Quote of the Day

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.-- George Orwell

“I would rather be a swineherd at Amagerbro and be understood by the swine than be a poet and be misunderstood by people.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or: A Fragment of Life

The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.

Books by RBP writers: Round Bend Press Books. For RBP's writing and editing services go here.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Slow Death

Messed up wireless connections all day and week.


TS

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Freedom and Service

I caught a little of the Air Force vs. Georgia Tech game last night. Couple of guys named Service and Freedom led Air Force to the victory.

Service I know; used to work in the service industry--restaurants mainly, but some other stuff, too.

Freedom?

Don't know him or his family very well.
TS

Hedges on Orwell and Huxley

"The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” The debate, between those who watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, was who was right. Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second."

Chris Hedges firing me up at 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning!

TS

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Book in the Works

This week I am concentrating on the Round Bend re-issue of K.C. Bacon's first collection of poetry, An Establishment of Change, which first appeared in 1994.

I hope to have the book ready by the weekend, with PDFs delivered to the author for his scrutiny.

This baby is going up at Amazon first. You'll want to keep an eye out for this edition. The poems are very good, first rank.

Without shitting you, I tell you this will be the best book to date from RBP.

I know, because I know great writing.



TS

A Better Cover

I didn't like the picture of the Capitol Building on the cover of the newest edition of Alt-Everything.

So I slapped a picture of Mexican Rebels, circa 1910, on the book. It's appropriate because the book's first essay, 1911: The Revolt of Modero, studies U.S. and Mexican policy in 1911 as Francisco Modero sought power and the U.S. professed neutrality.

Interesting, brutal stuff.

The little guy in the picture looks about 10 years old.

It was a revolution. Porfirio Diaz was a monster, and not coincidentally, a strong U.S. ally. He had to go.

Mexico. What a place.


TS



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Good Job Andy

Andy Staples at SI.com is the first national writer I've heard who is willing to tell it like it is.

He advises the Ohio State Five (Terrelle Pryor and teammates) to get the hell out of Columbus in this renegade article.

They traded gear for tats, among other minor indiscretions. Man, it's a sin.


TS

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Editions


In the ongoing quest to make my books look a little more polished and professional, I've been digging into my files and creating new editions of some of the work.

I've combined two stories into a new edition called, not surprisingly, Two Stories. This fine 45 page book combines the previously individual texts of The Soldier, a tale of an AWOL Marine who goes home only to realize he must keep running if he wants to remain a free man, and How Bees Carry Forth the Essence of Man's Faith in One Omniscient God, which concerns a mentally ill boy coping with family problems as he prepares to re-enter the hospital for another round of treatment.

I like these stories; you might, too, so procure them. If you don't you may feel inadequate later, standing around the water cooler in the office with your thumb up your ass. (How's that for an unexpected assault on your being?)

Another book I've been slaving over, Alt-Everything, had terrible formatting problems until recently, when I discovered a glitch or two in my files and finally found the solution. This book of essays now looks the part of a real book and reads swell. The essays first appeared in Charles Deemer's Oregon Literary Review online. They've been edited for clarity and pared down to the essence and, again, I really like the book now. The OLR is still a fine site, but has for over a year now been focused on video. Still a great resource and adventurous as heck.

I've slapped new title pages and ISBNs on the above books, along with new covers. I especially like the new edition of Two Plays: Two One-Act Plays (see at sidebar).

I watched Basquiat for the first time last night. I highly recommend it.

It's been a bitch getting this post up. Here goes...

TS

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Small Success

What do you know? After a long, long struggle to create an acceptable (to me) PDF of my book of essays, Alt-Everything, I think I may have finally succeeded.

Now I can put it online and breathe somewhat easier. The book now looks the part on the interior.

I'm talking format here, not the occasional dropped comma, semi-colon, typo, grammatical errors, personal excesses, dilatory preening, obvious miscalculations, errant thought, poor syntax, blighted reasoning, etc., etc.

No, I am talking about pure format. I now know why I was having problems, so I learned something, too.

Oh, the hours! Oh, the terrible unreasoning of technology! Down load your Alt-Everything here.


TS

Dog Days


A gigantic toothache, a bum right knee, a canceled radio program, empty pockets, Republicanism on the warpath.

A splunky computer.

On and on.

I'll be back when some of this mess is cleaned up.



TS

Friday, December 17, 2010

High Praise

Nice words from a serious, respected writer/teacher who has supported my endeavors for years; always with encouraging comments if deserved. This attention to what I've sought to accomplish is rewarding.

The lonely quest is a little better today.

This stuff is important. Having your peers' recognition and respect for what you do is about as good as it gets.



TS

Freedom of the Press




Are journalists beginning to see the threat?

A handful in Australia are perhaps seeing the light.




TS

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Naomi Wolf

It is always a pleasure to hear from the irrepressible Naomi Wolf.

Here she righteously besmirches the "cynical" powerbrokers who are trying to silence WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Wolf always comes from different and unique angles in her theses.

A rarity among journalists in these times.


TS

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

from the Shameless Advertisment Dept.

Computer problems are slowing things down a bit here at RBP. Hopefully they will be resolved by year's end and we can get down to some serious work in bringing out a couple of new publications.

Meanwhile, a polished, beautiful edition of our anthology, Cold Eye: A Generation of Voices, is finally up here.

The poems and interviews with writers in this book are first-rate. Naturally, I think every Oregonian interested in Portland, Oregon's literary history should have this book. I may be biased, of course, but you can live with that. Can't you?

I mean, I'm an opinionated guy. Right? You know that.




Here is another beauty, A Marvelous Paranoia, a memoir. I grew up in Oregon (though it is debatable whether I've actually grown up) and this is the tale of that delightful and strange reality.

I've been writing for eons. Here is an honest story revealing why I haven't yet won the Nobel Prize, among other revelations.

