Notes on Everyday Life

I started writing about politics and society in 1972, when I joined a small group in St. Louis intent on publishing a underground paper, called Notes on Everyday Life. We worked on it two years, publishing a dozen tabloid issues (or so, probably less). The title reflected our critical theory that politics permeated every facet of culture, and everything everyday had implications for politics. Dialectics were fashionable, and provided a model of complex interactions. As in any political group, there were endless discussion. My career in rock criticism started in those debates.

In the mid-1970s, I moved on: got a job, made some money, got married, had friends, learned a new trade, struggled with various health problems, got past my wife’s death, kept reading (mostly science). I started thinking about politics again around 1990, when I started with my second wife. She grew up on the left, and had never wavered in her commitments, something I admired her for even though I rarely lived up to her model. We were, at least, philosophically compatible. And I was appalled by the Reagan turn to the right, even though I wasn’t an obvious victim. (As I explained to people at the time, the only growth industry in America was fraud.) My alarm continued to grow through the 1990s until September 2001, when G.W. Bush grabbed his megaphone on “ground zero” and vowed vengeance on anyone who dared challenge the power and hubris of America’s ruling class.

I had started blogging a bit before then, but mostly just noting trivia like what I thought of records and movies. Since then I’ve written several million words on political issues. At some point, I remembered my old St. Louis publication, and registered the domain name. This is the third or fourth iteration of a website there. My plan is to write occasional short notes of relevance here, not just on obvious political matters but also on broader cultural concerns — since they remain linked, probably more obviously so than at any point in my life. Not to put too fine a point on it, that’s because the post-Reagan Republicans have become dedicated degraders and destructors of civilization itself. They hate you, and they mean to hurt you. It has never been more urgent to stand up to their attacks. The only way I know how to do that is through reason, so that’s what this website is for.

I started working on the Internet back in the mid-1990s. My previous sites have been crafted using my own tools and coding, so this one, based as it is on the free software WordPress, is a bit of learning curve. Some things I expect to be easier, and some more frustrating. I hope to be able to write more short pieces, on a more timely basis. I also expect that I’ll be able to slip in some older excerpts from my previous 20 years of writing. In theory, this tool also supports collaboration more easily than my other sites. I’d especially like to see some of my old comrades join in.

This post is a divider. Anything dated before is a previously written piece (probably lightly edited, maybe with more recent comments). Anything later was initially posted here.