Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Drinking Liberally: Can This Be Good for Liberal Livers?

Tonight's the night we kick it off: Fighting for democracy one pint at a time.

 Such tavern politics have a blue-blood history in this country. The Spirit of '76, our very own Revolution, was distilled in the road houses of the Colonies with Patriots raising a glass to the call for King George's head.

So, it's a nice feeling that this barroom venue of old still rings true with many of us; though I suspect more so with left-leaning sorts. Most Right wingers I know lack the requisite sense of the ridiculous and the playful nature necessary to mix politics with light-heartedness, never mind mixing politics with alcohol. Why, I don't know. It's anger that fuels extremism, I suppose, and the Right Wing is angry. I wouldn't want to be in a bar with a bunch of drunken Republican/Libertarians.

When I came to this town, I vowed to keep my politics to myself; to stay out of the small-town intrigue, to avoid committing to one cause against another. But I don't see how this gathering of like-minded, easy-going Liberals can be harmful. Or can it? Will the citizens who take a strong, uncompromising Right-wing position seek to disrupt our bingeing? Perhaps a drive-by tomato attack? (There are a whole lot of half-rotten tomatoes around here this time of year, too.)

Being interested in semiotics--the signs of the times--I'm intrigued by this idea that, while not exactly sweeping the country, seems to be at least causing a small movement. There are over 200 chapters around the nation; imagine that.

To tell you the truth, I visited the Occupy D.C. encampment in McPherson Park in October and witnessed first hand the cold and relative squalor of that noble cause. The idea of meeting in a warm, wood-paneled Irish-style pub and knocking back a few whilst decrying greed and corruption is much more palatable to this senior citizen.

And therein, I think, I have found the raison d'etre for this Drinking Liberally thing: This is the middle-agers/senior citizens answer to the Occupy movement. We have good jobs or are comfortably retired and can afford to pay a bar tab; we have nice cars and nice homes to drive them to afterwards; and, because of age and wisdom and various medications, we can't drink very much anyway. As for me, the tavern in question is just around the corner from my house and I can walk home.