Quote of the Day

"Buzz, buzz."--Hamlet

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.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Monster #4



















Buddy Dooley
Monster #4
6" x 5" Paint

TS


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Killing Machines


I awoke this morning and turned on the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.  The murderous tenor of the day overwhelmed me and I felt like I needed a long shower to wash it away.

I like football, but I couldn't watch this blind display of reverence for American exceptionalism, weapons of mass destruction and US imperialism.

The militarism in this country is sickening.

Dennis Kucinich is done in the US Congress.

Here is a 2002 speech Mr. Kucinich gave to a disinterested America.

Thank you for your efforts, DK.


TS

    

Friday, December 28, 2012

Lache is Not Great

(Lache got homesick and scored a TD against UCLA)

Texas is renowned for its high school and college football programs.

In literature, film, and the everyday churn of journalistic bombast the record is clear on this.  Texas is a football factory, a landscape dominated by its varieties of sage brush, open space and football-generated mythology.

A cursory glance at the history of Texas football is replete with heroes and anti-heroes, and because this is America that mythology is transcendent.

You don't think G.W. Bush escaped to his "ranch" in Texas with regularity during his presidency to mull over the big questions of world leadership, do you?

Of course not.  He went home frequently to commune with the ghosts of football's past, to revel in the myth.

Decked out in his finest dude-ranching gear, playing for the camera like an arrogant pass-catching god who has just scored his team's winning touchdown in the big game, he even spiked his pitchfork like a football, thinking perhaps of one of his heroes scoring yet again.

Preening, speaking in the broken, Texas-invented idiom of grunts and monosyllabic poetry that defines the self-centered jock, Bush sought succor in the myth--we're good, we're damn good, and this is the championship season.

He is gone fortunately, having wrecked everything, but Texas football persists.

Which is why I badly want to see Oregon State crush Texas tomorrow in the Alamo Bowl, brought to you by some corporation or another whose name I've momentarily forgotten.

I can still recall a sweet moment 12 years removed, when Oregon beat Texas in the Holiday Bowl.  That little throwback play to a stumbling Joey Harrington was a thing of ugly beauty.

Joey could not run, but he is an Oregonian through and through. That counts.

Let me tell you something about Texas football players.  They are only great in my book when they leave Texas and come to Oregon to play their college ball, like Quizz and James Rodgers, one-time stars at OSU.

Or like LaMichael James, Darron Thomas, Josh Huff, Bralon Addison, Chance Allen and the Amoaka brothers.  Past, current, and future stars at the University of Oregon.

Lache Seastrunk, the toast of Temple, was great once, when he played at Oregon (or sat behind a bevy of better backs), but now that he plays for Baylor he reminds me of a lesser god.

The young feller helped Baylor crush UCLA last night, but that doesn't make him great, does it?  After all, he abandoned Oregon.

Lache could have been a star.

Now he is preening on the sidelines like old George used to do, pointing at the other God in the sky and calling this abomination destiny.

God had a plan all right, that you should take your arrogance home silly Lache.

Which brings me to OSU's Storm Woods.  I like him.  Seems like a solid kid because he's toughing it out here in rainy Oregon.

He's from Texas, ya'll know?  Like Lache and LaMike, he got homesick that first year.

Unlike Lache he didn't run home to Grandma when he wanted to cry.


TS

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tempus Fugit/2012 Gone


With an Internet connection that is recently giving me hella, I'll try to get this done.  If the links in this post don't work, try those on the sidebar.

What happened to 2012?  We must have had fun here at RBP because time flies like this only when you're having the best of times.

Pressed to describe the sensation, I'd compare RBP to a perpetual cocktail party in the offices of the loneliest publishing enterprise known to mankind.  It's rewarding, but I'm prone to the hangover-induced publishing blues.

This year I blinked and the world sped past me in its race to oblivion and madness, but fortunately for the solid fans of RBP--gritty, determined, faithful--some good press stuff did indeed happen, along with the usual bad stuff, which I won't bother you with.

The Good:  We published six new titles in this our third year of existence.

The year started off with the press getting some much needed fiscal support from a true believer.  The significance of this earthquake-like event should not be ignored, for had it not happened the press might have ended as an inanimate, mangled machine bleeding ink into the gutter.

