Oh, what you missed

Of course I kept writing after I left the Chronicle, because working is the new retiring. There was some great stuff in there, but of course I can’t reprint it all here. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Please, Please , Please: In which I provide at least 28 reasons why Donald Trump should run as a third party candidate. Number six: No need to socialize with boring small town party hacks. Numbers 20-24: No people to interrupt you. Ever. Trump heaven!
  • Oh my God, France! France!! Home of son-in-law. Lovely seat of civilization. I like civilization. Damn.
  • Birds, birds, birds, part 2: Ask me about the eared grebe. Ask me about the Great Horned Owl. Ask me about sky-filling sunsets and sun-covering flights of snow geese. Thanks, Michael Ellis.
  • Comma-tose Condition: Why are there so many commas in the last three headlines? I ask prominent grammar trenders what it might mean. Am I on the leading edge? (No.) Is punctuation making a comeback? (no{!,
  • Hey, I paid full freight for that Michael Ellis trip. I also bought the book mentioned below with my own money. Although, please feel free to offer blandishments; I understand there is big money to be made in covert blog advertising. Eat at Oliveto (owned by friends of mine). Also Hayes Street Grill (also owned by friends of mine). No conflict of interest in cyberspace!
  •  The Voluptuous Workings of Science:  So now there’s a particle that may be the opposite of the God particle, if the word “opposite” has any meaning here. This other particle (call it the Devil particle) may be a graviton and explain gravity. So the Manichean universe is plausible. Take that, subtle lovers of nuance.
  • Will Purr For Food: Pancho, already a little hefty,  has become more and more demanding about kibble. He’ll start complaining four hours before the scheduled food delivery time. He whines; he gets underfoot; he stares accusingly. And then I solved the problem! Actually, I didn’t. He’s sitting there right now like Poe’s Raven. Go away!
  • The Spy Who Stayed in the Warm: My plans to foment revolt against a cruel theocratic government were halted when Iran refused to issue me a visa. Really, that happened. Our plan had been to eat food and chat in Tehran, wander the old city of Shiraz, stare in awe at the magnificent remains of Persepolis. Plus, that little thrilling chance of being thrown in a hellhole jail. Woulda made a great blog entry.
  •  Yes, I can say “Fuck”: I’m not in the newspaper anymore! I don’t have to find sixteen different ways of saying “bullshit.” I do not have to pay attention to the charitable activities of digital billionaires. Downside: No copy ediutor.
  • Flood, Fire and Dominion: I go crazy for “Thunder and Lightning,”a marvelous combination of science, art and reportage, lovely in both process and product. It’s a new book by Lauren Redniss, and, in its own quiet way, it’s profound and moving.
  • Easy, Big Guy; We Still Love You: Leveraging my position as a prominent blogger, I get a sit-down face-to-face with Barack Obama. Why in God’s name (I asked him) are you still messing around in the Middle East when long experience shows us that we only make things worse, whatever our intentions. Let them all fight it out. You think ISIS is going to crush to armies of Turkey, Iran or, heaven forfend, Israel? (There would be an alliance). Let’s use the money to rebuild infrastructure (jobs!) or find housing for the homeless (happiness!). But no, you just listen to those same dopey generals who got us into this. We. Aren’t. Helping. Let the Russians get the grief; we’ll create as better country. Huh? Whaddya think? I didn’t like the expression on his face, so I moved his photo into the utility room.

But there’s more on the way! Watch this space for entries of various lengths and periodicity.

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Me in the Ideatron
Photography by Tracy Johnston
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90 thoughts on “Oh, what you missed

  1. It’s Jon unleashed (and unhinged!) I like it. I think it works. Keep it short and snappy or long and verbose, it’s BLOGGING and welcome to it! — Ericka (and Dan from Volcano), writing from The Secret Undisclosed Location.

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  2. Oh yeah. Let’s go!

    If the novels of Kilgore Trout were columns, specifically columns of the Jon Carroll sort, they’d show up just like that. Except some guy named Billy would be there reading them, which appears to be unnecessary.

