Don’t Look Back But It’s Our 9th Anniversary!

Great Balls of Fire and other exultations of exclamatory joy! Hoo-roo and hoo-rah! We made it by the skin of our teeth through one more year of daily posts. I hope they’ve provided some sort of diversion and interest for you. As is my custom, on anniversary day, I post what I feel were my favorite audio pieces of the year. I’ll try to keep the list short this time, a baker’s dozen, so that you can get a chance to sample the ones you missed or re-visit posts that you enjoyed.

Thy Kingdom Come

Hey Guys, Watch This: Nellie McKay

The Underground Empire

Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse

John Sayles’s New Novel: Jamie MacGillivray

Coriolanus: Class War

“Shakespeare Without Tears”: Hamlet and the All-Seeing Surveillance State

Julian Assange In His Own Words

From Approximately Coast To Coast…

The Quiet Epidemic

The Theater of Three Card Monte

Our End-Of-Year Arts Express Thank You Poem

2nd Chance: Sex, Violence and Bulletproof Vests

*8th Anniversary Celebration

Well time flies when you’re having fun, and here we are at the 8th iteration of the Shalblog Industries® (division of Axlotl International) daily blog anniversary. As is our wont on such occasions (and who wouldn’t want to wont on such an occasion?) herewith a list of some of our favorite radio work of the past year that you may have missed.

Lady Buds: Six Women Underground Cannabis Growers

The Pundemic

The Furnished Room

Gold, Oil, And Avocados

“They’re Worse Than You Thought And More Evil Than You Thought”

The Great Postal Heist

How to Tell A Story In One Sentence

War Is A Racket

Advice For The Ethically Challenged

Why Is We Americans?

Mr. Bachmann And His Class

Guantanamo Diary Revisited

The Price of Immortality

“A Spectre is Haunting Europe…”

Decolonize Museums

Summer Solstice Winter

The Destiny of Civilization

Before The Law

“I Feel Drunk All The Time” : The Poems of Kenneth Patchen

Gun Show!

“If I Were A Man…”

Taken For Granted: Overcoming Underwriting

Fighting Times


A Public Service: A Guide For Whistleblowers

Seventh Inning Stretch

Party On!! The worldwide staff at Shalblog® Industries is taking a moment off from their usual Culture Conveyor Belt activities in order to select twenty of their favorite original interviews, reviews, stories, and poetry from the past year that you may have missed as we approach our seventh blog anniversary:

Letter From Brooklyn

Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story


“Tried To Suffocate Us, But We Are Air”: Louise Dessertine

Dancing Through Tap History: Rusty Frank

David And The Recruiter


“Oh God, And This Is Only A Metaphor!”: Molly Peacock

The Lost Family: Part One

Everyone Was Beautiful: Paul Hostovsky

Who Wrote Shakespeare’s Plays?

Memoirs of a Misfit Ruler

The Voyage

The People Vs. Agent Orange

The Poems of Denise Levertov

The Joy of Sweat!


“A White Heron” by Sarah Jewett

Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster

I Digress

Fifth Anniversary: Favorite Posts Of The Last Year

black and brown long coated dog birthday

Photo by Natasha Fernandez on


Yesterday, I put a wrap on the fifth year of this blog (put your favorite emoji here), and in keeping with my annual tradition, here are 25 of my favorite posts of the past year created by the Shalblog Industries® team. In no particular order:

A Child’s Garden of Denial

Three Secrets

Letter To A Principal

I Dream of Genii…

Permanent Record: Edward Snowden

Three Poems

Where Eagles Dare

Coriolanus: The Nihilism of War

“…Followed By The Pound Sign…”

Online Ordering

“I Would . . . Prefer . . . Not To . . .”

Woman At War

Two Schools of Magic

Federico Garcia Lorca And The Duende

You Don’t Look A Day Over 450

How To Produce Interviews For Radio And Podcast

Whoa, Nellie!

Kids These Days: The Making of Millennials, Part One

“Hard Luck”: Sholom Aleichem

The Road Not Taken

The Five Boons of Life

A Hole In The Fabric Of Time And Space

“They All Want To Play Hamlet”

Gerald Deutsch’s Perverse Magic: The First Sixteen Years

“We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges”

Thanks for an enjoyable year and all your comments and support so far!

“That Was Not A Compliment”: The Smothers Brothers



In 1969, CBS television fired the Smothers Brothers from their high-rated comedy variety show for being too outspoken against the Vietnam War. Among other things, they had on blacklisted guest Pete Seeger who sang “Waist Deep In The Big Muddy,” an anti-war song about a captain who orders his men into a bog despite the obvious senselessness of the command.

You can read more about that incident here:

and I’ll post video of Pete’s remarkable performance in the comments.

Twenty years later, however, things had changed somewhat and the Brothers were invited to do a 20th anniversary special for CBS. Click on the video above to see how they opened the show.

