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>W E L C O M E !

October 17, 2010


Am I an “uncommon citizen”? Of course I am, to the same extent as you and everyone else, which makes us all both unique and the same as everyone else. Curious, isn’t it, this apparent paradox? But, then again, that’s what this blog is about: the curious, the unique, the unusual. Whimsy and wonder. Essays and the esoteric. Poetry and puns. Thoughts, questions, answers, connections. My goal is ambitious: make “The Uncommon Citizen” the most interesting blog on the web. Granted, the world hasn’t been waiting breathlessly (or waiting at all, for that matter) for my arrival on the scene, but that’s okay. And note that I said “the most interesting”” and not “the most popular” or “the most quoted.” As a matter of fact, if I can engage (or provoke) just a few of you and motivate you to engage (or provoke) me, in turn, I will have been successful. So think of this as an invitation to explore my world with an opportunity to invite me into yours via your opinions, thoughts, ideas, questions and answers, all published in the comments section. (“All,” of course being subjective; the usual restrictions will apply.) Finally, I invite you to visit my other blog: “Double Exposure” about my experiences growing up as a teen in 1950s Mexico. You can find it at

When you get there, look at the tags on the left and click on “Dad’s suicide.” That’ll take you directly to the beginning. Then you can begin coming up for air at the top. And then check back here. Every Sunday morning, starting right now, I’ll have a new post. Today: Bizarre TV, Three Poems, some humor. Enjoy.

Before we got a satellite dish, I used to make it a habit to check out Channel 77, the public access channel. I was rewarded just often enough to make it worthwhile. (BF Skinner found that intermittent reinforcement is the hardest to extinguish.) Most of what aired was either boring (most of the religious programs, for example, which constitute a good portion of the programming), in a foreign language, or poorly produced. Often it was all three. Every now and then, however, something truly bizarre showed up. One day, for example, there was a thirty-minute broadcast of a sign propped on a chair. It said:

                           AND A BITCH-ASS PUNK

That was it, the whole show.

The “Goddess Kring” danced nude for half an hour late at night, reciting her poems to strange music and strange visual effects. She was also about thirty pounds overweight. Phillip Kroft’s “Political Playhouse” (which hasn’t aired in many years) was actually a pretty intelligent program, with relevant discussions. Admittedly, it was distracting that he and his guests were all naked. So were the camera operators. My friend John told me he once tuned in on a woman having her labia pierced.

The loony prize, though, goes to a show about conspiracies, called Closing the Circle. There were usually four people, three men and a woman. One of the men, an old guy, was naked, although you never fully saw him. Or saw him fully. These folks have bought into every conspiracy theory you’ve ever heard of, and dozens more they make up as they go along. Here’s a sampling:

• Radio frequencies can put out fires but the government doesn’t want us
to know this.

• Bush and Clinton have stolen from the American people, and deposited in
overseas banks, 27.5 trillion (not million, not billion, but trillion) dollars.

• You can buy through the internet some kind of miraculous, purified water. A woman friend of theirs lost her fingertip, soaked her finger in the liquid
and regenerated her finger.
• The Branch Davidians were murdered by the government in 1993 because
they knew too much. Their compound was right next to a small airport that
was used by “Buffalo Airlines”, a secret CIA airline, to bring drugs into the
country for Bush and Clinton. The Davidians were keeping track of the flights.

• Bella Abzug and Gloria Steinem were paid by the Rockefellers to create and
lead the women’s movement. This would get women out of the home and
weaken the children.

• The IRS is privately owned and none of our tax dollars come back to the
country. Instead, they all go to “the Windsors”. (Presumably the English

Throughout all this is the paranoid theme of ”The government is out to get me. They’re spying on me, cheating me, bombarding me with microwave radiation, poisoning my food, rotting my brain.” They exhort viewers to “take back the government” and they make vague and silly threats: “You know who you are!” “We will put pressure on you!”
“We know what to do!” And so and so on. How does a mind ever slip to that point?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2010 1:33 am

    >I've just gotten pulled into a new Channel 77 show, "Ask an Atheist" (3pm on Sundays, BTW). I assure you that no one's naked.The city government is planning on cutting its funding (budget pressures) so that live shows like ours probably won't be around this time next year. (I wonder if the psychic saw this coming.) Oh well–maybe it's all for the best to end before the nudity comes …

  2. October 18, 2010 1:39 am

    >I dunno – a debate between a naked atheist and a naked Bishop Jakes or Ted Haggard might be kind of . . . interesting. But it is a shame that the public's opportunity to be heard, no matter how wacky, is going to be curtailed or eliminated. We've already lost too many of our safeguards in this country, too many of our freedoms have already been abridged/trampled on. Thanx for the comment!Dave

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