When you've finished it, you'll understand what has taken me to this point.

Some call it madness.

I call it a a marvelous paranoia.





TS

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Good Book

Seven years after its publication, I'm finally getting around to reading this well-told tale of the CIA's overthrow of the democratically elected government in Iran, 1953.

Well worth your time, the book makes up for its sometimes unscholarly chops by telling a fascinating tale.

The author, a news reporter for the NY Times in 2003, gets to the heart of the story.

And what a story.

Revisionist supporters of the the US's secret plan to bomb Iran (bomb, bomb Iran, as that moron John McCain once sang to the tune of Barbara Ann) dislike this book.

Here is the 2003 NY Times review of Stephen Kinzer's excellent book.


TS

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Luke Scott and the Orioles Suck Eggs!

Here is one of the reasons Major League Baseball can be such a drag. Luke Scott, a Baltimore Oriole, doesn't believe Obama is a U.S. citizen. Of all the jocks I've known, baseball players are the densest by a big margin.

As I've revealed in numerous posts here at RBP, I was once a pretty decent jock myself. As I've also related, here and elsewhere, I didn't always fit in with the athletes in my cohort because my views have long been somewhat left of centerfield, never mind rightfield, where in my experience the worst fielder was always lodged, with the hope that the opposing team wouldn't hit one in his direction.

Somebody lobbed Scottie a few political questions and the ball hit him on the forehead. He juggled the ball, then dropped it.

I once sat in Portland's Multnomah Stadium (now PGE Park), the summer of 1980, and quietly received the taunts of the entire bullpen of the Phoenix Giants (AAA) as I remained seated during the playing of the national anthem. That is a habit of mine, and my business (I hate the way sports and politics enmesh in our society, an embarrassing imperial tendency).

By the time the warbling, awful singer finished mangling the ugly song, the pitchers were threatening to come into the stands and kick my ass.

The Soviets had recently invaded Afghanistan and Jimmy Carter had called off U.S. participation in the Moscow Olympics in protest. U.S. nationalism and the most naive kind of American patriotism had a grip on the dumb amongst us.

As it does now. (See any parallels between the Soviets and the U.S?)

I waved at the dumb asses and put on my best smile. Didn't they know they should have been paying attention to the anthem and not clamoring so for my head?

I thought they were being most disrespectful--to the flag, and the poor singer!

Stick to hunting and hitting slugger.


TS

The March of Nonsense

For media outlets that have not acquiesced to the will of the oligarchy, the future is growing darker by the hour.

The message is implicit: Do not attempt to expose the truth about how we do business around the globe. We will find a way to destroy you.

Case in point--Julian Assange.

Despite overwhelmingly contrary evidence, U.S. and Britain elites maintain that the West's security is in danger of being compromised by the WikiLeaks campaign of enlightenment.

The brashest and most ardent and corrupt voices at the top have taken to labeling Assange a terrorist. They don't care if you know they're spewing nonsense

What despicable obfuscation! What terrible abuse!

Democracy is dead, long live democracy!


TS

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

114 Years Later

Like Jerry Allen, in his now famous call of the Civil War game on Saturday, said: Oregon fans have waited 114 years for "this day." Entry into the national championship college football game.

In his excitement, Jerry Allen started to sob and lost track of reality. Oregon football fans can't blame him.

Nobody alive can actually remember the first football game between the University of Oregon and Oregon Agricultural College, now OSU, 114 years ago.

But I won't forget this year's 114 years from now, that is for sure. I am overjoyed that Oregon has finally done it.

The season shocked me, yet it didn't really surprise me. I knew how good James and Barner could be, and I liked the experience of the O-line. I looked at the schedule and saw a few stumbling blocks before the season. USC on the road. A tough Stanford team. The always dangerous Cal in Berkeley, where Oregon hadn't won in years.

Oregon State in Corvallis. Yikes!

When Jeremiah Masoli did something really stupid, I said, uh oh...so much for the Rose Bowl repeat. When he was kicked off the team, I thought winning eight games behind the play of Nate Costa might be possible.

Darron Thomas? No matter how talented a kid is he has to have experience. Costa had a bit more; I thought Costa was the guy, bad knees and all.

I didn't have an insider's perspective, of course, and Thomas got the call from the coaching staff.

Early in the season Thomas really zipped the ball around and I suspect by now his arm is very tired, which may explain why he didn't bother to pass much late in the season, along with the success of the ground game.

When Barner got hurt I expected James to take on too much, and he did. In the final game, Barner was the better Oregon running back. I expect James to recover, however, regain his legs and be fresh for Auburn. I expect James will star in the big game, no matter its final outcome.

Barner will have his moments as well, as will Thomas.

Alas, as the season wore on, and particularly after Oregon beat USC in Los Angeles, I realized the Ducks had a shot.

They did it, went 12-0 and earned the right to play in the CFNCG, also known as the Tostitos BCS Bowl, in Glendale, January 10.

I look forward to the game. But I can tell you right know it will take a Herculean effort to keep Cam Newton down.

The guy is the best football player I've ever seen, and I've watched college football closely for 114 years, just like your average Oregon fan.



TS

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nike University on the Edge

George Schroeder of the Eugene Register Guard is a fine, fine sportswriter. He has a feature on Phil Knight up here. This isn't designed to be a hard-hitting expose on Nike and the founder's evil genius.

There isn't any question that Nike U. is buying a run at the NC.

Any team that is in it is obliged to. That's just the way it is.




TS

"Chickencrap"

After years committed to plunder and abuse, the Republicans are miffed by politics? Gawd, I love these people for their oafish obstinacy.

Boehner is of course a past winner of the coveted "Idiot of the Week" award dished out by the completely above-it-all RBP.

Horse shit!



