I was on Twitter recently and I noticed that Dennis Miller was trending.  I remembered him from when he had a series on HBO.  He would go off on his little rants about current events that grinded his gears.  He could be funny at times.  Then he got canceled and seemingly vanished off the face.  I never read anything about him dying so I just assumed he faded to complete irrelevance in the entertainment world.  It happens to a lot of performers.  Isn’t funny sometimes when you see a news clip about some old celebrity dying and you’re thinking, “Wow, I thought they were already dead.”

Well, it turns out that Dennis Miller is still alive and apparently many even have a couple dozen or so fans left.  I don’t even remember what the topic was.  It was no doubt some political issue.  Dennis Miller was able to stand out due to taking conservative positions on most issues.  It can be an advantage to be different.  It’s easier to stand out and attract attention to yourself.

What I remember most about Miller was the rants.  I think I may have even forked out 4 bucks to buy a hardback copy of his book in a clearance sale.  The rants were largely a masturbatory exercise.  He would go off on his topic complete with obscure references and peppered with archaic words or words with more than 3 syllables.  I guess he needed to make sure we all knew he was smarter than us.  He could be quite clever and funny at times.  But I always came away with the impression that he had an inordinate proclivity towards jacking off.  Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with jacking off but most of us have the decency to do it in the privacy of our own bathroom.  It’s a little awkward for everyone involved when you do it in a crowded room.

Being a conservative comic in the age of trump can’t be easy.  You ‘re trying to be an intellectual for an audience that struggles with spelling basic words on protest signs and other than Kentuckians think Frankfort is the capital of Germany.  He’s similar to Bill Maher in that he’s really a smarmy douchebag.  Bill Maher has been able to succeed by being able to connect with audiences on a visceral level.  Even when he pisses people off, they usually go back.  Bill Maher is equally guilty of thinking he’s smarter than everyone else but he at least knows when to tell a joke.  You don’t always have to find some obscure, barely relevant reference to be funny.  Sometimes what’s right in front of your face is funny enough.

There is something to be said for directness.  If I want you to turn left I should probably just tell you to turn left.  If I spend 30 minutes trying to find the Amharic word for left and pronounce with the accent of a Mongolian warrior from the 14th century, we may end up missing our exit and ending up in Virginia.  I’m sure Miller views Maher’s success as a liberal conspiracy.  In all likelihood, it just comes down to a more direct comic speaking directly to an audience is funnier and more entertaining.


Some people get upset when friends go off on sidebars on their posts.  They want everything on the post to be about them. I guess that’s fine for some people.  Me, I don’t really care if my friends—or even members of the general public go off on little sidebars.  I’ve always been a reactive artist.  I feed off of stimuli going on around me.  I overhear something on a train or see a newspaper headline or look at graffiti on a bathroom wall and I react to it.  I try to turn it into some form of literature.  I may post a half-hearted gentle reminder to folks leaving me behind on my own post but I won’t have a temper tantrum or unfriend them.  I do issue a caveat though:  You would do well to copyright your thoughts if you place them on my post.  I will steal them shamelessly if the spirit so moves me and I find a way to crystalize it into what I would like to believe is art.


I was only 5 years old when Columbo first came on the air.  Suffice to say, I didn’t start watching it from the start.  I vaguely remember my parents having it on from time to time.  My mother was a Columbo fan.  I didn’t really become a fan until I was around 16 years old.  It happened quite by chance. 

I was home alone and decided to turn on the TV.  Serendipity reared its wondrous head as an episode of Columbo was on the screen.  It was the episode featuring Johnny Cash as gospel singer Tommy Brown whose wife wanted all the money to go to the church.  Tommy Brown just wanted to party and chase skirts.  So it’s quite understandable that he would feel the need to off  the nagging (capital B). 

Anyway, I turned it on mid-episode after the nagging wife (I later learned played wonderfully by Ida Lupino).  The point I turned the TV on was when Johnny Cash was throwing a post murder party and playing a version of Kris Kristofferson’s song Sunday Morning Coming Down.  TV was a lot more prudish at the time so you can imagine my 16 year old delight to turn on the TV and hearing Johnny Cash singing “On a Sunday morning sidewalk, wishing Lord that I was stoned.” 

I was hooked.  I started watching all the reruns of Columbo that I could find.  It also turned me into a big Johnny Cash fan.  I still view his version of Sunday Morning Coming Down as the best version of that song.  That’s pretty good considering Ray Stevens did the first version and this song was also covered by Willie Nelson, Roy Clark, Waylon Jennings and Lynn Anderson.

Later in life I would face many Sunday morning sidewalks wishing that I was stoned but that’s a tale for another time—or possibly a tale best left untold.  But sitting here listening to a Shawn Mullins version of the song just got me to thinking about this episode and the best version of one of the finest songs in the Kris Kristofferson canon.

Mail Order Bride

I’ll never understand these facebook algorithms. I check off a like for a Pussy Riot post. I occasionally earn their top fan badge. I check off a like for a Nadya Tolokonnikova post. This is usual behavior on my part.

So I keep scrolling down and I come across a suggested page for “Russian Girls” and a suggested page for “East European Women.” So am I looking for a mail order bride that they would suggest these pages? My heritage is German but my last name isn’t Drumpf.

I would think that my support for Pussy Riot and their “Smash the Patriarch” agenda would clearly indicate different interests. I’m probably not looking for someone I can get shipped in from a Slavic country or otherwise.

so try seduction on a modestly shy boy morals corrupted

I would think they would be giving me suggested pages like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or Saul Alinsky. That might be more in line. Then again I do follow the Suicide Girls so maybe that’s the dilemma. Some would say I’m conflicted. I prefer to say I’m complex. Maybe they should do less thinking for me and let me stumble upon my own folly. That might be best for all of us.

a mail order bride thoughtlessly left in box marked: return to sender