From December 2004 until December 2007, The Alewife newspaper covered the neighborhood of North Cambridge, Mass. It was a wonderful community of businesses, writers and photographers. The paper is no longer printed, but this Web site continues both as an archive and as an ongoing blog dedicated, mostly, to this humble little corner of the universe.
It’s that time of the year again when the voters of Cambridge decide who will serve this city for the next two years.
As much as I like to dabble in politics, local or otherwise, I do realize how insincere and phony the whole dance of campaigning for a seat really is.
All those in involved, from the incumbents with a proven track record of dedicated service, to the hopeful wannabe’s, some with merit and ambition, others fueled by narcissism and delusions of grandeur, they all tend to follow the same game plan.
Put forth your perfect self, create a sense of urgency, and sell yourself as the great hope of this city.
Such is the dirty business of politics. I’d never make a good candidate. I hate passing myself off as someone I’m not.
I’m a flawed human being. I have many shortcomings and it takes so much for me just to get through the day to not beat myself up for something I did in which I wasn’t perfect. I prefer to pass myself off as someone who is perfectly human, warts and all, although owning up to all my defects are difficult at times. And it’s these “qualities,” as well as a few others, that I seek when considering who to vote for.
Ken Reeves: City Council
It’s no secret I’ve been friends with Ken for many years now, and there’s a good reason for that. For one, I’m a self admitted fag-hag and always have been. If there were a ballot on the ticket I would certainly vote for Ken as the Queen of Cambridge. Sadly, there is no such a ballot.
On a personal level, I don’t think he and I have ever had an encounter with each other where we haven’t had a good laugh over something. He’s got a great sense of humor and unlike the picture painted by those who don’t know him, Ken doesn’t take himself too seriously.
On a professional level, no one, and I mean no one, knows the city of Cambridge better than Ken Reeves. He’s a person who has kept himself in touch with the people here in Cambridge and in my humble opinion, has served this city well.
He’s been reamed in the press by a couple of upstart journalists who put a lot of energy into trying to find something, anything, to paint him as an irresponsible spend thrift. But these stories are written by people who have no connection to this city and are trying to bulk up their resumes with sensational headlines until that day comes when they can leave this little city and land a better job with some other larger trash news rag.
Although I have very little faith in people’s ability to be smart enough figure things out for themselves, I hope the people of Cambridge are smart enough to see what really motivated those stories to come out: Lack of circulation.
Sensationalism doesn’t equal journalism. It’s more akin to the subject of politics it pretends to cover; self serving b#llsh@t.
Ken Reeves is Cambridge and gets my number one vote.
Marc McGovern: School Committee
I met Marc not long after he lost his bid for reelection. It was at a social gathering among our mutual friends and he and I got a chance to talk about the business of politics.
He was still feeling the sting of his defeat, but unlike others who might be in the same position, Marc wasn’t suffering from the ill effects of having eaten sour grapes.
Marc was already looking forward to the next election. He talked about how he would do it different the next time and spoke of what he learned from losing an election he thought he’s win.
It seemed he had the same approach as John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, after losing the ALCS the Yankees. You could tell it hurt him to lose, but Marc, like the 2004 Red Sox, showed some character. Rather than revel in defeat, he was looking forward to his day of redemption.
I won’t pretend to know of whole lot about the Cambridge school system other than it seems to be a lot better than the one I went to.
I can tell you how dedicated Marc is.
Being a member of the school committee for Cambridge is not only Marc’s passion but to me it seems his calling.
Marc is also humble enough not to get in his own way and has some practical ideas of how improve the school system. I know he will serve Cambridge well.
There are few other notables running for election this year but I don’t have the room to cover all of them. Let me say for now I’m a big fan of Tim Toomey who is running for reelection as a City Councilor.
Tim’s been on the City Council for along time and think he’s a big part of our local government. Tim’s my number two, even though I secretly wish I had two number ones, one for him and Ken.
And then there’s Sam Seidel who I would love to see elected.
I’ve only met him once but heard many good things about him from my editor and feel that he embodies the fresh blood I would love to see on City Council this year. I’ve failed to mention most of the other candidates and sitting City Councilors running for reelection for two reasons.
