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.
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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.



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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.




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"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