A Tale of Two Willie Hortons

Willie Wattison HortonThe convicted murderer Willie Horton comes up in my writing quite often, because of his use by Lee Atwater in George HW Bush’s presidential campaign against Michael Dukakis in 1988. Dukakis was going to lose that campaign regardless, but the Horton ad is a classic example of racist demagoguery. But the last time I looked up “Willie Horton” on Google, I noticed, “See results about: Willie Horton (Baseball player).” And I thought: that’s gotta suck for him. But that was as far as I took it. But over the weekend, our own James Fillmore wrote an article over at Twinkie Town, The Other Willie Horton.

Willie Horton was a left fielder for the Detroit Tigers for most of the 1960s and 1970s. He hit 325 home runs and 1,163 RBIs in his 18 season career. That makes him tied for 109th most career home runs and 174th for RBIs. The guy had an amazing career — the high point of which was winning the World Series in 1968. But Fillmore started his article the year before, during the 1967 Detroit riot. Horton got into the thick of the violence, shortly after a game. Still dressed in his uniform, he pleaded with the mob for calm. It was a heroic, if doomed, effort.

The article tell’s Horton’s (literal) rags to riches story. And spends a fair amount of time talking about his public service work since his initial effort in 1967. It also has some curious facts, like his keeping his batting helmet when he switched teams, and painting it with the new team colors and logo. Nothing is mentioned of it, but I assume this is due to the usual athlete’s superstition about making changes, because you never know. It’s one of the most charming things about sports figures. I understand the impulse very well.

I don’t really know what great stats are, but clearly Horton was one of the greats. He wasn’t someone who slipped into the majors for a season or two and was never seen again. He’d certainly have to be considered one of the top 2,000 people to ever play. To provide some context, there are over a thousand active MLB players at any given time. So Horton is great. He’s not Willie Mays, certainly, but he isn’t that much worse. Yet when you enter his name into Google, you don’t even see a reference to him on the first scream on most computers. Instead, you see the Bush campaign’s despicable act of demagoguery.

I understand: Google search results are not accolades. In the grand scheme of things, the Willie Horton campaign ad is more important than the life and baseball career of Willie Wattison Horton. But it seems a shame. People like to talk about incentives. But in our society, there isn’t much difference between accolades and notoriety — whether it be profiteering hedge fund managers, murderers, or demagogues. Or great baseball players and social activists.


For the record, the murderer’s name is actually William Horton. The demagogues who used part of his life changed his name to “Willie” to add to the stereotype — to make him more “black.”

How the US Defeated the Comanche

Erik LoomisThis new culture made the Comanche the dominant empire on the 18th and early 19th century Great Plains. At their height, around 1850, the Comanchería extended from the edge of the southern Rockies into central Texas and central Kansas. They raided much further, especially into Mexico, where they frequently went as far south as Durango to take captives and horses. This went far to shape the region. The Spanish and then the Mexicans wanted to move north but could not defeat the Comanches. The need for a buffer zone helped convince Mexico to invite Americans into Texas, who then became the victims of Comanche raiding. But the lack of Mexican settlement meant that the US could easily take the northern half of Mexico during the Mexican War. But they then had to conquer the Comanches, which was extremely difficult. As late as 1860, white expansion in Texas was quite limited due to Comanche raiding.

This system of work and culture made the Comanches very difficult for the American military to defeat. To do so, post-Civil War military planners went to a more sophisticated strategy developed in the second half of that war by generals such as Ulysses Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip Sheridan: total warfare. Rather than defeat these small, fast bands, undermining their way of life through the American industrial machine made more sense. Thus, the military decided to exterminate the bison. Bison populations plummeted in the years after the war, starting with the southern herds that sustained the Comanche economy and moving north. Market hunting was a piece of it, but this was a military strategy first and foremost. Without the bison and the work in hunting, processing, and trading them, the Comanche could not sustain itself. The second part of this strategy was to take away the Comanche’s horses, the transportation tool that facilitated this way of life. This strategy was tremendously successful, albeit increasingly controversial as the 1870s went on and total warfare against Native Americans outraged eastern reformers. Starvation and warfare decimated Comanche numbers, reducing them to about 8,000 by 1870. They began relying on the US government for rations, giving the US much power over them. They refused to stay on the reservations that developed in the late 1860 and early 1870s, but leaving also brought warfare that was harder for the Comanche to sustain with the decline in bison, horses, and people. Finally, after the battle in Palo Duro Canyon, isolated badlands in the Texas panhandle, the Comanche largely moved to the reservations for good. The bison were gone anyway.