    Roadmap, delight that stuff doesn’t have to be finished, gentle self-parody diluted perfectly to the point of style-awareness, who cares. That is, who the fuck cares. Yay for the freedoms of greater Blogistan.

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  3. Will there be a club with secret handshake (or secret milkshake)? A Jon Carroll Premium option without ads that shows the entire stories behind the teaser paragraphs?

    I want a membership card in the low 1 digits for suggesting this.

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  4. The Chron just ain’t the same…it’s online like Jon! And as you all know, it’s a struggle over hearts and…eyeballs? This blog is like an effing cocktail party with everyone fighting for funniest…Oh, sorry, that’s all social media. I’m going outside without my glasses to feel rain on my face.

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  5. I would love to read “Yes, I can say Fuck” and all the other things that you weren’t allowed to write at the Chronicle that you can now write.

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  6. I would argue the point about “dopey generals getting us into this.” From my observation, most of this warmongering comes from politicians and arms dealers (Remember: NOBODY in the Bush II administration served in the military, except for Colin Powell, who was kept mostly out of the loop in the decision-making.) Also, while ISIS doesn’t have the strength now to go blitzkrieging the whole world, they are very very serious about getting it. Further, the U.S. helped make this mess and our friends and allies are suffering for it . . . so we’re part of it, like it or not (and I don’t).

    Actually, I think it’s more fun to come up with ways to *not* say “FUCK!” Those restrictions can inspire a certain creativity . . . and if you don’t believe me, you can go propagate yourself!

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  7. Glad to find you again! As somebody said (above) the Chronicle isn’t worth reading any more – well, it isn’t AS worth reading as it was, I still like Leah and Caille Milner is rapidly ascending.

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  8. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging. Among the joys are not having to write if you don’t have anything to say (my condition of late), linking to cool stuff your readers can check out at their leisure(s), posting cool photos by yourself and others (you’ve already got that covered), and dealing with people who post comments trying to lure your readers to buy time-shares in Mumbai. I’ve been doing it since Howard Rheingold suggested I’d get all kinds of work from it. Didn’t happen, but I met some nice folks, most of whom I’m still in touch with. I fearlessly predict you’re going to have fun. And, as your reader, so will I!

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  9. As a displaced Bay Area native and avid reader of Jon Carroll columns for all my years on BART commute I am ecstatic that my dear friend Tori put a link to this page in a Facebook post to me (or on my page or however that is done, I’m old and still stumble with the social media despite my years with computer programming for business – very different indeed). Welcome back to the public eye and perfect timing for those of us who were getting ready to give up on humanity altogether. Berke Breathed came to Facebook and Jon Carroll is blogging, perhaps I can make it through one more excruciating election cycle. Thank you for this.

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  10. Oh so happy to see you back in action and even feistier than ever. The people commenting are (almost) as amusing as you. Yay!

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  11. Woo Hoo Jon! It is such a pleasure to read your stuff. One teeny comment re bullet #4: Yes, punctuation is coming back. Long live the Oxford comma.

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  12. The kidney thing worked out fine; staples come out tomorrow. (Thanks for asking, btw.) Unfortunately, Jason won’t be coming back from Phuket anytime soon; there was a problem at the airport, something to do with a backpack and some Thai sticks. And you’ll be happy to know I’ve given up cigars, so please don’t send that box you promised me for Christmas.

    Your new Blog is looking good. It’s nice to see you back in print.

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  13. It’s going to be great to read you again and even better that you can comment on all the fucking bullshit. Tell Tracy that’s a cool picture.

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  14. Welcome to the blogosphere. You should probably turn on the RSS feed so people (me, e.g.) can subscribe. #askmehow

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  15. Was still trying to come up with a pithy comment about your first blog thoughts/intentions when your recent post showed up. I would find myself wandering around the house staring at Leah Garchik’s picture and waiting for yours to reappear in its usual place all to no avail.
    As to the celebration of Christmas, while in Japan years ago over the holiday, I happened upon a display in Tokyo that featured Santa Claus on a crucifix. Perhaps the true meaning of Christmas?

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  16. I will keep that photo of “Jon Carroll in the Ideatron” on my hard drive forever. All these years I wondered how you came up with all those ideas !!! Now I know.

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