Showing posts from 2022

Boys with Toys Are Killing Us

Kyle Rittenhouse on his way to shooting up a peaceful protest I've been writing versions of this essay as long as I've been blogging (since 2013), and thinking about it for far longer than that. Some of those essays showed up in this space, triggering fusillades (yes, I use those words intentionally) of reactionary denial from the one or two pro-gun followers I have. I have no illusions about my ability to change the minds of such people, nor of the size of my audience--my most-read posts have garnered views in the hundreds, and usually I top out at about two dozen. Be all of that as it may, I'm writing now because I have to. The fear, anger, and disgust that's been simmering within me needs venting, and needs to be out there, whether or not anyone agrees or even reads it. The painfully obvious thesis of this piece: this country has a gun problem, and there doesn't seem to be anything effective that people in power are willing to do about it. Here's a more contr


  That's Patrick Short at the keyboard, yours truly on the djembe. Everyone reading this is a musician. So is everyone not reading this. In fact, I can say with absolute conviction that every human being in the world is a musician. But wait, you're thinking, I don't play an instrument, I never sing in public or even in my car or shower, so how can you call me a musician? It's very simple: even if you no longer make any effort at all to make music of any kind, there was a time in your life when you did. You may no longer remember doing it, but when you were a child, you sang, you banged on things, you organized sound with your mind and performed it with your body. It's part of our hard-wiring as human beings. The first vocal experimentation babies do is singing. From the moment they're physically able, they move their bodies when music is played. And their earliest manipulation of objects is to turn them into percussion instruments. You may have had this trained