Category: Feature


Interview With Anthony V. Bukoski, Part One

TJF: You are a fictional chronicler of the Polish-American experience, but you have chosen to localize your stories, most of which either take place in Superior, Wisconsin, or have a character from Superior’s East End. Tell me a little about the Superior you grew up in. AVB: I was born in a port city at the western terminus of the Great Lakes. When I was in grade school and high school in the 1950’s and early ’60s, Superior had the world’s largest ore docks, huge grain terminals, shipyards, mills, railroad yards, and a stinking oil refinery, still the only one...


An Interview with Anthony Bukoski, Introduction

Anthony Bukoski is one of the finest living fiction writers in America.  Born and reared in Superior (Wisconsin)—a town often considered the cultural nadir of the Upper Midwest—he is the opposite of the mouse, which in the Latin tale emerged from a mountain:  He is the lion that came out of the molehill of rusting grain elevators and abandoned trainyards, the city with the greatest number of bars per capita probably in the world and a house of ill fame known across the world. He attended Superior State University (which is what everyone called it before they started putting on...


Jerry Brown’s Eve of Destruction

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say? And can’t you feel the fears I’m feeling today? If the button is pushed, there’s no running away, There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave, Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy, And you tell me over and over and over again my friend, Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.  – Barry McGuire, Eve of Destruction It’s too bad Jerry Brown didn’t come out with a guitar and belt out that old anti-war protest song from 1965. After...


Got to Laugh to Keep from Crying

Another morality play has been played out.  Catholic high school kids from Kentucky—obviously Southern bigots—harassed a Native American Marine, a Vietnam veteran, and one of the all-white adolescent louts deliberately got in his way and, with a smug grin on his face, humiliated the brave old man.  They should be expelled, cried the watchdogs in the media, their school should be humiliated.  One particularly repellant female demanded the release of their names and addresses so that outraged leftists could tar and feather them.  Another depicted the students being put–MAGA hat first–through a chipper. The best line came from the bastion...


Winter Symposium in Sicily

It was roughly ten years ago that now editor of the Angelus Jim Vogel emailed me, “You have to come to Summer School in Rockford.  You need to meet Dr. Fleming.”  Jim had introduced me to Chronicles a year earlier and since I had recently resumed my undergraduate studies (dormant for seven years) I thought it would indeed be a great opportunity to make new friends, learn new things, and as Jim had noted, meet Dr. Fleming.  Scarcely could I have predicted the numerous places in America and Europe I would continue to learn from Dr. Fleming and other teachers...


Wednesday’s Child: More Garbage

Perhaps the gentle reader remembers the oath I swore a few months back, when, like the ghost of Banquo that passes among the revelers to haunt Macbeth, containers for differentiated trash collection appeared to me on the terrace of a seaside restaurant.  Basically I said that sooner will Birnam Wood come up to Dunsinane than the abomination arrives in Palermo, but that if it does, I shall move to Morocco or Tunis forthwith.  Autumn turned to winter, and suddenly it seemed like no sooner were the words out of my mouth than the huge steel garbage disposal containers all over...


The Future Belongs to Them

The freshman Democrats in Congress are behaving like the stars of a down-market reality TV show.  Alexandria—like Cher and Madonna, she really doesn’t need a last name—has been dancing up a storm, though many of her supporters have been disappointed by her lumbering performance.  


The Yellow Vests Run Out of Gas

When asked to share my thoughts on the recent yellow vests protests, I initially demurred, stating that is was simply another case of the French being the French (about benefits) (about airbnb and/or uber) (about strikes in general).  The French also lack the resolve and ability to fix problems, as seen by the “we are not afraid” and “Je suis Charlie” sentiments now long since forgotten (thankfully).  But as I thought more on the matter, I realized that the Yellow Vests are simply a remake of an American film we’ve already seen (and forgotten): Occupy Wall Street. What Happened to Occupy? In September 2011, a...


Good Night, Generals

Just after President Trump took office, on Fleming Foundation I recommended he not hire generals for his top national security positions. Trump did the opposite. But almost two years later, he finally has civilians in what should be civilian posts. Gen. Flynn didn’t last long as national security adviser and remains embroiled in the witch hunt against Trump, victim of yet another “Justice” Department and FBI perjury trap. Gen. Kelly recently resigned as chief of staff. And Gen. Mattis just resigned in protest as secretary of defense over Trump withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria. When Mattis said he wouldn’t leave...


Imperialism From the Cradle to the Grave, Conclusion

In the bad old days of previous centuries and millennia,  conquering nations trashed the civilizations they occupied for diverse reasons.  (I am not now speaking of looting, which can sometimes be a back-handed token of esteem.) Some savages and barbarians just like breaking things.  Since they cannot create, they can at least destroy.  Sometimes it is to teach a lesson.  “You think you Jews can play power-politics by making an alliance with the Egyptians?  Watch this!”  Sometimes, the point is to destroy symbols and traditions to which the conquerors object on moral grounds:  Cortez was a ruthless man, but the...