David Boles’ Personal History: December 13, 1994

A career is an interesting thing in comparison with a life. The career is temporary, but the life is both temporal, and temporary. The other day, for some reason, Ezra Stone was bothering my mind, as I tried to remember why he had contacted me so many years ago. I did a quick search of my Google Docs and his name popped up in a document titled — “David Boles’ Personal History” — dated December 13, 1994. That file turned out to be a wowser!

I am not sure why that document was originally written. I was three years out of my MFA at Columbia University in the City of New York. Oftentimes, these personal histories are written for grants, but this file was too personal, and specific for a grant committee — the file reads as if I were forcing myself to remember what happened for some existential reason.

One thing I noticed about the file is that it is filled with names — and that still astonishes me, that so much effort and time for what I was trying to do was not really ever about the actual work, but it was more about the personalities involved. I’m an INTJ, not really a people person, so it makes sense I had more ongoing success working alone in Nebraska than I ever did working with the creative gangs in New York City. On your own, you’re on your own to live or die; I always thrived. In the City, you a play a limited role by design, and you have to hope others are as dedicated to you, and to your idea, as you are — but it never turns out that way.

Nobody wants to pay for anything; they want every idea for free; and you always hope it’s about the work — but as you’ll see — it’s never about the work. It’s only about — the money!

This document may have been a tipping point or a turning point — two years later I started Go Inside Magazine — and began writing and publishing on my own. I could serve only the Master I knew, and no longer the talents I did not understand.

Continue reading → David Boles’ Personal History: December 13, 1994

An Unredeemable Removal: William Jennings Bryan as the Magnificent Loser

William Jennings Bryan — known as “The Great Commoner” and “Keeper of the Faith” — was a Populist, religious, conundrum. He was for the people. He was against big money. He fought, testified, and prosecuted via the Bible — in utter infamy — during the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial and died five days after the trial ended. Defending his Faith killed him.

William Jennings Bryan was a good son of Nebraska who was nominated three times on the national Democrat ticket — and he lost each time — and his failure to find a national political footing beyond his deeply religious Nebraska grassroots haunted him until his death.

I was able to purchase this fascinating photo of William Jennings Bryan, dated September 18, 1924 — he would be dead 10 months later — the caption reads:


Photo shows William Jennings Bryan pinning a badge of allegiance (David-Bryan campaign stuff) to Rose Minto’s coat lapel. She is a popular motion picture star in Hollywood who is actively interested in politics.

What is most interesting about the photograph is the use of the black editorial pen on the image.  You can see the crop indices, but there are also black ink pen “lines of emphasis” added to Ms. Minto’s hat, Bryan’s lapels and face. You can see the dullness the pen makes when you move the glossy photograph in your hand in and out of reflective light.

At first wink, those added lines look like marks of defamation until you realize, after scanning the photograph for publication here, they must have been an important part of newspaper publishing in 1924 to help the highlights and shadows be more discernable in ink on paper.

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The Bridge Generation Between the Paper Mountain and the Uncanny Valley

As we descend deeper and deeper into The Uncanny Valley, we are left to wonder if we want those built to be like us, to be like us, or if we prefer them to look mechanical so we can more immediately identify not just what, but who, we are interacting with in our intimate lives.

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Alert to All Stations From U.S. Marshall, Florida

[Publisher’s Note:  The last Marshall Jamison poem we published here in Boles Blogs was — Paul’s Wife — on June 15, 2000.  Marshall died  September 2, 2003 at the age of 85.  We still massively miss him.  Boles Blogs author Steve Gaines — who worked with Marshall in educational television in Nebraska — recently found the following poem Marshall wrote to celebrate Steve’s retirement from the network.  Steve was kind enough to email us Marshall’s original, handwritten, poem — which we are overjoyed to present to you today:  The first new Marshall Jamison poem published here in 13 years; and a decade after his death.]

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The Best of Go Inside Magazine Now Published on Amazon Kindle Direct!

Well, that was fast!  One day Volumes 1 and 2 of the “Best of Urban Semiotic” hits the virtual Kindle Direct Publishing shelves, and here we are on the same day with an all-new “The Best of Go Inside Magazine, Volume 1 (1983-2012)” magically published via Amazon Kindle Direct as well!

Here’s what happened.  I have a plan for testing the viability and sustainability of “The Best of” the Boles Blogs Networks articles on Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing.  After I submitted the Urban Semiotic volumes to Amazon for KDP publication, I immediately began redacting and condensing a GO INSIDE “Best of” series.

When I ran into some publication problems on the Amazon side that delayed the process for several days, I kept editing the GO INSIDE volume with an eye of just putting the work up for sale on the Boles Books Writing & Publishing website if it didn’t work out as a KDP book and I would charge a nominal PayPal fee for the publishing effort.

I was amazed that Amazon KDP approved and published the GO INSIDE volume within hours of submission — and so here we are!

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A Stack of Smokes is Now $11.25 in New York City

The price of a single pack of cigarettes in New York City is now $11.25USD — and that’s just for an ordinary brand.  If you’re buying imported, you are going to pay a whole lot more.  Marshall Jamison — my friend, inspiration and mentor — used to smoke English Ovals by the fistful, and I’m sure he would be sickened by the high rise prices for a stack of smokes.

Continue reading → A Stack of Smokes is Now $11.25 in New York City

Paul’s Wife

Although I saw her only twice

In the bleak light of the hospital room
She shared with her husband,
Her beauty truly shone, lighting her person
With a soft aura of
A peaceful and flower filled garden.

When she smiled it caused this viewer’s heart
To pause, then beat on with enduring, increasing
A woman to demand a hero’s worship,
But her modesty proclaims true innocence
and peace!