They are otherwise unremarkable in my mind, or they are so freaking annoying and embody everything I hate about politicians. I haven’t the time nor the energy to write exactly what it is that gets under my skin. Suffice it to say that appointing a task force for every godamn thing and taking credit for things you haven’t actually accomplished is particularly annoying. I’d love Sam to take out at least one of them, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Not that my opinion holds any weight, but I think it would serve us all to vote for those candidates who have more going for them than slick campaign literature. They pose with a group of smiling children passing themselves off as a wonderful care giver of the poor and under privileged and elderly and environment. All this, when deep down you end up being nothing than an empty vessel, a self seeking d%$che bag with nothing to offer the world other than a desire to land a comfy high paying part time job under the guise of civil service.
Roger Nicholson will interview James W. Lewis, who served 13 years in federal prison for his letters demanding blackmail from the maker of Tylenol in 1982 after cyanide-laced capsules killed eight Chicago-area residents on his "Cambridge Rag" CCTV program tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Lewis was never charged with the poisonings, but his name is associated with the unsolved murders.
You got to give me an idea of what to write. I’m blanking right now. Everything is peaceful and stable in my life and it is ruining my writing.
I’m gonna stare at this blank screen for a little while longer, hoping something comes to mind. No resentments, no politics, nothing to offensive to talk about, this is really the dog days of summer. I guess all the times my life was in some desperate spiral downward I’d try to expel the evil by writing.
Or when I felt wronged by someone I would use the power of the pen to smite them. But now I have two jobs I really like, bartending at the Middle East and working in a real estate company renting apartments.
I love my the people I work for and work with, and feel I’m hitting my stride in regards to maintaining gainful employment.
When I’m not too busy juggling those two jobs, I make time to drag my gear out into Harvard Square and sing pretty songs to those passing by. So, as of now, money is not an issue. Another thing that seems to compel me to write is when I’ve somehow warped myself into some kind of emotional wormhole of despair. I get all maudlin and “woe is me” and “what is life all about” and shit like that, I really seem to lose my marbles over trying to save horrible relationships.
In the past I’ve been quite comfortable writing openly and honestly about what a sniveling little bitch I am when carrying a broken heart.
But I’ve since met the sweetest girl ever and things are really couldn’t be better in that department. She is young and beautiful, works as a nurse at Brigham and Womens hospital and has a great sense of humor. At least I think she does. I manage to keep her laughing quiet often and she loves watching my cable show whenever it comes on. She and I will sit at home watching movies, or take a long road trips on a whim, or hang out with Joseph at the Middle East. We have a grand old time doing nothing. She and I also seem to have the same taste in women, but I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions as to what that means. She also seems to lack any capacity to nag me or try to change me, and hasn’t a jealous bone in her body.
America lost one of it’s most influential and beloved leaders of the religious right, May 15. Jerry Falwell died in his office in Lynchburg, Va, at the age of 73, thus ending a life dedicated to spreading traditional Christian values to every pocket of America.
Falwell started out as small time preacher and quickly rose to prominence, becoming one of most influential political leaders of the Christian right. He founded the Moral Majority, a political organization aimed at protecting the unborn by lobbying presidents to appoint Supreme Court Justices who would be inclined to overturn Roe vs. Wade, fought against the spread of pornography, and spoke out against the evil and damaging influence the gay and lesbian movement had on our children.
To many, Jerry Falwell was a great American.
To me, he was just another smooth talking jive ass from the south with his hand out for money allowing him to live lavishly while propagating his sanctimonious b*llsh*t. All, of course, in the name of Jesus.
Falwell was a perfect example of what is, and has been, exactly wrong with America ever since I was old enough to use the “F” word.
It’s no secret what the tried and true method is to becoming a success in the business of evangelism.
Find yourself a group of simple minded dunderheads starving for culture and independent thought whose interests include barn dances and tractor pulls. This should be a piece of cake, especially if your point of origin happens to be from a state that actually fought a war to keep slavery. So long as they’re just smart enough to write out a check, you’re in business.
It’s very important that once on TV you quote vague and arbitrary passages from an archaic book that sometimes seems really dicked-up. Feel free to interpret them any way you see fit. Don’t worry, your congregation won’t exactly be practiced in the art of critical thinking, a nd are only listening because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do. It’s the “sheep” and “shepherd” concept. No matter how immoral or mean spirited it is, you’re covered.
Here are a couple of examples of Jerry Falwell speaking as if he was God’s own personal publicist:
On the AIDS epidemic: “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals, it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”
"Robert Winters needs to get a life!" snarled John Clifford, spokesman and educational liaison to the Mayor's Office for the City Of Cambridge. Any hope I may have had at somehow resolving the recent controversy surrounding Mayor Ken Reeves travel expenditures on my weekly public access show went right out the window.
