Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

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 …)

One Hundred Kinds of Coffee and a Rusty Old Screw…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Conspiracy Theories,Love and Romance,Philosophy — Bob at 8:47 pm on Sunday, July 29, 2012

© July 30, 2012

Everything’s connected.

A few days ago I was late to work, or the illusion of work at my unfrequented collectible store, and as I pulled out of my driveway, I  noticed my wife Joyce’s old Kia had a left rear tire pretty close to flat. Not a good thing.

So, on the way to my store I stopped at a nearby gas station where I knew the guy there well enough to ask for his help repairing her tire without immediate payment, because neither one of us knew what was the problem, yet.  He agreed, no problem, and I shot off to my retail Tomb.

I called Joy on the way and told her it was okay for her to drive there—right now!—get her tire repaired and not to worry about  paying for it. We don’t use credit cards and pay cash for whatever we need or must buy. Tough times in the Heartland.

I told her to drive slowly as possible and to be very careful making the few turns so the tire didn’t come off the steel rim, as it seem to be about to do. She agreed and left immediately to deal with it. Joyce is quite deferential to me on inconsequential matters.  Anything involving tools has never been her concern and is therefore suitable for men only, because we are, as all women know, barely one step above beasts.

After I opened my store, she called, told me what was wrong (a rusty screw in the tire) and that it cost $20 to fix. I called the station and assured the clerk there that I’d pay for the tire repair on the way home and he said he wasn’t concerned.

And that was that.


(Read on …)

Women Are the Largest Minority!……..by Robert M. Katzman

By Robert M. Katzman © February,13 2012  (almost) Valentine’s Day

(Sme dates and numbers updated in December 2020, eight years later)

313,000,000 people in the United States.

159,000,000 are women.

50.9% ?

A minority?

Go figure.

Like there was an ovary lottery, the women won it and then the women lost everything else.

Mystifies me.  Maybe thousands of years ago, men had the armies and slaughtered each other, and then one day realized that women could make more people and the men became terrified.  No stopping them, the men must have realized, so…better watch them closely.  Keep them under control.

Eons later, the women still are.

Paid less than men, run a few national companies, have a small number of seats in the United States Congress, 93 out of 535 seats, or 17.4%.

Now that, is a minority.

Senators: (17 out of 100) : 12 Democrats and 5 Republicans

Representatives: (76 out of 435) — 48 Democrats and 28 Republicans

So, 60 of the 93 women are Democrats, or almost 65% of the 17.4%, or 11% of the entire Congress.

Numbers can be a lot of fun, especially to someone who failed algebra in June, 1965, not that I remember that poisonous moment or anything like that. Or the teacher’s name: Miss Eason. Or that I had to take it again.

My mother, Anne, if still alive would have been 99 today, the day before Valentine’s Day, which always annoyed her.

She was born in 1921, the year after women first were awarded the vote by Congress in 1920.  Given that she was born in Chicago under the steel umbrella of the Democratic Machine, it is likely my mother voted that year and every year after that in local elections the straight Democratic ticket, of course, decades before she was legally permitted to do so in 1942.  In Chicago politics, this would be considered a fine point of contention.

(Read on …)

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