Americana, to include Mexico


  • A White Imperium Ain’t Gonna Happen. Maybe a Backyard Barbecue Would Be a Better Idea
    In the media there is much noise about “white extremists,” a  group said to be a threat to our (largely imaginary) democracy. There indeed exists  an ill-defined collection of racial advocates covering  a spectrum from militias in the woods of Idaho to groups calling themselves the Dissident Right, Alt Right, Race Realists (they are not), … Read more
  • Fred and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, and a Vote for Trump
    I despise Trump. He is a mean-spirited son of a bitch. His licking the boots of those revolting pseudo-Cubans in Miami and increasing sanctions, utterly unjustified, on Havana, are grounds enough for putting him behind bars. Trying to starve thirty million Venezuelans into giving up control of their oil, trying to assassinate Maduro are grounds … Read more
  • Slavery
    Slavery in American history has come into vogue among those of much political enthusiasm but the intelligence of box turtles and little knowledge of the matter. I sometimes think that America should institute a system of public education, but apparently this is not going to happen. Anyway, a few thoughts of possible interest: Whites didn’t … Read more
  • Odds and Bits
      Freedom of expression, as distinct from speech. Fred, Grand Klarified Klingle of Los Cucu Clan, with severe visual problems, but still dangerous. Regalia by Violeta, of used typing paper. Probably a fire hazard. Obsidian knife shows ethnic sensitivity. Today we will have luminous insights in small dollops. They will doubtless spur the formation of … Read more
  • The Lingering Effects of Slavery: An Objective Analysis
    Troubled youth. The lingering effects of slavery Probably need therapy. I keep hearing blacks saying how we need and open and honest conversation about race, and oppression, and the lingering effects of slavery. Well, I guess. I’ve sort of thought that too. Of course, I could guess who they wanted to do all the talking. … Read more
  • Rednecks, Even
    There is a lot of snot and malice about rednecks on the internet. Most of it comes from such cornflowers and honeysuckles as college professors, other witless suburban nonentities, and assorted twits in cities. By “redneck,” these bundles of intellectual lingerie seem to mean anyone without a college degree who can hang a door or … Read more
  • Posing in the Pluke Bucket:
    The Fitty-Sedden Chevy was an American icon, like the flag, Babe Ruth, and McDonald’s. Boys figured that when their time on earth ran out, and they went to the great Southland in the sky, they’d find Elvis and Carl Perkins parked in front of the soda shop in a bad-ass Fitty-Sedden convisible — top down, … Read more
  • Dear God, What Now? A Racial Diagnosis
    America does not have a race problem. It has a black problem. The other races work, meld, contribute, study, and often intermarry. Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese, Lebanese. Given the huge size of the Latino influx, the low level of friction is remarkable. America is not on the brink of a racial explosion against any of the … Read more
  • Talking to Hant, Figuring Out Women. Sorta. Maybe
    The other day I went up the holler to see Uncle Hant. I figured he could teach me to understand women, because he knows everything. Hant lives in a double-wide with a ’54 Merc on blocks outside, and a fuel-oil tank painted silver, and a three-legged coon dog named Buckshot. A couple of years back, … Read more
  • Hant, the Law, and Moonshine: Hant Defends West Virginia
    ‘Tother day late in the afternoon I went down the holler to get Uncle Hant to explain to me about law and order. Hant knows nearly ‘bout everything, more than anyone in West Virginia, even Bluefield. He makes the best shine for three counties, and sells it to yups from Washington. Hant can do pretty … Read more
  • How We Were: Rolling the Pluke Bucket
    You gotta understand about the Pluke Bucket and me in rural King George County, Virginia, in 1963. (Maybe you didn’t know you had to understand this. Well, you do. Life is full of surprises.) The county was then mostly woods, the high-school boys gangly farm kids who fished and hunted or pumped gas on long … Read more
  • How We Were: The Canoe as Camel