Instead of building a bridge of open dialogue and understanding between the mayor's office and his critics, I managed to lose control of my show and watch it degenerate into a tit for tat exchange of insults between John Clifford and Cambridge political watch dog, Robert Winters.
Normally I would have been thrilled to have such chaotic skullduggery between such prominent Cantabrigian denizens live on television.
You might classify what I do on my CCTV program as "low brow" entertainment, but this evening I actually had a different agenda.
My plan was to come the defense of an old friend and ally who I felt was being completely railroaded by a few outsiders who shamelessly and disingenuously proclaim themselves to be "journalists." Ken Reeves has been the victim of an active campaign of besmirchment by another less than reputable newspaper here in Cambridge.
The reason for these attacks have nothing to do with the merits of hard hitting journalism, or enlightening the taxpayers of this community about its discovery of gross bureaucratic malfeasances on the part of a spend-thrift out-of-control mayor, or any of the other noble or valid reason for which news reporting is essential to any free society.
It's nothing more and nothing less than conjuring a tabloid-inspired headline--one you believe as editor, will compel the kind of person who moves his lips while reading, to drop 75 cents out of his scratch ticket money down on the counter to buy a piece of sh@t rag.
John Clifford (left), an aide to the mayor, sits with Alewife columnist Robert Winters and Nicholson on Nicholson's CCTV program "The Cambridge Rag."
I stopped in to see Ken the other night after the Feb. 26 City Council meeting, just to say hello and make sure I was still in his good graces after my ill-conceived television debacle two weeks prior. Ken was happy to see me, addressing me as he always does as, "Mr. Roger." He took me into his office to talk about his latest struggle with the press.
Ken seemed perplexed as to why certain newspapers seemed to have it in for him. I broke it down to him, from my perspective, in my usual irreverent way.
I’m not going to pretend I completely understand how the judicial process works in this state works and most that live here don’t either.
But I am very troubled by the fact the issue of same-sex marriage is dangerously close to being placed on the November 2008 ballot.
As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing constitutional or democratic about the people of Massachusetts being allowed to vote on any issue concerning civil rights.
In February of 2004, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the denial of licenses to gay couple violated the Massachusetts Constitution.
I thought their decision seemed pretty fair and just, I myself having been a strong supporter and advocate for gay rights for many years.
Others disagreed. Some people, actually, most people seemed to think
that marriage is only valid between a man and a woman. Call me a
romantic, but to me, a marriage has less to do with genitalia and more
to do with the love and devotion two people share with each other.
I recently went to go see the film “Jesus Camp,” an independent documentary exposing the evangelical Christian’s movement geared toward “inspiring” and “educating” the Christian youth of America toward the righteous path of the Gospel and Jesus Christ.
The annual summer program called “Kids on Fire” is located, ironically enough, at a place called Devils Lake, North Dakota. It’s run by Becky Fischer, a fast talking, overweight, tongues speaking, fire and brimstone, pancake make up wearing, Tammy Faye Baker, wanna-be preacher.
This woman is hideous, and is a great example of what goes wrong when some people end up getting “right” with God.
Throughout the movie, Fischer espouses her twisted agenda, which seems to reek of untreated megalomania. She’s also quite good at seducing the young minds of her camp.
In several scenes she seems to incite an almost mass hysteria of young children.
One scene shows a girl of maybe seven years old with tears streaming down her face, while many others collapsing on the floor in convulsions, and still others entranced and speaking in “tongues.”
This movie will no doubt scare the hell out of any rational thinking person, wondering what in the name of God Almighty is becoming of America.
Personally, brought back memories of my own childhood, being raised by my father who was “saved” by Christ. My uncle was a minister for the Church of God. The two had m4any heated Biblical debates at my house when my uncle came to visit.
My dad and he would argue for hours over some passage in the Bible and what its real meaning was. The message presented to these kids was uncomfortably familiar, and had me reflect on how I ended up getting through all the dogma and
indoctrination that was pounded through my head when I was only six years old.
Editor Neil W. McCabe is out of his mind. I take extreme offense to anyone in favor of embryonic stem cell research being compared to Josef Mengele, and am almost certain there has never been any honest debate as to whom to The Alewife should endorse. Neil uses the pronoun "we" a lot, as if there was an exchange of ideas as to who should or should not be endorsed by people other than himself.
