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 life; 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


By Daniel Rigney

stein compressed

I’m reporting from Trinity Episcopal Church on the south edge of downtown Houston, where Green Party leader Jill Stein is promoting her vision of an American future built on clean, green renewable energy. She calls her set of progressive proposals the “Green New D… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 20, 2015 12:21AM

Introducing the Tangible Hologram

By Daniel Rigney

Until today, I was among the last people on earth still scheduling personal appointments on a traditional hanging wall calendar of the 12-page variety, the kind with gridded months on one side of a page and cute baby animals or nature scenes on the other.  Read full post »

FEBRUARY 9, 2015 11:29AM

Introducing the iMaster

By Daniel Rigney

Imagine a device so advanced that it does everything for us. It wakes us up in the morning, makes our coffee and toast, digests our morning news, activates our electric toothbrush, drives our car along a preset route to work, does our job (if we still have… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 6, 2015 4:31PM

Human Error

By Daniel Rigney



All images in the meme essay below are from Wiki Commons and are generated with the aid of free internet meme generator imgflip.com/memegenerator.



error witch burning 


 error kkk


  error berlin rally


  error mushroom


 error traffic congestion

&nbs… Read full post »

JANUARY 25, 2015 4:38PM

Suburban Studies

By Daniel Rigney

Metropolitan University is pleased to announce the launch of a new degree program in Suburban Studies beginning in the fall term. Here’s a sneak preview of tentative course offerings.

SS 101: Introduction to Suburban Life. The historical transition from rural to urban and s… Read full post »

JANUARY 20, 2015 4:39PM

The Cynic's Dictionary

By Daniel Rigney

(with apologies to Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”)

Like most of us, I have an evil twin. While the better angels of my nature tug me toward a life of a high-minded idealism, my evil twin keeps whispering reasons why idealism is futile.… Read full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2014 2:43AM

Sisyphus Announces Retirement

 By Daniel Rigney


The Athens Daily Cosmos reports today that mythic Greek boulder-roller Sisyphus plans to retire soon from his seemingly endless job of pushing an enormous rock up a hill only to have it roll back down again. According to one online encyclopedia, the gods who once conde… Read full post »

DECEMBER 19, 2014 3:22PM

More Political Memes

Please forgive me, dear reader. I can't help myself. I'm having too much fun playing with the plethora of image meme generators available for free on the Internet. 

Here are a few more messages I've captioned for immediate delivery to the political right. Hope you enjoy them.

meme cheneyRead full post »

DECEMBER 11, 2014 6:37PM

More Fun With Memes (Political Edition)

By Daniel Rigney

meme french revolution

Internet memes are fast becoming a popular medium for the crafting of satirical political cartoons. Ordinary citizens can now create their own civic statements in the tradition of 19th century political cartoonist Thomas Nast, thanks to the earthly miracle of digital tech… Read full post »

DECEMBER 9, 2014 12:56PM

Fun With Memes (Illustrated)

By Daniel Rigney

  meme if-i-have-l8awfq

Most of us have heard the word “meme” bandied about. As originally defined by biologist Richard Dawkins, a meme is any item of culture that can be reproduced or replicated and passed on from one person to another. Hawkins proposed that memes are like the ge… Read full post »

DECEMBER 6, 2014 10:52PM

Confessions of an Infomaniac

By Daniel Rigney

Imagine a guy so nerdy that his idea of a big time is to spend the day combing through an almanac, pocket calculator in hand, in search of savory tidbits of information.

Sad. I know.

So I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday –… Read full post »

DECEMBER 1, 2014 12:06AM

The Golden Age of Family Values

By Daniel Rigney


Some yearn to return to a golden past

When traditional marriages were made to last.


That was a time, before our lives,

When patriarchs had many wives.


David’s seven brides were swell.

He also knew Bathsheba… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 23, 2014 11:34AM

Rise of the Renewable Energy Movement

By Daniel Rigney

Transformative social movements in the past have usually arisen around charismatic leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. But where are our visionary leaders now?

Today we can no longer afford to wait for extraordinary figures to show up and lead us in concerted respon… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 17, 2014 4:17PM

How to Go Carbon-Neutral Fast

By Daniel Rigney  

Suppose you belong to an organization or household that isn’t desperately in denial of the emerging and accelerating climate crisis. You know that the greenhouse gases we’re pumping into the sky will remain in the atmosphere for decades to come, trapping hea… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 13, 2014 1:48AM

Famous Last Sermons

By Daniel Rigney

I recently came across a remarkable letter to the editor of the Houston Chronicle, submitted by a former clergyman. It read in part as follows:

In November 1989, I spoke a sermon to a Burley tobacco-farming Kentucky church and got defrocked the next Sunday, which wasRead full post »

NOVEMBER 7, 2014 1:19AM

True Confession: I’m only 95.3% Human

By Daniel Rigney

I don’t mean to startle you with this personal revelation, but I have good scientific reason to believe that I’m only about 95% Homo sapiens. The rest of me is a hardy blend of Neanderthal and Denisovan genetic material – 2.2% and 2.5% respectively, to be nearly… Read full post »

OCTOBER 31, 2014 1:34PM

Day of the Dead Revisited

By Daniel Rigney

Last year at about this time I paid a visit to Houston’s morbidly fascinating Funeral Museum, featuring a fine exhibit honoring the customs and traditions of the Day of the Dead, Mexico’s cultural counterpart to Halloween and All Saint’s Day as observed in the Unit… Read full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2014 1:29AM

A Petition to Rename Homo Sapiens

By Daniel Rigney

     To:  International Commission on Zoological Nomenclatures

               and Encyclopedia of Life

From:  Daniel Rigney et al.

      RE:  Petition to Re… Read full post »

OCTOBER 20, 2014 4:27PM

Homo Semi-Sapiens

By Daniel Rigney

We human beings have reached a precarious moment in our evolution. For the first time in history we’re smart enough to be capable of destroying ourselves as a species, and dumb enough to do it.

With characteristic modesty we’ve named ourselves Homo sapiens (“the… Read full post »

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 »