Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Sirens of Regret…by Robert M. Katzman

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

© June 26, 2014

I can hear it far away

Weaving in and out



Better get outa the way

Wasn’t I painting something?

Mrs. Phillips, your boy has talent

You can tell that at seven?

(Read on …)

The Old Magazine Store.com: Complete Facebook Posts (updated 12/14)

Filed under: My Own Personal Hell,Obsession,Retail Purgatory — Bob at 9:22 am on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

 Usually, this space is reserved for poetry and short stories.

However, since 99.9% of the planet is unaware of my incredibly diverse vintage back-issue magazine store just north of Chicago in colorful Skokie, Illinois, I decided to intermingle my separate worlds.  All five of my books are always available for purchase and signing, in case you want to meet the eccentric who wrote the following:

Gifts for geeks and other souls who have no use for ordinary people. I have less than 100 periodicals on the origins and innovations of the internet. Time, Newsweek, The Economist, etc. Utterly fascinating and instantly obsolete! Incredible idea to distract a person with no time to talk to you, but may appreciate you anyway for the cleverness of your thinking. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Chips, Video Games stories from a guy who is absolutely technologically obsolete, but I know that. I still think pocketknives are cool. And flashlights. And paper, for God’s sake–paper!!! theoldmagazinestore.com(847) 677-9444
Last minute brilliant Christmas//Hanukkah gift idea for film buffs: theoldmagazinestore.com has a group of Playboy’s famous interviews of 25 directors from 1963 – 2012. Only 30 were ever done, five men twice: Woody Allen to Mike Nichols; Sam Peckinpah to Roman Polanski; Martin Scorsese to Quinten Tarentino; Stanley Kubrick to Federic Fellini. Limited supplies and some may be sold out. We ain’t computerized, people. Target & Best Buy don’t have them. Surprise a cinema lover and tell them they’re worth the effort to make them really happy! (847) 677-9444 Support small stores and get over here!!
Well, people, the following short video (137 seconds) filmed by the remarkable Benjamin Cohen, a nice Jewish boy if there ever was one, seems to make the best case yet in my ongoing attempt to make my amazing store irresistible to North America:


Mad Magazine. To those of you old enough to remember it when it was funny–a looooog time ago–I am selling out hundreds of them from the 1980’s to recent for $10 or 3 for $25. I also have a limited number of paperbacks which are collectible, from the 1950’s to the ’70’s, mostly one-of-a-kind. Nice gift for geezers. I also have a separate section where the more collectible issue of Mad, Crack and Sick are organized by artist. Nice when framed to decorate an office if you were fans of the styles of Jack Davis, Mort Drucker, Dave Berg, Al Jaffee, Don Martin and other notables from Mad’s early years. www.theoldmagazinestore.com where the unexpected gift can make someone smile for a long time (847) 677-9444

For certain people who seek gifts beyond the boring, I offer gifts about: Elvis, Marilyn, World War One, Christianity, Gay History, Neanderthals, Dinosaurs, 1950’s Fashions, Sunken Ships, India, Germany, China, Science Fiction, 1920’s cooking magazines, Hirschfeld art, original old Coke ads, my own five no-fiction Chicago stories books, Michael Jordan, Beatles, Stones, Tibet, Russia, Nixon, Kennedy, Japan, Playboy in 20 languages, and probably much more beyond your untested imagination because you’ve never been to the Frozen-in-Time Magazine Twilight Zone. Tell the world & get in here!
Playboy Interviews 1962-2005, part two: Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Hank Aaron, Yasir Arafat, Lance Armstrong, Ingmar Bergman, Beatles, David Bowie, Ray Bradbury, Tim Burton, Fidel Castro, Eldridge Cleaver, Bill Cosby (2x), Ray Charles, Dick Cavette, John Cassavettes, George Carlin, Cheech & Chong, Francis Ford Coppola, Cher, Salvador Dali, Bette Davis, Clint Eastwood and the barely remembered but incredibly brilliant visionary: R. Buckminster Fuller!
Support The Old Magazine Store. Bob Katzman too, is visionary, except going backwards. I offer gifts of originality, creativity and telling people you give enough of a damn to bother finding an eccentric store like mine. Open daily until Christmas unless a big pile of old magazines falls on me. (847) 677-9444
Playboy is famous for, among other reasons, its in depth interviews, 600 plus at this point. Read the responses of Vladimir Nabokov, Henry Miller, Martin Scorsese, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alex Haley, Stanley Kubrick, Orson Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Malcolm X, Ian Fleming, Ayn Rand, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen Hawking, Milton Friedman, Siskel and Ebert, Mike Nichols, Hunter Thompson, Tennessee Williams, Federico Fellini, Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen, Ansel Adams, Muhammad Ali, Truman Capote and many more. Fantastic and unexpected gift for a certain person in your life! See? People really did really Playboy for its articles.  theoldmagazinestore.com (847) 677-9444
Imagine a Life Magazine from Christmas, 1944. A nurse standing over a wounded soldier lying on a cot, a large star shining in the dark night sky thru the open tent flap. How could you conceive how any vet from any war might feel upon receiving a gift like this, perhaps framed? I only have a couple left, but the point is, I don’t sell old rescued paper gift items. I sell emotion.
My store is not like another anything. It is the small diamond in the coal pile of giant chain stores seeking your attention. Yes, we shine. But still, a person has to be of a certain frame of mind to find us. I can match a gift to a person’s personality, for a perfect fit.

