Tommy Red

Tommy Red
The Progressive Killer

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Campbell Hoyt … Russell Means … Heath Lowrence link … Deborah Karpel ... 2 Stella Plays ... Buffalo Bills

Amici:


From a co-worker ... In August 2009, a little 3-year-old girl named Campbell Hoyt in my town was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor called ependymoma. Campbell had the tumor removed and was cancer-free for 21 months. The cancer recently returned, this time in her spine. After a long summer at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Campbell, now age 5, is home with her parents and two older sisters. The chemotherapy drugs that help treat residual tumors that Campbell suffers with are very expensive. In order to defray the costs of Campbell's medical treatment, local families are having a pie sale organized through a local charity named Heartworks. All proceeds from this pie sale will go directly towards Campbell's treatment costs.

For more information on Campbell and her family, please visit this link.


There are many worthy charities in need of your help and unfortunately more than a few children suffer the ravages of cancer. If, however, you feel moved to help support the treatment of this little girl, please see the attached flyer. Any donation in lieu of a pie order would also be graciously accepted. Donations can be made by check payable to Heartworks and are tax deductible.


While we’re on the subject of charity and how good it will make you feel once you put aside a Starbucks Mocha gots’n-gool and push the $5.00 bucks they cost towards those in need (Starbucks is doing fine), here’s another person in need. Russell Means, a Native American pioneer of the Republic of Lakotah movement. We’re doing what we can when we can from casa Stella … and yes, it does feel good to do so. 

Russell Means information … From the American Indian Movement of Colorado (taken from Ben Whitmer’s blog):

Our brother and leader, Russell Means is involved in a tenacious fight against the cruelest of invader diseases — cancer. As usual, however, Russell is putting up an exemplary resistance. He has been relying on our traditional medicines, and ceremonies, and has been treated by indigenous healers from the Lakota (Crow Dog), Dinéh (Morgan), and Anishinabe (Turtle Lodge). In addition, he is undergoing alternative treatments in Arizona. Visit his website www.republicoflakotah.com for updates.

These treatments are quite expensive, and our brother needs all of our help. If Russell has ever touched your life, has ever inspired or taught you anything, has ever made your proud to be Indian, or to be a human being, now is the time to repay him. Thank you.

You may mail your donation to: Russell Means Healing Fund, 444 Crazy Horse Drive, Porcupine, SD 57772


Let's face it, the above picture is about 1,000 pounds ago ...




Before we get to this Stella and his dopey plays, here's a show we (the Principessa Ann Marie and myself) can't wait to see (next Tuesday, November 1st). TK has mentioned Deborah Karpel (that's her album above) before (2 blogs ago) and now her show is set and ready to go. So, here it is:

Songs My Mother Never Taught Me
November 1, 2011
Dixon Place NYC
7:30 pm One Night Only!

Okay, so here's the 2 Stella plays mentioned above ... the wife went and did it (managed to do it), get two plays of mine transferred from the old VCR format to DVD. The quality isn’t very great, but it ain’t bad, either. These were plays performed at the 45th Street theatre way back in the day (1989, I think). Mr. Ronnie’s Confession was based on a dear friend of mine (Mr. Ronnie) who was married in Las Vegas and once told me about “second acting” plays; essentially following a crowd of people back into the theatre before the 2nd act started and not having to pay for the tickets. In the play, Mr. Ronnie (not the Mr. Ronnie, the fictional one) has to go to confession before he can get married and the Irish priest he says his confession to in Hell’s Kitchen is put to the test. Randy Messersmith played Mr. Ronnie and for the life of me, I can’t remember the guy who played the Irish priest (and I should be smacked for it), but he was very, very good (as was Randy--he had us laughing pretty hard upstairs).

