The Journal Pulp Blog

  • Here Is Why All Themes Are Not Equal

    September 12th, 2018 | Theme | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    The word theme comes from the Greek word théma, which means “proposition or thesis,” and that definition essentially holds true to this day: Theme is meaning. In literature, it’s the meaning that the events of a story or the lines in a poem add up to. For example, and as I’ve written before, the theme […]

    Read More

  • Lillian Leitzel, Mara Campos, And Dusty May

    September 9th, 2018 | Gap-Toothed Girl | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    Lillian Leitzel, four-foot-nine-inches tall and weighing in at a whopping ninety-eight pounds, acrobat, strong-woman, circus performer for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, was born January 2, 1892, in Breslau, Germany. She died in the hospital February 15, 1931, in Copenhagen, Denmark, two days after falling during a live circus performance. It’s reported that Lillian […]

    Read More

  • When It All Came Apart In a Violent Physical Explosion

    September 7th, 2018 | Writing | journalpulp | No Comments

    She felt a hammer blow deep inside her body, and then there was a dull pop that sounded to the audience like a ghastly thud. The integrity of her left ankle gave way the moment just before she went into that final series of fouettés. The ankle snapped and her foot flopped the other way. […]

    Read More

  • Quiddity

    September 6th, 2018 | Bartending | journalpulp | No Comments

    This certainly beats most of the other stuff I’ve had sent to me lately. Thank you TRD! And thank you Merrriam-Webster for using my sentence. “Quiddity” — Word of the Day, September 6th, 2018. That article, incidentally, which discusses the difference between mezcal and tequila, was part of a monthly series I once wrote for […]

    Read More

  • Gap-Toothed Girl: The Full Novel (with new scenes) [UPDATE]

    August 22nd, 2018 | Gap-Toothed Girl | journalpulp | No Comments

    UPDATE: She’s live. SO much went into her. Please consider buying. Gap-Toothed Girl was first conceived several years ago, on a warm and windswept summer night, and she has undergone a number of permutations — until, at last, she grew into this somewhat philosophical creature, which goes to press in a few days. If you’re […]

    Read More

  • Gap-Toothed Girl (Part 2)

    July 11th, 2018 | Fiction | journalpulp | No Comments

    [Read Part 1 here]   Part 2   One dark December day, when Dusty May was eleven-years-old, a strong-looking Latin youth, perhaps twenty-seven, muscular and cross-hatched with facial scars, who was part of a roving carnival and who was manning one of the games Dusty was playing, asked her in rapid Spanish, and with a […]

    Read More

  • [UPDATED] Single-Use Plastic And Why Nine Out of Ten Statistics are Wrong

    June 28th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | 6 Comments

    [UPDATED] I was just sent this: SHOCKER:RECYCLING PLASTIC IS MAKING OCEAN LITTER WORSE This one is surging — or, I should say, re-surging, since it’s not at all new — and you will watch it go stratospheric. You will also watch the Texas-sized exaggerations and outright prevarications spread across the globe with pretty much the […]

    Read More

  • “Online Mobs Drive Ornithologist Into Research Secrecy After Learning He Killed A Bird”

    June 28th, 2018 | Uncategorized | journalpulp | No Comments

    [Note: The subject of animal rights is complex, and I won’t get into the intricacies of it here — except to point out that those who are calling Christopher Filardi a “murderer” (for euthanizing a bird) believe perforce — by extension — that the domestication of animals is slavery, and that zoos are a form […]

    Read More

  • Intolerance, Individualism, and the Paradox of Dogma

    June 22nd, 2018 | Individualism | journalpulp | No Comments

    Did you hear about the 18-year-old Utah girl, Keziah Daum (non-Asian), who did nothing wrong last month? And yet she was harassed like hell, inadvertently sparking an outrageous and indefensible left-wing backlash merely by wearing in celebration and total homage a beautiful prom dress of qipao (Chinese) provenance. Her putative crime? “Cultural appropriation.” Let me […]

    Read More

  • Scurvy Dog

    June 17th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Yesterday in the late morning — after reading from a little book which had a small section on scurvy and how, from 1500 to 1800, scurvy killed as many as two million sailors, who on the high seas had limited access to fruit and Vitamin C — I was walking through the grocery store. I […]

    Read More

  • The Beauty Of Laissez Faire — And How It Explodes Climate-Change Scaremongering

    June 10th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    It was just recently announced that a team of Harvard scientists, in collaboration with a private company called Carbon Engineering, have developed an inexpensive, large-scale method for pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. In an excellent article titled Climate Change Can Be Stopped by Turning Air Into Gasoline, Robinson Meyer, of the left-leaning Atlantic […]

    Read More

  • The Unknown Rebel, Tiananmen Square, & the Twenty-Ninth Year Anniversary of a Socialist Massacre

    June 4th, 2018 | Tiananmen Square massacre | journalpulp | No Comments

    Tank Man — or the “Unknown Rebel,” as he’s sometimes called: so small and yet so large. That photo is of course from Tiananmen Square, twenty-nine years ago today, June 4th, when the entire world watched an anonymous Chinese man stand alone in front of advancing tanks, not backing down in the face of socialist […]

