Shit, I Missed Banned Books Week

SEX SELLS: Featuring Leopold and Molly Bloom and an occasional Stephen Dedalus (my namesake), “Ulysses” apparent offenses included depictions of masturbation and Molly’s 50-page, stream-of-conscious riff about her sexual experiences and related desires.

Despite all of the press releases, despite all the bookstore banners, and despite the groundswell of media attention, I managed to miss Banned Books Week. Last week! Perhaps I was blinded by its ubiquity — I couldn’t see the forest for the trees (before it was pulped into paperbacks). Or maybe there is something more sinister…… Continue reading Shit, I Missed Banned Books Week

Two Buck Chuck 20th Anniversary

Courtesy of FreeFoodPhotos

As the wine world raises a glass to the late Fred Franzia, the unorthodox businessman behind the Charles Shaw wine brand (a.k.a. “Two Buck Chuck”) who passed away this week, it’s high time to revisit the story of Shaw himself and one of the potential pitfalls of being a brand name. How did Shaw’s name end…… Continue reading Two Buck Chuck 20th Anniversary

Under the Influencer: The Cost of ‘Free Beer’

FREE BEER Runneth over for influencers. Photo by Lorenzo Rui.

I’m not an “influencer.”  I’m not even a diminution of an influencer like a micro-influencer or nano-influencer, which apparently exists in the world of online celebrity.   To that end, my minuscule celebrity is somewhere on the spectrum between noteworthy and notorious, which means I can sometimes get names in local newspapers—including my own.  I mention…… Continue reading Under the Influencer: The Cost of ‘Free Beer’