Double or Nothing was a play I wrote about a gambling addiction (craps) and although I had to fire the actor’s equity rep just a few days before the play opened (because he couldn’t remember his lines--proving once and for all that even socialists won’t put up with union reps who don’t do their jobs), the director filled in at the last minute and saved us. Sam Blasco was the director who played Mike in Double or Nothing. He went up on a few lines (fever four was a killer for me--FIVE, FIVE, FIVE, I wanted to yell) but he only had a few nights to get it all down so good on him for pulling it off. Paige Alenius played Mike’s wife and Kent Osborne played Tim, the room service kid. Both Paige and Kent were really wonderful and both have gone on to have substantial careers in the business (so good on them). Double or Nothing is about a guy on vacation in Bermuda to try and kick the habit (gambling) and although his wife had been feeding herself gallons of coffee to stay awake and keep an eye on him, she finally drifts off to sleep and Mike manages to hoodwink the room service kid into spending the night with her (she reaches over in her sleep to check on his being in bed every so often) ... Mike gets out and hunts up some action. I used to have the playbills for these two (had one framed) but I think they were lost between marriages.


I’m making my prediction early this week since my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills had a bye last week ... this week the Washingtonians come to Orchard Park but we’re still pissed from the Moonachie Blue game ... so it’ll be us in a closer game than it should be; figure Bills 27, Washington 23.

—Knucks

Music for Double or Nothing ... Tom Waits, Fumblin’ with the Blues ...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Books, a Movie & a few pot shots and Blind Faith (the kind you should listen to) ...

Amici:


It’s getting near the end of my first semester in the SNHU MFA program. The semester ends mid-November and I’m not anxious for the end. Frankly, I’m enjoying it too much … although I am looking forward to semester #2. One reason is this joint:


Winter Mountain Retreat

Yep, that’s what I’m talking about … I’m figuring it’s an extra reward for braving the shutter island typhoons from last June, but take a look-see at this joint and tell me yous wouldn’t want to go. Forgetaboutit, we’re all in … as in the Principessa Ann Marie (the wife/boss to yous nons) will be there too.

Start to finish, this first semester in the SNHU MFA program has been an excellent experience for the ugly one. It’s been a great joy to read so many great authors I hadn’t read before. Although I have read Andre Dubus in the past (and can recommend a book of interviews with him Edited by my original writing mentor’s son, (Dave Gresham’s younger son, Ross Gresham (Leap of the Heart), my reading this go was infused with a bit more clarity and much more interest.


The above mentioned interview book with Dubus.


Andre Dubus … a short story collection by Andre Dubus that was titled (In the Bedroom because of the movie made from the first story, Killings). This one was recommended by my mentor in SNHU's MFA program it proved another winner. Although I’m not as bewitched by Dubus style as I was by Richard Bausch, there’s no denying there are a few terrific stories in this short collection. To be fair, I ordered another of his collection (Adultery and other Choices). One of the interesting themes throughout many of his stories was Catholicism and how many of his characters were able to cling to their faith despite Vatican/Church bureaucracy and/or archaic dogma.


Declan Burke – Absolute Zero Cool … There’s an Irish author way beyond having good writing chops. He’s also smart (as in he’s very well read and aware of lots around him—past and present). His ability to call on “lines of the day” (quoting Aristotle and others) and/or his literary and/or operatic referencing is more than impressive. Add to that, he’s as witty as Ken Bruen and sharp and cynical as Maureen Dowd or Gail Collins (on this side of the pond) and what you have is Declan Burke. Earlier this year I took my first taste of Burke (Eight Ball Boogie, reviewed here) and enjoyed it no end.. This year I managed to pack his latest in (because I enjoyed my first taste so much) between some other crime novels and my MFA readings (this is when life is really good, when there's all this good reading to do) and because of Dana King’s very high recommendation.

It’s a book in a book; a writer either taken over by one of his characters or a writer's alter ego or split in two (or whatever floats your boat), but it is sharp, witty, at times both hilarious and poignant and always well written. Burke takes on the healthcare system on his side of the pond (the closing of hospitals) along with upholding books and exposing a culture apparently determined to dumb down with extreme prejudice (so all the themes are equally as American as apple pie, I’d say). There are pokes at how much of a role dignity plays in our lives and deaths and how we treat those we love and, last but not least, fatherhood.

Billy Karlsson is the character from a prior book that wasn’t to be. He’s a serial killing hospital porter who euthanizes older patients. He’s come back to life (at least in the author’s mind) for another go and manipulates his way into a rebirth project. The author (literally the author) makes a deal and even throes in writing (or rewriting) Bill’s girlfriend, Cassie. But there’s also the author’s real wife and child involved; the time he’s feeling guilt over for writing at all anymore (while his wife is paying the freight, keeping the house and raising the child), and there’s what all to do about it except finish the two projects on his plate (one with a pre-paid advance deadline (Crime Always Pays) and the other is Billy Karlsson’s rewrite.