    The time Frank Green and I paddled the canoe through the dry hills of King George Country in search of water would, I suppose, discourage naval historians. Fact is, we’d have had a better chance of finding water in the Sahara in mid-August of a drought year. I will say, however, that the adventure got … Read more
  • Americans in Bangkok: Bar Girls and Why Not
    Bar girls are a mistake that countless guys make when they first leave the United States. Bar girls are a mistake in two ways. First, lots of gringos think that the girls are typical of the women of the country. Second, they get tangled up with a hooker and perhaps marry her. This is bad … Read more
  • Diving Days: Deep Walls and the U352
    The Atlantic waters off Snead’s Ferry in North Carolina are shallow, maybe 125 feet to the continental shelf. Several wrecks lie on the bottom, mostly in advanced stages of disintegration, sunk by U-boats in the early years of the war. I know them well as for years I was a member of Capital Divers, out … Read more
  • The Case for Drowning Captain Kirk, Scotty, and Spock
    I reckon I’ve figured out why everybody’s brain in the UnitedStates is getting soft, like grits with too much water in them. It’s because of Star Trek. You know, that space opera about how the world’s worst actors set out to go where no man has gone before and, with any luck, stay there. Scientists … Read more
  • The Weirdness of it All: Tales from the American Road
    Times were strange in 1969. Dan and I had just hitchhiked from Thunder Bay in Canada into the main vein of Berkeley. The early afternoon sun was hot and heat shimmered off parked cars in little squiggles. He had a backpack and I had a duffel bag, containing our lives. We had no idea where … Read more
  • Getting Shod in Berkeley: The Wages of Sin is Shoes
    The remarkable rise of the Tloxiproctyl to academic prominence began at UC Berkeley, where the creeping fascism of George Bush gnawed at the professoriate. Worse, no one was paying attention to them, always distressing to the narcissistically irrelevant. They desperately wanted to jumpstart the faltering engines of progressivism. (The metaphor doesn’t quite make sense. Of … Read more
  • Wunxputl Comes to Harvard: Understanding Academia
    The remarkable rise of the Tloxiproctyl to academic prominence began at UC Berkeley, where the creeping fascism of George Bush gnawed at the professoriate. Worse, no one was paying attention to them, always distressing to the narcissistically irrelevant. They desperately wanted to jumpstart the faltering engines of progressivism. (The metaphor doesn’t quite make sense. Of … Read more
  • Chuckie Manson, Thor, and the Ark: Notes from a Lost Amrica
    This is a reprint of a column from long, long ago. I do it not from laziness, though I am fond of laziness, but because it may provide a window into a happier America that we will not see again. These days, we need any cheer we can get. In the year of the Great … Read more
  • Jaws, Godzilla, and Rodan the Reptile Bat: Art You Could Lube a Diesel With
    Hooboy, am I tired of arty movie critics. You know, the ones who talk about Fellini and Rigatoni on National Public Radio, in low gaspy voices that sound like asthmatics on Quaaludes, so you’ll know they’re intellectuals and dreadfully earnest. Me, I’m going to study real movies, for Americans: movies with grit and diesel fumes … Read more
  • A Users’ Guide to the Supervision of Morning
    RSS Lake Chapala at sunrise. It never looks the same twice. Though it is late in the season and should be chill, we do not seem to be having winter this year. The golondrinas, swallows, seem confused and have not migrated as early as they usually do. This year they sat in their thousands, three … Read more
  • Washington in the Time of Nero: A Snapshot
    As you cross the Fourteenth Street Bridge from Arlington into Washington on a sunny spring day, the vista is magnificent, uplifting. Huge blue sky, brisk wind, the broad brown river flashing in the sunlight. As a portal to the capital of a world empire, it is suitable, even convincing. This new Tiber is at the … Read more
  • A Grand Adventure: Wisdom’s Price
    He grew up in the woods and rivers of the county, fishing and swimming and hunting under sprawling blue skies and driving his rattletrap car insanely and lying on the moss with his girl and watching the branches above groping the sky and marveling as the young do at the strangeness of life, and the … Read more
  • Race in America: White Nationalist, woke Dingbats, and Reality