TS

Class War

"There is a war underway. I'm not talking about Washington’s bloody misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, but a war within our own borders. It’s a war fought on the airwaves, on television and radio and over the Internet, a war of words and images, of half-truth, innuendo, and raging lies. I'm talking about a political war, pitting liberals against conservatives, Democrats against Republicans. I'm talking about a spending war, fueled by stealthy front groups and deep-pocketed anonymous donors. It’s a war that's poised to topple what's left of American democracy."

Here is the rest of a fine piece from Andy Kroll at CommonDreams.


TS

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Fan's Notes

I have spent the last couple of days trying to post a few Round Bend titles to Amazon. It's a process, a little different than Lulu in that you can't preview your work without ordering a hard copy. Not a terrible problem; just say the Amazon template isn't as user friendly as Lulu's.

Perhaps Amazon will help increase RPB's visibility and all the work will pay off. I have also been adding ISBN numbers to a few titles that didn't have them.

Keeps me busy, as I gear up for a push on three new titles in various stages of progress.

I'm getting nervous about the Civil War on Saturday. Sure hope Oregon can take OSU's best punch, because the Ducks will surely get it early. Oregon needs to start faster and end its propensity for 2nd half comebacks, or late surges.

The only game they got off on quickly this season was the UCLA game. Well, aside from the New Mexico and PSU warm ups, which were scrimmages.

The Ducks preach "sixty-minutes" of effort. Maybe they ought to try it. Get in a hole one time and you may not get out, so try not to fall behind early. This is a bad time to be testing your meddle late in a game. OSU will play inspired ball and Oregon needs to attack early. Smash mouth ball.

The old knee has a gnawing, aching stiffness, and occasionally throbs. Definitely won't be dancing in the near future.

Even if Oregon beats OSU.



TS

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fakery

Undoubtedly there are people in the U.S. and abroad who want to kill Americans and remain a threat.

This kid isn't one of them, though he may have had a supposedly diabolical plot.

This deal is showtime.

Brought to you by the FBI.

The most obvious reason being that if this kid had a big plan before the FBI egged him on he could have been arrested post-haste.

This is showtime, folks. Americans will eat this shit up. Shovel it in. Then go shopping.

The truth is always in front of your nose, and it stinks.



TS

Not Quite There

I hate bandwagon fans.

I watched the Oregon/Arizona game in a local pub Friday evening and an idiot sat down beside me. He wanted to talk a little football, evidently.

He told me his kids attended Oregon, so he's a big Duck fan. He asked me if I thought Oregon could win the National Championship.

I gave my standard answer with the usual bushel of caveats. "Well, there's Auburn, and TCU and Boise State(at the time), and you know, it's difficult to say. But I hope so."

"So, who does Oregon play after this," the guy said, and I thought he was joking.

"Funny guy," I said.

"Well, who do they play next? I just follow Oregon. I don't follow any other teams. Which teams do you follow?"

"I follow football, college football; it's bigger than just Oregon."

"I'm not interested in anybody except Oregon. My kids went there. They love Oregon. So, who's your team?"

"That would be Oregon."

"Well, my kids...."

"Yes, your kids attended Oregon."

"They're big fans."

"Smart kids."

"So, who does Oregon play next?"

"That would be Oregon State."

"Are they any good?"

"I don't know. I don't think anyone knows."

"I just follow Oregon. I'm not interested in Oregon State. Are they a good team?"

"Well, they're not Auburn."

"Auburn?"

"Yes, the second ranked team in the BCS. You know?"

"No, I just follow the Ducks."

"Well, there is more to the game than just the Ducks."

An uncomfortable silence followed as I sipped my beer and tried to listen to the pregame chatter coming from the television over the bar.

"So, who is Oregon playing tonight?" my drinking buddy asked.

"I don't know. I just follow Oregon," I said, and moved to another bar stool.

(In this guy's defense, he may have been thinking more like the Ducks' players than an actual fan. The players seem to have one track minds just like his.)

TS

Monday, November 22, 2010

Right Knee Injury

I hurt my meniscus this morning getting out of bed. Heard a "pop."

I feel like Oden.


I feel like LaMichael James after 29 carries into the line.


Let's hope James is in better shape and runs down Arizona Friday night.


If the Ducks lose their edge and fall, I will plant the sword in my own gut, for this is as close as Oregon will get until next time, which may be too late for a long-suffering fans such as I.



TS

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Will God Approve?

How can we be certain God will not scorn this decision?

On the other hand Boehner might be overjoyed, and we should recognize that the HML is more powerful than God.

It is presumed.



TS

Revolution or Implosion?

Bernie Sanders says it all right here.

Sanders is perhaps the greatest U.S. Senator since Wayne Morse. Morse was one of only two senators to oppose the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution granting the U.S. the "right" to drop a billion tons of bombs on Vietnam.

We need more people like Bernie Sanders in Congress.

It won't happen in my lifetime, unfortunately.

A violent revolution would have to play out first.

And that would have to occur before the planet is blown to smithereens by some wayward cabal of capitalists in the interest of "free enterprise," a more likely scenario.

This cheery message is sponsored by Round Bend Press, creator of fine books since last year at this time.


TS

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vacation, Sick Days Spent

After two weekends of full-on and then semi-illness (droopiness, dopiness, etc.) and one weekend of pure lethargy ( loopy laziness), I plan to restart Round Bend Hour on Sunday.

I have no idea yet of what I'll play, but I'm sure you'll find it pleasing. I'll pull some stuff out of the library in the next couple of days. I think I'll read a couple of poems from Cold Eye and perhaps Morandi's Bottles, KC's work in-progress.

See the Round Bend Hour link under the header above.


TS

Any Questions?

Had a very productive meeting with KC last night, looking ahead to issuing his newest poems through Round Bend.

I have every expectation that Morandi's Bottles will be a highly engaging work. As KC puts the final touches on some of the poems-- revising as authors do until someone yells "start the presses!"-- I am drafting a short publisher's preface.

We are also considering various distribution options.