Nah, that doesn't happen in the digital age, but you know what I mean. 

Six, I say.

First up was Charles Deemer's Eight Oregon Plays.  Deemer describes how he became a resident playwright in a couple of Portland-based theatre companies in the eighties in this RBP video interview. The Portland State University screenwriting instructor, the son of a Navy careerist, grew up in Norfolk and Southern California.  After a stint in the Army, he graduated from UCLA.  He moved to Oregon to attend graduate school at the University of Oregon in the early seventies, earning an MA in playwriting before leaving to teach briefly on the east coast.

Once ensconced in Oregon permanently, Deemer absorbed the locale's manner and spirit, and, in one of the most obvious instances of a writer writing what he knows in both an historical and contemporary fashion, the plays came forth throughout the years and a legacy was created.

Oregon is better off for this book having been published, though the very state has changed, not always for the best, since the plays were first noticed.

Deemer has commented in the past that he is forgotten.  He isn't, but writers have been known to lie and exaggerate.  As long as RBP is around he has this forum if he chooses to use it.

The second book up this year is a thing I still marvel at, because what K.C. Bacon has done in Aphorisms is make a very difficult form appear easy.  

All aphorisms are not created equal, and Bacon's rise above the noise.  This is a major accomplishment given that every word counts in this tough form and one false step can amount to ruination. 

These lines have wit, intelligence, truth, soul.  One might not agree with all of the author's sentiments, but his are not lacking for conviction, which trumps supposed righteousness in every regard.

The third book is another by Deemer, who turned to the novel form a decade ago and has since published numerous titles.  He published Sodom, Gomorrah & Jones with RBP this year.  As in his volume of poetry, In My Old Age, published in 2011, the subject is aging as it relates to personal and historical change. Carlton (CJ) Jones has issues he battles through until one big surprise makes him take flight.  A retired history professor, Jones views the world through an old typewriter until the computer age catches up with even this reluctant protagonist.  Finally, the truth sets him free.

Buddy Dooley, the graphic artist, broke out his pen to publish a book of writings at mid-year.  He titled it People, Polemics & Pooh-Pah: Notes from Under the Bar.  No less an authority than RP Thomas (AKA Sam White, author of "The Huncke Poems" in the 2010 RBP anthology Cold Eye) called the book "splendid," though I think it better than that.  I thought it magnificent.

Though I did not agree with Dooley's title, I agree with Thomas/White.  Dooley is a special writer whose humor is hit and miss, but always funny, intentionally or not.  Will Dooley pen another one day?  We can only pray!

Number five:  Deemer's operatic adaptation of his play Varmints, a "libretto in search of music."  Read it now and laugh like I did at its craziness.  

Finally, the sixth book of the year was another by Bacon. Moon Over New Rotterdam is his first prose work published by RBP, after Aphorisms and two books of poetry.

Bacon's hero, Augustine Jones, a Californian by temperament if not heritage, is at sea after a divorce and financial troubles push him back into the arms of his hometown of New Rotterdam, a port city near Seattle where his familial connections rescue his poor butt and set him in a new, healthier direction.

Bacon, a painter and businessman associated with the stevedoring industry, knows the waterfront and its characters and gives the reader a good dose of what life is like in that world.  In an uncomplicated yet fascinating story, Bacon's writing excels in its narrative and poetic qualities.

A smattering of other video projects developed this year, including this interview with Charles Lucas, can also be linked at the sidebar.

Happy New Year, folks!


TS 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bad Clothes



RP Thomas of Phoenix/Ashland likes this, but hates Merle's shirt.


TS

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Battlefields



Deemer posted this video at his blog.  I'm doing likewise because I think it bears repeating.  This is powerful, ironclad stuff.

Thanks, CD.  Much appreciated.


TS

Yeah!

Hey, I can watch the Washington vs. Boise State bowl game today.  It's in Las Vegas and not in Boise on that awful blue turf that I can't stomach!  I hate that football field.  It's just not right, seems anti-football to me, and it hurts my eyes.

So that is something to look forward to today.  I want Boise State to win because I actually like the team in spite of its home field.


