The Rambler

A masthead of vagabonds, drunkards, and saints

C. Travis Webb

C. Travis Webb
July 16
Writer, teacher, father, husband--definitely not in that order. If you've got the time, check out


C. Travis Webb's Links
JUNE 14, 2012 2:35AM

The Faster’s Diary – Preface

On June 1st, 2012, I stepped on the scale and was shocked to find a number better suited to a light weight NFL running back: 205 lbs. Sure, I was a long way from the slim-and-trim gym swinging days of my youth, but 205?! That was a big number for… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 30, 2011 3:22AM

The Walking Dead–Season 2

If you didn’t catch my rambler about last season’s finale of this fantastic AMC drama, you can check it out here, and if you haven’t seen the show at all, flog yourself immediately, apply some ointment, then settle down with someone you care to share the darkness with and w… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 23, 2011 3:05AM

Occupy Your Street

Courtesy of Adbusters

Occupy Wall Street knew where it ate, but not where it slept. It knew who its friends were, but not its affections. It knew that somewhere, some lucrous virulence was metastasizing, unchecked within the body, but it knew not where, or how long the patient/
Read full post »
OCTOBER 26, 2011 2:48AM

Drunken American – Bangkok

I wrote the majority of what you’re about to read a few months ago while my wife and I were staying in Bangkok at the tale’s end of a long and luxurious honeymoon. Given The Rambler’s implied immediacy, I feel like this requires some explanation. Normally, my schtick is that… Read full post »

OCTOBER 7, 2011 12:49AM

Steve Jobs

It will, I’m sure, surprise precisely none of you that I didn’t know Steve Jobs in any way. Still, when I learned about his death on Wednesday, I was saddened. This came as quite a surprise to me, since I’m not a sentimental person by nature. Although I enjoy and use… Read full post »

It’s been too-too long. I wish I could say I’ve been furiously penning the next less-than-great American novel, but I haven’t. I’ve done very little in the way of writing, and have grown fat because of it. Back in July, about a month into the drought, I began to wonder… Read full post »

Dear Vagabonds, Drunkards and Saints:

Greetings from the other side of marriage! I am remiss for not writing to you last week, but I was overwhelmed with the responsibilities of my impending nuptials. I was married to Molly R. Gutman–now Molly R. Webb–on June 18th at approximately… Read full post »

JUNE 8, 2011 2:46AM

My Las Vegas Bachelor Party

My first official decision as a newly engaged man was to seize cliché’s warm and comforting bosom with both hands and plant my face in it. Not only was I going to have a traditional bachelor party, I was going to have the most trite and overdone bachelor party imaginable: Vegas,… Read full post »

JUNE 2, 2011 2:16AM

The Tree of Life

I’ve spent a few days chewing over Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” and reading most of the reviews I could find. Normally, I don’t write about movies because I don’t have much to say, and if I do, there’s usually someone who has said it first or s… Read full post »

There was a time I loved San Francisco. Having grown up in a pleasant suburban purgatory, San Francisco’s brooding weather and temperamental streets, which seemed to shift their direction and location from visit to visit, were a welcome West Coast metropole. I’ve mentioned previous… Read full post »

MAY 18, 2011 2:42AM

Shelter and the Storm

It was drizzling this morning when I left. The sky was all misted over, with just enough blue bleeding through to give the low grey clouds a violet pallor. The light shower fell with a windward slant that slicked my just shaved head and nurtured in me a pleasant melancholy, as… Read full post »

MAY 11, 2011 2:10AM


The Germans have words for everything. And when they don’t have a word for something, they simply sew their nouns together and create linguistic monstrosities which are, none-the-less, terrific significations. These ingenious Frankenstein vocabularies often capture the state they’r… Read full post »

I spent most of yesterday figuring out how I felt about the murder of Osama bin Laden, and then tried to find some exactitude in my thinking by writing an article for a local news site. What I came to was some sort of basic discomfort with the idea that the President ofRead full post »

APRIL 27, 2011 2:22AM

Solitude–a sort of parable

As the story goes, around the turn of the 20th century the late German Romantic poet Rainer Marie Rilke was given a copy of the recently translated Buddhist sutra, The Dhammapada, when he was young. He took it up eagerly, but cast it aside quickly–mostly unfinished. His disposal of the s… Read full post »

APRIL 20, 2011 2:48AM

Stories and Storytellers

The first novel I wrote was so bad, I couldn’t even convince my then girlfriend to use it for scratch paper.

