Category Archives: This Blog

Some readers may have noticed that, for some time now, I have been walking a tightrope of cognitive dissonance here.  It stems from trying to reconcile these contradictory truths: Donald J. Trump is an unreflective solipsist and a pathological liar; the United States is a democratic republic; and Trump is President of the United States.

America has managed to slog through three years of this dissonance, all the time griping and sniping and whining and never fully accepting.  But in this pandemic-dominated year, the consequences of those contradictions have been all too painful.  Our domestic tragedy (200,000-plus lives and counting) cannot be lightened with mocking and finger-pointing.  Rather, it calls for trying to stay sane.

I could justifiably rail against Trump every single day on this blog, and perhaps I should. However, there is already no shortage of Trump hypocrisy call-outs, ripostes and satires on social media and late-night TV.  Why add yet more (i.e., mine) to the mix?

So, believe it or not, I have been holding back.*  I don’t want my mind or this mouthpiece to be swept up in the Can-You-Believe-What-He-Said-Today tsunami.  No one can keep up with the pace and scale of the outrage created by this apprentice president of ours.

On the one hand, avoiding mention of our Orange Mussolini makes me feel as if I’m not doing my duty as a citizen.  On the other hand, responding to Trump’s every petulance is like “letting the terrorists win” if I may invoke that oft-cited refrain from post-9/11 days. Americans should not have to serve as Trump’s puppets in any sense, offense or defense.

Trump is truly the elephant in the room — except that Trump-phant weighs 1/8 of a ton and has wispy dyed hair and tramples down just about everything sweet and gentle about this country, for abject reasons known only to Trump-phant and his family and herd.

Nonetheless, I will be doing my best to ignore Trump-phant until the election is over and the winner is declared.  You all know what it’s like out there.  I do too.  Having turned in my ballot, it’s now about holding tight and encouraging other rational folk to do the same.  Self-preservation is a hard calculation.


* As a fact-check, I did a search and found that I have mentioned Trump in 96 posts here, dating to 2012.  So this one is No. 97, or more than one of seven posts on The 100 Billionth Person.  Sigh.
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My 10th Anniversary Giveaway in appreciation of the readers of this blog has concluded, and the winner is… me.  Without my few handfuls of readers, I would have little incentive to write and my life would certainly be duller.  Not to mention that it keeps me connected to friends in a more personal way than sites like Facebook afford.

But back to the Giveaway.  The grand prize winners, based on the names I fished out of my camera bag, are Mary and Dorothy.  Congratulations!  But note:  I said grand prize.  I have decided that, as there were only five entrants and I have over 60 cards on hand, all those who entered will receive cards.

After Mary and Dorothy make their selections, I will contact the other entrants in turn and let them choose from the remaining cards.  I hope this will be an okay consolation prize.

Thank you all for reading!

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This is not a hoax — I repeat — this is not a hoax.  If this were an actual hoax, you would have been instructed to tune to Infowars or The New American on your internet dial.*

No, this is the real deal.  To mark the tenth anniversary of The 100 Billionth Person, I am giving away something of value — not my commentary! — to two lucky readers of this post. The thing-of-purported-value is an assortment of press-printed 5 x 7 note cards (below, click to enlarge) that I designed back in my “I-too-can-be-an-artist” days:


More about the cards later — first, here are the rules for my reader-appreciation giveaway.  You are qualified to enter if (a) you are a subscriber or follower of this blog, or (b) you have made a comment here prior to September 16, 2020 — proof of at least occasional interest on your part.  If you are not currently a subscriber, you can easily qualify by subscribing!  (Follow this link.)

Now that you’re qualified, you can enter the giveaway simply by commenting on this post. (You might mention in your comment which card you like best, but that’s not mandatory.) You do need to enter your email address in the email field of the comment form, otherwise I will not be able to contact you if you are selected.  Your email address will not be visible  to others.

On Monday, September 28, at noon, I will randomly select two of the entrants as winners.  If you are a winner, I will email you to obtain your mailing address and card preferences.  You may create your own assortment of ten cards, with up to three cards of any one style.  Envelopes are included.  Shipping is on me.

Now you may be saying to yourself, I don’t write notes anymore, so I don’t need any cards.  I have two responses to this.  First, stop talking to yourself — you’re so loud I can hear you. Second, I am sure that you know someone who does write notes and for whom this might be a pleasant little surprise.  So, enter anyway, if only for the pleasure of participating in the only 10th Anniversary Giveaway I will ever conduct.

Finally, here are the design details for the seven cards.  They are admittedly quirky and have dubious commercial potential, which is probably why I still have plenty to give away. There was a time when I tended to fall in love with whatever photo I shot last, and I think a couple of those are represented here.  Nonetheless, from first to last we have…

  1.  Inside: “Falling for you”
    [Created in my home studio, 2005.]
  2.  Inside: “Someone to watch over me”
    [Mark Wallinger’s Ecce Homo overlooking Trafalgar Square, London, 1999.]
  3.  Front: “The Carpenter’s Wife”.  Inside blank.
    [Upper floor of an Asheville, NC, antique store, 2005.]
  4.  Front: “Everything is just ducky.”  Inside blank.
    [Carnival in Irondequoit, NY, 2000.]
  5.  Front: “God is our strength.”  Inside blank.
    [Grave marker in Winston-Salem, NC, 2006.  Bereavement card?]
  6.  Inside: “Go slay that dragon!”
    [Storefront in Northampton, MA, 2002.]
  7.  Front: “Optimism!”  Inside blank.
    [Carnival in Irondequoit, NY, 2000.]

Remember, each winner receives ten cards, one for each year my readers have put up with the whims of this blog.

Fine Print:  No purchase necessary.  Contest void where prohibited, whatever regulatory hellhole that place may be.  Each entrant’s chance of winning is inversely proportional to the number of entries received.  [The precise formula is p(win) = 2 / n.]  Lastly, my spouse is not eligible to enter, as she prefers to make her own cards.

Thank you, and good luck.


* Does anyone besides me remember the Conelrad System?
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