The Bitter End and the Forever Now

by Akim Reinhardt There is a minor American myth about shame and regret. It goes like this. In the years following Richard Nixon’s 1974 resignation amid scandal and disgrace, polls found that fewer Americans admitted to having voted for him than actually did. Apparently many former Nixon voters now realized the error of their ways…

How Black is Not White?

by Akim Reinhardt During the 1990s, the impossibility of a black president was so ingrained in American culture that some people, including many African Americans, jokingly referred to President Bill Clinton as the first “black president.” The threshold Clinton had passed to achieve this honorary moniker? He seemed comfortable around black people. That’s all it…

Native Lives Matter

by Akim Reinhardt Two months ago, a college student in my Native American history class was perturbed. How it could be that during her K-12 education she never learned about the 1890 massacre of nearly 200 Native people at Wounded Knee? She was incensed and incredulous, and understandably so. It’s an important question, a frustrating…

The Mythological President

by Akim Reinhardt Violence : War :: Lies : Mythology This analogy holds. Violence is central to war, and lies are central to mythology. At the same time, violence and lies often stem from one or a few people, whereas war and mythology exist and function on a social level. One person can be violent…

Stuck, Ch. 21. Changes: Charles Bradley, “Changes”

Stuck has been a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday since November. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. by Akim Reinhardt “Change is pain.” —South African poet Mzwakhe Mbuli Manhattan always has been and always will be New York City’s geographic and economic center. But if you’re actually from New York, then you’re very…

Stuck, Ch. 20. Am I a Man?: David Bowie, “Queen Bitch”

by Akim Reinhardt Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. I was a minor mess in high school. Had no idea what to do with my curly hair. Unduly influenced by a childhood spent watching late ‘70s television, I…

Stuck, Ch. 19. I’m a Horrible Person: The Talking Heads, “Burning Down the House”

by Akim Reinhardt Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. Being a horrible person is all the rage these days. This is, after all, the Age of Trump. But blaming him for it is kinda like blaming raccoons for…

Stuck, Ch. 18. That Fleeting Moment: Screaming Trees, “I Nearly Lost You There”

by Akim Reinhardt Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. There was this one moment. A sunny June day in Nebraska. No one was around. I dribbled the basketball over the warm blacktop, moving towards a modest hoop erected…

Stuck, Ch. 17: Lost: Blind Faith, “Sea of Joy”

by Akim Reinhardt Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. There should be more. This song has been with me, quite thoroughly, for two weeks now. There should be more to talk about. Such as Blind Faith, rock n…

Stuck, Ch. 16. Who We’re Not: Prince, “Purple Rain”

Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. by Akim Reinhardt Most people associate the Cold War with several decades of intense political and economic competition between the United States and Soviet Union. A constant back and forth punctuated by…

Stuck, Ch. 15. What We Become: Jefferson Airplane, “White Rabbit”

by Akim Reinhardt Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was an odd fellow who eventually became someone else. Born in 1832, he was the fourth of twelve children, and descended from a long line of English…

Stuck, Ch. 14. Finding Lemmy: Motörhead, “Ace of Spades”

by Akim Reinhardt Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. I first heard Motörhead in 1988. I was a DJ at WCBN-FM, the student-run college radio station in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During my late night shift, someone called in…

Stuck, Ch. 13. Will This Never End?: The Outlaws, “Green Grass and High Tides Forever”

by Akim Reinhardt Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. You’ve been an on-again, off-again working band for a decade. During that period there have been numerous breakups and seemingly endless lineup changes. Then, after years of grinding and…

Stuck, Ch. 12: What I Don’t Wanna Be: July, The Grateful Dead, “Touch of Grey”

by Akim Reinhardt Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. During my late 1970s New York City childhood, repeats of Star Trek aired every weeknight on channel 11, WPIX. The original 79 episodes ran about three times per year,…

Stuck, Ch. 11: The Virgin Hairs: The Association, “Never My Love”

by Akim Reinhardt Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. Forever is a long time. When I was 8 years old, I vowed that I would never smoke a cigarette. Had my first one when I was 19 and…

Stuck, Ch. 10. Behold the Sheep: Al Stewart, “Year of the Cat”

by Akim Reinhardt Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. In the Chinese calendar, 2015 was the year of the sheep. I’m a sheep, and I briefly got into it. When you’re a sheep, you gotta own it. Ain’t…

Stuck, Ch. 9. Fame and Oblivion: Big Star, “My Life is Right”

by Akim Reinhardt Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. Back in 2014 I circled the country. It was a very long trip. From late August to early November I drove over 9,000 miles, all of it by myself.…

Stuck, Ch. 8. The Other America: The Domino Kings, “Walk Away if You Want to”

Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here. by Akim Reinhardt This song got caught in my head as I circled the country in my 1998 Honda. Leaving New York City, I drove west into the heart of America, up…