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Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 03:21 PM PST

Here come The Beatles

by DJ Rix

We knew The Beatles were coming months before they arrived here.  I was suspicious. I liked rock & roll.   I liked many kinds of music. I didn't have a great cultural or emotional investment in rock & roll.  Those early Beatles singles & the LPs Meet the Beatles & Beatles Second were enjoyable, but they didn't bowl me over.   The Beatles' music seemed too slight to support the madness.  & then there was the marketing: authorized merchandise, Beatles wigs, lunchboxes, dolls, pinup magazines etc. etc. aimed at 10-12 year old girl demographic. Manager Brian Epstein wanted his band innocent enough that parents would buy the crap Beatles merchandise for  the little girls. What happened in high school was a bit different. I was 15, a sophomore.  The 14 & 15 & 16 year old girls I knew who fell in love with one or another of the Beatles did so with self-aware & barely disguised lust. All Epstein needed to sell them were the records & record jackets & some glossy photos of the boys. Their photos were in all the magazines.

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Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 04:16 PM PST

Christmas Eve: A Recollection

by DJ Rix

My parents put a lot of effort into Christmas, making it quite magical, particularly when I was very young, 4, 5 years old. They had a feel for tradition & theater. Fans of Norman Rockwell or Doctor Spock, read on.

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Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 05:35 PM PST

The Broken Branch

by DJ Rix

A broken branch on this plant
top-heavy with thick leaves
bled a congealing milk
& it refused to die

Stuck in an old wine bottle
filled with water
it began pushing out
pale white roots

We have no means to understand
a plant’s will to live
but that at some level
it shares the ground with us

This plant growing down
& out in all directions
a strange reversal

We pass from crown to root
or from root to crown
making reflections of ourselves

The hidden & the revealed

Which aspect begins it?
Which one chooses?

Wherever we are broken
there survives a possibility
of replacement & growth

Leaves bending to air & light
roots twisting toward dark sustenance
& always the passage between the two

Though we are split off
given up for death
we may yet create a lost part
& save ourselves

© Bob Rixon


Sun Aug 04, 2013 at 01:18 AM PDT

Angels at the Jersey Shore

by DJ Rix

Narrow steps climbed from my godmother Cath's bedroom to a barely improved second story with two rooms separated by a curtained doorway. A few feet above the floor the walls sloped inward to the roof peak. It was a tight space in a bungalow. My brother & I shared a bed in the room at the back, beneath a small window. In the other room, my grandmother Nana & Aunt Bella slept together. These were our accommodations for summer vacations in Somers Point, a small town across the bay from Ocean City.

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Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:13 PM PDT

Lesley Gore: You don't own her

by DJ Rix

Listen to Lesley again, as she notes we're still fighting the same battles 45 years after she recorded this prescient masterpiece.


Sat Sep 30, 2006 at 04:06 PM PDT

Sen. Menendez Jumps the Shark

by DJ Rix

If Sen. Bob Menendez loses in November, September 28 will be remembered as the day his campaign "jumped the shark." This phrase refers to an episode of "Happy Days" when Fonzie, wearing water skis & a leather jacket, jumped over a shark. Fans of the show generally agree it's the point at which the show began it's long, final decline, & so the amusing phrase has passed into the popular lexicon as signifying the tipping point for a TV show or a career.
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What a shock:
Newark, NJ: Today the Republican Majority for Choice, the largest choice advocacy group in the GOP, announced their formal endorsement of Doug Forrester for New Jersey Governor. "We are proud to stand again with Doug and announce our endorsement of his candidacy for New Jersey Governor," said Jennifer Blei Stockman, RMC National Co-Chair. "Doug holds a deep understanding of the importance of protecting a woman's right to choose. Following in the tradition of common sense Republicans Tom Kean, Christie Whitman and Rudy Giuliani, Doug has pledged to protect those rights and to ensure that all women and families have access to information and services needed to promote healthy families."
Republican Majority for Choice, eh? How does it feel to be like gum on the shoes of the national party? Especially when you're sharing those shoes with a lot of dogshit?
So The Word Network takes out an ad on the Kos site that features a quote from Dr. King. Click that ad & you go here But an ad on another more conservative site might take you here instead. Note the slight but telling difference in appeals. I haven't sorted it out yet; have to read the lawsuit TWN filed. But Howard Stern is not taking over the space vacated by The Word Network (which includes Benny Hinn among its roster of gospel preachers). It's o.k. to ask what pushed Stern off the AM airwaves. All I know is that Sirius is not a non-profit organization. & that it is engaged in what could be a life or death struggle with another satellite network. & that subscription satellite radio is for the time being free of the F.C.C.'s repressive influences.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 at 01:32 PM PDT

The Bush Great New Society Deal

by DJ Rix

I seem to have missed something, some crucial step in George Bush's journey. Not the part of his trip from a distracted, indifferent, insulated, boozy young manhood to a distracted, indifferent, insulated, dry drunk presidency. It's the section where he's transformed into Franklin Roosevelt Builder of Human Hopes & Public Projects that's blank. Could this have really happened in the space of two weeks, from the absurdity of "You're doin' a great job, Brownie" to last night's " ..we will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives." Quite a promise. Of course, he's made similar ones to the People of Iraq. But now he's telling America that we can rely upon the very Federal agencies & services that he & his fellow true faith believers have been dismantling for years through cronyism & neglect. & I thought we had to elect a different president & congress to receive blessed political assurance & the annointing of renewed committment to the poor & disadvantaged.
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Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 03:18 PM PDT

NJ's Doug Forrester sings the blues

by DJ Rix

I hope New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester spit up his coffee this morning when he read the latest poll showing George W. Bush has a whopping 61% disapproval rating here. Yet, for 20 years the most liked "politician" in Jersey has been former governor Tom Kean, a model for GOP rationality now considered so contemptible by the far right intelligent designers at the RNC that our local Republicans might as well start a new party. Why not call it the Whigs?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 06:23 PM PDT

Where are the Iraq alternatives?

by DJ Rix

We know that a pro-Iranian Shiite government is inevitable in central & southern Iraq, the nation will fragment into at least three semi-autonomous regions regardless of what a new constitution says, & the Sunni minority will never surrender. This moment in the history of Iraq was predestined the day the Ottoman Empire collapsed. The liberal left & the growing anti-neoconservative right need to provide ideas for a tactical withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq (let's not call it a retreat) & an alternative strategy of containment for the region based on a weak central state Iraq that will remain a deadly playground for competing Islamic ideologies. I'm not smart enough to suggest any, but I know this strategic plan will of necessity require that we trash the recently passed energy & transportation bills.

Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 09:28 PM PDT

Bush & The Boy Scouts

by DJ Rix

Today President Bush gets to eulogize four dead Boy Scout leaders before 40,000 Boy Scouts. Look for him to use the words heroes & Challenger, & probably terror. He should give a recruitment spiel; we'll still be in Iraq when thousands of these kids are old enough to enlist. This president's arithmetic is far more terrible than a freak accident.
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