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Bragging Rights

Back in the day, I had a strong belief that if you worked hard, paid your dues, and attended rock concerts in large venues, you’d experience the very best that life has to offer. I grew up in a small and declining city, where we braced for the icy grip of winter by drinking a lot of beer and urinating wherever the hell we wanted. That was the way it was back then: hard work, dues paid, large rock venues, and urinating regularly.

A bit of fiction, perhaps, although I did witness certain unnamed jerks peeing all over creation back then, into the pool, into the fire pit, and so forth. And the large venue rock concerts were a real thing, with people blowing huge plumes of pot smoke into the air, poisoning themselves and everyone around them.

It was awesome! I saw bands like The Who, Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones while packed in with drunk young people who threw up all over themselves. And then, I saw that some formerly hugely famous bands suddenly couldn’t fill those large rock venues and would instead play in bars. Bars! The very thought!

Now I can’t seem to bring myself to see the large rock show, unless it’s Radiohead. Instead, I prize the small venue.

Enter Billy Bragg, your favorite folk-punk love troubadour of yesteryear. Turns out Billy and his East London-esque accent were in town to play the tiny Sinclair in Cambridge, MA, easily the best small venue in the area, with great sight lines, reasonable crowd sizes, and actual urinals for us to use. Tickets went on sale in late 2018 for a late 2019 show, so the nation’s most acerbic high school principal had to clue me into tickets and encourage me to buy two pair, which I did while drinking beer and then going off to urinate.

I’ll admit I was a little worried about this show, as I was bringing my lovely bride of 16 years, who attends stand-up rock shows about as often as Jesus did, but seemed game enough if we could stand in the back. We did better, standing some 20 yards away on a secure balcony, with a clear view to Billy and his lefty anti-Trump, anti-Boris Johnson message.

Billy Bragg at the Sinclair 10 3 2019 with Billy holding his fist in the air and singing into a microphone

I won’t go through all the songs, as you can always find those by going to, but I will tell you that for about half the show he was talking activitism, and in this bitterly divided world we currently live in, his message was enormously well-received in one of the most left-leaning cities in the US.

Whistle Blowin'
When I'm Ninety Four


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Tuesday, 18 June 2024



Daily Haiku


Cats oft’ void their guts.

They cough out fur balls. They puke.  

We tread carefully.  


College Tuition

We dig ourselves a deep hole

Need a second job.


Now that I’m sixty

People think I’m a wise man

Probably, I’m not


I’m in my Fifties

But tomorrow I’m Sixty

Will need a sports car


My PCP Says

“Keep doin’ what yer doin’”

Prob’ly I should not


It’s St. Patrick’s Day

We eat beef that has been corned

Whatever that means


Robots and A.I.

I will make use of these soon

To do my taxes


Strange Oscar night end

Pacino failed to mention

Best pic nominees


Who’s this Katie Britt?

Scary. Wierd. We could have used

A Trigger Warning


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