And then there’s the book Karlsson is writing (or is it imaginary) about the Greek Gods. No time for writer’s block in these tombs.

NO spoilers ever at TK, so get this book and have a very fun time reading the talented Mr. Burke (and there really is a reference to Patricia Highsmith in the book).

Absolute Zero Cool is an absolutely wonderful read, start to finish. Declan Burke has penned the most original work of cross-genre fiction I’ve read in a long time. Literary, socially conscious, journalistically cynical and a touch of crime fiction (that bit about killing off patients and a plan to blow up a hospital) make Absolute Zero Cool and absolute must read.








The Vegas Debate ... the wife and I were cringing watching the display of clowns Tuesday night in Lost Wages, Nevada and eventually looked to each other and shook our heads. Are these people really the ONLY other choice versus a proven unadulterated incompetent? Well, let Gail Collins fill you in on the debate; she tells it much better than I can. Here’s an example: This week’s debate was a triumph for Perry, who not only put Romney on the defensive, but did it in complete sentences. He did get lost in the weeds during a discussion of Romney’s Mormonism. (“And this country is based on, as Newt talked about, these values that are so important as we go forward, and the idea that we should not have our freedom of religion, to be taken away by any means.”)

Of course watching this latest GOP debate fiasco, I still can’t believe it is actually sanctioned by the cash behind the GOP … which set a capitalist conspiracy theory to work … is it possible the money behind the GOP is so happy with Obama that they put out this collection of clowns to make sure he wins re-election? You gotta wonder … because (see next story) …


Obama still flush with cash from financial sector despite frosty relations.

Hope and Change, huh?


Issues with Harvard ... well, maybe just Presidents and QB’s ... I’d like to think my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills Quarterback has more common sense than our President, but after throwing an interception (which was a redo of an earlier interception thrown to the same wrong shoulder of our receiver (inside instead of outside), on the same pattern and to the same defender (rather than our receiver) on a 1st and ten from the Moonachie Blue 27 yard line with 3 minutes left in the game, it’s difficult to assign common sense to our guy. Three runs and an attempted field goal was the smarter choice, but Fitzpatrick chose giving the game away instead. Hopefully, unlike the bozo in the white house who gave away $700 billion no strings attached, Fitz will learn from his mistakes.

And on that note, the Bills have a bye this weekend ... Go whoever plays the Cheatriots or the Yets!

—Knucks

For Mr. Dubus ...

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Outlaw Album ... Bush III ... Wall Street III ... Bills v. Moonachie (part I of III) ...

Amici:

How good is Daniell Woodrell? Well, most of yous already know. He’s a great writer, brilliant, an American treasure finally given the proper exposure via a movie based on one of his many brilliant novels, but he was a great writer long before Winter's Bone hit the big screen. First of all, it was a novel, one of his 8 or so and while Tomato Red remains my favorite work of his, this new collection of his short stories is right up there.

In our MFA program (SNHU MFA), I’m permitted to pick a book each month to write a craft essay on and my mentor assigns another. Thus far the reading assignments have been no end enlightening (my mentor, Mitch Wieland, knows his stuff), but this month I chose Woodrell as my choice. It was a late decision (made 2 days ago) after starting on the magic he wove in The Outlaw Album. The first three stories alone are worth the price of admission; there should be bonuses paid the author for what comes afterward. I won’t bore you with craft essay speak, but the justice Woodrell’s characters dole out is nothing short of that magic I mentioned earlier. Later on, a story about a father rejecting a social workers appeal to a parole board for his son’s early release is right there with Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury. I’m loving this MFA thing way more than I thought possible but finally I get to add something to the flavor (via Daniell Woodrell’s collection of short stories, The Outlaw Album). I’m not sure there’s a better writer in America today.



The country is in bad, bad shape ... way too many people remain out of work, jobs continue to be outsourced overseas, foreclosures are about to go through the ceiling again and the gap between the rich and everybody else has become a friggin’ chasm. So, here’s the game plan ... let’s go to war someplace ... how about Africa!


