Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Marooned in Illinois with 400 Copies of My New Book “A Savage Heart” by Robert M. Katzman

by Robert M. Katzman © April 9, 2018

I first posted this beginning part on Facebook on April 3, 2018. But what I wished and hoped for isn’t what happened. Read the older part first and my story will begin after that:

Ok, this is a little eerie. Well, everything I write about probably seems a little eerie. A little over a year ago, I bought a 1993 suburban car/van because it was big enough to carry my wife’s wheelchair, walker and other things she needed to go visit our children and our friends.

What once was a casual get-up-and-go on impulse to do something, morphed into a production of trying to get her out of the house, down the three steps and then into the van by putting a step down for her to use to move up. This woman was a gymnast at Thornton High School in 1967.

Whenever I became exasperated by having so much to do, I imagined what an insult this progressive decline of her body had become to her, and I kept quiet. We were in the last act of a tragedy, and we both knew it.

(Read on …)

Facebook ain’t Your Buddy, it’s a Sly Pickpocket of Your Secrets!…by Robert M. Katzman

Facebook Ain’t Your Buddy, it’s a Sly Pickpocket of Your Secrets!

by Robert M. Katzman March 21, 2018

Having had a little time to think about this intellectual hurricane of fury about Facebook and betrayal in the quiet black fields of Wisconsin where nothing has sprouted yet, but the promise of innocent plants seeking the sun remains,

(Read on …)

Mike Royko: Not Singing the National Anthem…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Conspiracy Theories,Cops,Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,Life & Death,Politics — Bob at 8:12 am on Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Copyright September 26, 2017

A close friend, Helene Santoro, sent me a long column written by Mike Royko, (1932-1997) a once famous Pulitzer-Prize winning Chicago columnist for the Chicago Daily News (which I sold at my several Bob’s Newsstands from 1965 to 1978) about a cerebral and essentially quietly patriotic person who wouldn’t sing the “Star Spangled Banner” before a football game’s kick-off and who was subsequently arrested for disorderly conduct.

The same situation happened again even though the guy changed his behavior completely and by scene three in Royko’s story, he was completely defeated and blended in with the mass behavior with the mob in the stadium.

He had learned his lesson. Be careful what you believe in. Be careful how you express it. Drunken violence, outrage, condemnation, police arrest, judges and convictions can follow the independent thinker. (Read on …)

And the Computer Asked Me: “Are You Happy Now?”…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Conspiracy Theories,Existential Pets,Humor,Liberation Fantasies,My Own Personal Hell,Rage! — Bob at 10:48 am on Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Robert M. Katzman’s Amazing Story:  http://www.differentslants.com/?p=355

© February 3, 2014

 The phone rang in the dark hours of the morning.

Asleep, I wasn’t fast enough to get to before it stopped.

I fell back in bed, irritated, but too sleepy to deal with random calls before dawn.

Then, a few minutes later, it rang again. I stared at the phone for a moment, then leaped up to capture the beast before it escaped, whomever that it was calling me so stupidly, and twice. I listened to the voice on the phone. It was mechanically human. The call was from the Compulsive Drug Corporation, or the CDC. The voice wanted to know:

(Read on …)

Elvis and the Ladder God!…by Robert M. Katzman

Robert M. Katzman’s Amazing Story:  http://www.differentslants.com/?p=355

© January 23, 2014


I fall off of ladders.  Not exactly a talent.  More like a heroin addiction.  I want to stop, but it is so hard.

The following story is completely true. Except for the parts that aren’t. You figure it out.

This is a story about one of those times, in this instance, yesterday.  The words following are evidence of my continued survival. I could say that I’d tell you about this situation step-by-step, but no one likes a smart ass punster, right?

It must be that when the Universe was formed, out of the swirling mist came a category of Lesser Gods. Gods not involved with wind, rain and fire.  Not about mortality and fate, nor destiny or love.  No, these unglorified deities were, for example the God of Lost Keys, or the God of Dogs Eating Homework, or perhaps the Flat Tire God.   (Read on …)

Relentlessly Seeking to Hear John Wayne’s Voice…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Conspiracy Theories,Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,Humor,My Own Personal Hell,Philosophy,Rage! — Bob at 10:43 am on Sunday, December 30, 2012

© December 29, 2012


Being 62, to me a toggle switch or a cell phone represent the length and breadth of my technological expertise.  Younger people who make fun of that limitation would also probably ridicule a dog because it couldn’t fly.  Must the dog defend itself?  How?

On the other hand, what I lack in contemporary understanding of I-Phones, texting or chat rooms, I make up for with dogged persistence. There’s that dog again.

My beautiful wife Joyce and I respond to perplexing quandaries differently. She views an evidently unsolvable situation as a specific punishment from God aimed at her, and therefore she must accept that ruling.

I, however, even though being one of the Chosen People, don’t actually have a hotline to Heaven, and I see big problems as resolvable with a combination of steady patience and reducing the tangled mass of the problem into little digestible pieces.  Here is a vivid example of such an incident.

Chanukah came in November this year, 2012, and though chronically short of funds, I was able to scrape together enough dollars to buy a 42” flat screen TV on sale at a very cheap price after months of hunting for just that.  It was made by a very obscure electronics company, probably imported from Mongolia.  My theory was that since I could only afford one gift, why not buy something that was the right size and color for all three of us?  The third person is my delightful daughter Sarah, now sixteen. She would have rather had a car…any car…but that wasn’t in the cards for her this year.

So, our little electronic assembly now consisted of a strange-looking, vertical, silver colored device we received from AT&T’s U-Verse division in order to make our TV work and an ancient DVD/video player because we have 100 cassettes of all the Disney classics, they work just fine and our grandchildren are transfixed by those movies, plus that big, wide, skinny new TV. So, fine.

Joyce, being far better able than I am at following complicated instructions—she can use a sewing machine and program the TV clicker—read the little booklet provided so she could correctly attach the two cables provided to both the TV and the old movie player.  The cables were the standard gold-tipped type with a long copper wire sheathed in black rubber and both ends had a single pin that connected most devices made long ago and still today. Everything worked.  I knew they all would because Joy can even program our microwave, so what the hell, right?  No surprises there.

Except for one.

(Read on …)

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