“Some of the adverbs might rub off on me,” she said.

“Right,” I said. “So there should be fewer adverbs.”

“Fewer words,” she said.… Read full post »

APRIL 13, 2011 1:54AM

Rambling with You

Jitish Kallat: Public Notice 3 - The Art Institute of Chicago

The word ramble has no definite antecedents, no clear etymology. It’s as if it stumbled in out of the night, raming and half drunk, rabbling the roused with licentious tales of Dutch husbandry. Most importantly for me, however/… Read full post »

APRIL 6, 2011 1:57AM

What’s the Point?

When I sat down tonight, I wasn’t sure how to begin. I’ve re-written the sentence you just read so many times that the pixels on my screen are beginning to bleed through my meaning like some digital palimpsest. The last Rambler I wrote, on Rebecca Black’s ninja ambush of U.S.… Read full post »

MARCH 29, 2011 3:38AM

Rebecca Black

Rebecca Black is a student at my son’s school, and by all accounts she is a pleasant, down-to-earth teenage girl who made a video for her own amusement, which turned out to be the pop anthem of March 2011. It’s a nice story actually, a “Hey, would you like to be in… Read full post »

MARCH 26, 2011 4:47PM

Samuel Johnson – Overdue

On occasion I have mentioned in passing my indebtedness to Samuel Johnson for his invention, but up until now never paid him proper homage. The Rambler was among the first magazines in the English language, and thus one of the first in the world. It ran from 1750 until 1752, and… Read full post »

MARCH 22, 2011 12:56PM

Midnight America

We are a late-arriving generation. Too young for the ignobility of Vietnam, and not even a thought in the mind of our noble forebearers who stormed European beaches and proved that American ingenuity could reduce the enemy to shadows and ash. Those of us born in the 1970′s and after arri… Read full post »

MARCH 19, 2011 8:10PM


Mountains are on the move. The oceans are growing. Vast shelves of ice are phase shifting. The world is unstable, and has always been, but for thousands of years it did not appear so to us. We’ve come of age in the relatively stable Holocene era, roughly equivalent to the last… Read full post »

MARCH 15, 2011 11:52AM

Today at My House

It’s one of those days where I’d rather play horseshoes with hand grenades than write something that will be read by other people. Uninspired: check. Driving down a bumpy road in a cart with a bum wheel and a squeaky axle: check. Sloshing around my house in the backed-up sewage res… Read full post »

MARCH 12, 2011 4:48PM

God Is What God Isn’t

Something isn’t quite right—something amiss. All of the world’s great stories begin with this fundamental sensitivity to disquiet and loss, cast from the garden, the savior gone, the Dharma lost, our ancestors split in twain. This loss spurs the telling of stories, stories that m… Read full post »

MARCH 7, 2011 11:38PM

No Cabin in the Woods

“The morning brings back the heroic ages,” at least, that’s what Thoreau said. I’ve always agreed in principle, even though in practice, mornings make me feel more fugitive than hero. The thing is, I readily assume the hero’s survey of the world–a relatively… Read full post »

MARCH 5, 2011 4:48PM

One-dimensional Man

It is impossible to approach, even remotely, a full accounting of the world’s great books. Of course, most of what gets published is pablum, but that’s okay, since most of life is pap too. Even the much reviled Bloom has something like 1,500 books on his Western Canon list. Honestl… Read full post »