Let me tell you, I thought this guy was a huckster as soon as he handed over all that gelt to his best friends on Wall Street no strings attached, but now I’m convinced he’s an out and out moron. This is what Democratic Liberals will stick to their party for from fear they might lose? The last I checked, Obama has upticked GW on just about everything ... he’s Bush III on steroids but don’t bother mentioning it to Democratic loyalists because they’re in Hope and Change denial (on steriods).


So how’s that working for you?


WALL STREET III – MONEY NEVER WEEPS ...


Appropriately enough, when I went to read Charles Krauthammer’s assault on the Wall Street Protesters this morning in the Washington Post, up popped a Citibank Ad … it’s always good to be warned about what you’re in for. My guess was Sir Charles of Crud was attempting to preempt any Democratic (Obama) attempt to harness the energy of a people fed up with the shaft they’ve been given for 30 years. Now try and imagine how American Natives feel? You know the ones who would truly like "THEIR" country back. I mean, since it was actually THEIRS and all.

Kind of silly, don’t you think? Especially since Krauthammer pointed at Obama’s record (a record any Republican would be proud of as regards the rewarding of corporate America). But Sir Square of Pants isn’t about to acknowledge what amounts to the beginning of his (and his ilk’s) end. Even if it isn’t successful right now, it is an omen of things to come; the frustrations of people perhaps FINALLY coming to terms with the underlying cause of their angst.

Whether the Wall Street protesters (or those around the country) are aware of it or not, what they’re up in arms over has much more to do with the inequalities capitalism depends on than anything else. Sure there are spoiled brats there who want their “fair share” of the meat of the pie (and who would have no problem serving the rest of us the crumbs once they get what they want), but there are also people there (union workers come to mind) who are tired of being vilified for trying to make a living with some modicum of dignity. There are those up in arms over bailouts to multi-billion dollar corporations and banks who continue to outsource American jobs overseas. And, of course, there are kids upset at the fact their $50-100K+ student loans will have to be paid off while they work at Target. Now, does that mean they have become socially conscious of a sudden? Does it mean they care more for a greater good than how much coin they’ll make so they can one day bow their heads to icons of capitalism like Steve Jobs without shame? Probably not, but the fact the numbers of protesters and protests are growing worries the barons of Wall Street a lot more than they let on.

What happens if it turns violent? First off, I’d be real suspicious about shills paid to start trouble. Second, I’d say looks like the chickens are aiming for home after all. Should the violence continue to come from those protecting Wall Street (the NYPD comes to mind), it will only add fuel to the fire. Sooner or later, bullies get their comeuppance and the money has been doing the bullying plenty long enough.

Now, is this really it, finally, the revolution? I doubt it, but make no mistake that it’s a start, and perhaps THE start.

Of course the Democrats (Obama in particular) are/is failing to seize the moment and at least make a show of understanding our angst. Imagine a so-called progressive president doing something progressive (for a change) and not worrying about losing an election he’s just about given away to a party considered dead less than four years ago? Don’t hold your breath. This guy knows his days in the oval office may well be numbered and he isn’t about to risk standing on principal now. Think back to the con he handed us in 2008 and all the little details he forgot to follow-up on.

Or maybe he just doesn’t like comfortable shoes … who knows.

Oy vey iz mir …

Hope and Change remains in the peoples hands and it is there it will either come to pass or pass for a little while longer. Stop shitting your pants, Liberal Democrats ... take a friggin’ stand that means something. Get off the friggin’ “I’m disappointed in him, sure, but ...” bandwagon. Grow a friggin’ pair! Wise the frig up!

No, money never weeps … not until enough of those chickens come home to roost ... and brothers and sisters, the greed on Wall Street has been ringing the dinner bell for a long-assed time already.


Bills v. Moonachie ... oh, baby, is big blue in for it this weekend. You think Eli had issues last week? We’re number 1 in intercepts thus far this season; 4 vs. Miss Brady from the Cheatriots; 4 more against the dream team dog killing pieces of shit Eaglettes and a few from the other games we’ve played … you think Eli might be a little nervous right now? My beloved New York State Buffalo Bills continue the stampede in a 2nd half blowout/GIANT collapse: Bills 40, the GEEEEEEEEmen 20.

