My Election Day Diary, Part I

Posted: November 8th, 2016 | Filed under: Politics | No Comments »

24collinsweb-jumboNovember 8, 2016 (I’m with her.)

Pizza for dinner. ✔︎

Chips, Potato & Corn ✔︎

Brownie ✔︎

Cookies ✔︎

Extra Bag of Peppridge Farm Bordeaux (Just in case.) ✔︎

Six pack of A & W Diet Root Beer. ✔︎

Extra Bag Original Pop’d Kerns. (Uh, just in case.)

Loaf of bread and butter. ✔︎ (In times of extreme stress, I’ve been known to power eat slice after slice after slice of a loaf of bread toasted and slathered with butter.)

Hole in the pit of my stomach larger than the cratered sinkhole at the Corvette Museum. ✔︎

Yes, on this seriously important and pivotal Election Day ’16, I am very very very nervous.

When I’m nervous, I eat.

 * * * * *

I voted late morning at my polling place in Clifton. Read the rest of this entry »

Film Review: Best of Enemies

Posted: August 28th, 2015 | Filed under: Cinema, Culture, Film Reviews Podcast, Politics | No Comments »

debateimagesThere is no way to overestimate the pivotal nature of the debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, during the 1968 presidential nominating conventions.

Until the moment of the contentious contretemps between these erudtie intellectuals from opposite ends of the political spectrum, television’s coverage of the political process was relatively straight forward.

It’s never been the same since.

“Best of Enemies” tells the whole story, including how the moment affected both men for the rest of their lives.

For more details, listen up:

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Rock ‘n’ Roll TV: Stewart’s Sayonara (Springsteen video included) & Ten Angry Men

Posted: August 7th, 2015 | Filed under: Culture, Politics, Ruminations, TV | 3 Comments »

newsIt’s just the morning after. (Actually afternoon, but I’m speaking metaphorically.)

So, it’s way too early to tell if last night’s television fare — the most compelling in memory — was a watershed moment of the medium?

It might have been. Stay tuned.

Even if not, what a fascinating double dip it was.

It was Fox News’s finest hour. The network that has turned passing off conservative propaganda as news into a fine art proved itself capable of at least one shining moment.

Moderators Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly actually moderated a captivating Q & A with the ten GOP presidential candidates currently leading in the polls. They asked tough but fair questions, the kind that had they been presented by Rachel Maddow would have had Hannity and O’Reilly calling her a “commie femoNazi Demo Dyke, pushing the Obama/ Clinton socialist agenda.” Read the rest of this entry »

Cecil’s Revenge: Perils of Palmer, Part Deux

Posted: August 3rd, 2015 | Filed under: Culture, Politics, Ruminations | No Comments »

palmerIn a less insane, yet still digitally-accelerated world where each 24 hour media cycle seem like a pony express ride from Topeka to Tobanga, we should have by now forgotten his name, his misdeed and moved on to the next he say she say brouhaha.

In a society morphing curioser and curioser with each passing un-birthday celebration, the guy, accused of stealing time, the guy with the maddest hat, the chapeau you could buy from him for ten shillings and a sixpence, that guy might have paused, then wondered, “Palmer . . . Palmer . . . wasn’t he that not so mild mannered Minnesota cavity-filler who  . . . what was it he did?”

So, contrary to the normal course of events in our increasingly social media-run culture, Walter Palmer, DMD remains in the headlines. Even if he remains in hiding, literally, a pariah.

This cultural weltanschauung continues to fascinate, to extrapolate into any number of considerations, overwhelm like a tsunami.

First there was the inevitable confirmation of Newton’s 3d Law. To the initial outrage, there was an equal and opposing backlash. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sony Hack & WWIII

Posted: December 22nd, 2014 | Filed under: Culture, Politics | No Comments »

historyI have some theories about the ultimate ramifications of North Korea’s hacking into and public releas of Sony’s digital data.

And, frankly, they are frightening.

So, while I normally wax wacky during my Saturday morning interludes with Mr. Jimmy on FPK 91.9, last time out was more serious.

It happens. Every once in awhile I have a thought that moves beyond buffoonery.

So, feel free to listen up. You might gain a new perspective on world politics and future.

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Culture Rant: Assault on Personal Expression

Posted: June 17th, 2014 | Filed under: Culture, Politics | No Comments »

historyWhen considering whether to click on the link below or not, you are surely asking yourself, “What topic of major global import did c d kaplan discuss Saturday morning during his weekly radio gig?

“1) The Iran situation;

“2) The Syrian situation;

“3) The increasingly deleterious effects of global warming;

“4) The Tea Party’s war on American politcs; or

“5) None of the above.”

Of course, the answer is “None of the above.”

But what I did rant about last Saturday morning on FPK 91.9 with James just may change your life.

Audio MP3

Culture Rant: Missing Plane Mystery Solved

Posted: March 17th, 2014 | Filed under: Politics, Ruminations | No Comments »

historyI actually put down the clicker, got up from my recliner and stepped away from Championship Week long enough to do my regular Saturday radio gig on FPK 91.9 with the estimable James Bickers.

