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, October 31, 2013

No Defense

While putting up a fight offensively, Washington State's defense is just awful.  Arizona State is blowing the Cougars out at the half tonight, 42-14.

To me it is mind-boggling that WSU beat USC earlier this year in L.A. before Lane Kiffen was fired.

Oregon State vs. USC tomorrow night.  I look forward to that, though both teams are sort of boring with their pro-style offenses.  I'd like to see OSU win it, however.

The spread is definitely the game now, unless you are Stanford, which relies on its great defense to win close, boring games.

Stanford.  Hmmm...

We'll find out a week from tonight how good Oregon and Stanford are and which style of ball prevails this season.

This season is turning out to be as intriguing as I thought it would be on Sept. 1, and for free entertainment it's first-rate.


The Colombian Exchange

Gosh, you might figure I've been watching a lot of historical documentaries lately.

'Tis true.

This is a visually compelling history, with nice re-enactments and computer graphics.  It's Eurocentric as hell, but that is the world we live in, and the only way to fight that is in your head while accumulating a differing body of evidence if you can find it.

The guest historians offering their input in this work are superb.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Spanish Civil War

Hadn't seen this before, but it is very well done.

Here's the Top Documentary site with most of it, though I had to search for parts 5 and 6 via YouTube.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Don't Look Back

The sound is kind of muddled, which is merely annoying during the concert segments of this classic film.  I was 14 when this was made, didn't "discover" it until I was in my 20s.

What I came to be fascinated with later than that was the juxtaposition of the smart-assed kid with the fiercely intelligent songwriter that was the young Bob Dylan.

The contrast speaks to artistry.  Artists are rarely like their best work. The young Dylan was self-obsessed like so many young stars are now.

But what he had to say about things, when he was doing the lonely work of writing, transcended his years.


from A Majority of One

This poem from Charles Deemer's new book knocked me out the first time I read it.

Still does.

Glad RBP had the opportunity to recently publish this and the other fine poems in A Majority of One.

Oh, and if you can't bring yourself to buy books online from Lulu--that is if you're an Amazon partisan and believe that behemoth alone is the way to go, it'll be up there soon as well.

So much of marketing is guided by illusion it's not even funny.

But I won't go there...



Sorry to see the Lou Reed documentary, which I had posted below, pulled by its creator at YouTube.

Silly copyright laws.

I kid, I kid...



K.C. Bacon sends along this glimpse of a 1936 Auden/Britten collaboration.

From The American Scholar archives, also try this fine remembrance of the first and only meeting between Kerouac and Kesey.

And this piece on how F. Scott Fitzgerald influenced autobiographical writing.

Good stuff from Mr. Bacon.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Movie Section

I've recently found some real gems at the movies section of Reddit, which links to YouTube's vast and growing catalog.

I caught John Sayles' Lone Star there a couple of days ago.

Then I came across some Wim Wenders.

Guess I'm just lucky sometimes.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lou Reed/Rock and Roll Heart

The video is no more, just like Lou.


Lou Reed

I liked much of Lou Reed and owned New York (1989), which I consider to be his finest work. I was never enamored by his "noise" experiments, but he could write a good melody and intersperse that with some abstraction to interesting effect at times.

Went to his concert at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland about 15 years ago. Paid fifty bucks for front-row seats with a few friends.

I enjoyed the show, comprised of a lot of new material and improvised jamming. Some of my friends wanted to hear Sweet Jane and were disappointed he didn't play that and other popular material.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ad Lib

I'd like to know how this works or why.

I'm streaming the Tennessee vs. Alabama game and a commercial for one fast food joint or another comes on. Then another ad for an insurance company pops up on top of that ad.

More ads than a man can deal with, but interesting in that if you eat enough fast food, your insurance policy will be canceled.

Tennessee isn't looking too good.  Oh well...

Waiting for the Oregon vs. UCLA classic.

Go Vols!!


Drum Rolls

It's nothing like the energy you'll find on campus at a major football university each week on game day, but I have to give Portland State an A for effort.

The Vikings play North Dakota this afternoon, and the school band is ambling past my place, drums rolling, headed for Jeld-Wen Field where it'll set up to entertain the five-thousand faithful who stream into the stadium for the game.