—Knucks

Do you hear the people?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Book reviews … No more Palin? ... So long Skankies ... Bills-Dog Killers Sunday ...

Amici:


Barry Graham’s The Champion’s New Clothes is a wonderful novel set around the dark, dangerous and always intriguing world of professional boxing (the Scottish version). As a big fan of Eddie Muller’s noir boxing novels, I didn’t know what to expect and was very pleasantly surprised by how this very different boxing tale engaged me. Graham deals with relationships that happen to revolve around the boxing world; through personal struggles that exist in all worlds. Like Muller’s boxing journalist (Billy Nichols), Billy Piers also writes about the boxing circuit. Unlike Nichols, Piers is a former boxer. Also unlike Nichols, Piers has to deal with a full-time tension-filled relationship, that with his live-in love (Karen), a woman struggling with paranoid schizophrenia and all the damage it heaps on not only herself, but those closest to her (Piers, for one).

Piers is writing a book while hanging around the camp of Ricky Mellon, a friend and a kid training for his shot at the lightweight title. Mellon is a brawler more than a boxer and the title is pretty much everything he’s lived for (and what a bittersweet moment he’s in for after the bout).

There’s a good bit of boxing we learn about throughout the piece, including the problem with overtraining and the damage that can do (it’s been a particular issue for me with weight lifting meets in the past--peaking too soon before a meet), but the bulk of this novel is about Piers falling for his neighbor (Kerry) while trying to deal with his live-in-love (Karen) and her issues). The Champion’s New Clothes is a modern day verismo opera; relationships requiring the kinds of sacrifice it takes to be a champion without knowing what the belt might bring. A surprising, unsettling open ending that offers no fairytale of a future.


Sandra Ruttan opens her latest novel, Harvest of Ruins, with a chapter that ends with a hook readers will not ignore. There’s some terrific writing going on here, including a word game that ends in a poignant and powerful moment (here taken out of context):

“I know what personification means.”

It was the day of the funeral, and the sky was crying.

You don’t learn how to write powerful passages like that. You get there through years of doing the work that is writing. This is powerful stuff later the same day brought me to an emotional moment (at work, of course, so it was totally uncomfortable for me).

Hunter, a single mom detective, had a former partner (Tom), with whom she had a relationship. She’s on trial for negligent homicide and it has much to do with Tom’s daughter (Evelyn/Vinnie); Hunter once had to inform Tom about Vinnie’s drug overdose. Vinnie is a kid who has already gone through the emotional trauma of her boyfriend’s suicide (or was it?), her parent’s divorce (and her mother is a bit of a whackjob herself). And what about that relationship between Hunter and Tom? Any residuals involved?

And what about the kids, Evelyn/Vinnie’s friends? There’s something not right about one in particular ... and it is here the author does a wonderful job of presenting a kid’s perspective(s) on some of the issues kids have to deal with day-to-day.

Told mostly during Hunter’s trial for negligent homicide, the author uses some neat tools of the trade (flashbacks, alternative perspectives, newspaper articles, television news accounts) in her best work to date, Harvest of Ruins.

No spoilers here, ever, so you’ll have to read to learn what happens next, but I can guarantee you this much, it is a tale told in a very effective writing style; plotted with twists and turns and some not so run of the mill circumstances. One mark of good writers is how they get better and better at their craft, and Harvest of Ruins is one such mark for this very gifted author.


Palin isn’t running ... bummer, dudes (and gals) ... the one question I was hoping she’d have to answer (had anyone in the media found the balls to ask her) was: “When you say “take our country back” ... can you define “our” please? Something tells me she passed up all that “American history” that came before Plymouth Rock (and way before Paul Revere warned the British that ... we were here?).

Oy vey ... I don’t know about yous, but I’m gonna miss this:




Deborah Karpel’s show November 1st. I used to work with this very talented lady. Deborah Karpel is a... jazz, old-time country, pop, and Klezmer-singing, classically-trained opera diva who came up through the ranks of comic improvisation and sings in nine languages. She’s got a show on November 1st ... more details to follow.


