iN CaSe You'Re WoNDeRiNG

Nate's Blog


New York, New York,
December 31
I'm a musician, blogger, and like to fancy myself an entrepreneur, filmmaker, and travel blogger . I use Open Salon to post thoughts that I feel pertain to broader cultural dialogues in the US, most recently the state of jazz, my chosen profession.

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As I wrote this week, living in the City doesn't have to be a constant struggle.

But there are times when you want to escape.

Consider this the second, hopefully shorter, installment in my growing series on life hacks. In this chapter, dear reader, I'll focus on the lessons I've learned… Read full post »

JULY 1, 2013 2:28PM

Four Life Hacks for City Dwellers

Let's get this out of the way. New York City is not for everyone.

If you have no compelling reason to be here - either family or career - and you don't love it, you should probably consider living elsewhere. New York is expensive, crowded, noisy, and a hustle. We know… Read full post »

Below, a letter I sent last week to the Monk Institute.

Small preface-

As you'll read below, I'm too old to take part in jazz' premier (really "only") competition. I felt there was an argument to be made that by enforcing the age limit rigidly, the Institute was actually undermining the… Read full post »

I've struggled to put my finger on exactly why it is that some songs sound perfectly good - they have everything going for them from good beat to clever melody to soulful performances - and others take flight. People have been wrestling with this for centuries - you… Read full post »

The art form we call Jazz just underwent a very public look in the mirror, some of it constructive, some of it - depending on your opinion - not so much. Just days before the start of the brouhaha, I authored a blog post asking whether jazz could use its own/Read full post »

If you're part of the creative arts and you're viewing what I'm willing to bet is changing about your everyday life and your livelihood as separate from the themes of the Occupy Wall Street protests, you're not seeing the complete picture. The fate of the creative arts not only mirrors the graduRead full post »

So Health Care has passed.

And Liberals are getting ready to eat it for the next nine months. To put yourself in our particular frame of mind, imagine you're in a castle (c'mon indulge me).   You look outside and you've got William Wallace' screaming hordes of angry Scots amassing ou/
Read full post »
On the surface of things, the organized Right (by which I mean the network of TV and radio personalities, the enclaves of mostly white, suburban, citizens who listen to them, and, increasingly, every facet of the Republican Party from so called "moderates" like Chuck "Pull the Plug" Grassley right up… Read full post »
From 8/4, the bulletin board at my health reform advocacy group
Last night, Keith Olbermann addressed the two most salient issues confronting health care reform. First, regarding the completely fictitious arguments propogated by Fox News and surrogates of the insurance and drug lobbies-
AUGUST 6, 2009 4:52PM

Join My Health Reform Advocacy Group

I'm starting a Health Care Reform advocacy group on Facebook.  Here's the link.  It's open to anyone with an account, and it's intended to be a catch-all group for anyone favoring serious reform, from single-payer to what's more likely to pass, but wanting to hold congress' collective feet… Read full post »

JUNE 22, 2009 1:44PM

What Krugman's Readers Know

Liberal-in-Chief (and you know I say that with love) and Nobel Laurate Paul Krugman posted an excellent column today highlighting, as I'd hoped someone prominent would, the results of the New York Times/CBS New poll on healthcare, out this weekend.

I really recommend you read the column, as well as th… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 14, 2009 10:36AM

The MTA's Catch 22

Imagine Alan Mullaly, Rick Wagoner and Bob Nardelli, CEOs of the "Big Three" automakers, cooly telling the Senate finance committee that unless congress subsidizes them, they'll be forced to raise prices by 50% on every make and model of car sold in the United States.  Now imagine they're the on… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 24, 2008 7:50AM

Why McCain's Tax Argument Won't Work

I've already made it known one reason I think John McCain's recent envocation of Joe the Plumber and the phrase "spread the wealth around" is a bad idea: it's a retreat from his earlier position. By debating Obama on the tax increase for incomes greater than 250,000, McCain's has tacitly… Read full post »

OCTOBER 23, 2008 3:01PM

My Ayn Rand Aviation Dream

What's the chief concern on my mind as we enter the final fourteen days before a presidential election likely to decide the fate of the free world?