    Read More

  • Anarchism, Egalitarianism, Gresham’s Law, & the Fundamental Flaw of Socialism

    May 30th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    The fundamental flaw in every variation of socialism — and this includes the watered-down versions we enjoy today (i.e. progressivism or welfare statism) — is the idea that human survival is or should be guaranteed. Therefore, says the theory, it follows that the legitimate function of government is to ensure everyone’s survival. This is achieved […]

    Read More

  • Angry Dirty Water: The Uncompahgre River

    May 23rd, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    Along the western edge of Ouray, Colorado, and sourced some 12,000 feet above at a lake called Lake Como, there flows a greenish-yellowish-reddish river named the Uncompahgre River. The word is pronounced un-COME-pah-GRAY. It’s a Ute Indian word that means “dirty water” or “angry water” or “red lake,” because mountain minerals color the water, as […]

    Read More

  • “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails and any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe”

    May 16th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    Her name was Kelly Carlyle. She was twenty-years-old, and she was the girl Kristy Reed had seen over a year before in the classroom, who had shown him the book. Some twenty days after this meeting in the diner, he visited her at her home, when she was sick with a high fever, and the […]

    Read More

  • Pockets of Pure Utopia in These United States

    May 13th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    Did you know that in present-day America, there exist many, many isolated pockets of Utopia? These are places wherein healthcare is 100 percent free. Where housing is fully provided by money that pours freely in. And food as well is provided. In these Utopias, everyone has access to education, and education, too, is 100 percent […]

    Read More

  • Karl Marx: 200 Years Later

    May 9th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    Two hundred years ago, in May of 1818, Karl Marx, the father of 20th century collectivism and the towering inspiration for socialist central planning, was born in Trier, Germany. Karl Marx continues to be lionized and admired by intellectuals and artists the wide world over, and one recent example, in addition to all the saccharin […]

    Read More

  • Knowledge is Deeply Interwoven and Interconnected

    May 7th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    “Whether one likes it or not, it is a fact that the main issues of present day politics are purely economic and cannot be understood without a grasp of economic theory.” Wrote Ludwig von Mises. I think his words are true, unfortunately. Like the human body, knowledge forms an indivisible unity. It’s interconnected and deeply […]

    Read More

  • The 1 percent and Why Laissez Faire Triumphs

    May 4th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    The Party of Science is, as you know, the Left, and they are quick to call out (rightfully so) the knuckle-draggers on the Right who place faith above reason: the right is absurdly antiquated on any number of issues — ranging from gay marriage (which, incidentally, the left was also against, for about 238 years, […]

    Read More

  • We are the 99 Percent

    May 2nd, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    You’re part of the ninety-nine percent, you say. What of that? Your status isn’t fixed, and you are not stuck there. You’re free to work your way along the spectrum — as, indeed, most people do. You’re free to run clear up to the top percent — as, indeed, many people do. Your motivation and […]

    Read More

  • My Balls Feel Like Concrete

    April 29th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    “I’m in bed the next day, she brings me cafe-au-lait, gives me a cigarette. My balls feel like concrete.” — Ricky Roma, Glengary, Glenross Prior to the Industrial Revolution, a surveyor reported on two houses in London: “I found the whole area of the cellars of both houses full of sewage, to the depth of […]

    Read More

  • Creative Destruction

    April 27th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    Did you know that America prospered for 140 years without a Federal Reserve or a National Income Tax, both of which are barely 100 years old, though now they’re so thoroughly entrenched, as is social security, medicare and medicaid, all of which are even younger, that the overwhelming majority of American people can’t imagine life […]

    Read More

  • If Government Doesn’t Provide It, It Will Never Be Provided: The Entrenchment Fallacy

    April 25th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    In response to my latest book, which is an explicit espousal of laissez-faire, I’ve already gotten a few emails and messages with the exact comments I anticipated — anticipated from the moment I first conceived the idea, in fact, because I’ve been fielding these very same questions for well over a decade now. My main […]

    Read More

  • Sacred House of the Human Spirit & the Meaning of Life

    April 24th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    She drove him six hours into a small mining town in eastern Nevada, near the Utah border. During the drive he told her what had happened. She listened intently but did not speak. A green-colored half moon hung low in the sky, the horizon beneath it a band of xanthic light which glowed like something […]

    Read More

  • Indian Privilege and the American Dream

    April 23rd, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    The American Dream is a dream of aspiration. It is a story of striving. But it is more: It is a dream of breaking away from the pack. The American Dream is the freedom of each person, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, color, class or creed, free to pursue her or his own life […]

    Read More

  • Make Every Day Earth Day

    April 22nd, 2018 | Earth Day | journalpulp | 11 Comments

    May I suggest this Earth Day you peruse Steven Pinker’s new book Enlightenment Now? Steven Pinker is by no stretch of the imagination a conservative, right-wing, Republican blah-blah-blah-blah — if, that is, you’re still into all that nonsensical partisan meaninglessness, which I am not. (Meaningless, I say, because the left and the right are two […]