Undermining traditional ways of work would remain central to the post-conquest strategy of dealing with Native Americans. The Dawes Act of 1887 served to both alienate reservation land from Indians while also forcing them into the subsistence farming lifestyle white Americans had decided was appropriate for Native Americans. By 1920, there were only 1,500 Comanche left in the wake of the destruction of their culture through conquest, land dispossession, Indian schools, and the despair all of this created. Like most other tribes however, Comanche numbers grew after that and continue to grow today, although with a very different set of cultural traditions and work life than that of the past.

—Erik Loomis
This Day in Labor History: 28 September 1874

Jeb Bush’s Hypocrisy on Religion and Science

Jeb BushJeb Bush is a Roman Catholic. And so, as for many conservative Catholics, Pope Francis’ visit was a bit uncomfortable. But it shouldn’t have been. Liberal Catholics have a long tradition treating the pope with a certain amount of skepticism. But conservative Catholics are the authoritarians. The pope is the guy who dictates what the church is. The conservative Catholics should fall in line. They are certainly the first to say so when the pope says something that they agree with. But not now. And truthfully, not ever when it meant believing something they didn’t want to. If anything, conservative Catholics were even more upset with Vatican II in the mid-1960s.

But that doesn’t make me any more understanding of the obvious hypocrisy. As soon as Pope Francis started saying liberal-sounding things, I started hearing conservatives making excuses. Basically it was some variation on, “I turn to the pope for religious guidance, not political guidance.” But that’s clearly not true. They were more than willing to turn to the pope for political support when it came to abortion or homosexuality. It’s just that they’ve decided that those are religious, whereas things in the Bible about greed and the environment are political. Clearly, I think they ought to do what the liberals do and just admit that they take what they like from the pope and leave the rest.

“He’s not a scientist, he’s a religious leader.” —Jeb Bush

A recent quote from Jeb Bush really blew my mind, however. In relationship to the pope’s position on global warming, Bush said, “He’s not a scientist, he’s a religious leader.” This goes along with the new Republican line on global warming, “I’m not a scientist.” Bush uses this line himself, “I’m a skeptic. I’m not a scientist. I think the science has been politicized.” So he can’t take advice from the pope because he’s not a scientist. But he can’t take advice from scientists, because the science has been politicized. And that leave him only to trust what he just wants to believe.

Pope FrancisThis is the modern world in a nutshell: no one in public life is ever expected to suffer for their beliefs. So Bush can go around talking to Latino Catholics about his Catholicism, but that doesn’t mean that it has any effect whatsoever on his thinking. So he could demagogue the Terri Schiavo case because of his faith, but he doesn’t even need to consider a rethink of his anti-environment, pro-oil policies, because it is outside his faith. His faith is defined by his political desires.

This is why it really is different for liberals. We may like it that Pope Francis seems to be on our side on the issues of poverty and global warming. But we never claimed these or any other positions were based on our religious principles. Well, most of us anyway. There are people like Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, who are liberal, anti-abortion Catholics. But note that she actually lets the religion guide her politics, not the other way around. And that is exactly what Jeb Bush and almost all of the Republicans do. They use their religion in the most depraved, sacrilegious way to do the bidding of their politics.

Bush is right: Pope Francis is not a scientist. And neither are the people he listens to for “advice” on global warming. So given that being a scientist isn’t a prerequisite for his taking advice, why doesn’t he listen to Pope Francis? Oh, that’s right: because it isn’t what he wants to believe; it isn’t useful for his political goals; and most of all, because he’s a hypocrite.

Is Writing Like Munchausen Syndrome?

Taryn Harper WrightI was listening to On the Media and there was an interview with a woman named Taryn Harper Wright. She has investigated a number of cases of the Munchausen syndrome — or in these particular cases, Munchausen by Internet. This is where a person pretends to be ill in order to get sympathy. They will apparently go to great lengths — for example, shaving their heads as though they are going through chemotherapy. My first thought was that it would be amusing to do some kind of parody of this. But the more I thought about it, the more uncomfortable it made me feel.

