Triumph of the Tabloids

While operations at tabloids have gotten more frantic and data-driven, a lot of their routines are not news to me and I remember how they were a source of astonishment and mild amusement. Headlines could offer timeless example of wiseass/jackass brilliance. And on occasion deathless pop-Surrealism. The astonishment came from the fact that the tabloids relied on impulse purchases at checkout counters. Having one of these printed cooties around the house was beyond my comprehension. And it has got to mean an aging audience these days.

But with a tyrant in charge, the tabloids are enjoying a power grab that no halfway normal person could imagine, let alone desire.

3 Main Food Tips From Maine

The first is the most unsurprising — takes the bold stand of agreeing with Anthony Bourdain, though we were tipped off to the joint years before the TV superhero chimed in.

No hesitations — Red’s Eats makes the finest lobster roll in Maine, and therefore in the world. I’ll go with this because theirs is the Platonic Ideal of a lobster roll: no idea how they cook it, but it comes out fresh and cold as imaginable, full of intricate flavor, more than a chicken lobster’s worth of meat per roll, you can add butter as you like and (what pushed them even higher in our estimation), they have perfected the roll itself. Not too buttery, not too toasted, but now a precise compliment to the texture of the meat (it was merely excellent a few years ago). Most everything else on the menus is fried, but we get here infrequently enough to not have progressed beyond the masterpiece. You’ll put up with the kinda-chaotic operation (there MUST be some way to get separate windows for ordering and pick-up) and the serious lines (try to go anytime but prime meal hours and weekends). I mean … immaculate sensory trip.

The second is quite familiar as a regional pick. But if you come from way away and drive past, you wouldn’t notice anything (except it’s a thrill and a chore to park).

Moody’s Diner makes pie for which you could die. All varieties are good, but the berry ones are the champs. Perfect Cracker of the Gods crust. Get slices to go — even if you have some there — and hope you get a generous cutter. The rest of the menu is solid, but, truth be told, over the years I can tell they’ve had artists and hard-working hacks in the kitchen. Go for diner like beef and pork. Seafood is weakest.

Finally is one that most won’t know. But do act now.

Port Clyde Fresh Catch has what could be generously described as erratic hours but, man — that fresh-caught purity of flavor and texture. We got wonderful haddock and cod turned into a top-notch chowder. But if they have it, go for the crab meat — as many pounds as you think you can consume. Picked and cleaned and packed flawlessly. Best crab we’ve ever eaten.




LSD at Harvard in Space and Time

Dr. Andrew Weil wrote some of the most exciting books about drugs and mind liberation I ever read.

The Natural Mind was a coherent manifesto without dropout drapery that argued many cultures used psychedelic drugs to shape young minds and the upsides were notable. Included original research into native-culture ceremonies and many insights. I have not read this completely revised version. But to be blunt I would say his original expression, warts and all, beats it.

The thing that weirded me out about his followup — The Marriage of the Sun and Moon — is that he had obviously figured cashing in on New Age vibes would pay off more than a lonely crusade to make acid experimentation a more normal and controlled part of American psychology research. Like they say, the beginning of the end.

Now he turns up every few years like a wind-up interview toy and gives the same spiel, with modifications, over and over. It’s not incorrect, though misleading I think in parts, just such a sad step-down from the potent message on mind liberation he once articulated.

But then, there was the Harvard Drug Scandal. Here’s Weil’s self-serving version.  And here’s a more balanced look back.

30 Years Ago Today, On the Summer Solstice of ’87

… Donna and I wanted to get married because the day fell on a Sunday and would be easy to always remember. And would always feature the longest potential sunshine of the year. But our selected minister had a commitment to a weekly sermon on the radio (!!) and so couldn’t do it until the next day. So we were married on a Monday — thirty years ago tomorrow.