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

SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 1:04PM

Does Fox News Ask Leading Questions?

By Daniel Rigney

Have you noticed that Fox News screen-crawls and tease-lines frequently take the form of leading questions?

Leading questions or pseudoquestions are typically crude attempts to manipulate viewers through not-so-subtle insinuations and innuendos. (“Is Global Warming a Cruel Hol… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 7, 2012 5:57PM

How to Say No in Twenty Languages

By Daniel Rigney

You’ve probably heard the saying that if you want something done well, you should ask someone who’s already busy to do it. People who are busy are busy for a reason. They get things done.

I would add: Find someone who’s busy and who has trouble… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 4, 2012 2:51PM

Paul Ryan Gift Ideas

By Daniel Rigney

Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin won’t turn 43 until January 29, when he hopes to be a heartbeat away from the presidential chair, a seat now fully occupied by President Barack Obama. Still, it's not too early to begin narrowing down your shopping list of possible… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

As a serious collector of clichés, I’m still savoring the memory of last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa. Rarely have so many time-honored and market-tested catch phrases been so faithfully gathered and rendered by ghostwriters and so well recited i… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

Archeologists and archivists around the world, working independently of each other, have recently discovered several long-buried quotations from some of human history’s greatest achievers. The discoveries have coincided with the colorful festivities of the Republican National… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney


We’ll know we’re living in a more sustainable world when

... conservatism and conservationism are no longer opposites.

... Republicans believe in evolving.

... we talk about Big Wind, Big Sun and Big Biofuel the way we now talk about Big Oil.

...… Read full post »

AUGUST 28, 2012 11:08AM

A Political Thought Experiment

By Daniel Rigney

It is inconceivable that the United States, land of  liberty, could ever give birth to its own variant of fascism. Real fascism, after all, was a political and economic movement historically specific to Italy nearly a century ago. Nazism, its German cousin, is likewise a thing… Read full post »

AUGUST 23, 2012 4:34PM

Critical Eating Skills

By Daniel Rigney

I’m a good eater, as my mother would say. I’ve rarely met a meal I didn’t like. While some of my best friends are foodies, and a few even qualify as gourmets, I can’t claim to be either of these myself.  

But I’m trying to… Read full post »

AUGUST 20, 2012 1:38PM

You Might Be a Red-Stater If ….

By Daniel Rigney

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is widely known for his “you might be a redneck” jokes, poking gentle fun mainly at common stereotypes of folks of the rural Southern persuasion.  A quick search reveals that  many others have turned this joke form into a comic formula,… Read full post »

AUGUST 16, 2012 5:24PM

Free Movie Ideas

By Daniel Rigney

Hollywood, I have a few multimillion-dollar blockbuster movie ideas for you. If you respond now to this offer, I’ll send you not one but two bonus ideas. You’ll be charged only a modest processing fee.


Soldiers of Fascism (action picture: Rambo meets Bambi).… Read full post »

AUGUST 14, 2012 2:23PM

21st-Century Advice

By Daniel Rigney

Our electronic mailbag is overflowing again with requests for advice from people trying to cope with 21st-century problems. If you have a 21st-century problem, drop us a note below. Our trained staff at SmartExistentialSolutions (SES) will skill-set them for you.


I’mRead full post »

AUGUST 12, 2012 2:15PM

Trump Acquires Ayn Rand Enterprises

By Daniel Rigney 

Corporate Satire/revised and reposted from 4/22/2011.

Billionaire Donald Trump took the financial world by surprise this morning when he announced he had acquired full rights to the popular AynRand® product line, including books and other paraphernalia currently owned byRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 10, 2012 2:02PM

Dispatch from Houston: The Sikh Temple Vigil

By Daniel Rigney

It’s twilight again in Houston, and we’re gathering in front of the reflecting pool at City Hall to reflect on the gun murders that took place Sunday morning in a Sikh temple just south of Milwaukee. 

This was no ordinary gun massacre, even by American… Read full post »

AUGUST 7, 2012 3:59PM

Random Corporate Naming Solutions

By Daniel Rigney

Take any two words from the following list. Combine them (either AB or BA). Now add the word Solutions. Last step: Capitalize each word, then scrunch them together by deleting the spaces between them.

Here’s your practice wordlist:



Comedy… Read full post »

AUGUST 4, 2012 6:20PM

Magazine Quiz: Fake or Real?

By Daniel Rigney

As a lifelong magazine and newspaper lover (thank you, Weekly Reader and Junior/Senior Scholastic),  I’m always on the lookout for a fresh read.  Some periodicals have unusual titles that sound made up. But in fact, aren’t all periodical titles made up by someo… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

Meryl Streep and I graduated from college in 1971. Different colleges – hers in New York, mine in Texas. She went on to a brilliant career. I went on.

Despite the fact that we were born in the same country just days apart, somehow our… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

Texas is a two-party state. Yesterday the Tea Party routed its Republican rival in several key runoff races. Runoff candidates in the Democratic Party, now the state’s “third factor,” also ran.

In a dramatic upset, Tea Party golden idol Ted Cruz surprised the we… Read full post »

JULY 31, 2012 2:50AM

Waiting for Dressage

By Daniel Rigney

I’m doing my homework in preparation for the eagerly awaited Olympic dressage events in August. “Dressage,” a French word for “training,” is also known as "horse ballet." Aficionados agree that dressage is among the most difficult of all horse-training… Read full post »

JULY 29, 2012 12:58AM


By Daniel Rigney

The corporate society pages are alive today with whispers of a rumored Apple-Twitter engagement, and Wall Street is buzzing in anticipation of a possible joining of the fortunes of these two financially prominent product families.

We coudn't wait to fire up our imaginary name gene… Read full post »

JULY 26, 2012 9:38PM

F! I'm In My Sixties.

By Daniel Rigney

F! I'm in my sixties. This boomer is inspired by twentysomething Emma Koenig's blogstory in NYT: http://nyti.ms/P4uh7z  Her funny, observant blog here: http://bit.ly/jAobz 

Emma Koenig's Tumblr blog, "F! I'm in My Twenties," was written up in this morning's paper. Her st… Read full post »

JULY 26, 2012 5:54PM

Romney's Entitlements

By Daniel Rigney

Willard “Mitt” Romney is a man of many titles. Scion of a respected corporate president and governor, Mr. Romney (MBA, JD, Harvard) is himself the former owner, chairman and CEO of a major national and international company.

Among his previous titles (including some rathe… Read full post »

JULY 25, 2012 11:38AM

Shock and Rohrschach in Aurora

 By Daniel Rigney

[Response to OS Open Call, previously posted as "Rohrschach in Aurora:  Headlines the Day After" (July 21, 2012)]

Tabloid Nation has a new Rorschach blot to ponder and make sense of today following the events of July 20 in Aurora, Colorado. This multiplex news story isn&rs… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 24, 2012 1:33AM

Tastes a Little Like Cricket at the Café Insecta

By Daniel Rigney

This week’s Scientific American features a piece reviewing recent research on the paleolithic diets of our ancient ancestors, tracing these to the diets of apes and prosimians (e.g., lemurs), who evolved digestive systems not unlike our own long before we were on the scene.

W… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

We caught up with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney today outside a fundraising event at Dick Cheney's Gated Quail hunting lodge in Wyoming. We asked Romney to name a few of his favorite things, beyond the usual whiskers on kittens and warm woolen mittens. Here'… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

Tabloid Nation has a new Rorschach blot to ponder and make sense of today following the events of July 20 in Aurora, Colorado. This multiplex news story isn’t just about the first-person shooter and his tragic victims. It’s also about our responses to it.

How… Read full post »