DANAGRAM

Politics and Culture in the Comic Zone

Daniel Rigney

Daniel Rigney
Location
New Texas, USA
Birthday
August 01
Title
free-range writer
Bio
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.

MY RECENT POSTS

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DECEMBER 26, 2014 2:43AM

Sisyphus Announces Retirement

 By Daniel Rigney

 

sisyphus-2

The Athens Daily Cosmos reports today that legendary Greek boulder-roller Sisyphus, a villain to some and a hero to others, hopes 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…

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 risen up around charismatic leaders such as 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… 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 


Earth

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?

 

Non-Fiction

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 »