Current Essays

Me at the Mike

Here is a Sup—I mean repository of the texts of my wireless essays together with some readings of them.

The essays were broadcast by WXXI 91.5 Classical of Rochester, NY on Salmagundy each Saturday at 9:35am Eastern Time, from the beginning of time (1985) till May 2009 when Entropa (evil Goddess of Change-for-the-Worse-or-Possibly-the-Worst) troubled the minds of the WXXIites and they retired Simon and Salmagundy, and Rochester went into a terminal decline---for ever.

I continued on that brilliant bastion of all that's good and kultured, WCLV's syndicated Weekend Radio on many (mainly NPRish) stations traditionally on the first and third weekends of the month, though weekendage varied, till the horror crept ever onward and that too was devoured (in August 2023, a date which will live in infamy or at lease mild irritation)... and only I remain, defiant though wimpering.
    Richard Howland-Bolton

There are pop-up pics and links all over the place here. In text they are indicated by a double underline like this:
           mouse-overing brings the pop-up up and clicking (usually) goes to the link

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History: Lives of Great Men All Remind Us On:2007-02-27 10:23:16
Nobody---not Leonardo, not Einstein, not even me---nobody is good at absolutely everything.

America: Happy You'rewelcomegiving Day On:2006-11-16 02:45:26
Thanksgiving Day having passed such a short time ago this seems an appropriate moment to look at the other side of the coin: at You'rewelcomegiving Day.

You'rewelcomegiving is that nonchalant, not-quite-smug, and rather indeterminately located holiday wherein we take the time to celebrate one of the only three things that America has ever given to the culture of the world that are totally unalloyed, pure, joyous improvements (the other two being of course the Marshall Plan and Carrot Cake). Everything else---McDonalds, Hollywood, saying (but obviously not meaning) "Have a nice day", pointlessly expensive and choice-ridden coffee---have all been unmitigated disasters and have been to the culture of the world the equivalent of bovine spongeform encephalopathy or at least of a nasty bout of foot fungus.

History: Time Gentleman Please On:2006-08-24 04:13:20
Millennia ago...

Music: Here We Come a Bovver Boy On:2005-11-30 08:36:07

"Here we come a bovver boy among the leaves so green
"An' here we come wiv' aggro to kick you in the spleen.
"Lot's of ale unto us, you must give or we will cuss,
"An' we'll thump you and, slag you off with words that are obscene,
"An' we'll shout things that a-are quite obscene."
["Put the boot in, Trevor"]

History: From the Very Heart and Soul of... On:2005-06-28 10:51:36
I just got a memo this morning that claims to be "From the desk of… well never you mind, you know how I always try to avoid embarrassing people in these essays"---and fighting down, with amazingly mature restraint, my immediate reaction to reply "Dear desk, would you please tell your damned owner to send his own bloody memos, and while I’m at it, I rather resent being addressed in such familiar terms by inanimate objects, especially when they are collections of cheap tin, particle board and imitation formica held together with too few screws!"… when I suddenly thought: Why?

Music: Good Godric! 2005 On:2005-05-11 06:24:49
Friday saw my kids (in preparation for the weekend) all dressed up in their little threadbare monks' habits with their little peg legs and hooks poking out from various orifices and their eye patches all askew: munching on raw turnips and going down the street to school chanting "kyrie-eleison! Oh-arrr me hearties!" of course the other kids do tend to make fun of them, and occasionally throw things, but at least we're getting some momentum going here...

America: Crime in the Wedge On:2004-11-12 08:10:40
I was taking a bath the other evening, relaxing after a hard day and before an expected harder evening of marking homework. Snuggling down into my hot bubbly relaxant, I heard the almost inevitable ring from the front door bell. This, though, did not perturb my tub since my wife was about and was well known to be given to the answering of such interuptions. But what was this; I could hear muffled watery voices from, as they say in the acting profession, off.

Britain: Wha Burns a Haggis? On:2004-01-20 17:09:42
January 25th being that great annual Scottish celebration and, to be honest, whisky-fest of Burns Nicht and I myself, in addition, being an Anglo-Scottish half-breed (or as I like to put it a 'Sesqui-scot'1) I can hardly let the one pass without having the other comment on the event, and, since we here at the studio are so strongly against stereotyping, particularly to comment on that non-alcoholic essential for the celebration. I refer, of course, to the haggis.

Literature: Sesquitriursine Grottylocks On:2003-03-14 05:22:13
Hello children. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. . .1
Once upon a time in a charming little cottage in the middle of the big wood there lived three and a half bears.

Science: Contraperception On:2003-03-29 13:43:22
Indulge with me in a little Gedankenexperiment, a thought experiment, you know the sort of thing---wild hypothesizing after the style of the famous Schrodinger’s cat-in-the-box experiment.


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