New store departments: Butterflies & Insects; Kurds, Eastern Europe & Russia; Michael Jordan; Dinosaur & Neanderthals; Scandinavia; British & USA Jazz mags; Dr Who (but only a few). Come visit a rare experience. Buy a present that shows someone you love, that you really thought about it first. Open Mon-Sat NYC, LA, Miami, Philly etc-Bet you wish you had an Old Magazine Store, too, like Skokie does. (847) 677-9444 The way stores used to be. Please like this page so that others will know about us, too. Thanks.

Imagine a homeless poster, gathering dust, cold, hungry, friendless, sleeping in the shadows. Time passing it by, its image gradually unrecognizable by succeeding generations.
Mom, Dad– who was Clark Gable?  Who was Marilyn Monroe?  Yoda?  Elvis??
Why are there still posters existing with their pictures on them?  Were they famous??

You can stop this travesty. Adopt a poster. Now. Today. Five dollars.
Make public radio wait. Skip a latte. Give a poster a home.

50,000 posters of every imaginable type formerly priced at $40 to $200 are now $5 and $10 each at the frequently incomprehensible Old Magazine Store.com in serene Downtown Skokie. Too serene.

Every poster must go. Pronto. Organization is totally random, so first come, first served. Expect chaos. Fun! Make a lonely poster smile.

Movie–Fantasy–Charts–Educational–Rock ‘n Roll–Crime–Military–Pinup (male & female)–Animation & Disney–Star Wars–Star Trek–Horror–Historic–Aviation–Trains–Cars–Jazz–Black History–Israeli Posters–Maps–Western–Farm Equipment–Film Noir–Chicago History & World’s Fairs (1893-1933)–Rockwell–Fashion–Motorcycle–

Cigarette–Asia–Beer–Native American–Famous Newspaper Headlines–Cops–Classical Music–Coca-Cola & Pepsi–French Ads–19th Century Industrial–Fireman–Hunting & Fishing–old sports– 1920’s-30’s mini posters of the Golden Age of Hollywood…

Cover your walls. Home Theater. Restaurant. College town stores e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e will all have the same boring posters. Give your kid something stimulating for their walls. Stock up for Christmas gifts now!! (847) 677-9444 Ask for Bob (a kindly person) Appt. possible.

Open every day, mostly.Saturday: 10–2 Daily: 10–5 (unless I’m seeking the meaning of life, and close at 4:30).  Please like this page.

(Read on …)

Precision…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Depression and Hope,My Own Personal Hell,Obsession — Bob at 12:45 pm on Sunday, March 16, 2014

© March 16, 2014

Forward to Precision

In July 2016, I wrote

David’s Star” www.differentslants.com/?p=3102 

to express the never-ending insecurity of being ethnically indistinguishable and, at times the brutal consequences of strangers sometimes guessing wrong, and sometimes guessing right. A small room in Hell, and just my size. I stay there part time.

