Female Stand-Up Comics (Back When It Was A Male Profession)

A funny thing happened. Not funny, ha-ha, funny as in ironic. I’ve been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Prime, about a divorced female stand-up comedian in the late 1950s-early 1960s, and just stumbled onto a book called In On the Joke: The Original Queens of Stand-Up Comedy. The karmameter siren sounded, dive into this … More Female Stand-Up Comics (Back When It Was A Male Profession)

A Sacred Oath, Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times (Review)

Mark T. Esper was the Defense Secretary under the Trump. His memoirs are quite interesting for several reasons. Esper, a former Army officer, served as Secretary of the Army and held other jobs in and outside of the Pentagon. While Secretary of the Army, Esper writes that he began a series of actions to streamline … More A Sacred Oath, Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times (Review)

Bernstein v. Barr

Memoirs are one of my favorite genres of books. Recently, I read Carl Bernstein’s Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom (Henry Holt and Co., 2022) and William Barr’s One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General (William Morrow, 2022). I read these books back-to-back. Dueling memoirs. What could these stories have in … More Bernstein v. Barr

Ivan Meets G.I. Joe

In 1980, the Clash released a song called “Ivan Meets G.I. Joe” on their stunning Sandinista album. At the time, U.S. – Soviet relations were at a low point. The Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan and the U.S. was sending arms to Afghan fighters, particularly Stinger surface to air missiles that fell many Soviet helicopters … More Ivan Meets G.I. Joe

Merle Haggard

Last week, the Grand Ole Opry celebrated the life of Merle Haggard. Merle was never a “Nashville guy,” he did not like the cookie-cutter way Nashville made their music and preferred the rougher, Bakersfield outlier sound. Still, Merle was a country music icon and an influence on many country music entertainers. In Bakersfield, California on … More Merle Haggard