TS

Ten Years On

From the rock 'n' roll archives, a piece about Joe Strummer of The Clash, who died 10 years ago.

Hearing The Clash the first time I thought, this is what the Sex Pistols were trying, without much success, to accomplish.

Strummer (John Graham Mellor) was actually a real musician/songwriter and a fantastic singer with an important message.

I read once how he chose his stage name.  His obvious reply to a rock journalist was that what he did was strum the guitar for a living--thus the name.  I told this story to the Dandy Warhols' Courtney Taylor in a bar one time.  He, surprisingly, hadn't heard it.

Joe had cleaned up his act when he died too young of a heart attack.


TS

Howlin' Wolf



A nice selection from Lucas.


TS

Friday, December 21, 2012

Monster #3



















Buddy Dooley
Monster #3 (2012)
6" x 5" Paint

Ah, such simplicity, Dooley.  Only the world knew it!

TS

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spam!

I received an e-mail a couple of days ago from a source I assumed I knew.   I opened it because the sender's name was the same as an old friend whom I occasionally hear from.

I don't know how these things work in a technical sense (or why they provide certain assholes such relief from their stupid lives), but the next thing I knew everybody on my mailing list received the same chain advertisement I had mistakenly opened.

Most of my mailing list auto-rejected the link, but a few of those unfortunate enough to receive the ad must have assumed I am going off my rocker.

Never mind that that is not an unlikely scenario, but please understand that if and when it happens its form will not take on the guise of advising my closest friends on their careers, or offering my opinion of the best and worst of jobs on the planet.

Career advice is not my strongest suit, and in fact I don't even own one.

So my message today is to spammers clever enough to fool me this time--Fuck you!

And to the unfortunate people who received the embarrassing e-mail, I appreciate the fact that you already know how risky driving a taxi in any big city can be, and that the job is thankless and pays next to nothing.

You know, like blogging.


TS

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Delbert



Older Delbert gets the better he sounds, or my ears ain't right!   I think it's the soulfulness that some singers discover along the road.  Delbert has it.

Voice cracks a little?  So what?  It cracks in just the right places.  His phrasing and soul kill me and his material is getting better, too, as with this album.

Simple and pure.


TS

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Moving Ahead

Lucinda Marshall has a simple and concise message regarding the cultural conditions dominating our lives these days.  I happen to think she has a strong message worthy of contemplation.

Our cultural discontent is spreading and leading us in some manner toward our own destruction.  Unless we can change our cultural imperatives, find our balance, we haven't a chance.

Every one of Marshall's points is cogent and worthy of a dissertation, and in fact these points have been elucidated over and over again by certain thinkers historically.  The mass of people are uneducated however, and/or unwilling to take them seriously.

Few people, especially those important folks in "leadership" positions in our society, are capable of understanding our present condition and, more importantly, are apparently incapable of acting to resolve the inherent causation in our malaise.

I believe this is because our culture is dominated by money, not common sense.  Our leaders are elected because they have money, or know how to obtain it.  They are not elected for their intellectual contribution to society.  They haven't problem solving skills.  Their skills are minimally concerned with everything except money, which as the old saying goes "isn't everything."

Except to the greedy.

People, we must change how we live in order to alter our culture.  A national dialogue, uninterrupted by advertising, must occur.  The sooner the better.


TS

Always Playin' the Fool


The first shitclown to speak is none other than one of the biggest shitclowns around.

What a surprise...







TS

Friday, December 14, 2012

Another Chance

(Bobby and Jessica)

Here is an excellent article by Jeff Pearlman on college football in general and Bobby Petrino specifically.

Bobby Petrino, you may recall, was the Arkansas football coach who crashed his motorcycle outside Fayetteville earlier this year and failed to mention a special friend was riding along with him when the accident occurred.

His young mistress, Jessica.

The incident led to Petrino's firing by the university.  The coach was jobless for seven months until being hired by Western Kentucky this week when that school's former coach moved to another job.

Western is giving Petrino $850K a year on a four-year deal.

Pearlman thinks it's a bad move.

Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel has a similar but more nuanced view.


TS

Monster #2



















Buddy Dooley
Monster #2 (2012)
6" x 5" Paint

TS

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reading




Made this awhile back.  Thought I'd finally share.