It's great to hear.  I remember incredible days in Eugene long ago, even though Oregon usually had a pretty bad team back in the '70s. Game day was always special for those of us who could pull ourselves away from the textbooks long enough to enjoy the festivities.

That was never a problem for me, as football Saturdays in October were a big part of college life in my estimation.  I loved those days and look back at them with fondness.

At least that aspect of my life didn't drift past unnoticed, which is something I cannot say about much else.


Friday, October 25, 2013

A Majority of One/Published

Charles Deemer has allowed this press to put its name on his fine book of new poems, and for that I thank him.

It is with great pleasure that we present "A Majority of One."

Please buy a copy and support this accomplished writer today.

BTW, it'll be available at Amazon in the near future as well.


Webber & Rice

A classic of the stage and cinema, Jesus Christ Superstar still resonates with me over forty years after its creation by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, a pair of English blokes.

It is still metaphor, a partly hyperbolic and leftist interpretation of the events Christians cherish.

I actually like, with some reservations, leftist Christians.  The fundamentalist right--not so much.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Doc of the Week

Demos marginalize him and Repubs thank him (while reviling him), but those of us who have long bitched about the limitations of the two-party American system, or as Ralph dubs it "the duopoly," figure he was right all along.

Thank you for trying, Ralph.  You couldn't change the minds of the mindless, nor could you touch the senseless, but you're a great American nonetheless.



A post I made here three summers ago is number seven in the Google search engine for "The Eighty-Yard Run," a famous short story by one of the American masters of the form, Irwin Shaw, sometime's referred to pejoratively as the "poor man's John Cheever."

I happen to think he's better than Cheever, but that's just poor me.

Naturally, my post is getting a lot of hits as people discover or attempt to rethink this classic story about an ex-football player suffering a mid-life crisis.

Here's the complete story.

I think Colt Lyerla or just about any other college football player these days would do well to read it.


To Be Released Saturday

Three from Charles Deemer's new book of poems, A Majority of One, to be released Saturday.

This is great stuff, and you'll want to get a copy ASAP, so stay tuned.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lost Soul

In 2002, a party led by a retired NBA basketball player set sail for Hawaii from Tahiti.

Weeks later one member of the party, the older brother of the NBA player, turned up in Phoenix.  Here is how it happened that the others were never seen again.

This is the kind of SI writing I grew up on, a riveting story steeped in anecdote and mystery.

Just a first-rate story.


World Series

World Series begins tonight.

Too bad I don't have a TV.  Can't stream it, either, because MLB simply won't allow it.   You can likely do something outside my expertise to catch a pirated stream, I just don't know what it is.

European-based First Row Sports allows NFL broadcasts, but blocks baseball.

The bar?  Probably not.



For Chris in Houston who has recently been obsessing on Warren Zevon.



I've been waiting, pondering, musing and otherwise trying to connect with my football instincts.  I think I've settled on a kind of knowing, a certain confidence that I am a fully capable prognosticator.

I wanted to get a sense of the atmospheric conditions surrounding Oregon and Oregon State as they prepare for big games this weekend with UCLA and Stanford respectively.

This is Wednesday, ordinarily too early in the week to spill the beans, but I feel I know how these games will turn out.  Like the weather outside, all is bright and embracing if you're an Oregonian with ties to either school.

Football fans in Oregon will be pleased. This weekend is going to be special, whether you are a die-hard Duck or a boastful Beaver.

I know a few Bruin fans who won't like what is going to happen Saturday, but I'm sorry. Despite my initial trepidation, I now believe Oregon will beat UCLA--perhaps not by the three TDs the touts in Vegas are evincing, but Oregon will win.

That is not perhaps a shocking pick--but here I pick up my game.

I think Mannion and Cooks will pass Stanford silly Saturday in Corvallis.  Upset city.

In any case, I'm primed and ready for what should be a great day.

Now, if Tennessee could somehow knock off Alabama...


Monday, October 21, 2013


Good kid, funny, humble but certain.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hitting the Trifecta

The week ahead figures to be one of the biggest mankind has ever known.

Foremost among events, Charles Deemer's new book of poems, A Majority of One, will appear Saturday, which also happens to be the Round Bend Press stalwart's 74th birthday.