    The Immigrant Thing: Latinos (Mostly), the Racial Right, and Wokismo Startlingly, at least in today’s political climate, we will begin with the facts of immigration: America is eighteen percent Latino and climbing, six percent Asian and climbing. (Blacks, thirteen percent, cannot reasonably be called immigrants.) Given that over half of sub-eighteen children are not white, … Read more
  • Hunter Thompson
    The Sixties look drab now—unkempt Manson girls, the lost and unhappy, kids bleak and bleary-brained after waking up with too many strangers in too many sour crash pads. There was that. It was not a time for the weak-minded. But for those whose youth passed in the freak years, there was something gaudy and silly … Read more
  • Conversations with Lanc, of the Which There Won’t Be More
    c Ages ago, for reasons of parental misjudgement, I studied at a small college in rural Virginia, Hampden-Sydney. While surprisingly rigorous, being resolutely Southern and as yet untouched by the foolishness that now degrades schools, H-S was also relentlessly preppy. The studentry tended to be vapid future bankers in small towns and pre-meds who would … Read more
  • Down Dixie Way
    Coming up as I did a Southern boy, usually barefoot, lots of times with a cane pole and a string of bream I caught in Machodoc Creek, and other signs of higher civilization, I believe I could get tired of Northerners huffing and puffing about how moral they are. Ain’t nothing like a damn Yankee … Read more
  • King George Days, and Some Sociology
    Mostly wooded, on the Potomac River, Dahlgren Naval Proving Ground the biggest employer, with a fair number of kids who got up at four-thirty in the morning to help their fathers with commercial crabbing on the river. There was nothing special about the class of 1964, or about King George High, except for those of … Read more
  • It Cometh from the Pit, and Hath a Knout: How Trump Won
    Once upon a time there was a fairy kingdom that lived inside a place called The Beltway, and was surrounded on all four sides by a land called America. The Beltway was aligned with another kingdom called Manhattan, inhabited by disembodied heads that spoke from the walls of bars, and with yet another closed kingdom … Read more
  • Life in Moon’s Curious Church: The Worship of Ammunition
    The tall scrawny freak with the red hair converted in the spring of 1972, several months before Jerry wandered, roaring, onto the scene. I had recently graduated from both Vietnam and college and, not knowing what else to do, was living with a collection of hippies at Stafford Court House, Virginia. The other freaks were … Read more
  • In Saigon’s Alleys, a Place I Loved
    Dawn comes to the alleys around Tan Son Nhut Field with a faint grey light seeping past the graveyard and up the dusty road toward the banana market. Pots begin to clatter and red charcoal dims in brightening court-yards. A hungry dog sniffs in the ditch. A cyclo, a motor-driven coal scuttle equally useful as … Read more
  • Up the holler with Uncle Hant: Space Aliens
    T’other day I walked up the holler to ask Uncle Hant about space aliens. It’s because Hant knows everything ? most nearly. It was spring and birds were hooting and hollering in the rail cut through the woods to Hant’s place and bugs were shrieking. The he-bugs, anyway. They rub their legs together like fiddle … Read more
  • Elvis His Own Self
    You gotta understand the grip Elvis has on the automobile-loving basically Iro-Celtic libido of the southern United States. Maybe you think Presley was just the first white rock-n-roll singer. Naw. He’s a state of mind. Anybody who has spent time in the smoky evening fields of the Mississippi Delta, where people talk slow like sorghum … Read more
  • Allahu Akbar! In Mrs. Clinton’s Presidency
    In May of 2018, the second year of Mrs. Clinton’s administration, national puzzlement was high over the continuing wave of mass killings. A week before, nineteen children had died in the Blaintree Kindergarten massacre in San Francisco when Mohammed Shah Massoud, Faisal ibn Saud, and Hussein al Rashid burst into the school and began firing. … Read more
  • From Up the Holler: The American-African Riots
    I’m gonna do it anyway. Being as I’m just a West Virginia boy, and mostly barefoot, and don’t have much sense, a lot of folk say, maybe I shouldn’t be explaining the world. But the world don’t make even as much sense as I do, so guess I’ll stick my fork in. Sometimes I go … Read more
