Prophecy from a Poet

The World Wide Web has indeed become the International Cesspool.

More than 20 years ago, at the apex of optimism about online commerce and communication, I was talking to the masterful poet and critic Mr. Lloyd Schwartz in the offices of, which was a combination online magazine and recordings retailer. I was gushing how much fun it was to answer email questions from customers and I could have — yippee! — exchanges with anyone and everyone from anywhere in the world.

Lloyd brought me up short with a remark that has seemed wiser and more prophetic every year since (paraphrased from memory): “If everyone can simultaneously talk to everyone else in a room, the loudest and rudest voice will dominate the conversation.”

Promo Cheer for Once

Seems like most days I get at least one package where I go — why in the hell did they send me this? Followed a listen or so later (usually) by “yuckaroo!”

But in the case of the New Pornographers, In the Morse Code of Brake Lights, my responses are “Thanks!” and later, “Wow, yay!”

Weird 2019 Continues in Nature

So as the light shifts late this afternoon, I’m looking out at this large cherry-apple tree that sits on Brookline property next to our driveway. What is THAT? I grab field glasses and step outside. Hol-lee Jaysus — it’s a hive bigger than a basketball. I check from a couple angles and it’s no illusion. This huge thing is hanging up there. At first I thought it was bees, but a little online image research (and a couple past experiences around here) convinced me it was yellowjacket hornets. Dangerous. Schoolkids walk right under it on the sidewalk alla time. Call to the city pest control first thing tomorrow morning.