Deemer's latest, his fifth book for RBP, is filled with mirthful  and wry observations on the human condition, which is Deemer at his best, whether he is contemplating his relationship with his dog Sketch or his own mortality as he prepares to retire from a long career in academe.

Throw in his usual salty observations regarding the body politic, and you have classic Deemer.

Lately CD has taken up the ukulele and wonders whether this new book will be his last "serious" work (as opposed to his Overdrive series of "entertainments").  A breath later he is conjuring up the plot of a new novel, a sequel to Sodom, Gomorrah & Jones.

With Deemer real retirement is merely an imagined thing, I think.

Not coincidentally, his football team plays my football team on Saturday as well.  Deemer was a UCLA grad before earning his MFA at Oregon.  I was an Oregon grad before earning my history degree at Portland State, where the poet teaches screenwriting.

O what a tangled web of intrigue Saturday will bring when UCLA plays Oregon in Eugene at 4 p.m.

We know the book is good and that Deemer is an old fart, but what will the day on the gridiron reveal?


Friday, October 18, 2013

Pink Cadillac

This is an outtake from the Nebraska sessions.


Code Pink Rally



Going after the pinkos.


Music from Big Pink

We are celebrating Pink Week here at Round Bend Press, fighting breast cancer with all our might.

While cancer is no laughing matter, pink tickles me, well, pink.



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pink Flamingos


The Pink Panther Strikes Again


Pink Floyd


Pink Panther



If there is one possible thing that might keep Oregon from ever doing this again, I think it might be losing to WSU Saturday night.

Therefore, I hope Oregon loses.

Now I think I'm gonna throw up.

And you know what?  I'm still anti-cancer.

This is like waterboarding an entire country for laughs.


Goe Gets It

Good old Ken Goe is scoring heavily in my book with his occasional short rants about the smoke screen that is the new FBS playoff scheduled to begin next year.

Here's his latest.

Good work, Goe.  Keep it up.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On Mariota

New editor Rob Moseley spent years at the Eugene Register Guard putting things into perspective.

Now that he is Oregon's top media flak he simply relays the mantra and hype.

This kid is carrying a heavy load.

I hope he can bear the weight.  Despite it being a team game, Mariota is driving the race car at 200 MPH.

You can only hope it feels like 65 on the freeway to him.


For Royalty Only

Lunch selection in the Senate cafeteria.




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rumor Central

A rumor is circulating on the football boards that Oregon will don pink helmets this weekend in recognition of breast cancer awareness month.

I was hoping it would not come to this.

Gonna be ugly if it is true.  I have the same reaction to the ubiquitous football pink you see everywhere this time of year that I have to the blue field at Boise State.  I get sick looking at the colors, literally.  I'm not kidding, they make me nauseous.

Besides, it is wrong, wrong, wrong for other reasons.

I'm all for fighting cancer, but turning football into a mass-mind charity like the NFL has, wherein it keeps too much of the profits from selling the pink anti-cancer merchandise, is just another business ruse, a play on the sentimental in US society, like a fly-over of jet fighters before a bowl game.

Besides, being fashion conscious as I am, I know pink clashes with Oregon green--I will get sick if this happens.  For me, the colors that usually dominate college football are part of the game's charm; pink will annihilate that.

This is an unnecessary distraction for the team and fans like me who deplore pink.  If you must make this show of communion with the annual fundraiser, be tasteful for gawd's sake.

Wear a pink ribbon on your chest and call it a day.

This whole deal is, in short, idiotic.  But this is America.


Monday, October 14, 2013


It's Monday morning, another epic weekend has passed, and I am already looking forward to the next one.

Take a peek at the above video, courtesy of the Wines Family blog, and you'll very well understand.

You ask--am I living vicariously through my football team?

Of course not (cough).

My goodness, I was so nervous Saturday.  Charles "Chuckie" Lucas and I gathered our pom-poms and a couple of cold brews, parked ourselves in front of my computer, and streamed the beauteous thing that happened in Seattle Saturday afternoon.

It didn't start well.

When Keanon Lowe dropped a sure-fire TD pass on Marcus Mariota's first throw of the day I just about came unglued, and a menage of horrific images filled my head.

