Category Archives: history

Fifteen spirituals to help you get through 2022


“They ain’t spirituals,” Swamp Rabbit said. “Elvis was a rocker. Blind Faith don’t belong on no list with James Cleveland. Matthew Sweet got nothin’ to do with Mahalia Jackson. You got gospel mixed up with rock ‘n’ roll.” “Elvis grew … Continue reading

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Watching ‘Wonderful Life’ but not getting it


“How come you like that corny movie?” Swamp Rabbit said after watching the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) for the first time. “I thought you were one of them too-cool-for-school guys.” I told him Wonderful Life transcends its … Continue reading

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Food and gratitude, in that order


I wished Swamp Rabbit a Happy Thanksgiving, knowing this would set him off. “What’s so happy about it?” he said. “This supply chain problem is making me crazy as a chinch bug.The Dollar Store is charging the same price as … Continue reading

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Strange days have found us


It was a spooky weekend here in the Tinicum swamp, but not because of Halloween tricks or seasonal changes. “So why was it spooky?” Swamp Rabbit said. I told him I’d watched a movie called Strait-Jacket, with Joan Crawford as … Continue reading

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Goodbye, Columbus? Not in South Philly.


This is a follow-up to a column Odd Man Out wrote last summer. A bizarre psychodrama was unfolding in South Philadelphia while Swamp Rabbit and I worked a dull sales event in the suburbs. Hundreds of people had gathered to … Continue reading

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Farewell to rock ‘n’ roll’s coolest timekeeper


“All the great ones are checking out,” I said to my neighbor Swamp Rabbit after hearing that Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts had died Tuesday at age 80. “It’s the end of an era.” Swamp Rabbit sipped whiskey and shook … Continue reading

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OK, I give up — why were we in Afghanistan?


America’s 20-year war and nation-building experiment in Afghanistan came to a predictably bad end over the weekend. Since then, foreign policy “experts” have been speculating what went wrong, but few are admitting the effort was a colossal mistake from the … Continue reading

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The Year of the Yahoo


“What exactly you mean by yahoo?” Swamp Rabbit said, sounding defensive. I’d just finished telling him that yahoo-ism is a syndrome that’s been trending for years in this country. That the yahoos among us became louder and more conspicuous when … Continue reading

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Wishful thinking, a.k.a. bipartisanship


I told Swamp Rabbit that the country is in a one-step-forward, two-steps-back historical loop, and there’s no reason to believe things will get better anytime soon. He didn’t want to believe this, so I summarized some news stories for him … Continue reading

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Hey, let’s appoint Jeff Davis to investigate the Civil War


So Nancy Pelosi tells Kevin McCarthy no, you can’t appoint foes of the democratic process to a committee investigating an attack on the democratic process. She’s referring to Jan. 6, when an angry mob of Trumpers stormed the Capitol with … Continue reading

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