KC's work is merely one of a number of projects I'd like to see go online at lulu and elsewhere over the next months. I have enough work ahead of me to fill out the 2011 calendar and beyond. I hope my energy stays up.

Aside: Bob Thomas, if you're reading this drop me an e-mail. I have some questions you need to answer. And perhaps I should also answer yours.



TS

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Frog

KC Bacon and I have a meeting set for tomorrow to discuss and further shape the Round Bend Press edition of some of the Tacoma artist's latest lyrics.

The thirty-odd poems in the volume--with the likely title Morandi's Bottles--represents RBP's second foray into publishing work outside my own oeuvre.

Last month KC helped RBP bring forth Cold Eye: A Generation of Voices, poems and interviews I first published in 1978 while editing a literary tabloid in Northwest Portland.

I might add that KC and I are proud of Cold Eye; we hope our pride is justified. We think the child has college potential, if not star quality.

Morandi's Bottles contributes to a tradition-rich school of painter/poet offerings. Artists as diverse as William Blake, Charles Bukowski, Kenneth Patchen and Frank O'Hara, to name a few, made visual art, music and poetry integral parts of their artistic visions.

The inseparability of the disciplines is an underlying theme in KC's new collection, though there is much more to it than that.

Here KC looks at the world through the eyes of a prehistoric "beast:"


FROG


A cuisine of dragonflies
Hover

Near the cattails
Where I stink of beast

And haul my hungry wart
From lily to lily.


KC Bacon

I'll blog our publishing date, of course, so stay tuned.


TS

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hedges on Anti-Intellectualism

One of the most remarkable (and befuddling) facets of our times is how millions of Americans willfully accept the limitations imposed on them by the rich and powerful. As the new Congress preps to make tax cuts for the highest earners in the U.S. a permanent reality, the simple-minded right spews its ignorant anti-intellectual rhetoric, allowing rich assholes like Rand Paul and John Boehner to entrench themselves as leaders of the corporate state.

How ordinary people assume this helps their position in life remains a great mystery.

Until people awaken to the fact that these men have only their own interests and the interests of their rich friends in mind, and not the interests of all Americans, our long slide into dissolution will continue.

Here is the brilliant Chris Hedges discussing how universities stifle dissent and play the corporate game.


TS

The Toughest Test

Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to hammer the opposition week in and week out like Oregon had until Saturday's close victory over the Cal Bears.

Now people are calling the Ducks frauds, lucky, overrated, blah, blah, blah.

Perhaps Oregon should have taken the foot off the pedal at certain times--you know, beat UCLA by fifteen and not thirty or more. They should have handled Washington with kid gloves, rather than clobber them with a rolling pin.

They could have let Stanford stay a little closer in the fourth quarter, win on a last second drive rather than going away.

The expectations of people, many of whom don't really understand the nuances of the game (some have played it, others haven't), create an unrealistic picture of what is involved in attempting to remain undefeated throughout a season.

Look at the top four teams in the current BCS standings. Among them, Boise State is the only team to not have a close call while remaining undefeated. But Boise doesn't play top-flight competition all year long. They beat a Va Tech team that manged to lose to James Madison the following week. By the way, JM plays second-level football, like Portland State.

Boise State also beat Oregon State. Well, a lot of luster has fallen off that win, considering that Washington State also beat the Beavers Saturday.

Boise doesn't have a quality win or a close game, in other words. They're good, but not that good.

TCU let San Diego State stay close until the end Saturday--the Horned Frogs won by five. Auburn has had four close calls this season, including three 3 point games. That's a field goal in each game, friends. But Auburn is great because they play in the supposedly regal SEC. Well one of those close calls was at Kentucky.

Kentucky?

Oregon has its Cal experience--a close call.

I'm not worried about Oregon's effort moving ahead. The players have that part of the game figured out. They know everybody is giving them their best shot.

Whether they beat Arizona by 1 point or fifty points on Nov. 26th doesn't concern me. They're at home and have something to prove, so I think they'll be fine, clinch the PAC title, guaranteeing a second consecutive Rose Bowl.

The Sears Cup is sitting in a vault in Glendale, Arizona. The Ducks want it bad--the Roses be damned.

But I think OSU in the league finale at Corvallis will be the Ducks truest test. That final hurdle is always the highest one at the end of any race.

I didn't run track, but even I know that.



TS

Friday, November 12, 2010

Watch "The Farewell Wake" Online

So I went over to Fremont Wed. night and watched the premier of CD's digital feature, which I watched with great interest. There were some outstanding performances in this no-budget project, but I can't honestly say mine was one of them. It's hard to watch oneself and not think, man, I wish I had done something else with the part, approached it differently, etc., etc. My cameo was short, so I didn't cringe too badly.

Overall I thought the feature was good, though I would have edited it differently in places. Maybe shortened a few of the sequences. The tempo was actually very nice in most places, but I thought a couple of scenes dragged. Minor quibbling, really. Many clever moments abound in the production. It's funny, wry, and sad in part.

Especially strong--the actor playing the artist/protagonist, and Deemer himself as the brother enlisted to document the artist's self-orchestrated wake. The cameos were excellent (excepting mine, of course).

The audio was hard to pick up a lot of the time, which appeared to be the fault of the equipment the bar owner used to show the movie. There was way too much treble filtering through the audio track. Consequently, I missed some dialogue.

Watching the movie here, the audio is as fine as can be expected in a no-budget, small screen production.

We watched the longer version of the movie at the premier. Watch the Director's cut online for a better representation of what Deemer accomplished.


TS

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Plan and a Warning

Tonight is the night. The Farewell Wake, a digital film by Charles Deemer, has its world premier at 7 p.m. at the Blackbird Wine Shop (4323 N.E. Fremont), in Portland, Oregon. I plan on going and behaving like Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton on a drunken night in London, circa the 60s.

