Jonathan Swift’s 1729 essay, “A Modest Proposal,” argues a single solution to homelessness that Swift proudly suggests would provide a host of beneficial side effects. Satire is sometimes hard to get, or hard to take, the difference between satire and farce being that satire aims at a target. One might today imagine a certain presidential […]
Coming soon, just in time for summer reading!
The electronic version of “Penina’s Letters” is now available at the discount price of $2.99 (and free to Kindle Unlimited Subscribers). The e-version can be read on any device – with the Kindle app, which can be downloaded for free (click link above). We don’t recommend reading the electronic version in water, though that might […]
What are we reading? Joe wrote a book. Really? What’s it called? Penina’s Letters. Who’s Penina? Are there any cats in Joe’s book? One, Castus. Hmm. I hear Joe’s working on a sequel. Tell him to put more cats in it. “Penina’s Letters,” get yr copy!
Some time ago, a friend mentioned driving north on I-5 with California plates and being pulled over by the local highway patrol around Olympia. “In Washington,” the patrolman said, “we like to think of the speed limit as more than a mere suggestion.” Apparently, the self-satisfaction rewarded from this afflatus meant that all the more […]
The Reader and the Paywall Poem The Reader and the Wally Moon Foul Ball The Reader and the Pool Hall Doggerel The Reader and the K of C Third Degree The Reader and the Professor Who Knew It All The Reader and the Screwball PCH Big Sur Rally of 1972 The Reader and the Walled […]
Much of modern poetry is unintelligible or seems incoherent. That’s not modern poetry’s problem though. The problem with modern poetry is the absence of a general interest reader of poetry. Cautious readers avoid the crafted, arched bridges called poems precariously balanced over esoteric estuaries. But was there ever a general interest reader of poetry? Well, […]
I walked out to fetch the morning paper this morning, and the news hit me before I had even slid the thin paper from its plastic sleeve, for the paper was so slight, surely the headline would say something more about the disappearance of newspapers. Almost. The headline in today’s Oregonian heralds the coming forced disappearance of […]
So-called Easy Reads should not be confused with Easy Writes. There are no easy writes. “Writing is hard, even for authors who do it all the time,” Roger Angell reminds us in the “Foreword” to the fourth edition of “The Elements of Style,” the lately lambasted as prescriptivist poppycock handbook that nonetheless many still enjoy […]
McLuhan suggested we pay a price for literacy. There’s a difference between illiteracy and non-literacy. An illiterate person can neither read nor write written texts in his native language, while a non-literate person’s language has no written text, no alphabet. It’s moving from non-literacy to literacy where a price is paid: “The visual makes for […]
In an era of sinking readership, closing bookstores, the disappearance of newspapers, and Google making us stupid, who cares about book reviews? The book review is the grownup version of the book report, the nefarious writing assignment where students first learn to plagiarize. Publishing is in a hard market, as they say in the insurance […]