"You have a point. An idiotic one, but a point." (from "All About Eve," 20th Century Fox, 1950)

No Dialogue on Dialogue

By Cyberquill 04/17/20152 Comments

Heinz Fischer

Kids say the darndest things. As do presidents.

Enter Heinz Fischer, the president of Austria, a small landlocked nation in Central Europe known for having supplied the scenic backdrop for The Sound of Music, not to be confused with a similarly christened oceanlocked continent located in the southern hemisphere.

In a recent interview on the status of the Iran nuke deal negotiations, Mr Fischer touted the willingness for dialogue as a cornerstone of international diplomacy and … Read More →

Why I Can’t Stand Black Opera Singers

By Cyberquill 02/01/20154 Comments

Jessye Norman

Many regard Jessye Norman as one of the preëminent dramatic sopranos of our time.

Primarily, though, Ms Norman is a thief.

And a racist one at that, no matter how unwittingly so.

See, classical music originated in Europe and surely ranks among the whitest of all art forms. Then along comes some black lady and, by belting out Wagner, attempts to … Read More →

Why Can’t I Shower With the Girls?

By Cyberquill 01/31/2015Leave a Comment

The Eurovision Song Contest 2014 was won by a long-haired and bearded Austrian dude that wears makeup and dresses as a woman.

Somewhat confusingly, everyone keeps referring to him as “she.”

Granted, “she” goes better with his chosen stage name Conchita. But then again, no one refers to Alice Cooper as “she.” So what gives? … Read More →

(I Dream of) Jingle Bells in June ♫

By Cyberquill 12/19/201412 Comments

Once again, it’s the time of year to dust off and post my homemade Yuletide carol.

May Santa forgive me.

Available on iTunes.

Thought Experiment

By Cyberquill 12/19/2014Leave a Comment

Ethnicities

You are single, and you’re given a trial membership for a dating site, whose members are organized into several categories, including race.

You are allowed to select your target sex and age range, but unless you upgrade for a fee, which you don’t intend to pay for the time being, you are restricted to browsing and contacting members of one ethnicity only:

Black, White, Asian, Latino, Native … Read More →

Of Goats and Men

By Cyberquill 12/09/2014Leave a Comment

Goat

Who’s more valuable, a human or a goat?

The answer seems obvious—but why?

Superficial features aside, both are made up of the same components. Both have eyes, ears, limbs, a brain, a spine, a nervous system, and a heartbeat. Both will feel … Read More →

Do Black Lives Really Matter?

By Cyberquill 12/08/2014Leave a Comment

Black Lives Matter

When Rudy Giuliani took the reins in New York City, the murder rate there plummeted to unprecedented lows.

Since blacks killed by other blacks form the lion share of murder victims, this reduction in black-on-black violence meant that black lives were saved at an unprecedented level.

Giuliani, of course, is being roundly assailed, including by the Big Apple’s present hizzoner, as an insensitive … Read More →

The Cosby Raped Me Show

By Cyberquill 12/03/2014Leave a Comment

Bill Cosby

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson terms “lazy brain” the practice of either accepting or discounting claims on their face. “What you should do is inquire,” he says.

But how do we inquire without our personal biases and preferred outcomes skewing our inquiry? … Read More →

The White Take on Ferguson

By Cyberquill 11/25/2014Leave a Comment

Ferguson

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Scanning the headlines on the latest developments in the wake of the grand jury’s failure to indict officer Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, I came across one that asked why it was so difficult for white people to understand Ferguson.

I didn’t read the article, so I haven’t prepped myself as to what those reasons are according to that piece, but … Read More →

Let’s Talk About Nothing

By Cyberquill 11/20/20149 Comments

Test card

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded—a storied event a.k.a. the Big Bang.

But how do you define “nothing”?

In the olden days, before it became de rigueur for television networks to air programming 24/7, flipping on the tube in the dead of night you might have seen a … Read More →

Between You and I: It’s Me!

By Cyberquill 11/11/20144 Comments

Grapo

The other day, CNN’s early morning weatherman explained that a particular meteorological metric (some wind speed or precipitation amount or whatever, I forget the context) “may not seem that much to you or I, but …”

I submit that he never would have said “may not seem that much to I or you,” not only to avoid coming across as an ill-mannered born-in-a-barn churl that likes to put himself first, but primarily because his linguistic sensibilities would … Read More →

Tire Tracks in the Sand

By Cyberquill 11/07/20149 Comments

Tire Tracks

Where there is life, there is death.

Not a day goes by that we aren’t flooded with tidings of lives having ended for one reason or another, many untimely. Scores killed in a suicide blast over here, a jetliner blown out of the sky over there, a bus full of children that plowed through a guardrail somewhere, school shootings, famines, Ebola, celebrity deaths, and on and on.

Too many to contemplate each one individually.

Add to the list the Grim Reaper’s ever-growing toll from within our own circle of relatives, friends, and … Read More →

Who “Wants” to Die?

By Cyberquill 11/05/2014Leave a Comment

Brittany Maynard

Some years ago, a distant in-law relative of mine, having just been informed by his physician that his cancer had recurred and briefed on the various treatment modalities available at this stage, declared that he didn’t wish to go on living “under these circumstances,” drew one final breath, and … Read More →

We the People’s Taxes

By Cyberquill 11/04/20142 Comments

A very good measure of how democratic a society is is to ask about the attitude towards taxes. I mean, if you had a free functioning democratic society, April 15th, when you pay your taxes, that would be a day of celebration: Here we are, getting together, to fund the policies that we decided on. That’s great. That’s what we wanna do. [But h]ere it’s a day of mourning. It’s not a government of, by, and for the people. You know, that itself is a sign of the serious decline of the functioning of the democratic system.”

Compelling and attractive as the above argument may sound at first blush, it appears to rest on a fanciful notion of “we” and “the people” as a monolithic entity, whose … Read More →

Catcalls, Evolution, and Online Anonymity

By Cyberquill 10/30/20144 Comments

Pounding the New York City pavement while tailing her undercover DP for ten hours, a callipygian young lady named Shoshana, garbed in formfitting black T&Jeans, reportedly scored a total of 108 catcalls (“This doesn’t include the countless winks, whistles, etc.”) from male strangers she encountered during her marathon stroll.

In general, catcalls are perceived as an unwelcome annoyance, but in this particular case they obviously were desired, the more the merrier, for the purpose of producing … Read More →

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