Monthly Archives: January 2014

When the shooting comes off the screen….

When the shooting comes off the screen….

Another shooting, this time in a Tampa, Florida movie theater.

If only there had been a Good Guy, possibly someone connected to law enforcement with a gun in that theater, this tragedy could have been averted…

Oh, the shooter was a retired cop? Can’t wait to hear NRA’s explanation for this.


RIP Phil Everly

Sad news that Phil Everly, half of the one of greatest harmony duos ever, passed away today.

Always thought the  Beatles owed much to the Everlys; some their best early songs mixed the Brothers’ harmonies with the drive of Chuck Berry.

Here’s the Everly Brothers “Love Hurts”

And the Beatles “She Loves You”

David Brooks is in the weeds


After reading David Brooks’ column in today’s New York Times, I have a theory.

It was minutes before deadline, and what with all the holiday doings, David Brooks had put off writing his column. Sitting at his desk New Year’s Day, suffering from a hangover, he had nothing. The phone was ringing, his editor wondering where the damn copy is.  He panicked. But instead of pulling up some evergreen story he kept in his hip pocket for days like this, he typed up a dimly remembered “Just Say No” lecture and hit send.

It’s got everything you remember from the most laughable hygiene class anti-drug “rap session” (or a “very special episode” of a Reagan-era sitcom). First, he tries to establish his “I was cool once, really” bona fides: he opens by admitting he used to get high. Why, he even has fond memories of those days—proving, I guess, that pot does not impair memory. At least if you’re David Brooks. But then, David Brooks, and his pot-smoking pals, whose  bro-ship had been deepened by their group inhalations—giggling conspiratorially whenever Brewer and Shipley’s “One Toke Over the Line” came on the radio, and dreaming how cool it will be when they can light up pipes with real tobacco—came to their senses and stopped smoking that weed.


And David Brooks is a Very Serious Person, sitting on his perch on the Times’ Op-Ed Pages, handing down advice to those unlucky enough not to be David Brooks. While getting high with his buds was fun, but it was not for Very Serious Personages such as himself. As everyone who is David Brooks knows, the whole point of getting stoned is to act really stupid. Even worse,  David Brooks had a traumatic experience while stoned. He tried to give a book report and was “incapable of putting together simple phrases,” which left him feeling like “a total loser.” It’s a memory that haunts him to do this day (more proof that weed doesn’t affect memory…It’s also odd that a man who lives in fear of being depantsed  while delivering his thoughts to a large audience would become a NYTimes Op-Ed columnist).

But not everyone is David Brooks, unable to develop “higher pleasures.”

(I’ll leave that phrase hanging for a moment, so you can appreciate its unintended beauty.)

They can’t comprehend  Very Serious Ideas, because they haven’t become “integrated and interesting.” So David Brooks has come up with a theory: “Weed Was Fine for Me But Not For Thee.” Since David Brooks has smoked the wacky tabacky and decided it wasn’t for him, it’s not for you either. People should seek out more David Brooks-approved,  “uplifting forms of pleasure.”

(again, I’ll leave you a second to again admire his tin ear)

So of course the new laws legalizing pot in  Colorado and Washington State have David Brooks very worried. After all, not everyone has had the benefit of being David Brooks, or even reading him, and some of them might go to a dispensary, and buy weed just as easily as David Brooks buys a martini. David Brooks wants them to be discouraged.

More than the condescending attitude (which comes with the territory when you’re reading David Brooks), is the way he embraces the worst aspects of nanny state conservatism.  For the column’s kicker,  he’s forced to admit that even though Colorado and Washington are “enhancing personal freedom,” it’s not a freedom David Brooks thinks you should have. They’re also enhancing a “moral ecology in which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be.”

I may not be the person I wanted to be, but I’m glad I’m not a small-minded person like David Brooks.



















Missed my first deadline…..

Not a good way to start. But to paraphrase Ernie Banks, tomorrow let’s post two!

Because I don’t want to be the last person on earth without a web presence….

I’ve been threatening to do this for a while. And more than a few friends have wondered why its taken this long. But I decided to pull the trigger today, in part so that I can say I’ve followed at least one of my New Year’s resolutions. So here we are: day one of the Mirkintile Exchange, my own personal plot of the blogosphere. 


I’ve been planning this for a while. Planning might be too strong a word. I’ve been contemplating this, which is a whole different matter. Sketching it out in my mind, making mental notes and, true to form, waiting until the last possible minute to really do anything about it. So this is very much a work-in-progress. Right now I’m leaning toward viewing it as my digital office, a place I have to show up everyday and produce my quota of 750 words. Reviews, essays, the occasional reported piece, arts, politics, humor, spleen, and bouts of conscience. 


I’m excited (and a little scared). 


NP: The Band, Rock of Ages (recorded New Year’s Eve 1971). Image


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