My First Blog

Thanks for checking out my new blog. I realize the world really doesn’t need another opinion, but the fact is I’m doing this primarily for myself. A writer needs to work on his chops, just like a musician, or he gets stale, and what better way to do that than to bitch and moan about all the things that are wrong with our society. Not that this blog will be dedicated to complaints alone. I’ll also cover the things I like (see list below.) I was asking myself just what exactly it was that gives me the right to spill my guts in a public forum, and then I considered Rush Limbaugh, perhaps the biggest idiot in America, making millions of dollars every year for passing disinformation and right- wing vitriol over the airwaves, and I figured, if he can do it and get paid, I can certainly do it for free. (Not pass disinformation, mind you, but just espouse my opinions.)
For this first entry I’ll just give you a brief list of the things I like and don’t like about our culture so you’ll have an idea of what I’ll be prattling on about in the coming weeks. When I say “you” I mean the two or three of you who might eventually find your way to this page and spend a few of your precious minutes reading it. Let me just say thanks in advance.

Things I like: (In no particular order.)

Accountability. Honesty. People who know how to drive. Good manners. Larry David. Good Scotch; in particular, Johnny Walker Blue. Nora Jones, Van Morrison. Sleeping in—this works best when one is surrounded by neighbors with good manners. Children, before they are ruined by people with traits the likes of which I will mention shortly. John Coltrane. Cherry pie; in fact, all things sweet. Simple clothes. My bank. (To clarify, I hate banks in general, but let’s face it, we all use them and it just so happens I have a good one. That is to say, it’s never crowded and all the clerks are quite helpful. So I guess it’s more the people at my bank than the bank itself that I like.) Poker—not holdem, but seven card stud. Obama: he’s a little to the right for me, but he’s the best guy out there for the job right now. Jon Stewart. American Idol: I like the camaraderie among these kids who are trying to make something out of their lives. I think, overall, the show has a positive message.

Things I don’t like:

Reality TV: First of all the term is a misnomer; there is nothing real about Reality TV. It’s an illusion created to make people believe their lives have some elevated meaning. Facebook, tweeting, etc. These are just extensions of reality tv. No one cares what you had for lunch. Most of life is mundane stuff; there is no changing that. And yes, I am on Facebook; I do have my contradictions. Rush Limbaugh: Is there a bigger blow-hard on the plantet? Anyone who feels entitled because they belong to some special group and leads their argument with something like, “I’m (insert your favorite group) therefore I deserve this.” Bad grammar: Good grammar leads to good communication; bad grammar is just embarrassing. The Tea Party: I understand their anger; if only they understood who the enemy really is. Kenny G and new-age jazz in general: Look, I know these guys are technically very good on their instruments, but really. American Idol: Yeah, I know, it made both lists. Here’s the thing that bothers me. Unlike generations prior to this, these kids who make it to the top ten don’t have to pay much dues. It’s six months under the spotlight and the world is their oyster. Seems too easy.

That’s it for now. Obviously there are other things I like and dislike (one of those is someone who overstates his case), but I think you get the gist of it. I welcome any and all comments. See you next time.

18 Responses to My First Blog

  1. Yes, I found your blog thanks to FB…and I have to say I’m in agreement with you for the most part. If the rest of the world thought like this don’t you think it would be a better place?


  2. I like it, Mike! I still have an old folder with poems in it that you wrote and gave some of us one Christmas a lonnnnnng time ago. I liked your writing then, and you have a great, conversational flow to your “practice” above. Thanks! I’ll be reading more. And I think I’ll buy your new novel and dive in! Thanks again.

    • mike panno says:


      Can’t believe you still have some old poems. Can’t imagine what they might be. Anyway, thanks for reading the blog. I think you’ll enjoy Animal Rites. You’re interested in the environment and such; should be right up your alley. Take care,


  3. Rik Converse says:

    Nice start, Mike!
    I’d be interested in reading your insight on music and how it lends itself to a informing person’s political insights.
    Most people think musicians might not be the most informed persons in a political discussion, but I’ve found that not to be the case. (And your opening blog seems to support that notion.

