Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

The Tackle Box

Monday, November 23 2009

Squanto: The Ultimate Guide

Even anglers like myself yearn for guides with fishing IQs as rich as Squanto's, a Patuxet Native American who taught the Pilgrims how to fish.


Wednesday, October 28 2009

In from the Fog: Monstrous Fishermen in Popular Culture

To paraphrase Nietzsche, when fighting monsters one should be careful not to become one, but that’s a major reason why many people fish: to slay the proverbial dragon.


Tuesday, September 8 2009

A Beatnik Tuna (Fish)

Charlie the Tuna fish is an homage to the Beat generation’s playfulness and experimentation with language.


Thursday, August 13 2009

Oceans of Fear

Brace yourself: this is a fish tale that can silence – like the great white shark itself – all of its competitors.


Tuesday, June 23 2009

Snagged by Bishop—Hook, Line & Sinker

Like the lakes we fish in, there are great treasures lurking in those depths, and great depth lurking in those treasures.


Wednesday, April 29 2009

Missing the Boat while ‘Fishing with John’ (Lurie)

Imagine a 'Seinfeld' episode on a boat with rods in Jerry and Kramer’s hands … you get the picture.


Tuesday, March 31 2009

The Jester in the Fisherman

Lines tangled and broke, feet tripped and slipped, rods and tempers snapped, and sometimes, even anglers fell overboard. It wasn’t funny … unless you were sober.


Sunday, February 22 2009

Les Claypool: Where Fish Congregate

Quite simply, like the sturgeon itself, Claypool is the Maestro of the Bottom.


Monday, December 8 2008

Presidential Angling

Now that Barack Obama is America's 44th president, in the spirit of his predecessors, he might want to take up fishing.


Wednesday, October 29 2008

Getting the Creeps from the Deep

Deep, dark water – and that which swims within -- inspires our most primitive fears


Tuesday, August 26 2008

The Poetry of Fishing: James A. Emanuel

Fishing and writing are typically solitary crafts that offer fishermen and poets sweet opportunities for introspection.


Wednesday, July 9 2008

Myth-Making Dolphins

They're transporters of the souls of the dead, per Dante, transporters of tools and messages, per the US military, and friends to man, per the popular dolphinariums.


Tuesday, April 29 2008

The Real Creel

Creels contain volumes of wonderfully imaginative “catches” that, unlike the box’s contents in the myth, unleash a swarm of positive stories and memories that continue life’s flow.


Wednesday, March 26 2008

Shad: An Undeniably American Icon

Emerson spoke of it in a eulogy for Thoreau, not long after, it fueled Doherty and his cavalry in their relentless pursuit of Booth -- no wonder McPhee calls it America's "founding fish".


Thursday, February 21 2008

Trout Fishing in America

Richard Brautigan’s minimalist prose wove hallucinations into social commentary, pastoral meditations into cultural satire, and journalistic reports about mundane existence into nihilistic, punkish sirens.


Thursday, December 20 2007

Some Thoughts on the Holiday Season’s Über Pop Icon

Imagine sitting down to a fish dinner with Ernest Hemingway, Izaak Walton, Norman Maclean, and the ultimate Fisher of Men.


Monday, November 26 2007

Hooked by Antique Lures

Who is more captive to the prized antique fishing lure, fish or fisherman? With fishing, what you catch, or what catches your fancy, is not always in the water.


Thursday, November 1 2007

Fishing, Fathers, and Sons

We’re all mythical creatures created from stories that blend fact and fiction, myth and reality, into a magical whole, and no tale does this the better than the fish story.


Thursday, September 13 2007

Beware the Kraken from the Deep

Giant eyes, rows of large teeth, and emitting a nasty stench, amorphous, ugly, enormous, and ravenously hungry, the kraken is the perfect antagonist, and makes many appearances in film and literature.


Tuesday, July 31 2007

Giant Catfish…Only a Noodle Away

Catfish are strong, eccentric characters that have for many years snubbed their bottom-feeding whiskered noses at the angling establishment. But still, they're suckers for a wiggling finger.


Thursday, June 28 2007

Predatory Nature

Sharks, the legendary "terrors of the deep", are at the complete mercy of the fiercest predator of all. Let's show some mercy.


Sunday, April 22 2007

The Kings of Crabs

The Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catchgives one reason to pause and reflect between savory bites of Alaskan king crab.


Monday, April 2 2007

Ed Zern: The Fisher King of Droll

Like any curmudgeon, Ed Zern criticized everything, including himself, the sport, and other anglers because they all periodically blocked his path to the river.


Sunday, February 25 2007

Defying Extinction and Celebrating the Strange

Some might say the elusive coelacanth, in spite of its primordial ugliness, has attained rock star status in the popular imagination.


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