The Neoliberal Book Of The Dead – Chapter Four: Rage Against The Machine

  • April 10, 2017
The Neoliberal Book Of The Dead – Chapter Four:  Rage Against The Machine


Sunset is an angel weeping
Holding out a bloody sword
No matter how I squint I cannot
Make out what it’s pointing toward
Sometimes you feel like you live too long
Days drip slowly on the page
You catch yourself
Pacing the cage.

— Bruce Cockburn

The Neoliberal Book of the Dead – Chapter Three: The Zombie Doctrine

  • June 13, 2016
The Neoliberal Book of the Dead – Chapter Three:  The Zombie Doctrine

A Pre-Dystopian Tale.

You can’t live a post-revolutionary existence in a pre-revolutionary society.

This quote has stuck with me over the years, since I first heard it during the early 1970’s in the dining room of a longtime friend’s home in the Haight while interviewing spokespersons for a film I was shooting about a group of activists that had been instumental in creatiing the Free Clinic, the Food Bank, and had been active in several other Bay Area coalitions related to housing and healthcare for the indigent and homeless. Read more...

Tempus Fugit

  • September 29, 2015
Tempus Fugit

The News.

Ever see the musical “Newsies”? It’s a Disney Theatrical Productions stage musical based on the 1992 musical film Newsies, which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. Read more...

The Oracle: It Knows Where We Are

  • October 9, 2014
The Oracle: It Knows Where We Are


The Grid.

I employ a specific email address linked to our family site at used exclusively when sending email blasts out to an admittedly captive audience of family and friends after I’ve posted either a new item of vital importance and sage insight on our Blog or the latest video masterpiece depicting events from our family exploits and worldwide travails. Nobody ever responds to these messages, so I’m never sure if anyone bothers even to either read the email or view the posts. As a result, keeping this website going is a leap of faith, even for an septuagenarian agnostic anarchist like myself.

The Forever War

  • September 4, 2013
The Forever War

Science Fiction

The Forever War (1974) is a science fiction novel by Vietnam veteran and author Joe Haldeman, relating a tale of soldiers fighting an interstellar war between humanity and an enigmatic alien species called the Taurans. The novel explores the inhumanity of war and bureaucracy, and the psychological effects resulting from the time dilation of space travel (a soldier returns home from months on the “front” only to find that centuries have passed on Earth), won the Nebula Award in 1975, and the Hugo and the Locus awards in 1976. Read more...

The Old Country: Lviv

  • October 1, 2017
The Old Country:  Lviv

Monument to Taras Shevchenko, Lviv.


Having survived the first two days of my insane itinerary, my guide Diana Borysenko had scheduled us for two relatively relaxing days in Lviv consisting of various historical, museum and church tours, a vist to several unique cafes for coffee and confections, the sampling of local cuisine, and an evening at the Opera House to attend a “gala” presentation of the inaugural season of the LvivMozArt Festival.

The Old Country: Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast

  • September 26, 2017
The Old Country:  Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast

Annunciation (The Savior) Church, a 15th Century Carpathian Wooden Church.

Dolyna [Долйна].

Well if the itinerary for Day One was ridiculous — four towns, 350 kilometers or more round trip, and roads that were in places more like obstacle courses — Day Two would prove to be insane. We’re talking about a tour of Sub-Carpathian Ukraine that involves at least 400 kilometers of driving in one day — a weekend day at that — smack in the middle of August which is high tourist season for this part of the world – not the smartest of plans. Read more...

Ruthenia, Galicia and the Babij Surname

  • September 26, 2017
Ruthenia, Galicia and the Babij Surname

Cousin Sue Roth sent me an email recently concering the origins of the famous Hollywood director Billy Wilder. It seems Mr. Wilder (nee Samuel) was originally born in the town of Sucha, Galicia then a province of Austria Hungary. So Mr. Wilder was a Ruthenian by birth. Sue termed the revelation “weird”.

As usual when we find links like this they tend to send us off on what usually turns out to be a wild goose chase or goat rodeo. But sometimes these weird tidbits provide even more incentives for researching who we are or at least “were”. So where did Sammy Wilder’s origins lead us?

The Old Country: Ternopil Oblast

  • September 23, 2017
The Old Country:  Ternopil Oblast


The earliest recollection I have of hearing the ethnic appellation Ukrainian applied to our family name Babij was in the Fall Quarter of my first year of college during the Kennedy Era when I received a telephone call from a woman (whose name unfortunately I do not recall) inviting me to a gathering of Ukrainian-descendant students to be held at an apartment in the campus married housing complex. The woman went on to describe what typically went on during such occasions: an exchange of tales relating to family lineage and history; performances of traditional folk songs and dance; picnics where participants cooked and ate traditional food like beet soup, pedaheh (varenyky) dumplings and stuffed cabbage called holubtsi or “pigs in a blanket”, similar to those I’d tasted before that had been made by Grandma Anna; and Sunday excursions to the local Orthodox church for Mass.

DNA Test Results Redux

  • April 18, 2017
DNA Test Results Redux

The DNA results are in from 23andMe and they seem more in line with what we were expecting. This is not to say that the MyHeritage results were inaccurate (they did have a very cool map display), but the 23andMe analysis is much more detailed and scientifically oriented – if one needs to go there. There are maps, but they’re “graphically challenged” as you’ll see below. Read more...

Patrick Hickey – In Memoriam

  • March 8, 2017
Patrick Hickey – In Memoriam

Remembrance For Patrick Hickey

I first met Patrick when we were both students at UCLA in the mid 1970’s. At the time I was employed at the Film School as a graduate assistant, teaching a class in beginning filmmaking techniques called “Project One” in which undergrads learned how to make a film project utilizing Super 8 cameras and editing equipment while at the same time working on one of my own Earth-shattering “masterpieces” which would usually keep me occupied into the wee hours of the morning.

DNA Test Results

  • February 18, 2017
DNA Test Results

So….I received my DNA test results from (an Israeli company – parent to and the results are …. middling to mildly surprising. The key point to keep in mind is that results of this kind only show the population groupings with whom I share DNA with. Click on the featured image for a close-up of the genetic map.

Death of the Democratic Party

  • February 9, 2017
Death of the Democratic Party

Pins and Needles.

When was the last time you got picked on for doing something you either didn’t do, or failed to do, or forgot to do, or did the opposite of doing, or actually did do but in your own mind felt justified in doing? Yeah, I know. This is a classic example of a martyr complex or guilt by dissociation; a self-imposed behavioral conditioning programmed by our socialization process that puts our ego at the center of our own universe vis a vis that of the “greater good”.

100th Anniversary: Anna Chuda and John (Ivan) Babij

  • June 15, 2016
100th Anniversary:  Anna Chuda and John (Ivan) Babij

On May 14th 1916, more than one hundred years ago, Anna Chuda and John (Ivan) Babij were married in Saint George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church on East 7th Street in New York City.

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