  • A Bicephalous Monoparty and Sufficient Totalitarianism
    The genius of America’s totalitarian system of government is that it is not totally total, and sometimes not very totalitarian at all. It is just total enough. Truly total government–“Your papers, citizen,” stop-and-frisk, permission needed to travel from city to city–might spark revolt. By contrast, a sufficiency of totalitarianism, but not an excess, keeps the … Read more
  • Sadomasochism: More Interesting than, Probably, Stamp Collecting
    Mountings. Large ones. Fog, too. We caught the seven-o’clock goat-and-chicken out of Kat, my daughter Macon and I, two porters, and our trusty guide Karna. A Nepalese rural bus is not the Stork Club. It is much better, depending on your nerves. For eight hours we bounced higher into the Himalayas with the tires a … Read more
  • Kathmandu! Dogwomandon’t. In the Himalayas with Offshoot
    Mountings. Large ones. Fog, too. We caught the seven-o’clock goat-and-chicken out of Kat, my daughter Macon and I, two porters, and our trusty guide Karna. A Nepalese rural bus is not the Stork Club. It is much better, depending on your nerves. For eight hours we bounced higher into the Himalayas with the tires a … Read more
  • How I Was a Big-Time Drag Racer
    In high school I was a nationally ranked drag racer, almost, and nearly went to Bakersfield in California, to race against Don Garlits and Swamp Rat II. Garlits was then the king of high-revvin’ screaming, blown, nitro-fueled, bored-and-stroked, ported, polished, and wildly over-cammed rocket sleds running on exotic chemicals, big rubber, and the bare fringes … Read more
  • Eternity and Pickle Tops
    On that far-off night in August of 1962, the moon floated huge and yellow over dark Virginia forests that stretched away and away to the glittering broad Potomac River. Chip Thompson and I trudged along the shoulder of US Route 301 from the Circle toward Dahlgren. We were sixteen. The county—King George County in the … Read more
  • Among the Potted Plants: A Soldier of Fortune Convention (WashPo Magazine)
    The firing range lay in spectacular desert hills rising to a huge sky over Las Vegas, a blue immensity bounded by worn red stumps of rock like shattered molars. Startling pink strata cut through darker layers the color of clotted blood. Scrub vegetation struggled on the dry earth, forming such a wasteland that it was … Read more
  • Going Seriously Boom: Aboard a Nukey-Boomer Submarine
    We stood, the captain and I, high in the sail, the rounded steel dorsal fin that used to be called the conning tower, as the sun rose red over the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest. A bitter cold wind raced over the Hood Canal, leading to the open Pacific; the water was black and … Read more
  • Aboard the M1 Abrams, Maserati of Tanks
    To an observer on one of Fort Hood’s flattened prominences, the Abrams M1 tank would seem a dark mote below a high plume of dust, a glint of periscopes, a small furor lost in the vastness and pastels of central Texas. Not even the grandest of tanks can intimidate a landscape. By day and night … Read more
  • Bat Cagle, Jawless, and Me: Three Guys and Not a Lick of Sense
    Now, about Cagle. He came, fresh meat out of Danang, onto the eye ward at Bethesda Naval Hospital in, it must have been, the summer of ’67. He was a handsome, wiry mountain boy out of Tennessee. In a rice paddy he had endeavored to fire a rifle grenade at several of what were then … Read more
  • The Hitchhiking Years: How We Were
    The big roads were safe then, or we thought they were. Many of us, the more adventurous, poured onto the highways, just going, moving, looking. We were devotees of the long-haul thumb, crossing and recrossing the continent, dropping into Mexico, whatever. A camaraderie held. There were rules. On an onramp it was first come first … Read more
  • The Great Fizzled Playboy Undersea Orgasmic Male Fantasy Didn’t Happen Photo Shoot: We Coulda Been Contenders but Heartbreak Got There First
    It was three a.m. in late December and I and Stu Miller, a federal lobbyist and former motorcycle racer, were zooming around the DC beltway in his male-menopause red Miata and discussing what to do for the Millenium. The possibilities were dismal. “God, some black-tie thing on the Hill? I’d rather slit my wrists,” Stu … Read more
  • The Color of Education, Harper”s 1985
