To the Point

There comes a time in every epoch when pragmatism simply evolves into extreme acquiescence and surrender to the forces of apathy and do-nothingness, a guarantor of the status quo in all of its easy, democratic criminality--its fortress of greed.--TL Simons

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...



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Voices and Visions

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



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.


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.


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.


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.


Wallace on "The Nature of Fun"

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


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Willamette Landscape/Charles Lucas

Bro is doing some fine, fine work these days.


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!


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.


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.


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.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Best election coverage of the night!


One Toke Over the Line

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

I'm moving.

See ya!


Monday, November 5, 2012

On Pynchon and Genet

Chris Hedges on Election Day.


Election Day

"Oh, man..."


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.


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.