One of the great problems with the modern globalized world is that there isn’t enough meaning to go around. It isn’t enough to be the greatest violinist in a small village, you must be James Ehnes. You can’t even be the town drunk; now you have to be Rob Ford. So can we really blame people for grabbing onto anything at all that they think will make them feel special? We are so focused on economic issues, but it is ultimately a lack of meaning — a lack of belonging — that causes people to kill themselves. (In our society, meaning is too often defined in terms of economics — but I’ll leave that for now.)

But it would be especially bad for me to mock these people. There is nothing very different between pretending to have cancer and being delusional enough that you would think that other people should be interested in your opinions about literally anything that floats into your head. And that is, ultimately, the entire point of Frankly Curious. Writing itself is an incredibly narcissistic endeavor. While it is, for me at least, a way that I come to understand the world, it doesn’t need to be done in public.

One of the things that Wright mentioned with the people who pretend to have an illness is that it usually starts off small. But sometimes it snowballs and the person who had only started out running a little con to get a bit of sympathy finds herself in a situation where she is creating a real time novel for all the people who have gathered around her in support. Obviously, such people could get out of it by simply saying something like, “Good news! I met with my doctor and my cancer seems to be in remission!” But once you get on a treadmill like that, it’s hard to see the opportunities to jump off.

This too is like writing. You start writing because you like it. And then you get better at it. Sometimes, I feel like a fraud. I worry that my writing is a lot stronger than my thinking. So I can sound authoritative about things that I’m really not. On the other hand, all the writing over the years has gone along with a lot of reading, so I do know far more than I even did a couple of years ago. But this isn’t really about me. When I read someone like David Brooks, I think he’s pretty much a pretender — as much as any Munchausen syndrome sufferer. Because he is a good writer, but he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about despite the fact that he writes for The New York Times.

Regardless, it is something to be constantly on the lookout for. It’s easy to lie without trying, just because the words come so easily. I don’t think I do that. But then, I would probably be the last to know.


If you think about it in terms of fiction writing, the Munchausen sufferers seem even more similar. Or think of mentalists who are just magicians but who insist that they can really read minds. It’s a kind of performance art. Of course, then we get into the issue of reality shows and how people are so much more accepting of bad art if it is “true.” But just because art is bad doesn’t mean it isn’t art.

Morning Music: 54 Nude Honeys

54 Nude Honeys54 Nude Honeys was a very successful punk band out of Tokyo — formed in 1992. They are silly and generally over the top. As you will see in the video below and on the cover at the left, they dress is skimpy leather and generally try to seem like bad girls. It’s all got the same campy feel as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Despite their success, the only album of theirs that is widely available is the 2006 compilation, 54 Nude Honeys (Greatest Hits). The song we are going to listen to is the title track off their second album, “Drop the Gun.” It is also on the the greatest hits album. The video features Yuri pointing a gun at things. If an action hero were doing it, people would think it was cool. But Yuri makes it look as silly as it actually is.

Anniversary Post: The Magic Flute

Emanuel SchikanederOn this day in 1791, The Magic Flute was first performed — just over two months before Mozart died. Mozart had always been keenly interested in the theater. Somewhere, I read a critique he had written of Hamlet and he got the basic problems with the play right. He really did understand dramatic structure. What’s more, he was very much involved with all the parts of his operas — working closely with his librettists. And that was most especially true of Emanuel Schikaneder, who wrote the libretto for The Magic Flute.

Schikaneder was an interesting guy. He was born to domestic servants, but was educated and learned music. He eventually became leader of his own theater troupe at the Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna. He was generally the male lead, librettist, and often composer. He was highly successful during the decade before and after The Magic Flute. But he apparently wasn’t a great businessman — preferring to put on lavish productions and falling into debt. He died in 1812, impoverished and insane. But he led a very interesting life.

Here is a nice short video that doesn’t include any singing, but it includes all the visuals that are the kind of stuff that drove Schikaneder broke. It’s quite beautiful. And yes, I could post the whole opera here. But would you sit here for two and a half hours listening to it? No. (But if you would, the UGA Opera Ensemble performance — In English! — is just a click away.) This clip is from the Dallas Opera:

Why Do People Smile in Modern Photographs?

