Stop Calling Me Surly

Therapeutic music

Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile’s earliest musical memory is listening to “The Girl from Ipanema” in a diaper.

Fables of the Deconstruction

California dreaming

A couple weeks ago, I told you about a video I had seen at a year-end gathering of the Media Club at Bloom Elementary.

Keeping Up with the Jones

Black professors respond to speech

Dear Readers: This month’s column is based on an open letter sent to President Barack Obama by six African-American professors (including myself) immediately following Obama’s commen

Summary of My Discontent

Earth Traveler: Louisville

For the adventure traveler, the city of Louisville is an exciting cultural destination, teeming with exotic possibilities.

Stop Calling Me Surly

Why I divorced Cordish

I don’t like dress codes, discrimination, greedy profiteers or nontransparent public-private partnerships.

Fables of the Deconstruction

Care of Cell 44/Like a Monkey in a Zoo

Mail delivery is a big deal around here. It’s about the only thing we have to look forward to. I’m pretty lucky in that regard. I get a lot of mail.

Summary of My Discontent

Guilt by association

My great-grandfather, Johann Gerhard Welp, was a German immigrant and a busy man. He was born in 1857 in Lengerich, Westphalia, Germany, which at that time was the kingdom of Prussia.

Stop Calling Me Surly

Glimpses of meth hell

Among all the drug traffickers I’ve interviewed in 30 years, the most memorable series was with a meth dealer with a moral dilemma. “I can’t do this much longer,” he said.

Editor’s Note

Cancer, Interrupted

I owe a debt of gratitude to Angelina Jolie, which is unexpected given my cynical self typically scoffs at rich Hollywood types with whom I can’t relate.

Fables of the Deconstruction


Everybody knows that times are tough. Nobody has any money, and the cost of living is climbing. The unions are getting busted, and the middle class is disappearing.