That is, I will be the show and Deemer's film will be secondary, an afterthought, a mote in his Dionysian quest.

I plan to steal the show (remarkable for a 2 min. cameo)!

I will strut and preen and walk about as if I own the feature. I will slap the backsides of beautiful women and unleash my wicked, egomaniacal movie star persona on everyone. I will make a statement. Unfettered, I will box any man's ears who thinks I am a anything short of a genius!

I, TS, am the world's greatest actor!

And I will prove it to the world tonight, playing Buddy Dooley, a pathetic and jealous former friend of the movie's protagonist.

I expect the police to show up!

I will be signing autographs and accepting plaudits and glasses of wine all night.

Thank you, everybody!


TS

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Project Brewing


I am working with Tacoma artist/poet KC Bacon as he gathers some of his recent work for a new volume of poetry. The tentative plan is to issue the volume through Round Bend Press.

Yes! Yet another project to gnaw on! Keeps me busy, which I like. Maybe I'll avoid trouble, clear my head of the crushing, godawful political landscape that is threatening my well-being.


MORANDI'S BOTTLES


Gold, ginger-brown,
Tint of wine dreg

Glazed in gray-
Men with hands

In coat pockets
Lined up against a wall

Like ordinary citizens-
Framed.


K.C. Bacon



TS

Monday, November 8, 2010

Buddy Lashes Back

I found Dooley deep in the darkest corner of a windowless dive bar in Old Town yesterday afternoon. He was nursing a Crown Royal and a beer back. He initially ducked under his table when I walked in. I coaxed him out with the offer of another round.

TS: Where were you today? For that matter, where were you last weekend? Why do you tell me you're going to show up and host Round Bend Hour and then flake off?

BD: That's none of your concern... (long pause) Would it satisfy you to hear I've been sick? With the flu, or something like it?

TS: You're a little sick in the head, that's all. What do you have? Ennui? Malaise? Angst?

BD: I consider those unavoidable conditions of modernity. You know, you come off looking like an ass when you pressure me. Particularly when you say those rotten things about me on air.

TS: I'm tired of having to alibi for you.

BD: Fine! (hoisting his glass) Cheers...

TS: Where do we go from here, Buddy?

BD: I have a suggestion for you, pal. Get a gun, load it, point it toward your temple, squeeze...

TS: Tsk...Tsk...

BD: Get off my back.

TS: But you wanted to be on the radio. You said, "Yes, yes, yes..."

BD: Like Molly Bloom!

TS: Exactly!

(long silence)

BD: The radio seduces, stirs longings, conjures magnificent love, clairvoyance, hope.

TS: But you spurn love and hope. And you're no clairvoyant, that is for sure.

BD: I don't like you, TS.

TS: You don't like yourself. Learn to love yourself, Buddy. Learn to be one with...

BD: Don't say it...

TS: The universe.

BD: So you're attacking Boehner now? Does that make you feel manly? Does that make up for some obvious inadequacies in your life? What's the deal with that? I like Boehner. Seems like a reasonable man. Very patriotic. Very pro-family. Pro-marriage. Pro-money.

TS: He's a corporate shill.

BD: They all are, TS. He's just better at it than the others. He won the war in the trenches.

TS: I don't want to talk about Boehner.

BD: You want to talk football, don't you?

TS: Can they do it?

BD: No.

TS: Why not?

BD: Too much pressure. It's mounting. You feel it. They feel it. The coaches feel it. Something will go wrong. Look at Costa. Hurt his leg. That's not a good sign.

TS: Yeah, ouch...

BD: You agree with me? My, you are a pessimist...

TS: What do you really believe, Buddy?

BD: I don't care.

TS: What?

BD: You heard me. I don't care.

TS: I don't believe that.

BD: I don't care about your Ducks. I don't care about your radio show. I don't care how you feel about Boehner.

TS: Why do I talk to you? Why did I just buy you a drink?

BD: Because you are the idiot, TS.

(long silence)

TS: Are you going to watch my cameo Wednesday night at the Blackbird Wineshop?

BD: Ha...ha...ha...

TS: Fuck off, Buddy.

BD: Ha...ha...ha...

(click)

TS

Poverty and Prisons

James Carroll contributes this astute Boston Globe piece on the failure of the U.S.
prison system.

Read the comments section, particularly "siouxrose," who writes (in part):

"This wounded and wounding nation is equally committed to bringing the same punitive measures to those residing in foreign lands. In those instances, the brutal, deadly efforts are also hidden behind PR and word-camouflage. The most popular (and outrageous) are those which conflates the gifts of freedom, democracy, and/or liberation with the unmasking of sheer, raw campaigns of terror."



TS

Friday, November 5, 2010

Boehner More Corrupt Than Gingrich?

Read all about it!

This from the Independent, the greatest newspaper in the world.

Another Independent voice.

And Patrick's big brother chimes in.

While Ishmael Reed exposes the real Eisenhower.

I needed a dose of reality. Perhaps you did too.

TS

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Out Sick


Whatever it is that's going around, I've got it.


I'm sick (in the old-fashioned sense).


TS

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Idiot of the Week (John Boehner)


Round Bend Press is pleased to announce another Idiot of the Week Award. He is your shit clown, America. Enjoy!


John Boehner in His Own Words


And that is why marriage and family law has emphasized the importance of marriage as the foundation of family, addressing the needs of children in the most positive way.

The Truth: Unmarried people are not automatically incapable of addressing the needs of children.

Before the trip began we mapped out three primary goals: 1) to see and meet with our American troops, and thank them for their bravery and sacrifice; 2) to assess the security situation in Iraq; and 3) to give our support to Iraq's national unity government.

The Truth: The U.S. created a puppet government in the Middle East that has neither secured the country nor created a consensus.

During the 1990s, world leaders looked at the mounting threat of terrorism, looked up, looked away, and hoped the problem would go away.

