All ya’ll realize that Puerto Ricans are American citizens, right? It’s not a foreign country, which is the way I see the press and most people talking about it.


Identify yourself

“When I sketched out the rough idea of it to a friend, he listened carefully and then shook his head. ‘I don’t think you’ve got anything new to say about AIDS, Steve.’ He paused and added, ‘Especially as a straight man.’

No. And no. And especially: no.

I hate the assumption that you can’t write about something because you haven’t experienced it, and not just because it assumes a limit on the human imagination, which is basically limitless. It also suggests that some leaps of identification are impossible. I refuse to accept that, because it leads to the conclusion that real change is beyond us, and so is empathy. The idea is false on the evidence.”

-Stephen King

(That sums up so very well why I despise “only write or make movies about people exactly like you, or you’re irreddeemably evil” line of thought. Funny, it’s like he gets paid to write well or something.)


I’m glad other people get something out of these activities. Truly, I am. But these are things I am just built too differently to understand why anyone likes them or wants them:

  • massage
  • meditation
  • psychotherapy

In the end, I just don’t want people monkeying with me or my mind. I don’t think anyone has much to tell me — including myself. And I’m not interested in telling anyone anything at all, especially for money.

Those above are areas where I am so disconnected from the rest of humanity that I just have no idea what anyone is possibly getting out of those pursuits. I don’t think they are fraudulent (well, not so sure about psychotherapy) or worthless, but it’s a mystery like “What exactly is an electron?” or “Why was that show that used to come on before Lost with the non-funny Belushi brother so very bad?”

Some things one will never understand. Those are my areas of puzzlement, it appears.

In the deeps of N. Florida

Once upon a time, I had a girlfriend who was a little…different.

In those days of yore, I asked her, “Hey, girlfriend, why’s that tower out here in the middle of nowhere? What’s it for?”

It was near her house, you see. I thought she might know since it towered, as towers do, over the landscape.

Her answer was less than illuminating. She said in all seriousness, “They put that tower up so they could put that light on top so planes wouldn’t hit it.”

I think my mind got lost in paradox land that day and never quite recuperated. Thanks, girlfriend of yore, for frying my brain so thoroughly.


Something that just became clear to me that should have been obvious before: economists can’t believe in bubbles because that would mean at some times the market is incapable of setting the correct price — that, essentially, the market is wrong, and wrong for a long while.


At least 80% of why idiot centrists despise single payer is that their fallen hero Hillary Clinton did not have the guts to push for it during the election, though it probably would’ve given her the win easily.

Taste those sour grapes.

Live me Giberty

Even though anyone with a brain knows it is bunk, economists — because their salaries depend on it — will zealously deny that immigration harms anyone’s job prospects.

Once again, historians know this isn’t true. Here’s a sentence from Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty!

Nonetheless, the war [WWI] unleashed social changes that altered the contours of American race relations. The combination of increased wartime production and a drastic falloff in immigration from Europe once war broke out opened thousands of industrial jobs to black laborers for the first time.

In other words, decreasing immigration enormously and directly benefited black Americans.

Look, I am in favor of immigration — at about 1/4 the current rate or so. I think that’s about what is sustainable socially.

Mainly, though, I want the arguments for or against it not to be based on lies and wishful thinking.

Such a Dahl

Why do people look for moral exemplars or moral clarity in artists? Entertainers? Novelists?

Do you really expect to find it there and if so, why? Why is this even important to you?

Artists are by nature transgressive. They have skeletons in their closets. If I ever became a famous writer, they could dig up whole graveyards about me. Without even trying.

Why this need to worship prostrate at the feet of artists and entertainers, and the utter disappointment when they fail to live up to your ideals? Hint: they never, ever will. Any artist worth a damn is transgressive by nature. That doesn’t just stop when they sign off for the evening or put the paintbrush or movie camera down.

No, this isn’t excusing their behavior or their actions. Artists don’t get a pass because of their other talents. But I’m telling you, and it will always be thus, that anyone who is truly creative won’t ever fit in the neat boundaries and delineations you wish to make for them. It just won’t happen.

Is the work good or not? is how I judge a creator. Beyond that, an artist being morally suspect is about what I’d expect to see, else they’d never produce anything worth watching or reading.