Lucas calmed me down, noting that the Tigers/Sox game later in the evening might be more meaningful, and, er, entertaining.

Spoken like a Chicagoan who haunted Wrigley Field as a kid and has known heartbreak and futility all his life. Yet I did not want to go there.

The Ducks needed three tries and three video replays to gain a yard before the man upstairs (in the replay booth) answered my prayers.  A first TD!

And then Josh Huff appeared to be seriously injured in the first quarter.  Not good, not good at all.

But there he was in the second-half!  Hauling in a long pass from Mariota to answer the marvelous Bishop Sankey.

Just wow...

What happened?  Phil Knight must have intervened, laid hands upon the stricken.

Yeah, that's it...


Friday, October 11, 2013

America 101

In case you missed this nearly decade old reportage wherein the Aussie "communist" Pilger eviscerates America's biggest fascist, Bill Kristol, the moron Doug Feith, and the idiot John Bolton.

Glory be, Pilger!  Glory be!

What Pilger says stands today.



Watching the Cincinnati vs. Temple game tonight, I was struck by the symbolism of Ralph Abernathy IV's role on Cincy's team.

He is of course the grandson of Ralph Abernathy II, who was with Martin Luther King when the great civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis in 1968.

Until the 1960s, blacks could not play football at major universities in the South.

That reality was not all that long ago.  We must be vigilant today, as there are people who would like to roll back the clock on much of what has changed since then.

They are dangerous, and they are positioned to cause real damage.


Act Three

(Coming Oct. 26)

It is fitting that the prelude in Portland author Charles Deemer's new book of poems for RBP is a six-part homage to his last best friend, his rat terrier, Sketch.

Mr. Deemer, 73, is in his seventeenth and final year of teaching screenwriting at Portland State University. He is of that age when most men, and particularly writers, begin to look back to assess what has happened over the course of their lives and careers.

It is then usually, if he is still working, that the writer's utterances begin to flow from a source that in earlier decades could not have been considered, except on those occasions when his contemplation was forced to achieve a literary purpose by answering a fundamental problem of creativity. 

How does a young writer suppose to know anything at all about growing old? 

For a young writer those truths, if they can be called that, are resultant of observation and educated guesswork. The thought of becoming a septuagenarian is an abstraction, something hoped-for perhaps--given all the possible ways a life may end early--even planned-for, but nonetheless it is centered in a condition that can best be described as dreamlike--the imagination unleashed toward survival.

And so we speak of the three stages of a good life well-spent, or the acts in a good drama, for there are ways in which the imagination and reality reflect and mimic each other.  The artist seeks out and delineates those reflections. 

Beginning some two decades ago, Mr. Deemer's focus switched from writing for the stage to screenwriting. The period happened to roughly coincide with his mid-career switch from drinker to abstainer, a calculated decision to live longer in order to complete the body of work that hadn't a chance otherwise--his second act ended and his third commenced with Deemer hospitalized, forced into a reckoning.

He came out with literary guns blazing, remarried, settled down, comported with a number of true friends who have not survived him, and started teaching again--really teaching, developing an analysis of screenplay composition that put him in the academic vanguard.  He'd succeeded by optioning numerous screenplays, some repeatedly, but had never seen one of his works find the screen.  That didn't stop PSU from coming to him with an offer to teach the craft of screenwriting to its students based on his development of one of the first online screenwriting courses in cyberspace.  Industry insiders praised the course and Deemer's approach to screenwriting and the class took off, becoming one of the most popular in PSU's English department.   

Understand that we are speaking here of a prodigious amount of work over a long career, and it has sprawled in varied expressions and forms over the years, but before he began to concentrate on writing for the stage, the Deemer in act one had published short stories and journalism in a variety of publications, from nationally recognized literary magazines to business journals.  His second act, or mid-career, could be said to center on the stage works that gave him regional notoriety, while act three can be loosely regarded as the post-drinking, screenwriting guru phase, which would evolve into the novel-writing and poetry phase of the past decade and the present.

In 2011, the poems that became In My Old Age began to appear at Deemer's online journal, Writing Life II (recently mothballed as Deemer contemplates retirement and "downsizing" his workload).  I approached the writer with an offer I wasn't at all sure he'd be interested in.  Would he be willing to allow me the opportunity to publish them through Round Bend Press, as I sought to expand this platform beyond my own self-published offerings?  Much to my delight, Deemer said yes.

