Giving me a new idea is like handing a cretin a loaded gun, but I do thank you anyhow, bang, bang. -- Philip K. Dick
PATRICK J. KIGER
I'm a blogger for the AARP website, where I write about subjects ranging from politics and pop culture to the backstories
of intriguing recently-dead people. In the latter capacity, my subjects have included Billy Jack auteur Tom Laughlin, Edsel designerRoy Brown, apocalyptic prophet Howard Camping, sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, Etch-A-Sketch inventor Andre Cassagnes, George "Shadow"
Morton (producer of the Shangri-La's "Leader of the Pack"), enigmatic songwriting genius ("Along Comes Mary") Tandyn Almer,
Marilyn Monroe paramour Hal Schaefer, and Willard Conrow, who took the very cool photograph at left.
Most of his zillions of fans probably think of sci-fi visionary author Philip K. Dick as a trippy, amphetamine-fueled Berkeley hipster.
But the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, A Scanner Darkly, and Man in the High Castle actually spent the last decade
of a member of a condominium association and shopping at Trader Joe's in uber-conservative Orange County, CA. Here's my article from Orange
Coast magazine on the enigmatic PKD.
In 1949, W. Somerset Maugham wrote an essay in which pondered whether Dostoevsky or El Greco was the greater artistic genius. Hard
to imagine how he would react to a Rolling Stone cover proclaiming The Genius of Eminem. Read more meditations upon cultural grade
inflation in "The Golden Age of Mediocrity," from the Los Angeles Times Magazine.
Mix a lonely candy heiress, a charming--albeit tacky-- lothario, a somewhat creepy butler and a stable of expensive race horses, and
what do you get? The mystery of the disappearance of Helen Brach. Read my investigative article "The Horse Lady Vanishes," from
READ MY ARTICLES
On that occasion, Messier had on a shrimp-colored open-necked shirt under his charcoal gray suit. But that affront to taste was just
one sign that yet another outsider had gone Hollywood.
Journalist, author, blogger, web content producer, autodidact, fly on the wall, contrarian futurist, compulsive iconoclast, snarky
pop culture pontificator
If you need proof that Bank of America is hep, two of the bank's managers once serenaded a meeting with a cover of U2's tortured lost-love
lament "One," recast as an upbeat ode to merger integration and affinity-card branding. Read more bizarre tales of corporate
rock in my article for Workforce Management magazine.
In 1983, the California Highway Patrol pulled over a bland-looking Long Beach computer programmer named Randy Kraft,
who turned out to have a drugged and dying U.S. Marine in his passenger seat, and snapshots of scores of other victims in
his possession. But 30-plus years later, despite being caught in the act, one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history
somehow has managed to avoid execution. Here's my article on why Kraft isn't dead, from Orange Coast.
Here's the once-prolific Thunnus thynnus, a majestic creature that can reach over 10 feet in length and a ton in weight, and had been
swimming in the Atlantic for 40 million years. But some fear the species' days are numbered, due to human craving for its fatty,
succulent raw flesh. Read my piece on the fate of the bluefin tuna from the National Geographic Channel website.
Coal companies' practice of mountaintop removal threatens to turn rural Kentucky into a wasteland. That's why an environmental activist
made the sites into an unlikely sort of tourist attraction. Read my article "Unnatural Wonders" from Mother Jones magazine.