticed people treating you differently?” And thankfully, I can say that so far, they haven’t. But I also know that eventually I’ll run into someone who can only relate to me (or perhaps even you) as merely someone with cancer.

Why you never want to be just “the talent”: Some folks want to be stars and others just want to do a good show

When I first began doing my show, way, way back in the last decade of the 20th Century, I was uncomfortably aware that I was what was regarded as “the talent” - the sort of fellow who sits in front of the camera and talks, but doesn’t know a damn thing about how a program is actually put together.

Incels: From romantic rejection to mass murder

In the last few years we have seen an alarming new factor coming into play in our mass murder horror: men and boys who can’t deal with romantic rejection.

“And rats may die, and one need have no compunction about rats . . .” Human beings or animals?

In recent days, the Great Humanitarians of Facebook have been debating (well, not debating so much as agreeing) that there are people in the world who are not human, but animals.

Dublin: The Passing of a Border Prince

Like T.S. Eliot’s cats, many dogs also have a secret name. Oh, not all dogs, mind you, - but certainly the ones who are poets at heart, have the soul of of an adventurer, and are ever alert to the first sign of danger to to their realm, and those they feel feel called upon to defend.

Cancer and Conservation of Energy

You never call, you never write are words I have heard often over the years - now along with you never check your answering machine, email or Facebook messages.

Has Facebook become the new Westboro Baptist Church?

Many of us have a complicated relationship with Facebook. On one hand you can communicate with others, and on the other, you often have to contend with the stalwarts who would use it to stir up contempt towards anyone who doesn’t see the world as they do.

Donald Trump does the full Urko

One of the chief joys of NBC’s “Return to the Planet of the Apes” in the 1970s was the character of General Urko, the bellicose ape in charge of hunting down the fugitive astronauts.

What might a man accomplish with a mortal deadline?

The Dalek in my liver having grown considerably since scans were first done a few months ago, I am looking at having radioactive beads slipped into me in the next few weeks.

My life long love affair with West Side Story - and no, I really don’t care if Natalie Wood didn’t do her own singing

Just imagine, if you dare, a roomful of seventh-grade boys, singing “Maria” from mimeographed sheets of paper.

Not quite the worst book in the world, but still . . .

Sitting next to my keyboard is a book which just annoys the hell out of me, but I can’t give it away, and good conscience forbids me from throwing it in the trash.

Running for My Life . . .

“We’ll see if we can get you an extra couple of years,” the doctor said, and my mind unaccountably went to Ben Gazzara.

Fayetteville: Is Alderman John La Tour capable of learning?

One day, like Saul on the road to Damascus, John La Tour may well have an epiphany - namely, that the folks he rails against online are also his constituents, and deserve more respect than the felgercarb he likes to post online.