Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Domination of Phoenixes

Three true negative statements: 1. The 1780 text of The Pleasant History of Thomas Hickathrift ends with a poem, spoken by Tom, running in part: My Friends while I have Strength to stand, Most manfully I will pursue All Dangers, till I clear this Land, Of Lions, Bears, and Tygers too… Since “this land” is […]

Ballad of a Summer Love

Ballad of a Summer Love She’d summer, back in ’64, Beside the Knights of Labor’s Old clubhouse on the facing shore— So we were almost neighbors, And every night I’d swim the lake Like Hero’s own Leander. I’d brave the aquarattlesnake, The gar and salamander While she’d sit watch upon the pier In hopes I […]

Against Free College for All

This upcoming election sees America making a choice between free college for all and the twilight of civilization, and although that’s not exactly a difficult choice, I have to say that I’m not in favor of either. I’ll take our opposition to the apocalypse as a given, and instead talk about free college. There seems […]

Poetry and Punctuation

I. …but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? Everyone knows these lines (especially the last two), but I never realized until just now that syntactically the poem doesn’t […]

Archaic Idiom Least Likely to Return to Everyday Use

Click through for image.

My New York Diary

I’m going up north, I’m going up north thisĀ fall. If my luck don’t change I won’t be back at all. I’ve lived in New York (or right outside, in Hoboken) for twenty-one years now, which is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. It’s a fine city, and I had some good times, but for reasons […]

Sitcom Idea

Apparently this is a true fact from history: that disgraced, crooked, philandering televangelist (to be fair, in the ’80s it was the custom among televangelists to be philandering, crooked, and then briefly disgraced) and former puppeteer Jim Bakker, during his 45-year fraud sentence, shared a cell with 1. national skydiving champion and occasional international drug […]

Who Discovered America?

Columbus commonly gets credit for discovering America…At the time, however, the American continent was already populated. The Indians, we must assume, had discovered America long before anybody else ever got here! This is from a 1963 kids’ history book (Do You Know Who Did It? by Virginia Coigney*), and is fairly typical of how we […]