Category: Popular Culture

Book #7 in 2018: “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff

Posted February 22nd, 2018
Book #7 in 2018: “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff

For a book that has a signal presence within the critique of the Donald Trump presidency, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Henry Holt and Company, 2018) is an abysmal piece of writing. I watched a few televised interviews and found the author arrogant and obnoxious, not a personality that…

Book #6 in 2018: “City of Endless Night” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Posted February 9th, 2018
Book #6 in 2018: "City of Endless Night" by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

No genetically engineered monsters, no exotic locations, no time-travel: #17 of the Pendergast series, The City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Grand Central Publishing, 2018),  is a good, old-fashioned thriller. Truth be told, Doug Preston is my cousin. I adore him and I think he is a wonderful writer in any genre. I would…

Based in Batignolles 4: Love Locked Down

Posted May 19th, 2017
Based in Batignolles 4: Love Locked Down

The novelist Federico Mocci (b. 1963) published a story in 2006 called Ho Voglia di Te (“I want you”), some variation on the star-crossed lovers theme, in which a doomed pair affix a lock to the Milvian Bridge in the northern suburbs of Rome as a symbol of their eternal devotion, and toss the key…

Based in Batignolles 3: Beyond the Pale

Posted May 13th, 2017
Based in Batignolles 3: Beyond the Pale

Apparently, our neighborhood does not exist. Consult a tourist guide like Eyewitness Paris and there is an empty white space where one might expect to find Batignolles.  The teal-green blob of Montmartre floats in a void separate from the colors that identify the other quartiers of the city. There is the 8ème and not much of…

The Mouth That Would Be President: It Has Been Elected President and I Am Sick

Posted November 9th, 2016
The Mouth That Would Be President: It Has Been Elected President and I Am Sick

When I went to bed, North Carolina had already fallen and I knew the nightmare was about to descend. When I awoke, I watched the numbers on my clock flip toward 6:15 when the radio would click on with the news on WYPR. And it did. And three or four words in, I heard the…

I-35: Minneapolis

Posted October 12th, 2016
I-35: Minneapolis

The Mall of America is… just…horrible. My Dear One suggested we visit. We weren’t in the mood to shop but we were curious about this place that is a destination for visitors from around the world. Parking was well-nigh impossible. There were lots outside and multilevel structures under cover. Having no idea as to how…

Reading Unfriendly: My Barnes & Noble Is Freaking Me Out

Posted June 3rd, 2016
Reading Unfriendly: My Barnes & Noble Is Freaking Me Out

Went to my local Barnes & Noble to pick up a couple copies of Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble (Hachette, 2016).  I had heard most of the interview he did with Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air” and immediately got the book. Just finished it. It’s not only a great read,…

The Mouth That Would Be President, Take 2

Posted March 7th, 2016
The Mouth That Would Be President, Take 2

It was August 13, 2015, exactly six months and twenty-one days ago as I write this, that I published my anxiety about the campaign of Donald J. Trump for the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America. I was told not to worry, that he was a farce, that his campaign would…

The Mouth That Would Be President

Posted August 13th, 2015
The Mouth That Would Be President

I can’t get him off my mind. Normally I spend precisely none of my time thinking about him, watching his television shows or envying him his wealth. He’s bumptious and loud, though, someone more skilled in getting attention than a spoiled toddler in a toy store and the media keep ratcheting up the volume. I…

In Flanders’ Cities 7: Zaventem is where they park the planes

Posted June 2nd, 2015
In Flanders' Cities 7: Zaventem is where they park the planes

Brussels Airport (BRU), technically in Zaventem, [http://www.brusselsairport.be/en/] is busy enough. Brussels, the capital of the European Union, is a convenient crossroads from pretty much any point to any other point in any of the six inhabited Continents and enjoys a largely captive audience. BRU exemplifies the imperialist and bourgeois core of traditional Belgium and the…