I had one advantage; I'd helped K.C. Bacon bring out Deemer's Ten Sonnets through Bacon's Irvington Press way back in 1994, so I guess the poet believed, at least in part, that I might have something to offer in the way of treating his material with the appropriate care a book of poems deserves.  

Then the author had another idea (he is not short on those).  Would I be interested in his new novel, Sodom, Gomorrah & Jones?   We published SG&J in 2012.  Along with another of the author's best novels, Kerouac's Scroll,  it is among my favorite works by Mr. Deemer.

On Oct. 26, Deemer's 74th birthday, we will publish his fifth book for RBP, A Majority of One, which begins with these Sketch poems. In the third act, before the curtain falls, some important discoveries are made and announced in them, and a career, while not yet over, is certainly given yet another stamp of meaning.  

The Order of the Universe

Tossing and turning in the gray morning,
unable to sleep, not ready to rise,
it is Sketch who jumps on the bed
and decides the day has begun.
I get up without argument,
let him out, and when he returns
I am at one end of the couch,
reading the paper on my Fire.
Sketch jumps up on the other end
and goes back to sleep, which
always makes me smile. This
is our reveille for a new day.

The World According To Sketch

Since I know nothing
about almost everything
I take great pleasure in
understanding the significance
of Sketch's dance at the door
and the dire consequences
if I ignore it.

Letting him out
to do his business
is the closest I come
to finding purpose
in the universe.

Sketch Wins

Often around 3 a.m.
Sketch rattles his collar
to inform me he wants to go out
and when we come back in
we both return to bed.

But sometimes, like this morning,
he'll soon jump onto the bed
and get in my face
as if to say, Hey
I have more to do.

This is Sketch at his best
following his natural energy
a persistent teacher, reminding
me of the first law of existence:
Nature wins.

When Sketch Sleeps

Watching our rat terrier
curled up against a pillow
on a chair in the bedroom
I am overwhelmed by
a sense of stillness, silence,

My species has
made an art form of
disrupting harmony.
Sketch, happily
oblivious, simply gets
comfortable, closes his eyes,
and brings me and
the world the gift
of tranquility.


Since this dog
Kindred spirit
Entered my life,
The world is
Charged with
Humorous comfort


I used to think that writing
is the best thing that I do

until I decided that teaching
is the best thing that I do

but lately I've been thinking
the best thing that I do is

feeding the dog.

What else suggests such
order in the universe?


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Give Me Eight

What the big boys say--being Gemmell and Miller at ESPN.

They're pretty much together on all but one of their picks. Gemmell has WSU beating OSU in what should be a very entertaining passfest. I'll go with WSU as well, just a hunch because the game is in Pullman.

Expert as they are, they both take Oregon.  I take Oregon, and keep my fingers crossed.

An Oregon loss this weekend wouldn't be as crushing as last year's late-season OT loss to Stanford at Autzen--nothing is comparable to that in my experience, not even the loss to Auburn in the 2011 NC game.

At Washington this weekend a loss would hurt just a little bit, but I take Oregon by a TD.  This season is young, with the tough games acomin.'

Is Oregon any good?  Remember, they haven't played anybody.

Will the Lyerla fiasco count for anything?

Last year, after Stanford, I couldn't get out of bed for a week, so saddened was I by the blown opportunity. Oregon was ranked number 1 going into the game and poised for a shot at Notre Dame.

Oregon flat out wilted and Chip Kelly didn't help matters by constantly, stubbornly, maddeningly running plays to Stanford's strength--its D-line.

Oregon needed  to attempt to pass more.  Kelly went all conservative like Rick Santorum.

Woe is me...

Notre Dame used its lucky charms to play in the championship game, the ridiculous result of a computerized system fueled by money and tradition and which hadn't anything at all to do with the relative strengths of the teams at the top of college football.

Welcome to this year's crappy system--same as it ever was--the last before a four team playoff commences next year, which btw is still a crock.

And not solely because Condi Rice, that bright moron, may be involved.

Eight or bust.

Eight, I say.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Chris Pilon of Houston passes this along in memory of the late Toshi Seeger.


