I write because I can’t sleep.

Sometimes I can't get things off my mind and they keep me up at night. Here are some things I've wanted to stop thinking about....

The Secret Meaning of Van Zandt’s “Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold”

By Paul Thomas Zenki

It’s not about men playing cards … Early in his career, Steve Earle was playing in a club called the Old Quarter in Galveston, Texas, to a “crowd” of about four people, when in walks his hero, Townes Van Zandt, who proceeds to sit directly in front of him. And in between every song, he […]

Are Handicap Stalls Reserved Only for the Handicapped?

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Should I wait or should I go: the eternal dilemma .. So there you are, away from home  — at the office, a shopping mall, your daughter’s tuba recital, wherever — when nature calls. And she’s in no mood to be put on hold. You excuse yourself and scout out the nearest loo. Only to find, there’s no […]

Every Springsteen Album, Ranked: 0-5 Cadillacs

By Paul Thomas Zenki

A man, his music, and his cars … Billy Joel started this. It was back in the early ’80s, around when Joel’s “Uptown Girl” video was rotating on MTV. I read this magazine interview, he was asked something about the path to there from Glass Houses and from Piano Man before that. Joel said he […]

What Everyone Gets Wrong about the Garden of Eden

By Paul Thomas Zenki

It wasn’t made for people, and the Devil wasn’t there … Don’t know about you, but I came out of Sunday school as a kid thinking the Bible said God made a garden for Adam and Eve, a paradise on earth for His children, and they screwed it up by obeying the Devil. Turns out, […]

Get Response to Your Writing: Master the 3 Phases of Attention

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Make them stop, engage, and want more… When you write, are you focused on what you have to say, who you are, and getting those across on the page? If so, and if you write for any kind of response — audience engagement, votes, purchases, calls to set up new accounts, whatever — you can probably bump up your […]

The Rittenhouse Verdicts Are Correct, Even if I Don’t Like It

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Why the Kenosha shooting jury got it right … Before I proceed to tick off a lot of people I agree with politically while garnering attaboys from some folks I think are dead wrong about pretty much everything, there are three points I need to make clear. First, I’m a liberal. I’m not here cheering […]

What It’s Like To Be Mugged by a Junkie

By Paul Thomas Zenki

I guess it could have been worse … I wish I’d bought the damn shoes. I had an extra fifty bucks on me because I couldn’t decide on some shoes before I had to get to work. This was in Madrid back in the 1980s. I’d take the train out to Móstoles, a suburb on […]

If God Were a Human Father We’d Jail His Ass

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Transcript from deposition, Humanity v. God … Plaintiffs’ Attorney: Please state your name. Defendant: Yahweh PA: Age? D: Eternal PA: Occupation? D: Almighty God PA: And you also go by the alias Heavenly Father? D: Sure. PA: Mr. Yahweh — D: No mister. PA: Beg pardon? D: No “mister.” Just Yahweh. PA: OK then, “Yahweh,” […]

How Habits Can Make Idiots of Us All

By Paul Thomas Zenki

The “power of habit” works both ways, unfortunately … Years ago I heard of an experiment supposedly performed at the Yerkes Primate Research Center in Atlanta. What they did, so the story goes, was to put a scaffold in the chimpanzees’ rec room with an enormous bunch of grapes perched on top. Apes, in case […]

Squid Game’s Hidden Slam of Christianity, Uncovered

By Paul Thomas Zenki

The counter-Christian game within the counter-capitalist game … Note: Spoilers out the wazoo The 2021 Korean mini-series Squid Game may be the most pointed critique of capitalism this century has yet produced. It’s certainly the most popular. In the squidverse, a handful of pointlessly wealthy, cartoonishly decadent patriarchs lord it over a caste of faceless […]