Thanks to YouTuber Kehlog Albran

Whoops, Late Again: Our Fourth Anniversary

commuter commuting late lost

Photo by Negative Space on


This week was the fourth anniversary of this blog, November 2, to be exact. Thanks to all for your support. As we go into our fifth year, it’s been the anniversary tradition here to list my favorite posts of the past year. You may enjoy catching up on some of them:

Sleepwalking to Armageddon: Helen Caldicott

There Once Was A Magical Duck…

Longing Lasts Longer: Penny Arcade

Hamlet: Spying, Identity, And Eluding the Panopticon

Seven Shuffles

Last Writes

Dealt: Fate Shuffles The Deck For Magician Richard Turner

Taking Her Bow

When Most I Wink, Then Do Mine Eyes Best See

This Just In

Who’s On First?

The Color of Law

Wallace Shawn: “Feeding The Monster”

The Mighty Arts Express Players Present…Gun Shy

The Cost

Shakespeare’s Banana Republics

Secret Cove

Jesus’s Magic Square

A Matter Of Perspective

Fall Guy

At The Passport Photo Office…


Cutting School, Author Noliwe Rooks

Day Tripper



What a trip. It’s the third anniversary of this blog this week. It’s a little scary to think I’ve posted that many times. It’s been so nice to hear from readers.

Here are a dozen of my favorite posts and memories from the past year that you may have missed, which you might also enjoy:

Finding the Red Card: The Performance of Three-Card Monte

Late In The Day: Constance Norgren

Our Way 

Mike and Ruthy’s Hoot Love

“Jack Hath Not Gill”: Love’s Labour’s Lost

Pilobolus Umbrellas

Poet For Hire

Final Bow

Safe Harbor

Letter By Letter

Crowds and Party by Jodi Dean

Post -It


Everything Old Is New Again



Today I’m celebrating the end of the second year of daily blog posts, and I want to thank all the people who have given me their support.  I’m a glutton for punishment, so I’m set to do another year of this. Actually, I’ve enjoyed doing it a lot.

Last night also marked the end of the magic contest, and sometime within the week, I’ll announce the winners. Thanks to everyone who participated.

I thought I’d do a quick round-up here of my twenty favorite blog posts from the past year that featured my own original content. You may enjoy re-visiting or catching up with some of these:



Radio Interviews and Stories





A One-Year Anniversary Celebration and The Top 30 Under-The-Radar Posts



When I started this blog exactly one year ago, 365 consecutive posts ago, I never thought that it would bring the fun and opportunities that I’ve experienced over the past year. I started it mainly as an exercise and a way to document for myself where my life was going. But I’ve met so many nice people and enjoyed myself in so many ways directly due to this blog.

So I want to thank all of you who have ever visited this site for your support. It’s really gratifying to think that there are others who have some of the same strange interests that I do, and that I’m not just writing into the wind.

To celebrate, I’m listing my favorite posts from the last year. They may not all have garnered a lot of hits, but I think you’ll enjoy catching up with them. Sometimes people don’t have the time at first to read a long essay, follow the links, or listen to an audio clip when it’s first posted, so now is the time to sit back, relax, and catch up with what you’ve missed. Here, grouped by category, but in no particular order otherwise, are my top 30 favorite interviews, stories, poems, essays, and photos of the past year.

If you like this blog, the one single way you can best help spread the word is to please click on the Facebook or Twitter share buttons at the bottom of each post each time you see something that you enjoy. It’s incredible what a difference it makes in the number of views a particular post gets, and it gives me encouragement. Again thanks for a great year, and  Music will be back tomorrow!


Rodney King, the Interview:

Tales of Highdini: Magician Steve Spill Spills the Beans:

The Outsider Artist, Don Porcella:

My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy:

To Infinity and Beyond: The Buzz Aldrin Interview:

They Shoot Black People, Don’t They: Cartoonist Keith Knight:

A Little Sparrow Told Me, Activist Poet and Holy Fool, Sparrow:

Stories and Poems

Michael Potato:

Marcie At Work:

Poem: Autumn:

Poem: Adornments:

Poem: Paths:

Essays on Writing, Theatre, Education, and Magic

A Matter of Taste:

The Actor Who Made Me Gasp:

Reflections on a Year of Teaching:

On Patience:

Fumbling, Failing, Falling:

Breathing Room:

A Room with a View: Wagering It All On One Scene:

A Warning:

Time For Enlightenment:

Morley: “If You’re Feeling Helpless”:


Face the Music:

Joy Ride:

State Police/Police State:

The New World:

God Bless America:


Milk Chocolate Overlords:

Snow Tree:



Today is this blog’s six-month anniversary. It’s been 180 consecutive days of posts, with over 8700 views.

I knew when I started this that I didn’t want to do it unless it was a daily ritual. I’ve made many new Internet friends since starting this blog, and I want to thank all the kind people who have encouraged me.

I hope you’ve been entertained as much as I’m enjoying writing this blog.

I look forward to tomorrow.