20 Jun 2014

Out Of The Frying Pan

“Well, ya got trouble, my friend right here, I say trouble right here in River City*…..”   In the musical The Music Man, the story’s central character, a con artist, convinces the town in turn of the 20th century Iowa that the local pool hall is turning the town’s youth

07 Mar 2014

“Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!”

In B. Traven’s 1927 novel, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, part of the plot involved outlaws pretending to be police in order to murder the American gold prospectors for whatever loot they could steal. In the novel, Bob Curtin asks them for identification to which one of them replied:

22 Feb 2014

Emulating Gabriel Heatter

Author’s Note-This was supposed to be a column about the monthly meeting of the Sierra Club and its program. It developed into something else and I was powerless to stop it. *Look for the silver lining, whene’er a cloud appears in the blue Remember somewhere the sun is shining, and

29 Nov 2013

Remembering Jane Kean

Author’s Note: my dear friend, Shayan Elahi, messaged me “It’s Thanksgiving. Write something.” Since we are both rabid fighters for social justice I’m sure that he expected me to write about the Simon Legree Big Box stores and their attitudes toward their employees. I do that kind of stuff every

30 Sep 2013

Oh, What A Tangled Web …

  Things are not always as they seem … Back in April of 2011 I wrote an article called “Watch The Sound Of My Voice (Never Mind What My Hands Are Doing)” in which I alluded to our current president as the best Three Card Monte man or Pea in

07 Sep 2013

Stoonts…..First? Don’t Make Me Laugh!

You have to love Al Capp. He was one of the most outspoken social critics of the mid twentieth century; he made no bones about it, and he did it through his art-the comics. He was the creator of Li’l Abner, the proverbial fish out of water and his comic

31 Aug 2013

Alan Grayson at the Hungry i

“Comedy is a serious business. A serious business with only one purpose-to make you laugh” W.C.Fields If you’re of a certain age you remember the Hungry i, the legendary San Francisco club where a whole slew of comedians and musicians got their start. Founded in 1950 the club operated through

03 Aug 2013

Six Not So Angry Women

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts……”   As You Like it by William Shakespeare   Prologue I’m often fascinated by the way life imitates art, or how

30 Jul 2013

The Time Is Now

  The Time is now, and not tomorrow, to find that we can cure our sorrows……. The Time is Now©   by Jerry Waxman 1960 It’s the first line of a song I wrote 53 years ago on the death of Billie Holiday. I never finished the lyric. Perhaps someday I

11 Jun 2013

It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature

It’s Alive! It’s Alive!!!!! Science does have its drawbacks. One of them is how we view scientists themselves. For several generations, because of science fiction stories, comic books and popular movies there is a perception out there of the “Mad Scientist” such as The Invisible Man, or Captain Marvel’s evil