Politics and Culture in the Comic Zone

Daniel Rigney

Daniel Rigney
New Texas, USA
August 01
free-range writer
In this writing workshop and citizen's blog I'm exploring various short forms, often from a satiric angle. My interests include politics, culture and the human comedy; old and new media; social theory and urban ethnography; the commercialization, corporatization and tabloidization of everything; sustainability; Unitarianism (UU); coffee; and writing (sorry, I mean providing content). Turtle stamp is from Tandy Leather. Interested in republishing a piece? Contact drigney3@gmail.com.


Daniel Rigney's Links

OCTOBER 12, 2014 8:07PM

Why I Marched in New York

By Daniel Rigney 


I’m no climate scientist, but as a concerned citizen I’ve made an effort in recent years to understand what climate scientists are trying to tell us. The more I’ve learned, the more concerned I’ve become about both the short and longer-term con… Read full post »

OCTOBER 2, 2014 2:16PM

The Power of Honest Thinking

By Daniel Rigney

If you’re a devout believer in the power of positive thinking, you may want to consider joining the Positive Thinking Club. The first rule of Positive Thinking Club: Don’t criticize Positive Thinking Club. The second rule of Positive Thinking Club: Don’t criticize… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 11:09AM

Climate Silence

By Daniel Rigney

A Quakerish friend once told me that, in her experience, the quality of silence varies from one silent Quaker meeting to another. As odd as that may sound, I think I get her point. While a physicist might insist that an absence of sound waves is equally… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 25, 2014 12:56AM

Dispatch From the People’s Climate March

By Daniel Rigney      

Climate Love Mom 2

Dateline: Sunday, September 21, 2014

I'm reporting today from the People’s Climate March in New York City, where more than a third of a million of us are gathered in the streets urging strong international action to prevent runaway… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

Either Edmund Burke or George Santayana or some other sage famously said, “Those who [ignore/do not know/cannot learn from/cannot remember] [history/the past] are [destined/doomed/condemned] to [repeat/fulfill] it.”

Who among us could have said it better?

These words… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 16, 2014 3:19PM

Don’t Google It. Noodle It!

By Daniel Rigney

In a group discussion the other evening, I could swear I heard a guy recommend that we noodle some topic on the Internet. He seemed to be using “noodle” as a verb in place of the more conventional neo-verb “to google” (I google; you google; he, she… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 1:59PM

Best-Selling Books of 2020

By Daniel Rigney

Gazing into my crystal screen, I’m summoning the New York Times Future Edition and checking out the best-selling titles of 2020. Which of these will you be dowloading six years from now?



Men are Assholes, Women are Whiners. Two divorce attorneys… Read full post »

AUGUST 30, 2014 6:54PM

Why We’re Buying Carbon Offsets

By Daniel Rigney

I’ve recently registered to join the upcoming People’s Climate March in New York on Sept. 21, both as a supporter of climate action and as a footloose and free-range correspondent for Open Salon (no expenses paid). The march is organized and promoted by 350.org, the worl… Read full post »

AUGUST 26, 2014 4:06PM

How Advertising Makes America Grate

By Daniel Rigney

Ben’s Conjecture (proposed by our younger son) holds that if current trends continue, every square inch of the earth’s land surface will be covered in advertising by the year 2100.

The corollary is that each additional gigameme of advertising will result in two additio… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

If Hindus are right about reincarnation, most of us will be returning in the next life to learn lessons we didn’t learn in this one. If that's the case, then I’m wringing my hands for the souls of our rich and infamous, some of whose… Read full post »

AUGUST 12, 2014 12:51PM

Meta-ignorance: The Unknown Unknown

By Daniel Rigney

Meta-ignorance, put simply, is ignorance of one’s own ignorance. There are many things in life we don’t know, and some of these are things we don’t know we don’t know.

Military philosopher Donald Rumsfeld put it memorably when he termed meta-ignorance the &… Read full post »

AUGUST 9, 2014 4:35PM

Electronic Prayer

By Daniel Rigney


Business pilgrims

in departure lounges

bow their heads in solemn prayer,

seeking guidance from The Market 

with the aid of smart devices, 

screening screens for signs and portents,

texting underlings and overlings and

leaving messages that no one hears.

No one… Read full post »

AUGUST 7, 2014 1:10PM

Ten Great Things About Turning 65

By Daniel Rigney

If you know someone who's in the vicinity of  his or her 65th birthday and needs cake for thought, you might pass these along.

1.     1. You’re younger today than you’ll ever be. Celebrate your relative youth. (This will also be true, incidental… Read full post »

JULY 29, 2014 8:57PM

Dawn Dreaming

By Daniel Rigney

Returning recently from an urban retreat in California, where I took a couple of short courses in religious philosophy, I’m back in Houston, spiritual capital of Southeast Texas, and reflecting on the rapid approach of my next birthday. I’ll be hitting the big six-five.… Read full post »

JULY 7, 2014 8:01PM

On Urban Retreat

By Daniel Rigney

Everyone needs a Shangri-La, and I think Berkeley may be mine. The weather here today is cool and sunny. There’s evergreen in the air. The city and its university exude a youthful energy and a maturing intelligence that makes me nostalgic for my own college years. So… Read full post »

Constitutionally Protected Satire by Daniel Rigney

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Hobby Lobby v. Modern Contraception opens a door through which business corporations, as legal 'persons,' can pursue religious exemptions from the requirements of Federal laws they don't like.&… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

If you haven’t heard about it yet, you will now. It’s called “Risky Business,” and it’s the new economic climate report from a formidable trio of Wall Street titans:  former mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and hedg… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

The dawn of the age of renewable energy is arriving sooner than expected, and that’s good news for most of us. After more than a century of overreliance on hydrocarbons to fuel the world’s economic growth, we're  now seeing the cost of solar and wind power drop… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

It’s hard to say exactly when the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower fell off the edge of the earth and became the party of Rush Limbaugh.

The Tea Party, which began at the margins of the GOP, now dominates its base and… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

The word “patriotism” has a manly lineage, descending from the Latin patriota, borrowed in turn from the Greek patris meaning “of one’s fathers.”  The Greeks applied patris to barbarians who shared a common patrilineage, reserving the more elevate… Read full post »

JUNE 11, 2014 5:04PM

2020 Vision -- Dreaming the Future

By Daniel Rigney

Last night I had a dream. I dreamed I fell asleep for six years and woke up in the year 2020 to find a United States and a world perceptibly transformed. Any resemblance between my dream and a dream Washington Irving once had about Rip Van Winkle… Read full post »

JUNE 9, 2014 5:29PM

Climate Haiku

By  Daniel Rigney


It's getting hotter

inside our greenhouse.  Don’t blame

the thermometer.


Ralph Nader was right.

We’ll get solar power when

Big Oil owns the sun.


Is natural gas

a bridge fuel? Or is itRead full post »

JUNE 6, 2014 12:41PM

We Live in a Greenhouse

By Daniel Rigney

We live in a greenhouse. The temperature inside is rising steadily. The thermostat doesn't care.

The greenhouse effect, as you probably know, occurs when  atmospheric concentrations of certain gases (carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) trap the sun’s heat and warm the Earth… Read full post »

JUNE 4, 2014 3:06PM


By Daniel Rigney

In years past, when social surveys asked people to identify themselves, they sometimes did so by asking whether the respondent was an “X” or a “non-X”? For example are you “white” or “non-white”?  A “Christian” or a &… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

In my search for signs of hope in the green war on global warming, I’ve come upon several reports of potential breakthroughs in renewable energy that seem to show promise of mitigating climate change significantly.

In this article I want to focus on four proposed… Read full post »