A brilliant Rabbi, who knew I was a writer, at a now closed synagogue in Northern Illinois asked me to help him out when he was trying to advise depressed Russian Jewish immigrants who couldn’t comprehend the meaning of the word “depression” in English.

This was in 2002, before I had published any books or anything online, either. After a few weeks, the end result was:

“Depression, Despair and The Human Voice” www.differentslants.com/?p=72. 

That Rabbi later told me what I wrote was perfect for his needs.

Later, I published it on my DifferentSlants.com website and it became my most read story for years. In it, I explicitly explained what it was like to live with depression from the inside out, before I was diagnosed with it and prescribed the correct medication.

In 2004, after learning that I had three, then four brain tumors, I had brain surgery in Chicago, once in January and again in April. In April while recovering, I unexpectedly was able to read my chart when my surgeon accidentally left my file on my bed. It said: Fantastic recovery!  With an exclamation point. It made me wonder what he was expecting.

After my recovery, that same hospital hired me to read some of my stories to a room filled with brain surgery survivors. It was then that I saw what my life could have been like, instead of how it actually turned out. No one in that room looked at me for the hour I was there reading.  They didn’t seem to notice me at all. They just kept looking around the room or doing nothing. I understood then how incredibly fortunate I was.

I wanted to write something about the experience or another situation involving an out of control brain . This time I did a lot of research to find a way to express the grim reality some people live with every day, all day, when their physical bodies are prisoners of their damaged brains. And no, this is not autobiographical. There’s enough wrong with me as it is.

The resulting title of the poem I wrote about a person having OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder is “Precision”. It is intended to transmit the honest reality of rigidly living a life strictly within the lines.

All his lines are parallel
Boots side by side
Left on the left
Right on the right
There is a second pair
For more serious weather
Drifts of snow
That may never come
But he is ready
Which is important

(Read on …)

Chicago Wasp-Killer, MBA…by Robert M. Katzman

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

© June 26, 2012

This is a curious story about control, written at a time in America when few of us have control over anything. But also defiance, self-determination, art, science, isolation and confrontation.  When I was nine years old.

It is also about killing wasps. The kind of wasps with six legs, not that other kind. Why would anyone think that?

The time of this story is summer, 1959. The place, southern Wisconsin.

I was nine years old. I was not afraid of flying stinging wasps. And that made all the difference.

When I was nine, my parents packed me off to an overnight camp for the first time ever.  For two months. Maybe they thought I’d wander off in the woods and get eaten by something bigger than me. Most things were bigger than me. But I don’t think any experienced bear would find my skinny little body worth the trouble.

I was sick all the time from whatever weeds grew in the rural part of southern Wisconsin. There were no drugs in 1959. I want to think enduring the ragweed misery helped build my character, but there’s no evidence of that.

I didn’t want to be at that large camp with its mob of screaming children racing around and its tall athletic counselors who told us what to do, every-single-minute-of-the-day. Like my grammar school but worse. Around the clock supervision.

Two months to a nine-year-old was an eternity and just like that famous book about lethal children by William Golding, Lord of the Flies, published five years earlier, some situations bring out unexpected aspects of children’s personalities, like savagery or other characteristics. He was right.

(Read on …)

“Riddles”, the Mysterious Hanukkah Wooden Robot……by Robert M. Katzman

© May 20, 2012

In 1984, late Fall in Evanston, Illinois I was trying to figure out Chanukah.

What could I do about Chanukah?

My nearly twenty-year-old Chicago international magazine store, Bob’s Newsstand, was ten months from closing.  I had no income and no way to buy presents to celebrate the two thousand year old, eight-day Jewish holiday, the “Festival of Lights” for my three children. Lisa was nine, David was six and Rachel was four.

I was thirty-four and less than a year from my mid-life crisis and two years of unemployment.  No one wanted to hire the formerly self-employed guy.  They say we never stay.

What could I do that would charm them?

Sitting in my garage which used to be a barn one hundred years earlier, when the historic house was built in 1882, and which was then converted into two apartments, or coach houses as Evanston called them, now empty and perched above me, I sat among my numerous woodworking tools in the dim light of dusk.

(Read on …)

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