The Truth: Let's allow that this is an over generalized assumption and nothing more.

Each and every day, Israel's very existence is at stake.

The Truth: Israel has brought much of its misery upon itself.

House Republicans want to pass a strong border security, illegal immigration bill. We want a bill. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it.

The Truth: America is a highly racist society.

I am not for raising taxes on the American people in a soft economy.

The Truth: Tax cuts for the wealthy do not generate jobs.

I talked to a lot of employers who just are, are fearful of what's coming next out of Washington. It's all the spending, it's all the debt. It's their national energy tax, they want to call it cap and trade - more mandates, higher costs, more taxes. Their health care bill - more mandates, higher costs, higher taxes.

The Truth: Boehner is representing the Fortune 500 companies that run the show but employ fewer people overall than small businesses. Ordinary workers in small businesses cannot afford health care.

I think the government should do everything they possibly can to, to bring this crisis to an end; and that means going after BP, enforcing the laws that are on the books, and restoring the gulf to its original condition.

The Truth: Duh!

It's easy to kick somebody when they're down. George W. Bush has dealt with more difficult issues than any president since Franklin Roosevelt. And I've told my colleagues it's time that we go stand up for the president.

The Truth: George W. Bush came into power with a booming economy and created his own expensive problems by starting two wars. This statement is the height of obfuscation. Boehner would have disagreed with the New Deal, obviously.

It's pretty clear that over the last three months the economy has paused. And it's also pretty clear the American people are still demanding and asking the question, 'Where are the jobs?' And the reason we don't have new jobs is because of the job-killing agenda pursued by President Obama and his allies in the Congress.

The Truth: The oligarchs are smirking.

Make no mistake, a 'yes' vote on the Democrats' health care bill is a vote for taxpayer-funded abortions.

The Truth: Boehner is anti-choice.

Most recently, terrorist forces have captured Israeli soldiers and fired rockets into Israeli cities - both unprovoked. These acts of aggression deserve the rapid and decisive response they received.

The Truth: Unwanted new settlements aren't a provocation?

Mr. President, the buzz saw that your health care bill ran into wasn't lobbyists and special interests it was tens of millions of Americans who were saying, 'Stop!'

The Truth: The truth hurts, stings, in light of the millions of uninsured in the U.S., you mean.

No, let's make sure that people understand that this is a very important war that is helping to protect us here at home. And that we have no choice but to win it. As difficult as it is.

The Truth: The dual wars has exacerbated terror and are not winnable.

Our freedoms were born in the ideals of the Enlightenment and the musket fires of an historic revolution.

The Truth: This is a corruption of the historiography of the American Revolution.

Our manifesto, whatever it will be called, will come from the people who are really in charge of this country, and that's the American people.

The Truth: The American people? Ha! All this time I thought it was the oligarchy!

Protecting the institution of marriage safeguards, I believe, the American family.

The Truth: No
one I know of is trying to destroy marriage. Well, my brother may be, but I don't blame him. His wife is a wingnut.

Since its first day as a nation, Israel has lived under a cloud of aggression from militant extremists and hostile neighboring governments.

The Truth: The British Mandate failed.

Spending time with America's soldiers is always inspiring.

The Truth: Boehner joined the Navy, retired eight weeks later with a "bad back."

Stem cell research must be carried out in an ethical manner in a way that respects the sanctity of human life.

The Truth: For years the U.S. government used American soldiers as guinea pigs for "research" purposes. This statement is in reality an obfuscation regarding abortion.

Studies show that children best flourish when one mom and one dad are there to raise them.

The Truth: Can we get back to reality for a moment? Every single study?

The aggressive, unprovoked acts of violence against Israel by Hezbollah and Hamas are revealing. It is clear they don't want peace, but rather seek the ultimate destruction of Israel.

The Truth: Violence begets violence.

The American people are screaming at the top of their lungs to Washington, 'Stop! Stop the spending, stop the job-killing policies.' And yet, Democrats in Washington refuse to listen to the American people.

The Truth: Thank the gods for unemployment insurance.

The job of training an Iraqi police force is one of the most important tasks being undertaken in Operation Iraqi Freedom. It is also one of the most difficult.

The Truth: And now there is a new murderous police force in Baghdad. Hooray!

The United States and Israel have a unique relationship based on our mutual commitment to democracy, freedom, and peace. Therefore, just as our commitment to these principles must be steadfast, so must our support for Israel.

The Truth: Really, in this era of endless war, declining democracy and withering freedoms? Uh?

The United States did not choose to fight Islamic extremists. These terrorists chose to fight our way of life. They chose to challenge our existence.

The Truth: Take a cold shower, Boehner. And don't forget your morning douche.

The value of the majority lies not in the opportunity to wield great power, but in the chance to use power to do great things.

The Truth: Any suggestions, John?

They have called Operation Iraqi Freedom a war of choice that isn't part of the real war on terror. Someone should tell that to al Qaeda.

The Truth: John, why not tell Al Qaeda to just shut its big fat mouth?

They know the importance of their mission and of America's commitment to combating and defeating terrorism abroad, and they know that they are making a real difference in bringing freedom to a part of the world that has known only tyranny.

The Truth: A lot of them are uneducated and simply couldn't find a decent job and joined the military. Others are simply trying to figure out who they are.

This resolution simply says Israel has the right to defend itself. This includes conducting operations both inside its borders and in the territory of nations that threaten it, which is in accordance with international law.

The Truth: Ha! Ha! You crack me up, John. You're concerned about international law? Ha!

We can continue to make significant strides in the scientific community by exploring new stem cell research methods that do not include destroying human embryos.

The Truth: Let us not limit the possibilities inherent in science based on some fantasy of faith.

We have no stronger ally anywhere in the world than Israel.

The Truth: Has Great Britain heard about this?

While 45 of the 50 States have either a State constitutional amendment or a statute that preserves the current definition of marriage, left-wing activist judges and officials at the local levels have struck down State laws protecting marriage.

