Author Archives: Michael Pocalyko

Method Writing

A first for me on Algonquin Redux. Maybe on the web at large for anyone, although that’s a bold and difficult thing to claim and prove. I am composing this post on my typewriter. Old school. To understand why, let’s first meet my machine. It’s a 1958 Hermes Model 2000 portable that I got in March of 1983 for a hundred bucks, reconditioned. I bought it at Wescott Co. in Norfolk (“Your source for Business Machines for over 73 Years!”) to take to sea with Continue reading →

The Grabovo Conspiracy

I truly love conspiracy theories. I don’t believe a single one of them. Instead I am fascinated by the way some people passionately embrace them, in the same manner that an ethnographer might systematically discern a primitive belief system, at once fascinated and repelled by the same observation. One of my never-going-to-be-published starter novels had a plot that was all about conspiracy theories. Variously called The Counselor or Limits to Privilege in a couple of training-wheels drafts, its protagonist was an ex-White House staffer, once Continue reading →

Nobody Actually Reads Piketty

I live a life of keeping secrets. It is exceedingly rare, and sometimes provides a story with a message, when I get to tell a secret. This is one of those times. I’m a life member of the storied Council on Foreign Relations. Have been, for the past 23 years. My entering class included people a lot more important than me, like Sandra Day O’Connor. I snuck through the membership screening in the fall of 1990 at the age of 35 because Dick Neustadt and Continue reading →

1964: The Last World of the Fair

The Sixties were an era rather than a chronological decade. They began on November 22, 1963 and ended on August 9, 1974, bracketed by the events that double-stunned the nation: the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the resignation of Richard Nixon. But there was a period of easing in, a long moment of inflection that began exactly five months after Kennedy’s death. Fifty years. Half a century, well deserving reflection. Let’s journey to the New York World’s Fair. My title here takes a turn Continue reading →