But being on the "inside" here at The Alewife, and knowing Neil personally, I seriously doubt the candidates endorsed and opinions expressed where authored by any more than one person.
I am grateful for the opportunity to write for The Alewife as a columnist, and to have the chance to voice my thoughts and views on life in print every month. But I also must admit the truth to myself and everyone else, and call bullsh#t on what I see as a clearly unobjective, politcally charged and religious bias presentation by the editor of The Alewife.
The "Bridge" is a slanted, left wing, piece of sh#t newspaper which is only in print to propagate it's anti-American, Bush-hating inflamatory rhetoric and doing so under the guise of "journalism." So too, it would seem, is The Alewife, but it's function seems to be the one to promote the Republican Party and the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. To Neil's credit, The Alewife is a lot more subtle in masking it's political agenda, but is becoming, in my opinion, an instrument of propaganda.
Either way, I disavow both schools of thinking and would like to encourage this paper to be the one paper here in Cambridge to be grown up enough to set an example of truth before politics.
I also want to say, on a personal level, that I consider Neil McCabe a true friend and advocate, and someone for which I hold in high esteem and have a great deal of respect and admiration for. Neil is one of the smartest people I know, and I enjoy talking to him at length about a wide variety of topics and subjects. I always learn a great deal by talking to Neil. I am able see past his political and religious veiws, and for that, I am rewarded by having a great freindship with him.
But Neil and I differ on many issues, which is fine. But I felt in necessary to weigh in on what I felt about this month's edition of The Alewife, and call him on what I see as bullsh#t. Just as, I'm sure, he will mine.
Summer's almost gone. It's almost gone. Where will we be, when summer's gone?"
The song "Summer's Almost Gone" was recorded almost 40 years ago by the Doors, and is a woeful lament to the passing of yet another season. A heavy hearted farewell to the closing of another chapter, the end of a definitive, albeit, brief era.
Morning found us camly unaware/Noon burned gold into our hair./At night we swam the laughing sea./When summers gone, where will we be?"
Every year, especially toward the last week of August, I think of this song and embrace it's meloncholy and dark undertone.
It resonates with me, has a strange and haunting affect on my pyche, and captures the emotion I feel when its obvious the sun is setting much sooner now and there is a notable chill in the evening air, the streets that a few weeks ago were teeming with life have sudden gone oddly quiet. There is a deep sense of abandonment in its stillness. A slow death in its transformation.
The fall is historically a time which brings upon drastic of changes in my life.
It certainly beckons many new begingings, but it also signifies the turning point. A time that pretty soon there will be no going back to the humid nights of playing music in Harvard Square, midnight swims at Walden Pond, or quiet reflection while strumming my guitar among the cackling ducks while basking in the early evening sunshine along the banks of the Charles.
Summer is the most sacred time of year for me. This year was one was my most profound in memory. I did a lot of growing up this summer, which ultimaltely means I went through a lot of pain. Hopefully, it was all worth it and I won't need to repeat it again any time soon. Even though its not quite over with yet, I'm already begining to get an almost nostalgic feeling when I think about the last three months.
This summer was a harrowing and intense struggle for me to grow and learn no matter what. And I still don't know if anything was really accomplished. All I know for sure is I came out in one piece, which was no small miracle.
It seemed as if while on my way to move the mountains that were blotting out the sun of my inner peace, I was stumbling over the mole hills, falling flat on my face every time. Each time, after dusting myself off, I'd say to myself, " Do I really want to keep going?"
For those of you who felt I've lost my mind in my last article, or maybe even in the last few articles, you may be completely correct in assuming so. I myself have questioned my sanity several times a day since returning from my trip to Edinburgh.
One thing I am learning though, is not to define to quickly the meaning of any major event in ones life, whether it be good or bad, until sufficient time as passed, so that one can objectively and honestly assess just what the hell went down.
I have noticed, especially when it has come to more painful chapters of my life, I'm all too eager and ready to figure out the meaning and the lesson, and in haste, make grand proclamations and edicts that soon change once I realize I hadn't a clue as to what was really going on at the time.
Self discovery, something I feel I make great efforts toward achieving, I'm finding doesn't usually pay off in blinding flashes of spiritual enlightenment-there is no burning bush or an unmistakable Divine voice directing me toward my ultimate destiny.