    Should anyone in authority say anything sensible about racial policy, an event unlikely to occur before the next Ice Age, he would have to say that when it is not merely futile it often injures the people it is supposed to help; that it succeeds in antagonizing whites without benefiting blacks; that it has become … Read more
  • When I Was Tom Sawyer
    Back before the beginning of time, in the late Fifties when the sun lowered over small-town Alabama like a steaming towel, and it was so humid a tadpole could just about fly, we kids of eleven didn’t have many store-bought toys. We didn’t need’em, neither. On slow barefoot afternoons with nothing to do, we did … Read more
  • Of Sunsets and Mosquito Hawks
    Of a late afternoon long ago I sat in the clearing above the swamp, headwaters of Machodoc Creek, where my parents lived in Virginia’s Tidewater. I was reading. The air was thick with summer almost silent, except for the occasional bird and bug going about their affairs and the distant cough and roar of big … Read more
  • America: An Expert Diagnosis from Years Back, That Came True
    I didn’t believe Bob, I’ll call him, a crazy friend from other times. He knocked around the Pacific for years doing things related to boats, helicopters, and fish, and currently waits in durance vile on the Left Coast awaiting his chance for a jailbreak back to the Orient. What happened was, he came back to … Read more
  • Out and About in Mexico: Braco the Bar Dog
    You need to know about Braco the Bar Dog. You may not think you need to know about him. Ha! This column shares the spirit of federal authoritarianism burgeoning up north. We will tell you what you need to know. (You may address me as “Mommy, sir.”) Anyway, Braco. On the north shore of Lake … Read more
  • The Teaching of Literacy and the Urge to Vomit
    One wearies, or I weary anyway, of the endless news stories reporting that children can barely read or not at all, can’t add, and don’t know anything. Detroit Public Schools: 93% Not Proficient in Reading; 96% Not Proficient in Math” Nationwide, only 33 percent of public-school eighth graders scored proficient or better in reading…. This … Read more
  • Don’t Work and Live for Free: The Joys of Poverty in America
    Before I learned about poverty, I was just a country boy from up the holler in West Virginia, with twelve toes, and I guess I didn’t know much. Especially about poverty. When I got to Washington, DC, I decided that I ought to be poor. I just wish I’da started earlier. It’s a good deal. … Read more
  • The Virtues of Discourtesy: New York
    Merit of Discourtesy New York As The Court Of Louis XIV FRED REED • OCTOBER 15, 2001  • 1,100 WORDS • LEAVE A COMMENT Tweet It’s going to happen, I tell you. Once too often I’ll go into one of those suck-up restaurants that spread now like dry rot in old tires. It will have the nauseating cutesy-sweetsy menu. You … Read more
  • A Codpiece for Hillary
    The other day I saw a photo of Hillary Clinton going into the Senate. I have a kind heart, so I won’t say that she looked like a teenager’s room, but I did conclude that she must have had a better maintenance contract when she was First Basilisk. You could tell that she needed new … Read more
  • A Codpiece for Clinton: The Uses of Detachable Virility
    Tell you how we’re going end the war in Kosovo. We’re going to buy Bill Clinton a codpiece. I figure the whole thing is a manhood ritual. Have you seen those nature movies about swamp birds? You know: the male bird sticks his neck in the air like he thought it was a periscope and … Read more
  • California Dreaming: The Great Kustom Grassblaster Craze
    The Great Custom Lawnmower craze of 1972 caught California unawares. The state is not easily astonished. Still, Mikey Deeter managed it. Mikey lived in Riverside, one of those pseudo-Spanish Levittowns that dangle like beads from the freeways. He was seventeen. He had long blonde hair, a great tan, and the vacant expression one associates with … Read more
  • How We Were: The Night Harry Burrell Didn’t Kill Me and Rosie
    You need to know about how in 1962 I was a half-wild country kid of 16 in the wilds of King George Country, Virginia, and drove a derelict ’53 Chevy that shouldn’t even have started but in fact went places that would terrify an armored corps. (You may think you don’t need to know this. … Read more
  • The Redskins as They Actually Were: The Detwaddling of Fantasy
