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Five Songs I Love

I spend a lot of time listening to music. Here are five of my favorites songs:

MADAME GEORGE by Van Morrison

If I'm doing a favorite music blog, I have to start with Van Morrison. There may be better songwriters (Bob Dylan), better singers (Ray Charles), or better performers (Bruce Springsteen) than Van, but no one's music pleases me more in its totality than the Belfast Cowboy's.

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Football and Me

Like most of America, I watched the NFL playoff games this past weekend, and it got me thinking about my relationship to football, the NFL, sports on TV, and sports in general.

Let me start at the beginning. I grew up on Long Island in New York in the 50s and 60s. Sports are a religion in the New York area, the various sects worshipping at the altars of the Yankees, the Rangers, the Knickerbockers, etc.

My father loved the New York football Giants above all other teams, and I was right with him. We were not the only people who loved the football Giants: if you haven't, check out the classic novel A FAN'S NOTES by Frederick Exley. (Note that I have to say "football Giants" because the New York baseball Giants, the Willie Mays team, was still playing in the Polo Grounds until 1958 after which they moved to San Francisco, a year after the Dodgers had left Brooklyn for Los Angeles.)

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Je suis Charlie aussi

When I first started this blog, I intended to write mainly about my personal cultural and social interests, with an emphasis on novels and novel-writing – in an effort to engage my audience and let them know me as the author of WHAT IT WAS LIKE. I also thought that I would observe the "Ground Rules" that the narrator of my book establishes at the beginning: "No Swearing, No Religion, No Politics, and as little as possible about the War."

But when something happens like what happened in Paris on Wednesday, the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, I have to say something.

That's because what happened in Paris is a direct threat to me and every living writer.

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