TS

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monster #1



















Buddy Dooley
Monster #1 (2012)
6" x 5" Paint

Dooley is confronting his inner child again.  He'll show this series here occasionally as he presents pieces to me for approval.


TS

Shankar




Beatle mentor and friend.

TS

Monday, December 10, 2012

Vintage Trouble



My buddy Chris Pilon of Houston likes this and sent it along.

I'm not real enamored by it, but then I was never a James Brown fan either, and this guy is the second coming.

The band obviously has great energy, and I guess it is tight, but...Hell, maybe it'll grow on me.

Thanks Chris!


TS

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Heisman

The skinny runt wins the Heisman, but I'll take Mariota as my QB.

But seriously, Manziel is good and deserving of the award.


TS

Purple and Mad Men


I've been taking it easy while entertaining myself of late.

Awhile back I found Hampton Sides' Ghost Soldiers and was taken by his profound storytelling ability.  Recently, I picked out one of Sides' later works at the library.

Blood and Thunder isn't nearly as good as Ghost Soldiers but is nonetheless a good read.

Ghost Soldiers (2001) is a gripping story about a special Rangers unit during WWII selected to free US prisoners at Cabanatuan in the Philippines.  The risks in this operation were nearly suicidal, yet the Rangers pulled off the seemingly impossible mission of rescuing over 500 US soldiers from the heavily guarded Japanese prison camp.

Blood and Thunder (2006) is the story of Kit Carson's mid-nineteenth century adventures in the American West.  While Sides strives to negate the romanticism in Carson's story, he isn't always successful.

A fundamental flaw in the second book points to a constant problem in any effort to write history for the masses.  In telling a story about the distant past, conjecture and imagined plausibility tend to dominate the narrative to such extremes that the author is nearly always certain to colorize his canvass in deep purple.

While Ghost Soldiers has relative immediacy and the advantage of a younger narrative, including information gleaned from the lingering survivors of the rescue, Blood and Thunder relies too heavily (and perhaps unavoidably) on secondary sources to tell Carson's story.

Sides makes shit up to fill in the gaps in the Carson story.  Another popular historian, Stephen Ambrose, did the same thing in Crazy Horse and Custer.

But what the heck...

Besides my reading I've been streaming some good television of late.  Weeks ago a friend turned me on to a French police procedural series that started in 2005, I believe.  Netflix has it now, and it is titled Spiral. First-rate television, with excellent elements--writing, acting, directing.

Finally, I've challenged myself to watch Mad Men, which I first missed in 2007 because I didn't have cable.  I still don't have cable, but you can stream the first four years of this excellent series at Netflix as well.

It's funny.  Many mad television consumers rale against Netflix because it is supposedly slow to bring things online.  Doesn't matter to me because I'm too far behind popular culture to worry about it.

Five years after I first heard Terry Gross talking about Mad Men on NPR I'm finally digging it.


TS

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tributes to Brubeck



Here and here.

I saw the man play with his sons at Portland's old Paramount Theatre sometime in the eighties, though I can't remember exactly which year it was.

Indeed all I really remember is what incredible music came from that stage.


TS

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Dead Season

Would things work the way they should, big-time college football would be getting interesting now rather than wending down in its customary, bowl-infused, painful manner.

Eight teams would be seeded in a playoff format that might determine which "institution of higher learning" in the land actually has the best football team, not that it matters one iota.

Don't get me wrong, I recognize that bowls are cool.  The Kraft Hunger Bowl is cool, for instance.  If you like processed cheese.

I guess if you're hungry enough you'll watch anything.

The point is if they are going to play the games, the games ought to have a semblance of meaning, as they supposedly did all season long when teams battled to win their conference championships.

The format would resemble what the lower-division NCAA football schools do to determine their champions.  That is seed x-number of teams and go at it.

Major-college basketball does this, albeit to excess, and the post-season flourishes.  A true champion emerges, no argument.

One day an eight-team college football playoff format will happen.  It won't be perfect, but it'll beat what college fans must endure now while listening to the football pundits extol Notre Dame vs. Alabama.

I don't think either one could beat Oregon.  Or Stanford a second time.

But I have a west coast bias.

