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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Wire

I've got all five seasons of the HBO series "The Wire" on DVD in my pad.

Now I have until mid-month to watch all the episodes and decide what to do with my vast knowledge of the series.

Maybe I'll write a book about the experience.

I missed the series when it started in 2002, but heard a great deal about it.  I'm glad I've finally decided to go ahead with the project.


Tough Luck

Oregon returned one of its gifted frosh players, Dominic Artis, to the court tonight only to lose another to what looks like a severe leg injury.

Not coincidently, when Damyean Dotson got hurt the Ducks started playing rat ball and are trailing OSU by seven at the half in Eugene.

Artis is not ready to come back full time yet, so Oregon is down its two best freshmen.

Tough luck season for Oregon if Dotson is out for the rest of the year.  Be tough to win the PAC under the circumstances.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Poem/RP Thomas

I took the liberty of doing your next book cover

it's a book of poems
it has the word house in it
it has the color purple in it
it is read through a mailbox

it has no volume

or wires

it's not really liquid

it doesn't care the sky is lucid

or not

RP Thomas
Phoenix, Oregon


Monday, February 25, 2013


Nominated for Best Foreign Language film, 80th Academy Awards.

Going strong at 87.


Closely Watched Trains

The Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 40th Academy Awards, 1968.

Originally translated as "Closely Observed Trains."

More analysis of the portrayal of Nazis in cinema.


Kiss, Kiss

Ang Lee has won so many movie awards that he has taken to eating them rather than continue cluttering up his fireplace mantel.

No, seriously, do we need the kiss?  It is the movie equivalent of an athlete pointing at the sky when he does something good.

Two things that ought to be banned for being in bad taste: kissing a bronze statue (or any kind of statue) and pointing at the lord in the sky to personally thank Him because you can run fast.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dylan Makes His Move

I hope this isn't true, but if it is we shall all be saddened and that much poorer.



My best game ever versus Titan.  I played white. Notice how my knights were positioned, threatening the black rooks while my bishop lay in wait.  This was a devastating assault.  Had it failed I was prepped with a secondary source of power, i.e., a dual rook and queen skirmish at the board's center. The poor computer had no chance.  I crushed the thing.  I feel sorry to have victimized it via my awesomeness.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Writing Lesson

CD writes at his blog Writing Life II about a screenwriting student who came to his class today "wasted," which gives me pause to think about my own career with booze and academics.

CD pulled the student aside and sent him home early because the kid was talking too much and evidently making little sense.

As heavy as I've been with the liquid magic in days past, I can't recall ever once going to class hopped up on anything, beer or otherwise.

I might have taken a few pre-bout nips here and there, but nothing like what it takes to make me too talkative.  And let's tell it like it is. Everybody is a lot smarter after a few too many.

I always saved myself for after school.  That was when I did the writer/drinker turn justice.  That is when I talked my best poetry.

Even then, one thing I learned early on is that I couldn't write worth a damn when stoned on anything, and I've drank enough to ruin many a story.

Writing is a dangerous game when it involves alcohol.  Drink pretty much did in the sensational talents of Truman Capote and F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as many other brilliant and lesser lights over the years.

Maybe CD's warning to the kid will make him think again.  Eugene O'Neill had his last drink at age 29, and sobriety didn't treat him badly at all.






Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A New Life

This is no time to write a detective novel, particularly when the real deal is in demand.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Johnny Rivers


Active Reading

The Richard Ben Cramer bio of Joe DiMaggio, a quirky book written in a kind of pseudo-illiterate vernacular that I guess is meant to reflect idioms of pre and post-WWII baseball life.  I picked this up because the author died a couple of months ago and I figured it was time I paid my respect.

And it is nearly baseball season again.

As I worked my way through the first half of Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life, I paused to take on Robert B. Parker's last novel, Sixkill.  A very thin plot driven by the late detective novelist's usual array of tricks and treats.

Sixkill is a Native American ex-football star who had a lesser game against Oregon in his final season before washing out behind booze and broads.

It was nice to see Parker's nod to the Oregon football franchise.

What a life I'm living, huh?  Working on little projects, buying time until my retirement kicks in next month, trying to stay sane amid the hue and cry.

Wouldn't have it any other way.


Positively 4th Street


Monday, February 18, 2013


This is huge, a constant problem with political discourse in the U.S.

In the end its pervasiveness destroys any semblance of real debate within the American polity, for it is the enemy of philosophy.

When I hear it coming I take leave as soon as possible because the room is about to become very crowded.


The Ruse of the Moment


The Hostility of the Moment


The Enormity of the Moment


The Circuity of the Moment


Friday, February 15, 2013



Alien Boy

Opening tonight at Cinema 21 in Northwest Portland.

This is the story of the notorious 2006 killing of James Chasse by three Portland, Oregon policemen.

Check out other opportunities to see the flick in Portland.

If you live someplace other than Portland, I hope this movie makes it to your town.  When it does, don't miss it.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I'll Have Another

Everybody's favorite boozer/scribbler is getting the Hollywood treatment--again.

This time it's a low-budget feature based on Bukowski's "Ham & Rye."

When Hollywood says low-budget and I say low-budget we are talking two different dimensions, of course.

This ought to be a worthwhile film.


Monday, February 11, 2013

The Movies

Dammit, I can't take a decent photo of myself.

(It's the lighting and my Bloggie, not exactly a portrait camera)

I need a pic for the casting company here in town that I've signed up with, hoping to get some part-time "extra" work.  I'm guessing they'll reject the one I sent in today, but haven't heard yet.

My niece and nephew were honeymooning in NYC back in 1969 during the "Midnight Cowboy" shoot.  They took a short-time gig as crowd extras in that, and I was impressed by how prominent they were as they walked behind Ratso and the Cowboy in one street scene.

It was cool.

I want to be that cool.


Sunday, February 10, 2013


More on Iraq.







I liked this maestro a lot.

His choice of a first violinist and then concertmaster with the Oregon Symphony, Peter Frajola, played with the Webbers, a great Northwest bar band that I befriended in the mid-nineties.

Frajola did it for kicks, but made the band's rock soar.

More teachers should be like DePreist, that is humanists first.

Portland was lucky to have him, and he loved this place.


Saturday, February 9, 2013


Last week CD pointed out that had I followed my instincts I'd have made money betting against an overrated Oregon basketball team in Vegas.

I'm not a gambler, so I hadn't looked at the lines, but I did this afternoon before the Oregon/Utah game in Eugene.  Oregon was favored by twelve.

Well, that is bullshit I said.

Oregon didn't cover.

Damn, it takes money to make money I swear!


Friday, February 8, 2013


Sometimes a picture is purely abstract emotion, a childlike expression.  At other times it becomes more formalized, its intent a fully-matured conceptualization of the world.  For me, color is always paramount.  But just as important is the act of doing something compulsively, of not knowing what I want until I begin.  I'm sure this comes from my lack of a formal education as a drawer and painter, or I hope it does.  For I deliberately dodged  art school, figuring all I could do there was fail among the critics and geniuses; when I do this I do not feel like a failure.  Nor do I feel the need to appease anyone as I satisfy those compulsions that are mine alone and have nothing to do with what is known about creativity.            TS

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ten Years After

Ten years ago today.

And my poem about the ensuing erasure of memory.


10 Monsters/Buddy Dooley

Whoa, Dooley!  Sensory overload, man!