Birds and Bees in the 1970s

Yesterday Rob Tannenbaum asked his facebook friends (of which I am one) the following: “A question for people who are roughly the same age as me, and had parents who were desperate to avoid discussing how babies are made: do you remember a small, hardcover book called something like The Miracle of Birth, that was… Continue reading Birds and Bees in the 1970s


For current and recent page-turners, check out my What To Read page. Some others I’ve spent time with this year: Kelly J. Baker Gospel According to the Klan (got to page 84); Roy Richard Grinker Nobody’s Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness (p. 164); Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling A Libertartian Walks Into a Bear:… Continue reading Nightstanding

Things I Said on August 14

2017: Avoided facebook all weekend. Just signed on and got depressed again (for more than one reason.) Not gonna stick around, I don’t think. But seriously — if you’re equating neo-Nazis and KKK with Antifa, please unfriend me now. You’re a moron. (Here, from Elijah Wald, is a useful thread.) And by the way, I… Continue reading Things I Said on August 14

Smokin’ OPs

So I’m just about to stash away at the top of the closet the super-generous box of early ’80s OP magazines (the predecessor of the much more staid and seemingly market-researched Option) that Clifford Ocheltree gifted me through the mail last month (18 of the 26 alphabetically themed issues, in excellent condition), and I’m sitting… Continue reading Smokin’ OPs

Smells Like Teen Nothing #3

I’ve always been fascinated by baseball superstitions — don’t step on the foul line, don’t mention a no-hitter before it’s done, don’t (or do) have sex the day you’re playing, Mark Fidrych talking to the ball and squatting down on all fours to pile up pitching mound dirt just right, Moises Alou urinating on his… Continue reading Smells Like Teen Nothing #3

Creem, Recurdled

Well what do you know, Creem is back! Again. Good luck to them, but I’m not sure I’ll think they’re “doing it right” until they offer me a regular column. This week’s cover-story-lengthed Detroit Metro Times piece touches on the obsolete “rockn’roll magazine” objections I’m already hearing (Jann “Uhelszki adds that while it will feature… Continue reading Creem, Recurdled

Things I Said on May 25

2014: Finished The Wars Of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era by Douglas R. Egerton last night; final two chapters were easier than the rest, which may indicate I’m a bigger historiography fan than previously assumed. Halfway through The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault On America’s Children by… Continue reading Things I Said on May 25

Smells Like Teen Nothing #1

My wife and daughter went to Houston for the weekend, which always presents a bit of a quandary. We’ve got a brown-and-white, super cuddly, adorably sad-eyed, eight-year-old-ish female Boston terrier named Gabby; we wound up with her just a few months before the pandemic started after dog-sitting for Boston-terrier-rescuing fire chief Terry down the block,… Continue reading Smells Like Teen Nothing #1

Memory of the Dance

I feel there must be some cosmic significance in the fact that this lovely medieval-woodcut-looking graphic novel about Strasbourg’s dancing plague of 1518 (“Was this a mania, an illness, a case of divine judgement, food poisoning, a plant-induced hallucination, willful heresy, or a deliberate civic rebellion?”) was written by someone named GARETH BROOKES, but I… Continue reading Memory of the Dance