Berthold Laufer Photo of Chinese Man - 1904The wrong question of the day is: Why People Never Smiled in Old Photographs. I wish I could report that we know what the answer is. Phil Edwards certainly provides us with a few ideas. The one that everyone that I know just assumes is right is slow film speed: everyone had to remain perfectly still for a long time. But this has never made much sense to me. I don’t find it any easier to hold a frown than a smile. And you would think that some people in the sea of glum would smile. But we don’t see much of that.

A couple of other ideas seem silly to me. One is, “Early photographs were seen as a passage to immortality.” This goes along with one of these creepy pictures of a corpse — made famous in the film The Others. The question then just turns to why all these people thought eternity was so glum. And a picture of a dead guy is obviously not going to be smiling. Another idea is, “Victorian and Edwardian culture looked down on smiling.” It turns out there are actually a fair number of photos — especially from the Edwardian period where everyone is smiling. And I think that is part of the answer.

Edwards gets closest to the issue with this idea, “Early photography was heavily influenced by painting — which meant no smiling.” This, of course, brings up its own question: why didn’t people smile in paintings? I think the answer to both questions is that sitting for a painting or an early photograph was an exhausting experience. It wasn’t a question of how long they had to wait for the exposure; it was a matter of how long they had to wait for the photographer to get everything set up. So even people who started off smiling didn’t end up that way. It’s similar to the end of a really long, boring business meeting: no one is smiling.

Arthur SchopenhauerThe other issue is that because taking a photo was such a big deal, people tended to be somber about it. And so it did become something of a style. And I doubt there was anything really special in the fact that most people weren’t smiling. People don’t generally smile; they just have what would be termed neutral faces. The people in these old pictures aren’t frowning. They just have normal expressions.

There is one man who everyone thinks of as dour, Arthur Schopenhauer. Yet in half of the photographs of them, he is smiling. Well, maybe it is more correct to say that he is smirking. And to me, that is exactly who he was: a man who was lightly amused at the absurdity of existence. So maybe who we really are is found in those 19th century photos.

Edwards presents the photo at the top of this article as a curious anomaly. It is of a Chinese man in 1904, taken by the anthropologist Berthold Laufer. And Edwards thinks both men’s status as outsiders might have something to do with the playfulness of the image. But I have a more straightforward view of it: maybe they were just both having a good time. Maybe they were both drunk. Regardless, I think the image is a good indication of what was happening before and after the photo. And I think that’s true of the other photos where no one is smiling.

What I find more strange is that everyone feels the need to smile in photographs we take today. I find most family pictures these days incredibly fake — like everyone is pretending to be happy. I think they are just us trying to lie to the world because by now we understand the power of photographs to shape perspectives. There are lots of pictures of Ernest Hemingway smiling, yet he wasn’t a happy man. That seems stranger to me than the fact that people in pictures from 150 years ago look the way people normally look when they aren’t getting their pictures taken.

John Boehner as Loyal Corporate Shill

Alex PareeneWe can apparently credit Pope Francis for at least one good deed on his American tour: he has ended the suffering of an unhappy man. The miserable speakership of John Boehner is over.

It was not a distinguished tenure. His meager accomplishments came in spite of himself and to the great consternation of his Republican colleagues. He pinballed from one pathetic humiliation, usually at the hands of his own caucus, to the next. The only reason Boehner remained speaker for as long as he did — to his eternal regret, it is clear — is because his bitterest opponents were too stupid to figure out how to oust him, and his likeliest replacements never wanted the job…

So Boehner kept his job, and Congress staggered haplessly into the next crisis.

Because he was dealing with a Congressional caucus increasingly made up of ideologues and idiots, and because he was occasionally forced to betray conservatives in order to stave off catastrophes, moderate pundits occasionally speak, with some fondness, about John Boehner as a man who tried his best to keep his unruly conservative colleagues from doing too much damage.

There is no particular reason to feel any sympathy for the man.

John Boehner was and is an unprincipled ward-heeler who simply couldn’t weather the transition of the Republican Party from a corporatist party with a sizable conservative base to a purely conservative party. Boehner came to power when the priorities of the House Republican caucus were driven by what was effectively straight-up bribery, and his power came from his close ties to industry lobbies. This is the guy, as we all ought to be regularly reminded, who passed out checks from tobacco companies on the floor of the House…

Each one of his major legislative compromises as speaker — and even from before he was speaker, like when then-Minority Leader Boehner tearfully begged his Republican colleagues to vote for the 2008 bank bailout — represented Boehner defying the conservative base to act in the interests of the Republican donor class…

It’s long past time for Boehner to get the hell out of Washington and settle into the plush industry “consulting” gig that surely awaits him.