The Truth: See above Truth.

Why don't we stop the stimulus spending? There's still about $400 billion or $500 billion of the stimulus plan that has not been spent. Why don't we stop it? It's not working.

The Truth: I need an influx of cash. Got any?

Will we fight or will we retreat? That is the question that is posed to us. Some of my friends on the other side of the aisle often refer to Iraq as a distraction.

The Truth: You have no friends and you are the distraction.

Working Americans who believe in our country and who believe in our Constitution are saying, 'Enough is enough!'

The Truth: Problem is too few of them are working.


John Boehner is clearly an idiot and deserving of our award. Right?

TS

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

John Mayall

John Mayall will turn 77 later this month, so Round Bend Hour has decided to go with a tribute to this revered English blues master on Sunday's (2-4) show.
Happy birthday, John! We'll play Turning Point, your 1969 masterpiece, featuring that old chestnut "Room to Move," one of the greatest blues compositions of all time.

Here's to your continued health and well-being...

Read a short bio of Mayall here.


TS

Monday, November 1, 2010

Where's Dooley? (RBH Suffers Setback)

Has anyone seen Buddy Dooley? He did a very bad thing yesterday. After promising me on a stack of bibles that he would show up and host Round Bend Hour, he disappeared (again). Is he still pissed that I mocked him in a cameo role in the upcoming (and terrific) "The Farewell Wake," the latest from Portland State University adjunct English/Screenwriting professor, Charles Deemer?

Frankly, Buddy now has me worried. I would like people around the world to pay attention. Look out for this man (child?), Dooley. I'm uncertain what he may be up to, but something tells me it may be sketchy.

Buddy is 60, and stands 4' 9." He looks young, say 8 or 9, has a gap-toothed grin, a mop of light-brown hair (or he may have shaved his head or donned a white wig to change his appearance), and he likes science and science fairs.

Authorities are hesitant to say, but all indications are they suspect foul play.

If you are reading this in India, Sri Lanka, or the heartland of the U.S., be particularly vigilant as you watch for the little man (child?).

This much I know--Buddy is a University of Southern California football fan. Consider that in light of the Trojans' humiliating defeat at the hands of the Mighty Oregon Ducks on Saturday--a terrible depression may have swept Buddy into the curlicue of madness that is prevalent among SoCal football fanatics these days, as they are distressed by the recent fortune of their once dominate football program.

It would not surprise be if directly after the harrowing loss to the Ducks Buddy boarded a jet for New Zealand.

I anxiously await the response of anyone who may glimpse the specter of Buddy, or someone like him. Every lead will be treated with utmost care and consideration as this hunt for the man (child?) unfolds.

I'm serious.



TS

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weird Feeling

I don't like the feel of the setup in L.A. tonight. Maybe I'm just a natural pessimist (there really is no maybe about it), but I think Oregon will fall tonight. I hope I'm wrong, but something just doesn't feel right.

Maybe I'll change my mind before kickoff.

Football fans are irrational. We put irrational hope in games--silly games of violence and speed. We sometimes forget the games are meaningless entertainments, something to fill the void in every fan's life.

For a very few the games are a livelihood, to be sure. But for most people, their value degenerates by bedtime.

This has been an extraordinary season for the Oregon program. I'd like to see its good fortune continue. We'll know more at bedtime tonight.

TS

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Solid Luck


Just in time for the start of the World Series tonight, there is this remarkable baseball-related story.




TS

"Farewell" Trailer

Here is a trailer for Charles Deemer's latest digital feature, The Farewell Wake.

Pure chaos, it reminds me of Robert Altman, who famously used improvised scenes in many of his films. The method reveals and accentuates the natural disorder and attendant white noise-voices in any large gathering.

This "noise" is one of the reasons I tend to avoid large parties in real life. Too much is going on to comprehend. If I do go to a party, I tend to slip off to a corner alone, or with one or two others, just to reclaim my equilibrium.

What Deemer accomplishes here, concerning a fictional instance, would also reasonably provide a second antidote for such a real life scenario. Grab a camera, jump in as the silent interlocutor, and flesh out meaning later.

I'm looking forward to seeing the full movie. What fun!


TS

Lee Santa's Portfolio

More work by Post Falls, Idaho photographer Lee Santa.

I was lucky enough to know this guy in the '70s in Northwest Portland. One of his photos graces the cover of the Round Bend Press edition of Cold Eye: A Generation of Voices, an anthology of poetry, prose and interviews, which I recently put up at lulu.com.

Truly amazing work from a brilliant photog and basketball junkie. Check out his latest portfolio here.

TS

Monday, October 25, 2010

BCS My Ass

Everybody who isn't making a buck through the BCS system of determining a college football national champion would like to see an 8 team playoff, and here is a superb story about why it ought to happen.

The BCS system is a joke.

Only it ain't funny.

There are 7 unbeaten teams left in Division 1 football. At season's end there might be as many as five.

A computer decides who's best? Bullshit.


TS

My Star Vehicle

Look very closely at the pictures on this DVD box. See that guy right square in the middle with the bald head, holding a sheet of paper? See him? Take a close look. That guy is me.

That's right. I'm in this movie by Charles Deemer, which will premier at the Blackbird Wine Shop on November 10, at 7 p.m.!

I have a cameo role, which if you really think about it is another way of saying I have star power. I give quite a performance in the movie, playing my subaltern, Buddy Dooley, who calls himself a poet and dislikes one of the other characters in the story. A very true to life scenario.

The entire story is a twisting, turning tale of chaos and...and...well, actually I don't know what happens in the movie because it was all in Deemer's mind to begin with. There was no script. The entire movie was improvised, with parameters, of course.

Watch for this sucker on the Internet. It's going to propel me into a Hollywood (or Indy) film career.

You just wait.