What am I getting out of the current BCS system except a month of boredom, the rumor of a championship, and the opportunity this weekend to watch Navy kick Army's ass?

Again.


TS

  

Call It Stormy Monday



Tuesday's just as bad...


TS


Monday



I made a big mistake...


TS

Long Monday



Stuck like the tick of a clock that come unwound...


TS

Stormy Monday



The eagle flies on Friday...


TS

Monday, Monday



Can't trust that day...


TS

Friday, November 30, 2012

Second Thoughts

I'm just sitting on a fence,
You can say I got no sense,
Trying to make up my mind...

Amazing...



TS

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Boss Lives



Springsteen played the Rose Garden last night.

I saw his show at Portland's Paramount Theatre in 1978.

Epic then, and now.


TS

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lucas Has New Site


Portland artist and RBP contributor Charles Lucas has put a boatload of his work on this site.

Looks good to me.







TS

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Football Blues

Never has 11-1 felt so bad.

Oregon didn't get any help today.  I never thought I'd feel this bad about a great season.

One of the best teams in the country is out of it.  And goddamn, Notre Dame is beating USC.

Oh well, maybe next year.

I won't be happy until an eight-team playoff becomes the norm in college football.

Until then, the SEC computers will prevail and it will stink every year, just as it stinks now.


TS

Friday, November 23, 2012

Great Expectations

Late-season rivalry games are the best college football has to offer year in and year out.

Washington State was a dog this afternoon yet pulled out a wild win over Washington in Pullman.  Tonight, Arizona State rallied late to knock off favored Arizona in Tuscon.

The PAC is a crazy league and parity is the main reason.  A longtime fan of rivalry games in the PAC, I've learned to expect the unexpected.

Today made for a fine start to a weekend of great expectations and entertainment.

Tomorrow should be even better.

I expect USC to unexpectedly knock over the favored Notre Dame Fighting Irish tomorrow in Los Angeles.  I expect to see UCLA unexpectedly stun tough Stanford, also in L.A.

These expectations are sometimes referred to as prayers.

Unfortunately, I also expect an unexpected loss by Oregon to Oregon State in the Civil War, an expectation that I hope is wrong.

It's rivalry week across the country, the best reason I know of to watch T.V. and cuss like a madman.


TS

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Compared to What



Happy Thanksgiving!

This stirred some old memories.  That is Leroy Vinnegar playing bass.  When he moved to Portland in the early 90s, Vinnegar jammed at Seafood Mama's regularly.  Great guy, too.

Those were definitely the good old days.


TS

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Am I Nuts?

Gonna do it.  I must be nuts. First time in a long time, I'm gonna watch the Trail Blazers play basketball tonight.

Must be my holiday spirit kicking in, or boredom, because I don't give a damn about these tall millionaire geeks!

Well, it's something to do until football Saturday arrives...See how long I last.  Probably switch to a movie by halftime.  Ha!


TS

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Voices and Visions



A first-rate poetry series suggested by K.C. Bacon.


TS

Big


A nice summary of the meaning of it all.

I've always looked forward to this annual game, even in the era when both teams were dependably awful.

It is nice that they are playing for more than a pat on the back these days.

One team comes in on a mental downer, the other is peaking.  The game is in Corvallis.  I think OSU wins, and it hurts to say so.


TS

Monday, November 19, 2012

Reading Poetry


I was tipped off over the weekend about a cache of poems read aloud on YouTube.  I hadn't seen the work before, so I was initially excited.

When I delved into the videos I quickly grew disappointed.

As good of an idea as this work is, I find it almost intolerable to listen to the reader, whose voice and interpretations in many instances do not give the selected poems their due.

Listen, some poets and poems are tougher than others.  Not every poet writes lines meant to be approached  like the reader is lifting a rare teapot from a glass display case.

Sometimes the poet is attempting to smash the glass encasement.  It is not a good idea to take that impulse away from him.

But, don't take my word for it.  Here is the YouTube channel.


TS


Yeah, So What?

My Ducks lost Saturday, a disheartening reality.  But what is most bothersome is the way in which they lost--a close game that boiled down in the cool night to a handful of poor decisions by Oregon's coaching staff.

