The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller

There are certain artists whose legacy is a product both of variety and extent; like Proteus, the Greek sea god whom Homer called The Old Man of the Sea, they present to us both an ever-changing aspect, and one too vast to be grasped at once.

Lead Belly, singing for children.Read full post »

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas. Just as his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination begins to gain traction, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is facing criticism from animal rights groups and death penalty opponents over his practice of cooking squirrels in a popcorn popper while a college s… Read full post »

MARLBORO, Mass.  It’s Sunday night at the New England Skating Center, and Butchie Dorr is casting a longing glance at a Pee-Wee Hockey tournament final that’s about to begin in one of this facility’s eight ice rinks.

“No fair–that’s an illegal tutu!&rd

Read full post »
JANUARY 26, 2015 8:07AM

Put the Magic Back in Your Marriage!

Sex is the glue that holds a marriage together, because it requires husband and wife to touch each other and it’s sticky. Unfortunately, over time, many spouses drift apart because they run out of this glue, with disastrous consequences.

Diane von Furstenberg: He got bored with this?

Whe… Read full post »

In a seminal article collected in “Jazzmen,” E. Simms Campbell pointed out that there was once (in 1939) as many styles of blues piano as there were American cities with black musicians and pianos in them; there was of course, New Orleans style, but native strains developed in Memphis, St… Read full post »

GLENDALE, Arizona. As the NFL considered fines against the New England Patriots and their head coach Bill Belichick for under-inflating footballs in last week’s AFC Championship Game, insiders say the league has ignored evidence of cheating by the three-time Super Bowl winner for years.

Read full post »

JANUARY 24, 2015 10:24AM

What's a Man For?

It’s an age-old question, that defies analysis,
and leads to a certain mental paralysis.
One I ask myself as I stare out the door:
“What, after all, I am here for?”
If the wife’s within earshot, she’ll promptly respond
With an answer that won’t strike most ears as fond:… Read full post »

Pat Patriot, the mascot of the New England Patriots, has been arrested in a prostitution sting.

                                  &nRead full post »

It’s happened to me twice lately.  I send someone a gift, in one case a book of my poems because a woman asked me for it, in the second a copy of A.J. Liebling’s The Sweet Science because a young man I’ve sponsored on a trip to South America told me… Read full post »

JANUARY 21, 2015 7:38PM

The Greenfather

Italian authorities seized $1.9 billion in “green” investments made by La Cosa Nostra to launder money.


I’ve been recycling since a college roommate first introduced me to the activity that has become a secular religion for me. Whenever my wife throws away a plastic ketchup… Read full post »

Accountancy has a good claim to being the world’s oldest profession.  

Edward Chancellor, Wall Street Journal review of “Double Entry” by Jane Gleeson-White


We were hanging around, me and my buddies Ug and Nutz, trying to resist the inexorable tide of evolution.&nbs… Read full post »

Dolphins and elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror, an ability that has made them seem humanlike.

The Moral Arc, Michael Shermer

“Humans have feelings?  Scree!  That’s a good one!”


I was hanging around the pool, enjoying myself while I waited for the… Read full post »

NEW YORK.  The National Football League’s investigation into whether the New England Patriots improperly deflated footballs in their 45-7 AFC Championship Game victory over the Indianapolis Colts today hit a snag, literally and figuratively, when it was determined that D’Qwell Jackso… Read full post »

NATICK, Mass. Lines began to form outside The Gnarly Gamer, a store in this suburb west of Boston, at 4:30 this morning in anticipation of “Grand Theft Auto: Massachusetts”, the latest release of one of the most successful videogames in history. “It’s gonna be wicked awesome,&… Read full post »

Dance, according to Robin Collingwood, was the original art form, and are you really going to argue with a guy who has been referred to as “the best known neglected thinker of our time”?  I didn’t think so.

The Dance Class, by Edgar Degas


All things considered, if… Read full post »

JANUARY 18, 2015 4:22PM

Me and Jim the Wonder Dog

A trip back to my boyhood home in Missouri presents me with an opportunity to visit with Jim the Wonder Dog, the most famous native of my hometown with the possible exceptions of Dale Carnegie and Scott Joplin.

“C’mon Jim–let’s go conjugate some irregular French verbs.&Read full post »

JANUARY 18, 2015 12:12PM

The Grade School Fixer

Like many citizens of the over-regulated nation that America has become, I didn’t even realize I was a criminal until after I’d read the law. My third grade teacher gave everybody a little pamphlet entitled “An Examination of Conscience,” and it was only after scanning down to… Read full post »

NGORZSKL, Freedonia. The Freedonian Bourski, the central bank of this land-locked European country, announced Friday that it will no longer back the flemux, the official currency, with weasels for the first time since the nation was formed after World War II with parts of Poland, Czechoslovakia and… Read full post »

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen had “to hold really still whilst makeup was applied to her armpits.”

                    The Boston Herald

It was 6:30 a.m., and my CD player-alarm clock sounded the op… Read full post »

JANUARY 15, 2015 4:56PM

Your Food Freshness Safety Advisor

Have a question about a multi-colored piece of cheese in the fridge?  Stomach rumbling from a heaping helping of leftover tuna noodle casserole?  Before you head for the bathroom, ask Your Food Freshness Safety Advisor for help!

Dear Food Freshness Safety Advisor:

Yesterday, I made… Read full post »

BOSTON.  A year ago, Emily Nednick was a rising star at the law firm where she worked, churning out billable hours and working on sensitive assignments for established clients.  Then, a casual comment caused it all to come crashing down around her.

“Why didn’t I stick toRead full post »

SEPULVEDA, California.  Thomas “Tom” Freeb, bass guitar player for My  Unicorn’s Knightmare, an antacid rock band of the 60′s, died yesterday of  complications from adenoid surgery.  He was 71.

Tom and Tim Freeb with guitars in their first Read full post »

MALCZW, Freedonia. In this land-locked, vowel-starved country, many residents have never even seen a lawyer, much less retained one. “It is both a blessing and a curse,” says tribal chieftain Mzrz Glzorp. “We do not have to listen to boring dweebzskis in wing tips, on the other hand… Read full post »

JANUARY 13, 2015 8:19AM

Scooter & Skipper Blow Things Up!

Okay--you've been following the adventures of Scooter & Skipper on Open Salon since the second administration of the second Bush--for free.  Now it's time to pay the piper, or at least the crazy guy on the corner banging on the plastic buckets.

 Scooter & Skipper


Today is release day for SRead full post »

NEW YORK.  For Fred Hollingsworth, an investment banker whose four-and-a-half-decade career will come to an end tonight at a farewell dinner that will be attended by scores of colleagues, it was never about the money.  “I always told young kids starting out to take the long view,&rdqu… Read full post »