    Read More

  • “Another Form of Collective-Tribalism — Of The Most Barbaric Kind”

    April 22nd, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    The Indian who visited Kristy at his work was tall and thin and handsome. He had very white teeth and a kind smile. He was middle-aged, clean-shaven. His polished shoes gleamed like obsidian. He wore a black suit-jacket and a navy-blue necktie, his thick hair cut high-and-tight. “You’re Native,” the man said. “Yes,” Kristy said. […]

    Read More

  • “You Disparage Wealth Who Have Never Known Poverty”

    April 21st, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    You disparage wealth who have never known poverty. You disparage cleanliness and health from a tower of health and cleanliness. Let me tell you something: Poverty which is neither sin nor vice is also neither noble nor good. Poverty is hardship. Poverty is sickness. Poverty is misery. Poverty is death. The words well, weal, and […]

    Read More

  • Plastic Strawmen and Noble Cause Corruption

    April 19th, 2018 | Americana | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    As a bartender, the latest wave of environmental misinformation and exaggeration struck particularly close to home. I’m referring, of course, to the environmental push to outlaw plastic straws in bars, with, additionally, the threat of steep fines. Have you ever heard of “noble cause corruption”? It’s when you’re so convinced that your argument is on […]

    Read More

  • Breaking Away from the Pack: a Philosophical Story about Human Striving

    April 15th, 2018 | Reservation Trash | journalpulp | No Comments

    On a lovely spring day in Southern California,2009, a young man with blue-black hair and dark skin arrived late and winded at the starting area of a much-anticipated track race. A small breeze blew down from the north and a whisper of lilac laced the currents. The young man was of Navajo stock. He had […]

    Read More

  • Brain Damage and the Daredevil Too Slippery to Hold

    April 11th, 2018 | Writing | journalpulp | 1 Comment

    ______________   On a lovely spring day in Southern California, 2009, a young man with blue-black hair and dark skin arrived late and winded at the starting area of a much-anticipated track race. A small breeze blew down from the north and a whisper of lilac laced the currents. The young man was of Navajo […]

    Read More

  • How to Write a Story

    May 29th, 2017 | How to write a novel | journalpulp | No Comments

    Here’s how you create a setting: One hour before nightfall, on a pink-and-blue evening in the third week of August, 2011 … Here’s how you create a character: a solitary man traveling on foot … Here’s how you introduce a situation: entered the small, tree-shadowed town of Clifton — an isolated village about which many […]

    Read More

  • Beware the Ides of March

    March 15th, 2017 | Shakespeare | journalpulp | No Comments

    Ceasar: The ides of March are come. Soothsayer: Ay, Caesar, but not gone. — Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 1. The word ides is derived from the ancient Roman calendar and comes from the Latin idus, which, as Oxford explains it, means “a day falling roughly in the middle of each month (the 15th day […]

    Read More

  • Higher Education: Institutions of Staggering Debt and Indoctrination

    September 17th, 2018 | Uncategorized | journalpulp | No Comments

    Why is college so expensive? For the exact same reason that healthcare has become so expensive. Which is the same reason rents in San Francisco and Boulder have become so expensive. Economist Daniel Lin, professor of economics at American University, explains this basic and well-known principle, in three short minutes: Even worse than the monetary […]

    Read More

  • Speaking of Corporations and Capitalism and Privilege

    September 14th, 2018 | Uncategorized | journalpulp | No Comments

    I recently wrote about some of this, and then just last night I read the following. Native American Senator Elizabeth Warren, in kicking off what many think will be her 2020 Presidential run, proposes what she calls — apparently without irony — the Accountable Capitalism Act. As actual legislation, it will go nowhere and it’s […]

    Read More

  • Global Climate Action Summit

    September 12th, 2018 | Americana | journalpulp | No Comments

    Tomorrow — Thursday September 13th, 2018 — Al Gore, Van Jones, Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Michael Bloomberg, Nancy Pelosi, and many more will fly in on fossil-fuel-powered jumbo-jets and ride in fossil-fuel-powered motor cavalcades to gather together in fossil-fuel-temperature-regulated rooms (rooms composed largely of fossil fuels and their by-products) to lecture us again on our […]

    Read More

  • September 4th, 2018 | Uncategorized | journalpulp | No Comments

    This happened shortly after his mother died. He was seventeen and the day after her death, he dropped out of high school and went to live with his half brother, whom he’d only met once, eight years before.   His half brother’s name was Markeus. He lived in a shotgun shack between Nogales and Tucson, […]

    Read More

  • Democratic-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, “Communism Is Good,” & Why California Cities Are Becoming Unaffordable

    August 31st, 2018 | Uncategorized | journalpulp | No Comments

    That tweet was recent. I know of a few hundred million people who’d probably be willing to debate the statement — except they’re in prison or were already murdered. (Happy Birthday, Karl Marx!) Democratic-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who called for tax cuts when she was running her own business) famously wants “healthcare, housing, and education for […]

    Read More