Put a Spell on You

Great song.  Great movie.


Monday, October 7, 2013

The Good Fighter


The great one telling it like it is.




Colt vs. Oregon

Of late I haven't been wrong about much in my thinking. Sometimes I amaze myself.  I'm really a lot brighter than Dooley gives me credit for. On Friday, I wrote this regarding Oregon's football team and what I see as its stellar team cohesion and mentality:

You never really know, because so much of it is hidden from public view, but it seems like Oregon has a great mentality this season.  A cohesiveness and team concept that is sterling.  It's pretty clear that Oregon's style is to tell its kids that hard work is mandatory inside the program.  If you can't do that, pack your bags. An interesting aspect of any program you follow is to watch the end of the season and see who disappears and ascertain why. Many kids don't like to sit on the bench in college after being stars in high school, so attrition plays into the game. Some simply decide college isn't for them.

We didn't have to wait for the end of the season, did we?  Sunday, Colt Lyerla quit, packed his bags.  One, he didn't abide by the Oregon credo of hard work all the time.  Two, college was the wrong place for him.

This hurts the team for now, but it is best for the program going forward.

Ted Miller agrees with me because he works for ESPN and I work for Round Bend Press.


Documentary Weekend

Hadn't seen this until this weekend.  Here's the full five-part doc at Top Documentary.


Whoo Hoo!

What a glorious weekend.

It all started when I went to the store and bought a box of Krusteaz pancake mix, a jar of Skippy's peanut butter, a container of generic Safeway maple syrup, and a dozen eggs.

It had been a long time since I made one of my fall-back breakfasts.

You know this one, right?  You mix the pancake mix with water and grill the cakes to golden brown over medium heat.  When you plate them, you slather the cakes with peanut butter while you're heating up a vial of syrup.

Meanwhile, you have the eggs sizzling to sunny in another pan.

Boom, when it's all ready you place the sunny eggs atop the slathered cakes and drizzle all of it with the syrup.

Nothing better in this world.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Beaverton, Ha Ha...

I just saw an ad pop up as I was browsing a story online and it struck me as funny: Retire in Beaverton!, it exclaimed.

I live in Portland.  Beaverton is an incorporated city nearby, home to Nike Empire and other notable companies.  It is a sprawling community of single-family homes and a barely identifiable downtown core dominated by car lots and small businesses peddling the quaint and insignificant.

It's a bedroom community, striving to identify as something else, something more localized.

The auto rules the place; its streets are wide and unfriendly.  To walk there is to stroll in a concrete desert. In short, Beaverton has a lot to offer as a workplace, but a couple of freeways and space-eating commuter roadways gut its essence and make it particularly unappealing to the eye and soul--not to mention walkers.

The planners messed it up years ago, creating a plainly unattractive Nowheresville.

It hasn't anything to offer, though it is serviced in part by Tri-Met's trains and buses, which is not enough to entice.

Retire in Beaverton!

Good lord, no way!


Friday, October 4, 2013


Without Chuckie, Utah State was doomed.

I wanted so badly to see those Mormons of BYU go down, too.

But wait, the game is at Romney Field in Logan?

Never mind...



It is as if my adulation of Chuckie Keeton and his name cursed him tonight, as he went down with what looks like a serious knee injury late in the first quarter of the Utah State/BYU game.

My bad, Chuckie.  I am sorry.



Nice win for UCLA last night in a tough and entertaining road game.  I don't think there is any doubt that Hundley and Mariota are the cream of the crop at QB in the West, though you can make a case for OSU's Mannion, who is an advanced pro-style pocket passer and likely has a bright career in the NFL ahead of him.

If you're into the statuesque throwers, like Manning and Brady, Mannion is the guy. He also has the benefit of a world-class receiver in Brandin Cooks who can get open any time he wants to it looks like.

But as you know, I also like Chuckie Keeton of Utah State.  He can throw and run, and has the great handle.  Chuckie, baby.  How's it goin'?

In fact, Chuckie plays tonight.  I'm gonna check that out.

Stanford's Kevin Hogan and Washington's Keith Price are a couple of other good ones, and they face off tomorrow night in what ought to be the most interesting game in the West, one I'm certainly looking forward to for a lot of reasons.

