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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why We Must Forgive Racism

By Paul Thomas Zenki

If we deny redemption, we’re all damned … You may have heard of Daryl Davis. He’s a black guy who hangs out with Klansmen. Not because he’s sympathetic to the Klan, but because he believes at least some of them can change their ways. He says once the friendship blossoms, the Klansmen realize that their […]

The Real Secret to Non-Stick Cast Iron

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Think 2 words: hot and thin … Both my grandmothers lived into their early nineties and cooked with cast iron into their eighties. My mother still uses her pans in her eighties. My father did until he couldn’t get around the kitchen anymore. I inherited three cast iron pans from my grandparents  —  a flat […]

Keith Richards Called Sgt. Pepper’s “a Mishmash of Rubbish” — He Was Right

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Sgt. Pepper’s is still iconic, but Keith has a point … Perhaps it was the North Carolina summer heat that loosened him up. It certainly wasn’t the marijuana. June 30th, 2015, was a real paint-peeler in Durham, NC. Thermometers pegged out at 91° (33°C) and the humidity outside was an equally oppressive 91% as Rolling […]

Yes, Opting Out of Vaccines Should Cost You Your “Rights”

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Fairness demands that anti-vaxxers be ostracized … Go around telling people you are all that matters and they don’t, and you can expect to be a social pariah. Because you chose to be. Yet millions of Americans are now telling their compatriots that their own comfort and convenience matter more than everyone else’s health and […]

The Vaccines Are Working Just Fine… Seriously

By Paul Thomas Zenki

They weren’t designed to stop you from catching the virus … Today I read a breathless, almost panicky article by a popular writer on Medium, spreading paranoia about failing vaccines. The vaccines are not failing. People are freaking out because vaccinated people are testing positive for COVID-19. So please, be aware, the SARS-Cov-2 vaccines were […]