Even at that, however, one may understand why those decisions took precedence.  Chip Kelly only had his and his team's body of work over the season to fall back on when he eschewed a field goal in the first quarter and came away empty-handed after a sensational long run by Marcus Mariota.

Clearly he believed in his team's ability to score many more points and that "going for it" at that juncture was a sound choice.

That sort of belief is not a bad thing, even if it was misguided on this night.

In hindsight, which is always too easily conjured, the decision was disastrous.

Oregon made mental errors left and right following that understandable decision  While Stanford played exceedingly well, the Ducks' bone-headed mistakes and questionable play-calling (following the spurned field goal) count for something in this bitter loss.

While Stanford matched Oregon's talent, this loss is on the Oregon coaching staff for not making adjustments in the second-half and stubbornly sticking with the run, run, run game plan built around Kenjon Barner's speed.  An array of things could have been tried to counter Stanford's surprising speed on defense, though they are too numerous and technical to get into here.

I would be more accepting of my team's loss had Stanford slammed the Ducks by three TDs and clearly demonstrated dominance.

That didn't happen.  Oregon blew this one.

But Stanford is a great team.  Looking ahead, so is OSU, which has had its own coaching issues in a couple of games this season.

The Civil War will be a doozy.

What irks me more than anything, however, is that Notre Dame is likely headed for the BCSCG thanks to this royal fuckup by my Ducks.

Notre Dame is not that good, I swear to the ghost of Knute Rockne.


TS


Friday, November 16, 2012

A History of Delta Blues



One of only two reasons why I'd bother to visit Mississippi.  The other would be to visit Faulkner's grave.


TS

Wallace on "The Nature of Fun"

An excerpt from David Foster Wallace's posthumous collection, Both Flesh and Not.





TS

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Willamette Landscape/Charles Lucas


















Bro is doing some fine, fine work these days.


TS

Monday, November 12, 2012

Big Babies


I've settled on a project that I've been brooding over for a few weeks now.

I'll begin it soon and try to have it ready for release by the start of the new year, or shortly thereafter.  I like this project a lot as an idea; we'll see if I can bring it to the level I imagine for it over the next weeks.

It is a video project, but not the memoir/film I've been tussling with since April.  That is developing at its own pace, taking twists and turns in meaning and impetus, and I plan to release it sometime next year as well, but after the new venture I'm plotting at this moment.

Trying to get re-energized here; perhaps this leap of faith will be the spark I'm seeking.

Football news:  Man, the Ducks--my team in case you are unaware of it--are banged up in their defensive ranks.  Against Cal they played three to five babies at a time along the defensive line--babies being my term for true freshmen.

The extended playing time for the big babies--and they are huge kids--will make them stronger in a year or two.  Right now, however, I fear they won't have the strength/power to neutralize Stanford's upperclassmen along the line Saturday when the brainiacs visit Autzen.

Oregon will have to score a ton in what I'm guessing will be the closest game the Ducks have had to date.  Of course, Oregon has been pretty fair at scoring a ton all year...

Will Stanford slow down Barner and company?

Cool, I'm finally excited about another project!


TS


Friday, November 9, 2012

City Life

Charles Lucas grabbed this shot at the edge of Portland's city center, in one of the best wildlife reserves ever developed in a city nationwide.

The preserve lies adjacent to the Willamette River between two massive bridges connecting east and west Portland.

This is cool.



TS

Bad Fish

(Mordo, by Charles Lucas)

Got into some bad fish last night, and boy did I get sick.

First food poisoning I've had in ages, so I think I'll go have a "talk" with the food provider: The Safeway Corp.

Reparations are in order to the tune of 3.49.

Meeting set with Portland artist Charles Lucas today.  We'll mull over his new work, check progress, etc.

Still shaky after last night, but getting better by the hour.


TS

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Five Reasons Obama Won


Americans were serious about "change" in 2008 and wanted to believe Obama was too; while seeing through his obfuscations and sundry other machinations, they didn't dig the alternative. They were all too aware that real choice in this election was practically non-existent.

Surprisingly, voters understood the obstructionist nature of Congress and voted for Obama in protest of that bitch.

Americans ultimately placed the collapse of the U.S. economy directly at the feet of the one per-centers and the previous administration; they believed a vote for Romney represented a return to those failed policies.