The Texas/Iowa State game last night was also great from a fan's perspective.  Came down to the last play, and that is always good fun.  It's nice to not care who wins, though I found myself rooting for ISU because who doesn't like a bunch of unheralded recruits knocking the crap out of the bigger, supposed better athletes that riddle Texas's roster?  In fairness to Texas last night, the Longhorns were playing with their number two QB and that is always problematic, but they pulled the game out with some nice defensive work.

You never really know, because so much of it is hidden from public view, but it seems like Oregon has a great mentality this season.  A cohesiveness and team concept that is sterling.  It's pretty clear that Oregon's style is to tell its kids that hard work is mandatory inside the program.  If you can't do that, pack your bags. An interesting aspect of any program you follow is to watch the end of the season and see who disappears and ascertain why. Many kids don't like to sit on the bench in college after being stars in high school, so attrition plays into the game. Some simply decide college isn't for them.

One advantage Oregon has is that by being so good a lot of players get on the field, and that keeps some of the kids happy enough.  But the point is they all want to be stars, and that never happens.  Some will choose to leave for a second chance elsewhere.

Look at Oregon in that regard.  If Mariota, just a RS Soph., chooses to return next year, his two talented backups will likely evaluate where they stand in a whole new light.  They're both good, one of them might choose to leave to find a more competitive situation. Oregon has had some very good players leave in the past, including Lache Seastrunk and Tra Carson, two Texans who went home.

Anyway, the sun is shining today after a couple of dismal weeks of clouds and rain.  I don't feel one-hundred percent, but I wonder who does these days?



This is just plain sick.  It speaks for itself, and it is just so, so wrong given what actually happened.  In the letters section, there is some argument as whether these morons knew what they were applauding, but it is still inexcusable on a lot of levels.  In any crisis, one's true nature comes forth, and these guys demonstrated their natures with absolute clarity.

It is an example of what I write in the post below, "A Step," about the fear and fantasies that govern their lives and thus, sadly, ours.

Pathetic, but what do you expect from this nest of assholes?


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Go Utah!


Why the UCLA vs. Utah game, of course.

Should be a good one.


A Step

It truly is amazing how dysfunctional the U.S. has become, and it is no small wonder that the greater portion of educated and ordinary citizens in the advanced industrial nations look at us and shake their heads.

Where else among the advanced nations can a man easily work for fifty years at jobs that callously exploit him for the betterment of the wealthy and be subjected to such indignity in the endgame?

The bastards who rule this farce are propped up by politicians who are bought and paid for like a bag of groceries at the local supermarket.

In return, the politicians are allowed to return again and again to the halls of power to defend and perpetuate the crimes of the few against the majority, who only want to be left alone and not be bugged by the fear, foibles, and fantasia of the ruling class and its perception that there is something more to be taken from this world than a last breath.

To the rulers I say no thanks, I have my own trio of ghosts, and my class consciousness is equal to yours.

The perception might be worth a plug-nickle if it accounted for the poor elderly, the mad, the neglected, the unemployed, the underemployed, the children who are piling up at the edges like so many trinkets in a Goodwill store.

Those Americans who have a piece of the pie laud the rulers and think they're great, or bitch about an opposition manufactured from the residue of a dissimilar ideology, which upon closer examination is not much different at all because its weight is measured by money, money, money.

"Let us now praise famous men," indeed.

If the politics become too heavy, the money too fleeting, the unwashed forgive the politicians and turn to a God who will save them in the end, Amen, joining hands with the very provocateurs who abuse them--and the myths are drawn out further and coveted.

The myths of American exceptionalism and America as world savior. The denial of history itself makes these myths possible and obscene. America is exceptional all right--for its growing disparity of wealth, its weaponry poised for annihilation, its record of genocide, and its burgeoning secret agents and police.

You can have your exceptionalism--just don't expect me to buy your mythology or even like you, for I truly am free of your hubris.

I received a letter in the mail yesterday, a good letter, one I have hoped for off and on with regularity since first I entered adulthood. The letter says that beginning January 1, 2014 I will have health care. I am happy. I am an American, I believe I deserve this.