It's a very slow and painful process, and I spend most of the time during this process feeling stuck, desperate to take action, any action, so as to end it as quickly as possible, yet having no clue as to what to do next.
During this time, especially, is when the rumblings of my darker side presents itself, urging me to behave in a way that usually isn't very healthy, hence presenting another dilemma.
1. a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity. b.The condition of being so stimulated. 2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention. 3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired. 4. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration. 5. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind. 6. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.
I have so been inspired lately. Through a series of compelling dreams, strange occurances and befuddling coincidences that offer no rational explaintion-the gift of inspiration has finally come to me.
It was almost as if I received the "call" in some way. To act on what was at one point just a silly daydream, a passsing thought which I easily brushed off as wishful thinking.
But soon, this silly notion took shape and form, haunted me for days through dreams and sernedipidous interactions with my fellow soul seekers.
It quickly blossomed into the realm of the Possible, and suddenly not so easy to ignore.
I am extremely leery and skeptical of any notion that sometimes seem to fall from the sky, worried it's really coming from some place of resistance to legitimate suffering. A plot of designed as some sort of emotional jail break.
A mere escape from the sorrows and doldrums of life on lifes terms.
But even after my all my logical and rational objections, pain staking hours examination as to what my true motives were, the strange and inexplicable kept happening up, undeniable and at times obnoxious, pointing to me in the same direction.
Somewhere, deep inside this body, beneath the warmth of my smile, or a kind gesture I extend to a stranger, or my silly, sophmoroic antics, my charm, music, sense of humor, my elan and genuine concern for those I cherish and love, lies a mysterious, discontented, cruel and restless spirit. Carl Jung, an early pioneer in the field of psychology and spirituality, spoke a great deal about this area of the human soul. He called it the "Shadow."
According to Jung, we all have one. It is the side of our psychological make up which we try to keep hidden from the rest of the world. We apparently even take great measures to hide it from ourselves.
It's the part of who we are which causes us to feel shame and guilt and makes us feel seperate from the rest of society. It where our unspoken thoughts and desires reside, the darkest rumblings of the soul.
Perhaps it might be better described as a psychological Hades. The Shadow lives in the deepest chasms in the Underworld of the Mind.
Jung's theory in regards to mental health, spoke of the importance that everyone meeting their shadow, to face it head on, and not run and hide from it. To embrace it and understand it and accept it as a valid part of who we really are.
Recently, my shadow paid me a visit. It was during a recent struggle with a painful seperation, where love had gone wrong, and my heart has felt as though it had been cut down by a snipers bullet.
A mere casualty, left for dead on the battlefield of Life.
I was in the midst of making heroic efforts of healing the wound, resisting all negativity and keeping hope alive, to will my way back to health and sanity. To make this process as painless as possible.
But those efforts eventually proved futile. Bewilderment, confusion and fustration finally got the upper hand on me, and I succumbed to all the hurt and anger and rage from the past.
There's something very important to be noted here. I truly believe my approach to my particular situation was thoughtful and appropritate. Yet I didn't realize that in my zeal to overcome my suffering the "right" way, to will myself into becoming a glowing white light of spirituality, that I was actually repressing certain feelings that needed to reveal themselves. I feared that by giving them voice and acknowledging them, I would only prolong my discomfort.
I soon learned that my repression of those feeling only allowed them to ferment and expand, my shadow being a great connoissuer and glutton for the toxic waste of poisoned human emotion.
And, like much an univited guest banging on the doors in the middle of the night, my shadow made its presence known.
Grace is such a beautiful word. It's an idea and concept that was first brought to my attention while reading M Scott Pecks "The Road Less Traveled." At the time I was in the midst of a spiritual crisis, struggling with my brother's death and trying desperately to stay sober after losing all faith in there being any purpose whatsoever to living. Peck's book had a huge impact on my way of life.
Grace is a mystical, immeasurable, unseen force that has touched me more than once in my life. It's a gift of inspiration that compels me to grow rather than regress. It's a beacon of light, guiding me as to which road I choose. Do I pick the black topped, four lane, no speed limit highway of self destruction, or the graveled, bumpy winding road of perseverance?
Sorry to get have to get heavy on you, but it's where I'm at.
I am going through something right now which I would categorize as minor spiritual crisis. Nothing too serious, I'm faced the task of letting go of something I want more than anything else to hold on to. Sadly, I have no control over time and space, and all I can do is just sit here and take it.
