Radiohead: Last of the Greats

Rock n roll is dead. Sure, there will always be musicians playing and producing what can be categorized as “rock music”. But Rock n Roll – the cultural force, social movement, the music itself – faded to black some time around the turn of the millennium. But it had a good run. 50 years of youthful rebellion, 50 years of sound and fury. Rock n roll changed the world. It helped end the Soviet Union, and helped cross the “color line”, which lead to the civil rights movement. Perhaps most important, rock n roll inspired a generation of kids to...

London 101

My brief time in London, England would likely be categorized among anyone else’s worst travel stories. Arriving already sick with a cold, I departed sicker. I racked up nearly twice the amount of debt I’d anticipated just covering expenses such as trains to and from airports, and an “upgrade” for a rescheduled flight home that cost me an extra $400. Yes, at the time I was there, London was cold and wet and I was not in the best physical shape, but it was still a fascinating time. The first thing you’ll find yourself doing upon arriving in London is...

Why Rihanna Matters

Rihanna turns 29 today. 2-9. Remember that bare-bellied girl who arrived out of nowhere with “Pon De Replay” way back in… 2005. She’s grown now… barely! She still showing up at awards just for the kiki, as she did last Sunday at the 59th Grammys, with a diamond-encrusted flask no less. More like the Jammies! Rihanna is my exact same age. Well, I’m two months older, being born on the butt-end of 1987, but we grew up together. Sure, I’m not as sexy, stylish, poised, or in the same galaxy when it comes to wealth and fame, but I feel...

8 Great Series for Intensely Therapeutic Viewing

The shows that we watch (and re-watch) say a lot about us – our temperaments, our tastes, but mostly, what we find enjoyable, and even soothing. After a long day of work, while sick (or nursing a hangover), amidst a bout of depression or general malaise, our favorite series can be a balm, improving mood with brutally honest humor, allowing us to reflect, or to get lost in situations with people whose problems are much worse than ours. A great series can improve empathy, make us think, laugh, cry, and even change us. Here are eight series I’ve found great...

Living the Life Unwell

“Anxiety”, “Depression”, “Substance Abuse”, “PTSD”. Whatever it can be attributed to, for much of my life, I’ve been mentally and emotionally volatile. To be honest, I feel mentally ill on any given day, if only because I compare myself to other, more normal people, people who appear unscathed by trauma, “happy”, “carefree”. But even people who have lived fairly rough lives seem more emotionally stable than me. What gives? It’s hard to know what people think – or know – about mental illness, because we still, well, we just don’t talk about it. Attempting to do so often elicits blank...

Things We Learned in the Wake of #Election2016

1) There were more closet Trump fans – millions more  – than we ever could have imagined. 2) America is still a mostly conservative country (see map), despite the ultra-liberal “agendas” of the last ten years or so. 3) The third of America called “flyover country”, mostly working class, white, and “uneducated,” – and largely ignored by the urban elites of the East and West Coasts – finally realized this election cycle that a) they outnumber said liberals and b) they had both the opportunity, the collective power, and collective drive (i.e. rage) to put Trump  into office. 4) On...

Why We Love Antiheroes

On the fifth season finale of HBO’s lauded series Veep, Selina Meyer, fictional 45th President of the United States, was dealt a crushing blow. After the tied election that closed season four, votes were held in Congress to elect the next POTUS. With deadlocks in both the House and Senate, the Vice President cast the tiebreaker, electing Laura Montez, a younger, “prettier”, more beloved (and questionably Latina) senator from New Mexico, the next President of the United States. Realizing her reign is (abruptly) over, Selina turns to her press secretary, Mike, and says… Selina Meyer’s supposed hatred of the American People and the American Way has...

The Argument for Universal Basic Income

On June 5, 2016, the citizens of Switzerland decided NOT to allow their government to give them free money. The neutral Western European nation, population 8 million, held a public referendum in which the question was this: should the government provide all Swiss adults with a guaranteed salary equivalent to US $30,000 a year? Unsurprisingly, most Swiss said no, with 77% of voters against. Why did the Swiss vote against the world’s first real UBI initiative? Because they don’t need it. The country is one of the most economically empowered in the world, with the highest wealth per adult citizen,...

The Slow Crawl to Sobriety

There are a few things you realize after quitting the booze. Perhaps the first is just how different life feels. There was your life while drinking, and now there’s your life after, where everything feels muted, as if you’ve just broken the surface after years of being submerged. There is a period of self-estrangement where you wonder if the person you were before and the phantom you are now are one and the same. Social interaction becomes exhausting. The anxiety and depression you were merely tempering with alcohol reaches hellish depths, until you find yourself days or weeks into a...

Prince (1958 – 2016)

When a major music star dies suddenly, especially one as youthful and vital as Prince, it comes as more than a shock. Many of us are still reeling from Bowie’s passing in January, and so Prince’s random death from “flu-like symptoms” is confounding and upsetting. Prince was many things, a guitar virtuoso, a musical chameleon, a musical genius really. As a producer, mentor, and song-writer, he put several artists and bands on the map, and he himself produced a staggering thirty-nine studio albums over a 35-year career. Most of us, even those unfamiliar with most of his creative output, recognize...