Most Americans couldn't relate to the extreme wealth of the Republican candidate, nor his inability to articulate a steady vision, which made his ideas as aloof as his vacant eyes.

Romney had a really bad Latino, Black and women problem.  The answers were never contained in those imaginary "binders" to begin with.


TS

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Yippie!


Best election coverage of the night!






TS

One Toke Over the Line

Pro-pot measures passed in Washington and Colorado, failed in Oregon.

I'm moving.

See ya!






TS

Monday, November 5, 2012

On Pynchon and Genet

Chris Hedges on Election Day.











TS

Election Day




"Oh, man..."


TS


Big Picture

(Heisman contender Kenjon Barner)

Oregon and OSU both won Saturday, and so both teams must bear down in the coming weeks to assure a Civil War for the ages.

Oregon State can continue to rise in the BCS by beating Stanford next weekend.

Oregon gets another ineffectual game versus Cal with few BCS points at stake unless it loses. The Ducks better not take the day off because in the PAC anything can happen.

I'd hate to see a post-USC hangover as the Ducks must travel to Berkeley for the game.

Anyway, if OSU stays strong and Oregon beats the Beavers in Corvallis on Nov. 24, the Ducks will most assuredly climb into the No. 2 BCS position.

Then would come the PAC championship game and the likely opportunity to meet Alabama in the NCG.

It's a complex and enticing picture.


TS


Friday, November 2, 2012

Shadows and Light


I'm not sure where things are headed or what the future holds in some regards.

At this point, all I can tell you is that my presence in the blogosphere is beginning to look and feel like a ride along a slow and winding road towards the sunset.

I'd like a few new projects to emerge from the shadows of this grand experiment. I have been engaged with it for over two years now, months of true enlightenment.

It's been good for me.  I don't know about you.

I will become officially retired early next year, at age 62, and within the languorous serenity of that reality, I am looking forward to creating a few new projects that will culminate, hopefully, with several new books and personal statements designed to reinvigorate my interest in continuing with a life in the arts.

The projects will commence next year and arrive at their own pace, by design, and in various locales that I have been recently studying with varying degrees of interest.

It's a big world out there, and there is much for the artist to work with, to pick and choose from.  The tools for this kind of work are plentiful.

Regeneration is possible.

The process is reinvention, something every artist is best served to attempt, repeatedly, over the short time he or she has to leave an impression on the world.

This amounts to nothing less than a redesign of my personal interests and intent as a writer, goals that have become somewhat skewed of late by my sense that something is amiss in my writing life.  Perhaps this is how one fights the creeping influence of stagnation that threatens every artist.

From the beginning, this project has been a cooperative affair.  I have attached several writers and artists to the project in good faith, guaranteeing that any sales generated through the small publicity of this site belong wholly to them.  Each holds the copyright of his work.  Each should continue to hold it.

I expect that commitment to continue.  In some manner, the contributors will earn their wealth if it emerges.

I did not enter this realm with illusions that I myself would ever make a dime off of it, but thanks to a generous benefactor I have been allowed to eke out a living in this work space for many months now.

That has ended, and life is good.  Some of my goals have been met, but not all of them, and I plan to keep working through my emeritus status.  I'm just not certain of the form that will take, or whether it even matters.

Timing is everything, in baseball and publishing.


TS

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkins

My daughter, and her extended family and friends, carved these for tonight's festivities.

They have a yearly ritual and self-judged contest.

They all look like winners to me.


TS

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Otis Redding



A Rolling Stone piece.


TS

Neko Case



About Neko Case.


TS

To Blog, Or Not To Blog

I'm thinking about blogging the Oregon/USC game Saturday at 4 p.m.

I wonder if I could do it without getting distracted, flustered, irate, overwhelmed, or mealy-mouthed?

Hmm...

Perhaps all of those things would make an interesting stew...

What do my fans think?  Should I give it a try?

Wait, I don't have any fans.  So why am I asking you?

What if I made a video of myself at the same time?  That would be cool.


TS

Monday, October 29, 2012

Staten Island


































Well now, why do you suppose they parked there?!


TS

Statement

I liked them!

But then I like Oregon's various uniforms as well.