The short of the story I was betrayed by someone I cared for very much, at a time when my defenses where coming down and when the notion of something a bit more serious seemed possible. At a time when I was allowing myself to become vulnerable. There was a series of break downs in communication, and it seemed no time, the tower of hope I was building was ablaze and burning to the ground.
Days, months and years seem to flying by so much faster the older I get. It feels like not too long ago, I made the most major decisions of my life.
At some point in the middle of a rather warm February evening, I left the squalor of my dilapidated studio apartment in Stockbridge, hopped on to entrance ramp of Mass Turnpike in Lee and stuck my thumb out.
All I had with me was a change of clothes and a guitar.
I was only 19 years old and already was feeling life slipping through my fingers, as if there was something out there that I needed to find.
That winter in Stockbridge was one of bleakest in memory. I had no car, no job, and absolutely no money. I couldn't afford to feed myself, and on top of that, I was going through my first major break up.
You know how it is after getting dumped, depressed, disillusioned, couldn't imagine life after this girl. I was down, and as far as my living another day starving in this rat whole in the middle of no where, Berkshire County, I was out.
It took me all night to get to Cambridge. When I arrived I bought myself a coffee and donut from $5 trucker who picked me hitchhiking was nice enough to flip me. I was already better off than when I left.
Later that morning, I stood out in front the Coop in Harvard Square, opened up my guitar case and proceed to play every song I knew at the time. I probably knew only 10 or 15 , but it didn't matter. It was warm day for February, and in an hour I managed to amass a whopping $20. More money than I had seen in months. That's how it all started for me, that's how I got here.
A lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same for me the last 15 years I've been here in Cambridge. At first, it took a long time for me to adjust to living in a city.
I am by nature, a hayseed country boy. I spent much of my childhood exploring nature and hiking the deer trails scattered over the mountain and hills of upstate New York and Western Massachusetts because that's all there was out there.
I'm the kind of person who'll never find myself lost in the woods. Navigating through Somerville and finding my way out was a whole other story.
I have more than adapted to city life by now. I love it that in the summer you can still find people hanging out somewhere in Cambridge at 3:00 am. There is so much more for me here than the sleepy existence of rural life. Yet after 15 years of living in here Cambridge I'm still trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life.
There have been many incarnations for me.
Street musician, talk show host, newspaper columnist of all things! Mostly inane attempts of creating something from nothing. Not all has been for naught, but none of these creative ventures have ever made me any money.
I've had to work one shit job after another just to get by, and wonder when and if the day will ever come where I somehow manage to pull all that together.
"The revolution is here!” That is the familiar and often used tag line for those listening to the new "Howard Stern Show" radio program offered to subscribers of Sirius satellite radio.
I've been a big Howard Stern for the last 15 years ever since hearing him on WBCN for the first time back in 1992.
From the start I was awed by his brashness, his honesty, and his fearlessness to speak his mind at a time when the trend of soft fascism in the form of political correctness seemed to plague free thinkers every where.
After moving to Cambridge in 1991, I felt I was constantly being corrected and admonished by the pseudo intellectually elite. Words like "girl" needed to be substituted in certain circles by "pre-woman" "Black" wasn't OK, it had to "African American. And forget "American Indian" which is actually part of my genetic make up, I needed to start saying "Native American." I could barely open my mouth lest I be publicly shamed.
Racist, sexist, homophobic. All were labels being handed out in Cambridge in the early 90's as liberally as the Star of David in Germany circa 1933.
I got fired today which totally sucks. I'm already behind on my rent, but what can one do in my position? You have to keep your head up and hope something better will come along.
More than just my financial predicament, my feelings are hurt. I
don't think my being fired was very fair. My therapist told me that
writing is a very powerful tool. It helps me to express my feelings in
a positive, healthy manner. So let the healing begin.
I've been bartending at the place for almost two months. It's a nice
place, and the food is great. Not incredibly busy but it certainly has
When I was hired the business was in a chaotic state of flux. The turn over rate was mind numbing, and people working there were very unhappy. It was during the slow season, so no one was making much money. The general manager wasn't doing a great job either, keeping the restaurant over staffed, which meant making even less money.
I hung in there, taking any shift they needed me to fill, hoping it would get better. And it did get better, for a little while.
Then they brought in a new manager. I don't want to name any names, so let’s call her Halle and this restaurant Gravy.
Those were the words reportedly mouthed to the jurors by Stanley "Tookie" Williams moments after being found guilty of murderering four people back in 1981.