    Also, I know some of the people you’ve played with but not all. And I’m sure there are some great insightful stories to be heard about each one much less each gig.
    - Rik

  4. Rik Converse says:

    Also, you should add a “Subscribe” button, so people will receive your next posts as you issue them (if they so desire).

  5. Cindy Jaeger says:

    Enjoyed your blog and am looking forward to future posts.

  6. Just happened to remember something after reading your “likes”…I remember you had a passion for pasta…and throwing a test noodle on to the ceiling to see if it stuck. Big smile here!

  7. I love it Mike! Keep it up, but do put a ‘subscribe’ option…

  8. David Panno says:

    I like the blog. As you probably already know. I couldn’t disagree with you more about Rush. John Stewart, Bill Maher and the rest of the extreme left, in my opinion are far more vitriolic than Rush ever dreamed of. I would wonder how much you’ve actually listened to Rush’s radio show. I would be willing to be probably less than 3 hours. I’ve been listening to him for 20 years, and never have found a fraction of the hate thate spews from Stewart, Maher, and the rest of the bigger idiots in the country. Obama is too far right for you? I’m floored. Also, if you could possibly name one qualification he has to run this country, I would sincerely like to hear it.

    I absolutely agree with your views on the reality shows,American idol and the like. The reality shows are mostly a waste of air time. “The Real Housewives of Orange County”, really. What a pathetic commentary on the actual real housewives. American idol panders to teeny boppers and makes Ryan Seacrest 200 mil a year. Anyway, my brother, keep up the blog, and I need a copy of your new book.

  9. Greg Morgan says:

    Yes Mike! – I will check back in to see whats on your mind my friend.

  10. David Panno says:

    As you probably already know, I couldn’t disagree with you more over a few of your comments. Primarily the ones pertaining to Rush,the Tea Party, and Obama. I think we’ve discussed those two items before, so I won’t go in to detail here. Let’s just say we will forever agree to disagree.

    I will say that, yes their are two much bigger blowhards, and they would be John Stewart and Keith, no ratings, Obermann. I do, however, agree with your observations on Reality TV. It’s become a complete farce and a sham, and one of the worst influences on the younger, and for that matter older audiences. American Idol is silly, and rarely, in my opinion does the most talented win. Ryan Seacrest has used it to complete his first billion in earnings I’m sure.

    Anyway, I like the blog and I still need to get, my too cheap to buy one, free copy of your latest book. Hey, family members are supposed to get free ones right?

    • admin says:


      Here’s one big difference between me and Rush: You and I totally disagree but I’ll still let you have your say on my blog. As for Jon Stewart, if you ever watched his show, you’d know he has guests from both the right and the left and treats them all with respect. When was the last time Rush ever had a civil discussion with anyone who disagrees with him? And yes, I’ve listened to his show a lot more than 3 hours, as painful as it is.

      • David Panno says:

        Again, I will politely disagree with your asessment of Rush and Jon Stewart. Rush has dedicated whole shows to people who disagree with him. Stewart is just another arrogant know it all Liberal who thinks he’s smarter than the rest of us. I know he’s not smarter than you. He, in my opinion, used to be semi funny, but has become just another attack dog for the Left. What is it with people like him and Maher and the like. They seem to be so filled with hate. They need counseling or something. Way to pissed off all the time.

  11. David Panno says:

    oops accidentally posted twice, sorry about that.

  12. Brenda Grishaber says:

    Uncle Mike: Top of my list of things I like is YOU!!
    My whole life I have admired you! You are so kind, so real, so loyal, so humble, so talented, so COOL!
    Don’t ever change! I love you! <3

  13. Madeleine says:

    Great delivery. Sound arguments. Keep up the great spirit.

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