And, having cracked the mystery about the missing Malaysian airliner, I shared the answer with those who were tuned in.

Because we didn’t cut off communication, as happened aboard the jet, my man Brad Yost has fashioned the podcast, so you can learn what’s up with that darned missing plane, even if you didn’t tune in Saturday.

Is that a deal or what?

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Culture Maven on Culture: Between ’63 and Now

Posted: November 25th, 2013 | Filed under: Politics, Ruminations | 1 Comment »

historyEvery once in awhile, a fellow has to be serious.

So it came to pass this past Saturday when I used the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination as a jumping off point to examine some differences of political culture between then and now.

And, no, I don’t try to regale you with where I was and what I was doing when learning the president had been shot. My personal story of that moment is no more or less interesting than anybody else’s.

So, anyway, well, I guess that’s all the intro necessary.

Please listen.

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The Cover of the Rolling Stone

Posted: July 22nd, 2013 | Filed under: Culture, Politics | No Comments »

But the thrill we’ve never known/ Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture/ On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

What in the name of J.D. Salinger is going here?

Copies of the latest issue of Rolling Stone are being pulled from magazine racks as we speak. Because, well, because it is said by those who would dictate what is proper and patriotic in America and what is not that a photo on that cover of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is so cute, so ordinary, so enticing that the youth of the nation will take to terrorism.

Excuse me, I’ve to sneeze.


I mention Salinger because, well, how many libraries through the years have banned “Catcher in the Rye” because it would, you know, unduly influence youth into committing heinous acts?

I just read Janet Reitman’s well-researched, even-handed observations of the kid known to his friends in Cambridge as Jahar. It is an impeccable piece of journalism. Rolling Stone has done us proud. Read the rest of this entry »

One Last Election Article (No Gloat. No Spin.)

Posted: November 9th, 2012 | Filed under: Politics, Ruminations | No Comments »

I woke up election day very nervous.

Pre-induction army physical day nervous.

Nervous as the time in the 9th grade when I wanted to call Jenny Lehman and invite her to go to the following Friday’s hayride with me. Which I was able to eventually do the Sunday before in a full sweat, after staring at the phone for two hours, After blurting out my request, hearing her stunning acceptance, and immediately hanging up. Then, even more beside myself, I avoided her in the halls at school the whole next week.

That nervous.

I had read Nate Silver’s final take on the day, posted at 5:00 a.m. that morning. His bold predictions for an Obama victory caused my sphincter to tighten even more. Surely it wouldn’t, couldn’t be that definite a victory.

So, I looked for a sign, any sign that might ease my angst. A message from on high that all would be well and I needn’t worry so much. Read the rest of this entry »

The President’s Problem: He’s A Negro

Posted: September 26th, 2012 | Filed under: Politics, Ruminations | 17 Comments »

Some years ago, a few pals and I took our first of several blues excursions to the deepest, darkest Delta.

Mississippi was still Third World. Before gaming interests, looking for a cut of the rural poor’s meal money, turned the state into a faux wonderland with paved four-lane divided highways, enough billboards so the players carpooling it down from the Memphis airport wouldn’t have to look at the cotton fields, and kleig street lamps to illuminate the “Welcome To Tunica” signs sitting on cleared sites once hallowed as birthplaces to the blues.

On that trip, we attended the Delta Blues Festival in Greenville, Mississippi. BB King was the headliner. It was his first gig back home in years. Or, something like that.

The crowd at the festival was integrated to a stunning extent. At least to someone who lived up north at the Gateway to the South, someone with the usual preconceived notions of what things were like in the land that spawned the White Citizens Council.

There were two quite different groups of revelers set up on the festival grounds in front of us. To the left was a gang of white frat boys in khaki shorts and button-down Oxford cloth shirts. They had several Styrofoam coolers full of brewskis. To the right was a group of African-Americans, who from their interaction appeared to be extended family. A couple of fellows were defensive line huge, the kind of guys who have made Southern Miss a sneaky good football team through the years. Read the rest of this entry »

Obama Cares: A Warning Shot Across the Bow

Posted: September 20th, 2011 | Filed under: Politics, Ruminations | 2 Comments »


It’s about damn time. And none too soon, I might add.

President Barack Obama spent the first three years of his presidency as a seeker of compromise, a man willing to listen to all, attempting to fashion solutions to problems by taking into account all sides of an issue. But he’s been the only playah in D.C. in that mode.

He’s been swimming in the shark tank without protection. No more.

The not so loyal opposition doesn’t play nice. Republicans have proven themselves vipers, answering only to the ultra wealthy supporters who feed their campaign chests. They have come to disregard the presidency so much they don’t even wait for an Obama proposal before opposing it.

Finally, after a petulant John Boehner so disrespected the president and presidency by vetoing a date simply requested by Obama to address Congress, the president said, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Read the rest of this entry »