I wasn't even aware of who Tookie Williams was until very recently, when anti-death penalty activists came out in droves and made an impassioned plea this past month in an effort to spare Tookie's life from the death sentence.
Jaime Foxx, Ed Asner, Mike Farrell, Sean Penn, and many more of Hollywood’s left wingers, along with rap music mogul Snoop Dogg and political self seekers such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, put on quite a show and generated a great deal of awareness and sympathy for Tookie Williams.
The overall message of Christmas is a good one. Peace on Earth, good will toward man, or rather: take a month of from being a prick if you can.
I like that message. It applies to me.
Even if you don’t believe in Santa Claus, Christmas should be the time of year when you get a chance to be the super nice guy or super nice girl for no reason at all.
After all, being a swell fellow or lady is its own reward.
Why some people want to outlaw public displays of Christmas or anything pertaining to baby Jesus is beyond me.
As an agnostic who doesn’t even believe 99% of what the Bible says, I think you’re making much ado about nothing.
This is more of an opportunity for you to play the spoilers, to ruin everyone’s fun. There have been lots of insinuations about Ebenezer Scrooge being a joyless, self-loathing atheist.
I think he was much worse than that. I think he was a liberal.
Anyone offended by the Nativity scene in public needs to get their head examined.
Your life is way too insignificant. Maybe an episode or two of “Desperate Housewives” might be the remedy, something to fill the void and give your lives a little more meaning.
Most importantly, Christmas is the time when parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles get a chance to blow the minds of the little ones.
Nothing is more fun than watching the excitement and joy on the faces of children on Christmas morning. I’m not even trying to get soft on all of you. It so much fun.
Christmas morning has an uncanny similar effect on children as crack cocaine does on adults. Their eyes get all wide and bulging, super hyper and unable to sit still, gleeful and babbling incoherently. Not that I have any first hand knowledge of such a thing. I think I read it somewhere.
For those of you who are of the Jewish faith, I appeal to you to come and join us.
The author of the "Roger that" column in The Alewife, Roger Nicholson, said today he will return to Cambridge Community Television.
"It will be a new show with the old attitude," said Nicholson, who is calling his new program "The Cambridge Rag."
"We can't use the old name 'Cambridge Uncensored News Television' because great efforts have been made at CCTV in making it policy to restrict free speech." he said.
Nicholson said during his suspension, the CCTV wrote up guidelines governing all CCTV programming.
On his last show broadcast before the suspension, Nicholson had interviewed a topless woman for nearly 10 minutes and his guest co-host, a CCTV intern, applied lipstick on his genitalia just Nicholson was signing off.
"In some ways the new guidelines are more vague than the old ones," he said. "One of the new guidelines is no use of 'excessive profanity.' What constitutes 'excessive' and who decides?"
"The Cambridge Rag" will broadcast live Sundays at 5:30 p.m. from CCTV's BeLive! studios in Central Square.
I am beside myself at this moment after watching in horror about the senseless, tragic murder of Pamela Vitale.
I first heard about it, of all places, on the "Howard Stern Show" that morning.
They were doing there daily news portion of the show when Robin Quivers mentioned that famed defense attorney, Daniel Horowitz, found his wife murdered on Saturday in their Lafayette, Calif. home. I wanted so badly to deny what I thought I just heard. Daniel Horowitz? Lafayette?
Are they talking about Pamela?
Five years ago, while employed at the Middle East Restaurant in Central Square, I fell madly in love with a fellow co-worker. Her name was Marisa.
We both waited tables there, and spent a lot of time together. She was beautiful, sweet, caring, and had the kind of sense of humor where no matter what I said, no matter how off color, or insensitive, or hateful my observations might seem, she would always laugh.
Marisa was always smiling, always upbeat, carried herself with grace, and did so with what I thought to be the face of an angel. She was such a stark contrast to my constant brooding and negativity.
Not to mention the fact we had met right before I bottomed out on booze and sobered up. And if anyone knew me then, my days leading up to a long stretch of sobriety were ugly at best. Eventually, after a few months of staying sober, Marisa and I grew to be close. For me, it was true love. I was completely enamored with her.
Marisa didn't exactly see me as her cup of tea. She had seen me at my worst, and even though I put a little time between me and the bottle, first impressions are hard to live down.