Deemer has made several interesting comments about the creative process on this project at his blog recently.


Check 'em out. Check me out. I'm cool.


TS

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lonnie and Mose

We are about 2 hours 'til showtime on Round Bend Hour (see link above).

The lineup today is straight ahead blues and jazz--maybe a little country thrown in. I'll start the show off with Lonnie Johnson (1899-1970), the highly influential (Elvis loved him) blues/jazz guitarist and singer who was born in Orleans Parish, New Orleans. He was raised in a family of musicians and said of the experience, "There was music all around us, and in my family you'd better play something, even if you just banged on a tin can."

Being a highly trained musician, Johnson was able to prolong his career by moving easily among musical genres and became a player in demand in the U.S., Europe and Canada. But for long stretches in his career he was ignored and had to keep a series of menial side jobs to make ends meet.

He moved from Philly to Toronto in 1965 and eventually opened a club there, but the business eventually failed and he had to sell. He continued to work for the interests that bought the club, but he was eventually fired after an argument with the new owner.

In 1969, Johnson was struck by a car on a Toronto street. Walking with a cane, he performed his final show with Buddy Guy at Massey Hall on Feb. 23, 1970. He died of a stroke in the late spring of that year and was buried in Toronto.

It is said that the great musician died broke.

Now, isn't that an unlikely story?


-------------------------------------------
Others I may play today:

Freddie King

Mose Allison

Charlie Mingus

Do tune in, folks.

TS

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Clanging Cell Door

I visited with K.C. Thursday evening while watching the Oregon/UCLA game. He gave me permission to post this wry, humorous essay here.

Thanks, K.C. This is good stuff.


IN DEFENSE OF BACHELORS


Walter Bagehot, the famed English journalist, once described a bachelor as "a kind of amateur in life who doesn't care." With that slapdash thought Bagehot demoted such luminaries as that singular man from Nazareth, Ludwig van Beethoven, Sir Isaac Newton, Eugene Delacroix, Meriwether Lewis, a horde of Greek philosophers - with the notable exception of hen-pecked Socrates - and countless other genial artisans to the status of secondary life achiever. Can we really think of Giacomo Casanova as a secondary life achiever?

But then Mr. Bagehot was a pre-modern man, a British Victorian whose commentary was at that time was doubtlessly considered insightful and funny by people whose human doings ultimately required child labor laws to be enacted. His idea seems now as epoch bound as King Tut's man tits. I suspect that if we beamed Bagehot forward in time he would appear to us now in the manner of someone like, say…Gore Vidal: word-witty but still an ass (and, I believe, in Mr. Vidal's case, a bachelor ass).

Sorry, Mr. Bagehot: your pronouncement just doesn't jive today, if indeed it ever did. Bachelors in the modern era (we call them "singles) are not so much uninitiated in the rituals of companionship as they are loosed from companionship's rotted moorings. They are, to turn a phrase, significantly un-othered (rhymes moderately with "un-tethered"); in other words, untied and free. Consider for a moment the sound of the cell door clanging in the term, wedlock.

Obviously, vast numbers of men and women seek the safe emotional harbor of belonging to another, that personal leeward anchor from which we shield our tremoring vessel from a weather-beating God. But what does that really point to? Lemmings seek safety, too. We necessarily recognize that at some point every safe harbor is also a prison, and all cargo - even emotional baggage - is subject to being jettisoned when, as Shakespeare's sonnet has it, "nature's changing course untrims."

The majority of my acquaintances and friends have been married (or its illegitimate equivalent) once or twice or thrice; believe me, they are anything but amateurs in life. In fact, quite the opposite. Some of them are virtual professionals at previous bliss. They care immensely about relationships. Perhaps that's why they've had so many. One may well ask why is it that so many bachelors (men and women) find their bachelorhood a culminating event in their lives, a sort of reward for having toiled so in the infertile fields of contemporary companion-seeking. It may be that bachelors consider their single status one of life's honorariums, much like retirement's gold watch or a bonus vacation. Free at last!

"But what of the family unit" cries the shackled masses? I submit that much of what passes as "family values" today is as T. S. Eliot suggested in a not altogether dissimilar context, "better seen in the agony of others than in ourselves." And does anyone really need reminding that those most vocal on behalf of the ultra-familialists are a lynch mob of pandering politicians? Surely this culturally simplistic bleating, this boorishness, is amateurity's epitome

Rather, we should honor those who choose instead to focus on the improvement of the species rather than the ruination of it. We should honor our single siblings because theirs is nothing less than a social awakening infused with actual decency, perhaps even enlightenment itself.

Yes, God truly blesses self-actualizing single. (How else to describe a cartoon free Saturday listening to Boz Scaggs and Mozart, a morning without the need to utter something along the lines of "don't ask so many questions, sweetheart - go back to bed.")

Let us not think of the bachelor as a solitary creature woefully staring at the walls of his cave. He is not that slow beast. Instead, he is socially endowed, frequenting public places and sharing with fellow convivialists (most of whom, married and parental, look to the bachelor for guidance) opinions on a vast array of topics he knows a lot about due to so much uninterrupted time devoted to scholarship. For bachelors are almost always politically astute and culturally aware. You would be hard-pressed, for example, to find a bachelor who is not a devotee of reason. Listen to him discourse on the subject of divorce. Indeed, so many bachelors have first hand knowledge of divorce it would be egregious and unwise not to heed their learned counsel regarding it. And it is important here to remember that the divorce trade, a loose commerce comprised largely of attorney's fees, counseling sessions, and real estate brokers has industry functions along the same lines as long establish commercial enterprises like the Hanseatic League or the Mafia.

Yes, the bachelor, God's intimate emotional traveler, knows a lot about a lot of very important stuff. In fact, heavenly consideration being what it is, if the Inca Civilization had sacrificed bachelors instead of virgins, they might still be in business.


K.C. Bacon

TS