Baseball been very messy of late ... so this is what happens when you insist on having a tournament every year instead of letting the 162 game season account for something. The two teams with the best records in baseball are eliminated in a five game series. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me (seriously) ... not only because I’m a hopeless Mets fan, but because I hate what money has done to baseball. Absolutely hate it. So, good, the two big market teams are gone and now you’re stuck with a world series nobody outside of the cities the teams come from will give a shit about. Perfect. Way to go, yet again, MLB.


Now, for the only true sport. How ‘bout those Buffalo Bills! This week it’s us vs. the Philadelphia Dog Killers ... Bills rock the Dog Killers world, 42-16.

—Knucks

One from back in the day that gets the drumming juices flowing again ...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Doc says ...

TK Monthly Disclaimer ... The views of Mr. Compassion (the Doc) do not reflect those of Temporary Knucksline. In fact, we’d have to be pretty drunk to land on his planet. But we love him anyway (and are attending 12 step programs to get over it) ... so here he is, straight from his latest anger management rehab, picking on me, my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills, Michelle Obama, well, pretty much everybody, the Doc ...

So where’ve you been, Chaz,

Every night I watch the Wall Street Protests on the news, looking for a portly gentleman wearing a red beret and a torn Buffalo Bills sweatshirt. Your anarchist peeps need you bro. Or are you too busy collecting big paychecks from typing contracts for “The Man”.

All these protests remind me of my glory days as a member of SDS in college. Spending my days, ending the war, singing Melanie songs and bringing peace to the earth… oh and the nights. If you think “makeup” sex is good, you have to try “revolutionary/battling the military, industrial complex” sex. And there was a lot of it in the Peace Movement. Why do you think we were so dedicated?

Sorry about your Buffalo Bills. I must say, I don’t much care for this new strategy of theirs. Normally they spread their 3 wins over the whole season. Now that they’ve won their first 3 games there will be nothing for you to look forward to all season. Don’t worry about it ... have a pizza.

Did you see the photo of Moochelle doing her shopping at Target?


Luckily, there “just happened” to be an AP photographer there to capture the moment of Michelle Antoinette hob-nobbing with the peasants. Call me cynical, but could this be an effort to overshadow the story that her Africa trip cost the taxpayers a half million dollars? They even put some low budget outfit on her because they figure that is how down home folks dress. You can see that the stores where Moochelle usually shops do not have shopping carts. Michelle and her assistant are walking out with their hands full of bags while pushing an empty cart. Then again, most people do not bring their assistants to Target. I usually let my assistant take a nap in the limo while I buy 20 pound bags of tube socks.

Sesame Street will be introducing a new food deprived muppet in an upcoming special on hunger. What a hopeful bedtime story to be giving our pre-schoolers. Personally I think there is also some underlying racial message going on here as well. The new, hungry muppet, Lily, is purple. Obviously the result of some rich, capitalist, blue muppet slumming down in the poorer, red muppet neighborhoods of Sesame Street.

Speaking of Muppets, my favorite muppet, Eric Holder was caught telling fibs about “Fast and Furious”. When asked when he first heard of it Eric said, “A few weeks ago”. It turns out he heard of it almost a year ago. Woops! When pressed about the discrepancy Eric defended himself by saying that he misunderstood the question. Hey, Eric, that’s not a tough question. And this is the top law enforcement official in Obama’s freaking America.

The ACLU (and Ron Paul) have their panties in a knot over the recent killing of the American, Al Qaeda big wig al-Awlaki. They consider the firing of a Hellfire missile up his skirts to be an assassination. The official TK (not really, the editors didn't approve) response to this is:

“Yes it was. Now, how about those Bills.”

Have a good week, Bunky

Doc

Here’s Melanie (after the war)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wives and Lovers ... The Christie factor ... Revolution on Wall Street ... Bills-Bengals ...

Amici:

Wives and Lovers ... smitten with the works of Richard Bausch, I recently read one of his novels, Wives and Lovers ... 3 short novels that are gripping, start to finish. I recently wrote a school paper on Bausch’s short stories and titled it American Verismo (i.e., verismo opera) and while the author (in an interview) claims none of his stories are actually real, what he writes about couldn’t be more real; the struggles and challenges and adventures life presents at every turn. I read this collection of short novels for my own sake (as an aside from the MFA program) ... because this author should be read again and again.

