Author Archives: Mike Feder

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You Have One Second To Respond

I’ve been watching a lot of debates on C-Span, House and Senate races.
Aside from the fact that lies and distortions are prominent (mosty by Republicans) what is really clear is that the formats of the debates are constructed in a way that virtually guarantees that most of what any candidate says is bound to be superficial or just plain meaningless. I’m talking about the amount of time give to each candidate to answer questions and for rebuttals.

In most cases it’s around a minute or less. When a senator or member of congress goes over the allotted time, a buzzer goes off or a bell rings—as if they were a dog or a lab rat in an experiment. Why stop with a bell or a buzzer? Why not have the candidates hooked up to an electric current—give them a quick shock when they go over 60 seconds? That’ll teach ‘em to try to express themselves above the level of pea-brained game show. contestant.
Continue reading

Goldilocks–Unanswered Questions

Last night I heated up some left-over pasta and meat sauce in the micro-wave. When I took it out, it was too cold. So I put it back in for a couple more minutes. When I took it out again, it was too hot. So I let it cool for a couple of minutes and then it was JUST RIGHT. Naturally, this reminded me of Goldilocks (Goldie Lox) and the Three Bears Continue reading

Roseanne, Samantha Bee, and Free Speech

An old listener of mine from WBAI-FM days, who has f0llowed to me through the decades on various stations, reminded me that I used to make impassioned pleas for the right of anyone on the air to say just about anything—and that included cursing and personal insults; Just about anything, in fact, that stopped short of (to paraphrase Oliver Wendell Holmes) “yelling fire in a crowded theater”—which is to say, any speech that doesn’t cause imminent bodily harm to anyone. Continue reading

Playboy Plays Out

Hugh Hefner died last week.
He was 91 and expired like some despotic king in his crumbling castle (mansion).
Playboy wasn’t a big thing in my neighborhood (unless, and this is entirely possible) some of the men in the neighborhood were buying it and hiding it someplace. It just wasn’t a playboy-type neighborhood–maybe not middle-class enough. Continue reading

Audio-book suggestion

I’ve read Ulysses a few times over the decades and always enjoyed it tremendously (in fact I’d say it’s far and away the best novel I’ve ever read) but I’ve never listened to it before.
Hearing it read aloud by such a terrific reader brings the story, the characters and the whole atmosphere of the book into vibrant life. Continue reading