I labored for fifty years, like the vast majority of Americans in my working-class cohort.  In all that time I had a grand total of two jobs, short-term as it happened, that offered health care.  But most of the people I worked for in all likelihood couldn't afford the larceny of the insurers and in some cases couldn't even afford me.  I recognized that boat when we were oaring it together, which was fine.

To you this might be a record of failure.  To me it is simply what happened.

But I cannot help but reflect on all the tax money I paid out in my working life--yes, I paid my share Thurston--that went not for a decent worker-oriented nationalized health care system in this country but rather for a chain of inept wars fought to extend empire. A legacy of waste created by the very hubris that controls us even now.

The first in my memory was Vietnam, and of course it led to a disaster from which the powerful learned nothing.

I and millions of other workers from that era paid for that war and subsequent disasters that did not buy us an ounce of freedom, which was the avowed intent at the time, but which we soon learned was a crock of shit--another myth.

Now such wars are fought not for our freedom, but rather for our "national interests," i.e., the interests of multinational corporations and their followers.  Nobody in power bothers to make bones about it now. Freedom is the right to own and invest in a big bank now, a shiny beacon on a hill of beans.

So other wars have and will follow in abundance.

The Vietnam War was fought for money, money, money, and the aggrandizement of the few, whose real intent was profit and exploitation.

Believe it or not.

I would have rather my taxes bought health coverage and a few other more noble accouterments at the time, but then I had no real choice in the matter.

With health care reform we have taken one small, albeit overly compromised/bureaucratized step forward, but it is a worthwhile step nonetheless.

Now to stop the greedy bastards who would have it otherwise.  You know who they are, because they don't really discuss health care as much as they do the biggest myth of all--which is that the poor deserve their scorn and there is nothing to be done about poverty that markets cannot avail.

When in history has that utopia ever proved correct?


Wednesday, October 2, 2013


The iron grip of the NCAA  is about to be loosened.

The truth is I don't know the answer to this dilemma, but some sort of compromise is in order. The biggest snag involves how most college sports, chained to the NCAA by Federal Title IX legislation and other regulations, become part of the equation if a form of disbursement is created.

How will it be implemented?

Football and basketball, the major revenue-generating sports at the big schools, finance myriad other teams across the board. Swimming, rowing, wrestling, baseball, etc., do not generate sustainable income at most schools, except in rare circumstances.

The baseball coaches at both Oregon and Oregon State have created strong programs of late, for example, but neither is self-sufficient. They rely on the revenue generated by football and basketball contracts with the networks, ticket sales, merchandising, and even some donor money.

In a true laissez-faire system unprofitable sporting events, like any other controlled endeavor, wouldn't exist. But that is not our system, despite what certain politicos would like you to believe.  If it was, Wall Street would have been done in 2008 and the entire concept of the "public good" in society would implode instantaneously.

This deal will be interesting to follow, and finding a satisfactory solution will be difficult.  Some argue college sports need to be abolished, except at the club level.

Perhaps that is where we'll ultimately land.

But good luck until then.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Machine


Say Hey!

I haven't been able to listen to baseball on the radio with any conviction for years.

I think this started when color TV took over and I grew accustomed to seeing games that approximated, in a grainy or blurred fashion early on, the experience of being at the ball park.

I didn't own a color TV until I was well into adulthood, but I could watch games in a bar or at a friend's house and I always managed to get my fill.  By then the picture was a lot better, too.

Not like today's HD, but better.

Here it is years later. I don't have a TV these days either, but the radio is an option I'm not much interested in because TV spoiled me and I've lost my ear, the concentration it takes to follow a radio broadcast.  If you don't follow the game closely on the radio it becomes background noise, a distraction.

I have a similar experience with music.  I must listen intently or a composition loses meaning for me.

I last listened to baseball regularly on a tiny transistor radio back in the early sixties.  I'd find the San Francisco Giants on one of the super stations that carried all the way up to my home town, the tiny enclave of Sweet Home, Oregon.

I had no problem following the action back then.  I was riveted, able to visualize every move on the field.  I saw everything in black and white.

Willie Mays making a great play in centerfield?  Who couldn't see that formulated from words?

Yeah, I'd like to go back in time and do it all over...listen to the call...Say Hey!

Remind me again.  Who's playing tonight?


Question of the Day

Why is rent day always so near and payday so far away?