For the time, I was content just being in her presence. Everyone loved Marisa, and being around her so much I could see myself changing. I was a little less jaded, a little softer around the edges. She was bringing out this sweetness in me that not everyone gets to see. Marisa, to me, felt like sunshine after a week of rain.
Others took notice of our innocent "friendship." A customer, after seeing us interacting, asked if she was my girlfriend. "Here's the deal, " I explained half joking, "Marisa's madly in love me, but she just doesn't know it yet."
It's funny, because there were so many times when I felt like all my efforts where for nothing. I kept telling myself, " This isn't going to work. She's never going to love you. You should just give up."
But I was stubborn, and my resolve to winning her heart grew each day.
My confidence was growing as well. One night at Whitney's in Harvard Square, I asked her flatout, "I don't have a snowballs' chance in hell with you, do I?" She looked at me and shook her head. "No."
Two weeks later we were a couple.
I still haven't quite figured out the math on this one, but somehow Marisa's feelings about me began to change. She began looking at me differently, she started to flirt with me at work. She'd reach over to touch my arm, or play with my hair. Little things like that. There was a tenderness in her gestures that mere friends just don't share with each other.
So that's how it started. Romance has been described as the place where Heaven and Earth meet. Whoever said it nailed it right on the head.
I first met Marisa's mother, Pamela, in early February of that year.
I'm in a strange, weird uncertain kind of mood today as I sit here and write.
I'm late for the deadline for this month’s article, I've recently left my job because I was burned out and not getting paid enough for the hassle, looking for and have been on several job interviews that haven't as of yet panned out.
To get by I am trying to make a living, some say ill-advised, as an on-line poker player.
Add to all of that and I found out last night that a friend of mine, I've known for over 10 years died last night on the job in a work related accident.
Cambridge Community Television is a non-profit organization providing public access television and media education services for the unique and diverse city of Cambridge Massachusetts. Already voted recognized for the best programming in the nation five times, CCTV has great ambitions and we’re seeking a talented and motivated staffer to join our team.
The leader of Cambridge Community Television, Susan Fleischmann, buffetted by complaints over nudity, beheadings and foul language, has decided stop broadcasting "BeLive" past 9 p.m.
Fleischmann was in the middle of developing new guidelines for its programing after nine o'clock in the evening, said Roger Nicholson, a CCTV member and columnist for The Alewife.
Nicholson, who was lost his Sunday at 9:30 p.m. time slot after Fleishmann objected to his interviewing a topless woman for 10 minutes on his May 29 program.. On the same program, his co-host, Corey Blamire, applied lipstick to his own genitals.
After a successful appeal of his cancellation, Nicholson said he was promised by the CCTV board of directors that he would participate in the writing of official guidelines governing adult content on CCTV.
"There were no written guidelines, Susan told all of us nudity was okay, just no sexual contact," he said.
The process was supposed to take three months, afterwhich he could return to the schedule, he said.
As time went by, he was excluded from the process and was told the guidelines would take four months, instead of three, Nicholson said.
Fleischmann has been under pressure from politicians, since the October CCTV broadcast of Iraqi terrorists beheading a hostage, he said. "After the beheading, she started acting differently and on-the-fly changing her rules."
Nicholson said in the past, he has stood up to Fleischmann's critics in his columns and in conversations with other CCTV members. "I am shocked that a woman, who I have respected as a defender of Free Speech, has turned like this to save her career."
Summer is my all time favorite time of year. It’s a time when the evening air is warm and thick and the streets of Cambridge are teeming with life.
It’s the time of year when I get to drag my guitar, PA system, my power inverter and 12-volt car battery and take to the streets of Harvard Square to street perform on any given evening. I’ve been doing this for almost 15 years and it has yet to get old for me.
Playing on the streets seems to rejuvenate my soul somehow, gives some kind of purpose to life, and the money isn’t bad either. One of the greatest things about of being a street performer in
Harvard Square are the all interesting and eclectic people I get to meet, from all walks of life, from all over the world like two unique men of God I call friends.
I recently met James Curtis, an ordained Episcopal priest and artist- in-resident at the Harvard Episcopal Divinity School. Jim is from Atlanta and he and I have shared many profound conversations about the nature of life and death, spirituality, and the mysteries of God and the Universe.
Jim is a very progressive and open minded Christian. The first question I posed to him was: “So do you believe in Jesus Christ?”
He thought for a moment and replied, “Well, Jesus, I believe in. But, Christ? That’s a whole other story.”