—Alex Pareene
Don’t Cry For John Boehner

David Brooks Ignores John Calhoun in His Conservative History

David BrooksDavid Brooks wrote an astounding column last Friday, The American Idea and Today’s GOP. He’s either incredibly ignorant or deeply deceptive. His argument is that Donald Trump and others are destroying the conservative tradition in America because it has always been forward looking. He noted that in this way it is different from conservatism in other places where it is all about holding on to the history of the place. But if that’s what American conservatives are, then what have the American liberals been doing? Have the last 250 years been a battle about how we are going to rush to the future?

There’s no way of saying, because Brooks never mentioned Democrats in that context — or liberals at all. Apparently, America is the conservative movement. That’s how he can write something like this, “From Lincoln to Reagan to Bush, the market has been embraced for being dynamic and progressive.” Yes, there’s a real continuum there from the man who headed an abolitionist party to the man who gave his first speech as the Republican nominee for president about “states’ rights” at the site of where three civil rights workers were lynched. And really, is that what the Republican Party is? Lincoln — a 120 years — Reagan — 20 yeas — Bush?!

John CalhounBut the big question is who exactly were the people who thought they could just take the land of native peoples because they had the power too? The ones who later committed genocide against them? And who were the ones who practiced and defended slavery? I’m not talking parties here, because obviously, over time, things get mixed up. But what movement was John Calhoun part of? Was he a liberal? A conservative? Or just someone we have to throw aside as an outlier? That last option seems to be Brooks’ choice, because he certainly doesn’t engage with it.

If we assume that modern conservatives are not the descendants of Calhoun, who are? Who are the people who fight against every change? Who are the people who think that things are just fine the way they are? Who are the people who think that it is God’s will that the poor are poor and the weak are weak? Because these are the things that Calhoun stood for — the things that he believed. Today, it would be hard to find someone who would make the same arguments for slavery. But the same arguments are being made to preserve less outrageous injustices. And unless I’m just really dense, the answer is very obviously found in the majority of the Republican Party.

I get so tired of hearing people like Brooks complaining that the conservative movement has gone off track. There are two strains of American thought that currently find themselves wedded in the Republican Party. One is the Alexander Hamilton strain of business and profits before people. Brooks mentioned him, because that’s the part that isn’t embarrassing — the part that history hasn’t completely repudiated. But the other strain is very much John Calhoun. And Brooks knows that. What’s more, he knows that without the fearful bigots, there’s no way the Republican Party would ever win an election anywhere. And if he doesn’t know that, he has no right to be printed in WorldNetDaily, much less The New York Times.

The “Clinton Malfeasance” Conspiracy Theory

Ron FournierMany years ago, I was talking to a liberal friend of mine. I noted that the last two years of Bush’s presidency weren’t that bad. He seemed to have taken control from Cheney. He didn’t have control of Congress. He wasn’t good, but he was about as good as you could expect from a Republican president. And most of all: he was far better than he was the first six years. My friend did not like this at all. She started ranting about how evil Bush was and how he would run for a third term if he thought he could get away with it. And on and on.

This is a problem with all of us. I certainly fall into it myself. I assume the worst possible motives to conservatives. But I try not to. I try to remember that they really do think if we just cut taxes and regulations, then there will be jobs aplenty and it will be 1963 with June there to welcome the Beaver home from school and have dinner on the table when Hugh got home from work. Although I have to admit, the evidence against the kind of economic policy that Republicans favor is hard to justify. But I figure it is mostly tribal, not not that they just want to screw everyone but the rich.

But this attitude — that a politician you don’t like has evil intent — is nowhere as big as it is for the Clintons — Hillary especially at the moment. And this isn’t just on the right. There are lots of liberals who have a hatred that can only be described as pathological. And it’s strange. I understand that Rush Limbaugh thinks that the Clintons dress up in black robs and ritually torture infants to death in their secret underground lair; and then Hillary bathes in the blood to stay young. But he’s a demagogue.

The complaint from the liberal and “moderate” side seems to be that the Clintons are fake. But I actually think this is totally wrong. When Bill Clinton was first elected president, I was a libertarian. But I was amazed that people had such a problem with him. It seemed to me that the complaints about him being “slick” were just the complaints of losers that the winner was really good at what he does. If sprinters were as petty as these people, they would complain that Usain Bolt was “slick.”

