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 30, 2013 10:44AM

Rushing to Meditation

By Daniel Rigney

I’m in a big hurry this morning. Gotta get to my meditation group. It starts in an hour, and it’s about twelve and a half minutes away by car if the traffic isn’t bad. But first I have to feed the dogs, make the coffee, and grab… Read full post »

DECEMBER 28, 2013 10:02AM

An Interview With Anonymous

By Daniel Rigney

This is an edited transcript of an interview we did earlier this month with the oft-quoted writer, composer and philanthropist, Anonymous.

Danagram: We’re here in the studio this morning speaking with Anonymous, the most recent in a long line of nameless predecessors who have… Read full post »

DECEMBER 18, 2013 1:06PM

Executive Robot Replaces CEO

By Daniel Rigney

There’s a new boss in town at PayDayLoanz, a Phoenix-based lending firm that serves down-market clients in the southwest border states. PDL’s new head is no ordinary CEO, but an executive robot, housed in a black box the size of a Rubic’s Cube, that runs algorithms… Read full post »

DECEMBER 15, 2013 1:23AM

The World Becomes a Campus

By Daniel Rigney

Once upon a time, the word campus referred to the buildings and grounds of academic institutions. Not every school had a campus. Harvard, being  Harvard, had a “Yard” instead. UVa had a"Lawn." Stanford’s academic real estate was called “the Farm” b… Read full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2013 12:51PM

Texas To Be Renamed Texxon

By Daniel Rigney

In a bold attempt to meet a projected budget shortfall next year, the Texas legislature met in secret session today and agreed to sell the state’s naming rights to carbon giant Exxon-Mobil for $1.2 billion. The state’s new name will be “Texxon” effective Janu… Read full post »

DECEMBER 9, 2013 12:06AM

Which of These Is Not Like the Others?

By Daniel Rigney

 

"One of these is not like the others.

One of these just doesn’t belong.

Can you tell which is not like the others

By the time I finish this song?"

                    … Read full post »

DECEMBER 6, 2013 8:26PM

The Algorithmic Society

By Daniel Rigney

“Calculations are in the driver’s seat, and they drive us.”

Many ages ago, as a graduate student in sociology, I enjoyed referring to quantitative social research as the “dance of the variables.” We apprentice researchers were then learning to work w… Read full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2013 11:39PM

The Bucket Game

 By Daniel Rigney 

 Quarry band

This week I’m an amateur anthropologist in the field, reporting to you from the Hoosier state, where I’ve travelled from afar to witness the pomp and pageantry of Big Ten football.*

Here in Indiana University’s Memorial Stadium (a.k.a.… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 27, 2013 11:53AM

Vatican 1.5 and Rising

By Daniel Rigney

Like many other non-Catholics (Acatholics?), I’ve been following the ascent of the church’s new pope, Francis, with interest – and probably with more personal fascination than most. For nearly 30 years I taught at a Catholic university in the southwestern United St… Read full post »

by Daniel Rigney

Move over, Nostradamus. There’s a new oracle in town.

My trusted financial advisor Delphi, gazing into her crystal screen, sees a series of future Wall Street Journal  headlines that foretell major corporate mergers and acquisitions in the coming decades. Together they t… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 22, 2013 11:48PM

Climate Change at the Science Museum

By Daniel Rigney                                               &nbRead full post »

NOVEMBER 16, 2013 10:13PM

Day of the Dead at the Funeral Museum

 By Daniel Rigney 

abuela web

I’m a shameless museum lover. One of my personal goals since moving to Houston has been to visit every last one of the city’s many fine museums.

And I ask you, is there a better time to visit the National Museum of Funeral HistoryRead full post »

NOVEMBER 9, 2013 6:57PM

Is Life a Business?

Satire by Daniel Rigney

Is life a business? Yes, life is a business. With the triumph of global capitalism and economic reductionism, there’s no further point in denying it. The scales are finally falling from my eyes, and I’m seeing the ‘real world’ clearly now, as though fo… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 8, 2013 2:06AM

Greed Floats (Haiku)

By Daniel Rigney

 

Like a Baby Ruth  

tossed into a swimming pool,*

greed floats to the top.

 

*recalling this mock-scatological country club pool scene from the comedy classic ”Caddyshack” (1980), a film satirizing American class privilege.

The film opened the s… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

So I began to notice this spreading verbal virus while attending a lecture series on recent breakthroughs in science and engineering at Nearby University.

So I noticed that speakers would often respond to questions from the audience by saying “So the question is …&rdqu… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 4, 2013 1:45AM

Our Precious Commercial Heritage

By Daniel Rigney

Just how complete is your knowledge of our precious television heritage?

How well-versed are you, for instance, in the classic marketing slogans created by that pioneering generation of ad artists portrayed fictionally in “Mad Men”?

How deeply have the parasitic little c… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 2, 2013 1:48AM

Misfortune Cookies

By Daniel Rigney

A venerable custom in Chinese-American restaurants is to complete a meal by cracking open a crisp and oddly-shaped cookie and examining its paper entrails for signs, portents, and words of wisdom.

Fortune cookie messages are typically upbeat and uplifting. “You see the best… Read full post »

OCTOBER 26, 2013 10:06AM

Are You Conservatively Correct?

By Daniel Rigney

Of all the weary clichés in American political speech, the most exhausted may be the phrase “political correctness.” Every time I hear it, I want to provoke thought by asking, “Which kind?”

When conservatives invoke the term, as they often do, they&rs… Read full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2013 2:10PM

Auto-Ethnicity: Houston’s Slab Parade

By Daniel Rigney

goldcar 

Houstonians have a paradoxical love-hate relationship with their cars. They curse the traffic other drivers cause, the potholes other cars have made, and the cost of fueling their thirsty vehicles for the daily 20-mile commute to their jobs in the carbon industry.

A… Read full post »

OCTOBER 17, 2013 5:13PM

Signs You’ll Never See

By Daniel Rigney

I rode the light rail downtown this afternoon, my eyes free to view the passing cityscape through my side window-screen. It was like watching a television documentary on urban life.

As I rode, I began paying attention to the constant stream of official-looking signs posted on… Read full post »

OCTOBER 14, 2013 3:56PM

Every Voter Is a Values Voter

By Daniel Rigney

The 2013 Values Voter Summit is taking down its revival tent in Washington, D.C. today after three days of conservative speeches. I’ve been watching highlights on CSPAN, and I was dubiously blessed to catch a few soundbits from Ted Cruz, Michele Bachmann, Gary Bauer and Rick S… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

Have you noticed that some cities are more comically gifted than others? People are drawn to New York and Los Angeles, in part, by their reputations as centers of comic consciousness. Houston, by contrast,  is a metropolis of measured mirth. No one has ever thought to describeRead full post »

By Daniel Rigney

Wishful thinker that I am, I see a glint of progressive hope admidst the gloom of political news coming out of Congress this week.

Huffington Post’s Jennifer Benderly reports that “less than a day after the government shut down, House Republicans are slowly but steadilRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 24, 2013 7:43PM

A Tea Party 'Declaration of Independence'

Satire by Daniel Rigney

I'm dreaming that the GOP's Tea Party wing will one day (soon, I hope) secede from the party of Abe Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower and establish a separate far-right party of its own. If that day comes, the new party's Declaration of Independence mighRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 2:46PM

Invisible Objects

By Daniel Rigney

Just when you thought the 21st century couldn’t get any creepier, an international architectural firm has announced plans to build the world’s first invisible skyscraper in Seoul, Korea.

The concept is simple enough. Cameras take real-time images of the building’… Read full post »