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

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 »

By Daniel Rigney

This will be the first time in recorded history that a story about Annise Parker doesn’t begin by identifying her as “the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city.” Mayor Parker of Houston was on The Colbert Report  (pronounced coal bear ra por) tonight to… Read full post »

JULY 18, 2012 7:12PM

Fake Headlines 2012

By Daniel Rigney

Tea Party Demands to See Parchment Copy of Obama's Birth Certificate. 

Religious Right Requests to See Obama Baptismal Certificate, Prays He Doesn't Have One


Romney Says SEC Filings Were “Just a Big Misunderstanding,” Demands SEC Apologize

Romney Refuses to RRead full post »

JULY 16, 2012 4:07PM

Planning Your Retro-Retirement

By Daniel Rigney

Here’s a handy checklist of things to do before you make one of the most important decisions of your life -- the decision to retire retroactively, as Republican campaign adviser Ed Gillespie claims Mitt Romney  did from his company, Bain Capital, in 2002, retroactive to… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

I learned today that Mitt Romney retired "retroactively" in 2002 from his company, Bain Capital. Republican strategist Ed Gillespie disclosed the news (retroactively) this morning on Candy Crowley’s CNN Sunday show, State of the Nation. 

Inquiring citizen-bloggers now wa… Read full post »

Daniel Rigney

Local man Fred Snorming called a news conference today to announce his retroactive retirement from the last three years of his life. He said he had taken a leave of absence from himself during that time and had no involvement in his day-to-day decisions, and therefore no responsibility… Read full post »

JULY 13, 2012 11:48AM

Good Mitt, Bad Mitt

By Daniel Rigney

There are at least two versions of The Mitt Romney Story going around -- one coming from the right, the other from the left. The outcome of November's election may hinge on which of these dueling narratives the electorate finds more believable. [Disclosure: I'm voting… Read full post »

  By Daniel Rigney

Vice President Joe Biden gave a rousing speech today at the last plenary session of the NAACP convention in Houston, hitting perfect Democratic notes on economy, education, health care and civil rights. The audience was with him.

Biden started to wind down his speech with &ld… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

Today Mitt Romney is in Houston to address the annual convention of the NAACP, and I’m here as a citizen-blogger to witness and write about it -- POV.


Mitt has been… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

If Washington, Jefferson and Madison could see us now, what would they think of our 21st-century corporatocracy?

It’s twilight in Texas this July 4, 2012. We’re on our way to Hermann Park to hear the Houston Symphony perform the 1812 Overture, complete with faux cannon b… Read full post »

JULY 3, 2012 2:09PM

Next New Things in the Movies

By Daniel Rigney

What will be the Next New Thing at the popcorn movies when the last zompire finally dies its last death?  Here are five themes with promising breakout potential.


Cannibals are a trending topic in the tabloid news. The cannibal motif offers continuity with… Read full post »

JULY 1, 2012 11:24PM

Recreational Writing

By Daniel Rigney

I used to be younger. Now, as a retiring teacher, happily post-professional and ascending into higher maturity, I’ve taken up recreational writing as a pastime. 

The idea to write recreationally came to me last spring in an evening course in creative writing at a nearby… Read full post »

JUNE 30, 2012 10:45AM

Famous Last Tweets

By Daniel Rigney

If famous people in history had broadcast on Twitter (big if), what last words of truncated wisdom might they have left behind in the twittersphere? We can only imagine:

William Shakespeare:

2b or ~2b. That is ? Whethr tis noblr in mnd to suffer… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

Following the Supreme Court’s historic decision affirming the constitutionality of Obama-Romney Care (Obamneycare? Rombamacare?), I am relieved to know that Mitt Romney can no longer be legally denied access to health insurance coverage due to his pre-existing wealth condition… Read full post »

JUNE 27, 2012 7:58PM

The Amoeba's Growing Edge

By Daniel Rigney

Amoebas (pictured here) are single-celled organisms that move and change shape through time. They were originally called proteus animalcule, taking their name from the mythic Greek figure Proteus, the shape-changer. Later they were given the name amoeba from a Greek word meaning &ld… Read full post »

JUNE 23, 2012 5:17PM

Open Call: OS As Writers' Colony

By Daniel Rigney (reposted from 1/5/2012)

Since I joined Open Salon nearly a year ago, I’ve been looking for a metaphor to describe what kind of strange and interesting community this is. I’ve found that one way to think of OS is to describe it as an… Read full post »

JUNE 22, 2012 5:34PM

If I'm Not Mistaken

By Daniel Rigney

Clichés are mental energy-savers. They reduce our need to think afresh. I rely on them constantly, as we all do. One of my favorites is “if I’m not mistaken."

What especially intrigues me about IINM is that it is always literally true. Thus,… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

The Academy Awards should add a new Oscar category: an award for best product placement, or alternatively, a citation for worst product pollution, in the movies.

The award would recognize exemplars of "embedded marketing"  in the cinematic arts. It would spotlight movies that… Read full post »

By Daniel Rigney

“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

Twentieth-century Republican Sen. Everett Dirksen is often  quoted or misquoted as having made this quip about the size of the federal budget. The same could be said of massive conc… Read full post »

JUNE 15, 2012 12:42PM

Whatever Happened to Winter?

By Daniel Rigney


Asked in 1992:

Whatever happened to communes?

Whatever happened to Transcendental Meditation (or Medication)?

Who is Glenn Beck? 

What is a blog?

Whatever happened to vinyl?

Whatever happened to waterbeds?


AskedRead full post »

JUNE 12, 2012 11:43AM

Will 2013 Be Unlucky?

By Daniel Rigney

It’s not too early to begin worrying that 2013 will be an unlucky year. I’m assuming optimistically, of course, that we survive the end of the tabloid version of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012.

There was a time when the impending arrival of… Read full post »