Category: Sweeping Pronouncements

The Excruciating Pain of Christmas Music, Scientifically Measured

If you’ve visited this blog during the holidays, you know my feelings about Christmas music. It’s my tradition to unleash a primal, Munchian scream against the unbearable, tinny, maudlin, manipulative, manufactured dreck that the Sentimental-Industrial Complex annually sees fit to inflict on us. But this time, science is here to help us.

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What we’ve lost

On the morning of November 9, when the votes were counted and we all knew that Donald Trump would become our next president, I put the following statement on social media:

Well, folks, it’s been a nice republic.

It got a positive response from friends on the left and the right. They all sensed that something very important had been lost, though it was hard to pinpoint what. But those who find profit in that loss are leaving no end of clues, and it’s our job to read those clues.

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A Bird I Love: The McBoingBird

Since I’ve carried on at length about birds I detest, it seems appropriate to talk about one that I have fallen in love with. It’s the lyrebird of Australia, or as I think it should be called, the McBoingBird.

It’s an amazing creature; this video proves it. Watch the whole thing, because it keeps getting better and better. Your mouth will be hanging open by the end.

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Three Birds I Hate

Not much going on today — well, actually, there’s plenty going on, but it’s not your business — so I’ll share my feelings about some birds.

I was raised by birdwatchers, and I actually like birds, quite a lot in fact. But you can’t honestly love the best things in life without hating the worst, and there are three kinds of birds that I despise with an intensity that many people reserve for professional sports teams or religious infidels. Here are My Three Most Hated Birds.

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Where to Live in Austin If You Don’t Exist

Here’s something fun: I wrote an op-ed that the Austin American-Statesman published on Feb. 14. It was my response to a bit of news that I felt exposed a lot of disgusting hypocrisy, as well as indifference to the rights of others. You can’t read the whole thing online unless you’re a subscriber, but I still own the rights to the piece, so here it is:

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An Apology to Texas

Not long ago I wrote a rather grumpy post about Texas in which I used an impolite word — specifically, about the highway etiquette here — and the commenters came back at me with such kindness that I think it’s time I said a few nice things about Texas.

That’s the main thing. Everyone here is so nice. I love it! I get to be friendly to strangers again. I moved here after ten or so years in southern California, where making eye contact is a sign of weirdness. If you greet a stranger walking down the street, you’ll cause confusion and genuine distress; they just aren’t prepared to cope with that kind of deviant behavior.

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‘Tis the Damn Season

(Note: We hereby abandon the Editorial We, except when issuing official pronouncements on behalf of WLHQ, or when we feel like it. It was stupid and annoying. We apologize.)

I’ve never liked Christmas music. There, I said it. There are various reasons for that, foremost the forced march Christmas caroling that I was frequently made to do as a kid. I was raised in a church where the adults loved nothing more than to herd the kids up in front of everyone, at the point of electric prods if necessary, and force them to perform music. It can leave one with an aversion. (On a quick tangent: if you’ve never been part of a troupe of four grade schoolers made to perform “Dona Nobis Pacem” in front of a church on a clarinet, a trumpet, a violin, and a drum kit, yes, a drum kit, you are luckier than I was, And if you were an adult in the congregation that day, I blame you for doing nothing to stop it.)

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