Upcoming TK reviews (as I find the time, which I’m really very short on of late) include:

Barry Graham’s, The Champion’s New Clothes (which I’ve started and am enjoying no end).

Sandra Ruttan’s, Harvest of Ruins (up next in the cue and something I’ve been looking forward to reading)

Declan Burke, Absolute Zero (another I’ve been anxious to read).

And now, the Christie factor ...



Some cheer at the above “let them eat cake” attitude of Mr. Christie. Others (most) see this as the class warfare the have nots are faced with. An attitude that says: If you can’t afford to pay $38K in property taxes (i.e., if you’re not loaded), tough noogies. He’s telling us he’s done well, Mr. Christie is ... and so if we haven’t done as well, tough shit. Some imbeciles on the right cheer for Christie’s rebuke of taxpayers who can’t afford private schools for their kids and his never ending defense of the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. Others look at this and smile (moi, for one) ... because it is this attitude that is gathering momentum (protestors) on Wall Street; it is Christie’s attitude that the people are starting to realize is nothing more than a slap in our collective faces. Let us eat cake? How about you push your fat self away from the table, Jumbo?

Democrats already know he’s no Sarah Palin. The big man can talk the talk and walk the walk money men adore; he tells unions how it will be, like it or not, and he plays to the crowd already conned into thinking the closer to a free market we get, the better things will be. Translation: he’s pro big business, anti worker, exactly what the Republican Party loves. Coming on the heels of the disaster Obama has been to the American worker, those running businesses will continue to have the cake-walk environment established by a Democratic President who skipped his chance to bat for the little guy by ducking his campaign promises to unions (for one thing). So, unless this whale from New Jersey (Christie, not me) has some very big-ass skeletons in his closet, should he run, Mr. Obama will be one and done.

Which is all the more reason, democratic loyalists claim, to make sure Obama doesn’t lose in 2012, because the other guys will be worse.

Worse than Obama for the working man? Really? That’s possible?



Instead of being “disappointed” with The One, try looking at the facts of what he’s done to the working man these last three years (how corporations wound with up record profits (and bonuses) via his bailout and workers have never been in worse shape) and then look at ALL the options out there instead of pointing fingers at the other major party and shitting your pants. Yes, Christie will side with big business and against the American worker exactly the way he did in Jersey. And this is why voting either party nets the same result, pro big business/corporations, anti-worker. Or why didn’t President Obama support the unions he pledged he would defend if collective bargaining were ever threatened?



We sent him a pair. Did yous?


That’s three pizza’s he’s signaling for above ... pies, not slices ...



Well, the picture below ... not exactly in YOUR favor ...




The Capitalist Police State ... last week when 90 pound protestors tried to film the police, they were pepper-sprayed and abused while being arrested. Yesterday the NYPD upped the anti and picked off 500 protestors on the Brooklyn Bridge.


In addition to what they view as excessive force and unfair treatment of minorities, including Muslims, the movement is also protesting against home foreclosures, high unemployment and the 2008 bailouts.



Filmmaker Michael Moore and actress Susan Sarandon have stopped by the protesters' camp, which is plastered with posters with anti-Wall Street slogans and has a kitchen and library, to offer their support.

While TK wonders where the so-called champions of the little guy were during all this the last few weeks, all we hear are the sounds of silence. The President, so used to dumping the little guy when the little guy most needs his support (see Wisconsin teachers union, et al), is campaigning ... or on vacation again, one of the two. Local Democrats are hiding, as is their way, while Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore show up (at least they do that much). And Republicans, no doubt, are having a good old time watching the video clips of police dragging kids across Wall Street.



Bills at Bengals today ... the wife received her two presents (Bills home and away t-shirts) and today we’ll be wearing the white as we travel to Cincinnati for a battle with the Bengals. This is one of those sleeper games you mark as a WIN on your schedule and then lose ... but our beloved New York State Buffalo Bills seem to have the right attitude right now and I don’t see them sleepwalked just yet. Bills 30, Bengals 20.

Go Bills!

—Knucks

And how 'bout those Buffalo Jills!