So I'm no fashion guru.

TS

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sandy

Live updates on Sandy.

Interesting to see the various reactions of people to this and what may transpire.

My friend Chris in Houston is a storm watcher. Very in tune with nature and sort of crazy.

TS

Jad Abumrad

A creativity manifesto and other cool stuff.










TS

Giants Sweep Series

San Francisco sweeps Detroit in the World Series.

Heck of a deal.

I always have to mention that a Giants game was the first major league game I ever watched in person, in San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1962.

Willie Mays roamed center field for the Giants and Pete Rose was a rookie second baseman with the Cincinnati Reds when I excitedly witnessed my first game.

More than anything else I remember the chill of the night in windy Candlestick.

Later, as a young man, I lived in San Francisco and preferred to go over to Oakland to watch the A's if I wanted to see a night game.

Baseball is an indelible delight best displayed in the dead of summer, but who can resist the World Series?


TS

Saturday, October 27, 2012

BCS Woes

Oregon won big against a patsy, but it wasn't a good day for my team, because...well, because it played a patsy called Colorado.

In the meantime Notre Dame knocked off a decent Oklahoma team and Kansas State demonstrated dominance against Texas Tech.

Florida will fall after losing to Georgia, but Notre Dame will jump Oregon in the BCS standings.

It's crazy.  Oregon is really good, but the Ducks can't get over the hump. The strength-of-schedule computations just aren't there for my poor Ducks!  They'll likely remain at No. 4.

To top it off USC, Oregon's next opponent, lost to Arizona.  That shouldn't have happened.  If Oregon beats the Trojans next weekend the computers (collectively named Hal) will shrug and say--so what?

And then there is this.  Oregon State is losing to lowly Washington. OSU also needs to win to appease Hal.

Man, this season has the potential to be the most controversial yet in the BCS era.

Something's gotta give.

Note:  OSU just scored, finally!  There is hope...

Later:  The Beavs lose.  Oregon's SOS takes another massive hit.

Dang...

TS

Friday, October 26, 2012

Waybacks/Loaded



The narrator in this song gets robbed at gun point.  By a woman. Outside a bar.

A unique and interesting story, but the singer's expressive voice and guitar carry the piece.

I like this.  Discovered the band a couple of years ago.


TS


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Norman Pollack


My WiFi is up and running again just in time to link you to this brilliant essay by Norman Pollack.

Dang, it is nice to be back in the saddle.

Yahoo!

And Google!



TS

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Volcano

K.C. Bacon suggested I watch this 1976 documentary about the life and work of Malcolm Lowry.

Hadn't seen it before, and I liked it so much I'm passing it on to you.

Enjoy.





TS

The Series

(The other Pablo)

Sitting here listening to the World Series, I sort of rue not having a television these days. Haven't had one for years now.

But I'm getting a lot of reading done, so there is an upside.

The Giants are clobbering the Tigers in game one.  Giant third baseman Pablo Sandoval has hit three home runs!

Wow!

Detroit's brilliant Justin Verlander simply didn't have his usual stuff tonight.

The announcers are saying he is "praying for a game five" to redeem himself.

Baseball is off the clock, but it feels like game one is over.


TS

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oh well...

If you're bored and have nothing better to do you can listen to my recording of "Annie Ned's Blues" here.

Disclaimer:  I'm not real happy with this, so I'll call it an experiment and leave it at that.  The video reproduction didn't take the way I expected it to, nor is it my best reading.

I'll blame it on my health, which hasn't been real great of late.  Under the weather, gloomy, I'm not concentrating my best these day.

Maybe I'll give it another shot down the road, when (if) my energy returns.

I recorded the drum circle in downtown Portland's Pioneer Square during a Native-American celebration this summer.  It nearly makes the piece work.

It is good to have a part of your quest turn out, even if the whole doesn't.

Here is a little background, a short essay and the poem from a 2010 post here.


TS


Bukowski's "Women"


Charles Lucas forwarded this pic to me, which reminded me of one of the great reads by Bukowski that I can recall.

Here is a PDF of his "Women."

About as funny, poetically eloquent, weird and engrossing as anything the late-great master wrote.







TS

Monday, October 22, 2012