That’s certainly what seems to be going on with Ron Fournier — the man who always finds the truth exactly halfway between the two parties and almost always finds them equally to blame for everything.

Let’s face it: all politicians are fake to one degree or another. That’s what you get when you make politics into a “beauty” pageant. But in the case of the Clintons, there seems to be some very twisted logic. Bill Clinton was attacked explicitly because he seemed authentic, “I feel your pain.” But to the professional pundit, the more authentic someone seems, the less authentic they must be. That’s certainly what seems to be going on with Ron Fournier — the man who always finds the truth exactly halfway between the two parties and almost always finds them equally to blame for everything. Except when it comes to anyone named Clinton. He claims that, “The email scandal is a distraction from the important work of the Democratic Party.” As though it isn’t exactly him and like minded individuals who continue to push this fake scandal.

Kevin Drum wrote an excellent retort, If You Accuse Hillary Clinton of Lying, You Should Be Careful With the Truth Yourself. It turns out that everything that Fournier is complaining about is either wrong or misleading. The details don’t actually matter (but click over if you are interested). As Drum said, “It’s been months now, and there’s simply no evidence of anything other than unwise email practices and an unfortunate but instinctive defensiveness from Clinton over trivial matters.”

But Fournier and others know there must be something there. There must be, because it is Hillary Clinton. My take away from the Starr Report in 1998 was that the Clintons had to be the most honest politicians in the history of the world. And here’s the thing: that’s what a reasonably rational and objective person concludes. But people like Ron Fournier are basically conspiracy theorists: they’ve decided that there is “something” there and they will never believe anything else because there is no way to prove a negative. Fournier could be obsessed with finding that teapot that might be orbiting the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars. But instead, he’s obsessed with the malfeasance that he “knows” Hillary Clinton must be involved in.

See also: Centrist Solutions Lead to Right Wing Extremism.

Morning Music: Teengenerate

Live At Shelter - TeengenerateToday we have a real treat: Teengenerate. They were a short-lived band out of Tokyo know for having a sense of humor. Of course, I think that’s one of the things that distinguishes punk from heavy metal. As a genre, heavy metal takes itself very seriously. Or maybe what I’m really talking about are the fans. Certainly Blue Öyster Cult always knew they were hilarious and that’s one of the main reasons I like them.

Anyway, on this video we get two songs that one commenter was nice enough to list: “Sex Cow” and “Gonna Feel Alright.” (I checked, and he was right.) They are off the album, Live At Shelter. What I especially like is the song that the guitarist is playing while he’s waiting for the rest of the band. Yes, this was a fun group.

Anniversary Post: Chevrolet Camaro

1967 CamaroOn this day in 1966, the first (1967 model year) Chevrolet Camaro went on the market. As longtime readers know, I really don’t care for cars. But I actually know something about the Camaro. I can tell if a Camaro is a 1967 model or something else. That is because the 1967 Camaro is the only one that has a vent window. And to know this little bit of car trivia fills me with pride.

When I was a little boy, my parents owned what I think was a 1968 Camaro. It was painted gold. And I remember seeing a Camaro around that time that was painted yellow with a purple racing stripe. As part of my filial duties, I sometimes go with my father to old car shows. And I’m amazed at how often people put racing stripes on “muscle” cars. (The Camaro is supposedly a “pony” car.) It seems so silly to me. Do these people think they are race car drivers?

My father is very much a General Motors kind of guy. He’s very into Buicks. This is kind of odd to me, because whenever I see an American car that I think is compelling at one of these shows, it is almost always a Ford. And as an example of this, I think the Mustang is a much more interesting car than a Camaro. Of course, if I had to have a car, I would like one of those old (tiny) Mini Coopers. As it was, my sister used to have a really old Subaru Justy, and I loved that car. You can make those little cars dance. Literally:


James FogleIt would be the 79th birthday of James Fogle today. He wrote the novel Drugstore Cowboy. And he wrote a number of other novels, but they’ve never been published. The thing about him is that he actually lived the life that he wrote about in his one published novel. So he spent a lot of time in prison and ended up dying in prison. It’s a shame, because Fogle clearly had a lot to offer to the world. But we do have that one novel and we have the excellent film that was made from it — which I consider by far the best drug movie ever made.