How not to crash a 757, clearly.

Just as Salon was wise to include a bit of Patrick Smithian escapism in every week's sturmRead full post »

OCTOBER 20, 2008 12:53PM

Sucking The Wealth Away

As regular readers of this blog know, I've written quite extensively defending John McCain.  And to his credit he is talking policy this week-fair game as far as I'm concerned.  But once again there's scant little in the mainstream media to balance the blatantly contradictory claims he and… Read full post »

OCTOBER 16, 2008 2:56PM

Joe The Plumber Speaks

This from ABC News....

I thought this was the promo for season seven of The Shield.  Turns out Vic Mackey could probably teach this guy some lessons in civics.

For a great rebuttal to Joe's argument, look to this video, beginning at about 2:54.

OCTOBER 16, 2008 11:33AM

My (Real) Advice for McCain

Two weeks ago Mortimer Hayden Smyth, Open Salon's own Stephen Colbert, posted the hilarious and cathartic video in which he purported to give advice to McCain.

"We're now in the phase of the campaign I like to call the ugly phase," Smyth intoned in his hilarious deadpan.  "It's the phase where… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 15, 2008 11:14PM

No Winners, but McCain Gives it Away

As the pundits scramble to the laptops to file their analyses of the last presidential debate of the 2008 election, I'll save you the suspense. Neither candidate transcended the patina of poll-guided election year talking-point varnish, but John McCain committed a far greater number of "fouls".

I'll… Read full post »

OCTOBER 15, 2008 6:43PM

Forbidden Love - my elevator liaison

Betcha thought this was going to be some kind of sordid confession, didn't ya? Ya, nope. Actually it's my wish list for tonight's debate. With apologies, let's get to it.

1. I'm not going to hold a nerdy little notecard like David Brooks, and I'm not going… Read full post »

OCTOBER 13, 2008 12:18PM

A Dark Appeal

What if a major party candidate ran an overtly racist campaign?  What percentage of the vote would he or she get?

There have been openly racist candidates in the past, like David Duke, but none that were serious contenders.  That may be partly because Duke was a one-issue candidate.  H… Read full post »

OCTOBER 10, 2008 11:45AM

My Ennui-Inducing Week in Mediaville

I used to watch the news and read blogs for catharsis.  It's clear I'm going to have to find a new outlet for escapism.

This morning I've turned to music.  About the only thing that can induce the catharsis of dopamine coursing through my veins is the music of Kanye, Me'Shell… Read full post »

OCTOBER 7, 2008 11:42PM

The Commodity Question

Barack Obama missed a minor opportunity in tonight's debate when one audience member asked him if he viewed insurance as a commodity.  Obama used the question as an opportunity to reiterate the details of his plan and how it differs from McCain's, but he didn't answer the question.

Commodities,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 5, 2008 11:11PM

My Response to Palin's Ayers Remarks

I'll warn you, this is short.

 It's now old news-on Saturday Sarah Palin said voters have a right to enquire into the past of a man who "pals around with terrorists," referring to Weather Underground man William Ayers.

My response:  If it's so important why did the McCain campaign wait unti… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 29, 2008 3:01PM

Buyer's Remorse - the bailout fails

Everyone arguing that the taxpayers don't owe Wall Street 700 billion, and everyone believing that Bernanke's and Paulson's anxiety about the need to act quickly to stanch the bleeding of credit markets was so much hype-just like the Iraq war promoted exactly the same way by exactly the sam… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 28, 2008 11:35PM

A Necessary Evil

I think the version of the bailout that members of both parties agreed to today is probably the best possible solution to a very sticky problem. The most viable, realistic remedy to a situation I believe might clamp down our economy if we were to do nothing.

First, I… Read full post »