    As part of wokedom’s fantasy-ridden fascination with indigenes, sports teams, such as the Redskins and Braves, race to change names. (For Washington’s team, the Federal Folders has been suggested.) Outraged conservatives see the changes as nauseating prissiness by historically illiterate ninnies. It is every bit of this. Still, the teams should be renamed. What civilized … Read more
  • Gilbert, Edmund Scientific, and the Post-War Flowering of American Techno-Industrial Virtuosity A Pre-Enstupidation View
    It was 1953 in the white newly prosperous suburbs of Arlington, Virginia, just outside the Yankee Capital. I was eight, having been born, like so many of my small compatriots, nine months and fifteen minutes after our fathers got home from the war. These men, my father anyway, had spent years in the Pacific, being … Read more
  • Talking to Hant. What Tom Jefferson Needed to Know
    The other day I went up the holler to talk to Uncle Hant about Democracy. Hant knows everything. Well, nearly about everything. He lives just past the creek in a double-wide with a satellite dish and his old dog Birdshot. You could call him a mountain man. He’s tall and lank, like they made him … Read more
  • Hant Explaines Foreign Policy, No Worse than State Department
    ‘Tother day in the afternoon I went down the holler to ask Uncle Hant about this here Eye-rack. One of them blonde gals on TV that looks like they’ve been hit on the head or maybe drank Drano and didn’t have her mind working right, if she had one, was talking about it. I didn’t … Read more
  • Bageant Moves On
    We would visit him of an afternoon, Vi and I, and find him, a bear of a man, bearded mountain Buddha, writing on the porch of his one-room place in Ajijic. Always he wore his old fishing vest, in which I suspect he was born, and sometimes he carried a small laptop in one of … Read more
  • A Rural Male Reflects on Feminist Incivility, While Calculating Windage
    Maybe I’m just a country boy at heart, and lack sophistication, and don’t see things the way I should. But when I watch one of those radical-feminist women heave onto a podium, like the forehaunches of an under-nourished giraffe but with more hair on her lip, and start hollering and carrying on about what slugs … Read more
  • I Peaked Early: A Rural Memoir
    RSS I peaked early. It happened in tenth-grade English in King George High, in rural King George County, Virginia, in 1962. The teacher had asked us to write the beginning of a short story, which she would read aloud to the class for criticism. I wrote about an Indian fur-trapper named Three Feathers in Quebec … Read more
  • The Jefferson Street Wars: Dukesy, Mincemeat, and Me
    Today we will speak of war. I will tell you of my days as a tunnel rat. It was, I think, 1954, not a decade removed from V-E Day. We lived in Arlington, Virginia, where my father was a mathematician designing warships for the Navy Department. It was a time of intense tranquility. After the … Read more
  • Bar in Guadalajara
    So I was sitting with Tom the Robot and Jonesy in La Fuente, an old and cavernous beer bar hard by the cathedral in Guadalajara, and swapping lies. Except they weren’t lies, because some people can’t lie to equal the truth. Otherwise I guess they would. Thing is, lying is a limited form. Life isn’t. … Read more
  • Fred Admits Infidelity. Quite Shocking
    Today I must ask the reader’s pardon. I do not usually write about the intimate details of my life. They would embarrass me and bore everyone else. But in this case I am obligated, as will shortly be apparent. We have all heard of Twelve-Step Programs. Alcoholics Anonymous was the first and remains the best … Read more
  • Getting Rid of McKinley: The Marine Corps, Reality, and August
    In the sweltering August of ’66 we were in training in Marine Corps boot camp, in the mosquito swamps of Parris Island, South Carolina, getting ready to go to war. The build-up for Viet Nam had begun. We were thousands of kids, from the lower middle class mostly, the nation’s usual cannon fodder, young bucks … Read more
  • Hant and Space Aliens at Roswell
    T’other day I walked up the holler to ask Uncle Hant about space aliens. It’s because Hant knows everything ? most nearly. It was spring and birds were hooting and hollering in the rail cut through the woods to Hant’s place and bugs were shrieking. The he-bugs, anyway. They rub their legs together like fiddle … Read more