Current Essays

Me at the Mike

Here is a 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.
But I do continue on that brilliant bastion of all that's good and kultured, on WCLV's syndicated Weekend Radio on many (mainly NPRish) stations traditionally on the first and third weekends of the month, though your weekendage may vary, (these are archived for a couple of months).

Richard Howland-Bolton

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General: This Too Shall..... On:2020-10-23 13:00:00

is the closest I come to a motto, slogan, catchphrase or what-have-you, and I even have the teeshirt to prove it.

General: Free! Free!! Free!!! On:2020-10-13 14:15:56
Once upon a time, long ago and quite possibly in a galaxy far, far away, products were advertised by what they contained: for example I remember an advert from the aforesaid time and place with the tag line "full of nourishing marrowbone jelly" (I believe this was for some sort of dog food, but if it wasn't then "Ewww-ww-w!")1
Even if this superfluity was of intangible things, like the Turkish Delight candy "Full of Eastern promise"2, or even allusively as when "just a little dab'll do ya"3 has the certain implicature that that dab is just chock full of nourishing promise, or even if it's just the boring old sex-appeal that it filled the potential user with—it was the contents or additives that seemed to add contentment to the customer.

Literature: Dragon On:2020-09-27 13:57:35
First1, at least as far as we know, there was the Old English poem which we now call Beowulf. This told the story of three great fights between its eponymous and indeed onomastic hero: in hall, mere and slot; against monster, mum and dragon (and quite a few rather meh! fights between mere humans) and tells it largely from a Beowulfian perspective, then later, much later, there came Martin Gardener's great novel Grendel which, surprisingly considering its name, told Grendel's story.

History: Feathers an' Fluff On:2020-07-24 12:21:35
The birds that lurk around our back patio down here in Texas are like that (I'm sure completely undeserved) stereotype of the American Tourist Abroad, you know demanding, aggressive, loud and, if Georgia has anything to do with it (the way she ladles out the bird seed and bark butter), overweight. And we have SO many different species, crabby cardinals, bossy blue jays, grotty grackles, rather cute finches of a reddish hew, one wren, two different types of woodpecker (leading me to ask 'How much wood would a woodpecker peck if a woodpecker pecked with his pecker?' and don't you wish I hadn't? ), dozy doves by the dozen (or as we call them pigeons), on occasion and when the rest are, for some inexplicable reason absent, a Cooper's hawk, and of course grillions of sparrows chirping noisily away: which, were I Dr Doolittle, I would understand to be saying: 'hello bird', 'hello other bird' 'hello other other bird' 'Now sod off the lot of you! This is my food! Mine!! MINE!!!' and so forth.... [over RudeBird1] they are SO demanding, I swear I recently heard one swearing in Morse Code, probably at me and certainly for not adding extra bird seed and bark butter to the vast heaps Georgia leaves them.
But, in spite of their noisy demands, this essay is in fact NOT about those fat and angry birds!
So let's forget those evil little buggers, 'cause actually it is about this:
General: Apocovidalypse Knees On:2020-06-04 11:15:45
Thank you for asking, but actually I've been doing quite well during the Apocovidalypse---at least as far as health is concerned. I've been out in the traditional shorts, singlet and face mask every morning, walking four or five miles at a brisk Roman Legionary Pace above 4 milia passuum an hour, and it's having an effect. I'm losing weight and I'm feeling fit but, but... well I'm not sure if this is appropriate for a family programme such as this, but...but wearing shorts and walking I've...I've ... ... started to pay attention to my knees!
And I have realised that I have Old Guy Knees.

Britain: A Bonk on the Conk On:2020-06-04 09:53:08
Don't panic!
Don't panic!
Whatever you do don't follow the dictates of that old rhyme:
When in danger
Or in doubt,
Run in circles,
Scream and shout!
....or maybe you should, because, finally, the most dreadful thing in the whole World has happened. Conkers is under attack!!

America: I Say, That's Not Cricket! On:2017-03-05 10:00:00
With much gnashing of teeth, and the occasional wail, the guys at work have been lamenting my comparative ignorance of, and my absolute lack of interest in, that essential and proper American activity of baseball, or as the Japanese call it basebaru.
General: The Dog Business On:2017-03-05 10:00:00
In the last few months my life has changed suddenly, dramatically and out of all reckoning.
Britain: Brexit Bressay On:2017-03-05 10:00:00
Speaking as a Br who Exited much, much more than fifteen years ago I suppose I have absolutely no right to comment on the horribly portmanteaued ‘Brexit', so here goes…
Britain: Donald, Whaere's yer Wossname? On:2015-10-25 00:00:00
With all the media attention on Scotland’s wanting, for at least the last year or so to be “a nation once again” (though maybe that was Ireland?…) — but, but apart from that there’s all that nonsense from the SNP who want to be their own little Parti Quebequois in memory of the Auld Alliance, so just to be safe I’ve been embracing my Scottish side of late.
My wife and I have even been going to the odd Caledonian event down here in Texas, that land of all things Scottish. The last one was, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed a Burns’ Nicht Supper celebrating Scotland’s national poet.


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