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Slantblog Blog


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Since 1985, in various formats, SLANT -- an independent voice based in Richmond's Fan District -- has offered its readers original commentary on politics and popular culture, including cartoons and selected sundries. Warning: Sometimes that means satirical content. All rights are reserved.
The Kidnapping Of Brittney Griner
2022-08-04 21:35
 In a way, Russia has kidnapped Brittney Griner. News reports say the Biden administration is working to arrange a trade to gain her release. No doubt, swapping violent gangsters for fa… Read More
Arthur Getz
2022-07-20 23:04
So far, Arthur Getz (1913-96) has been the most prolific New Yorker cover artist -- in all, 213 covers from 1938 to 1988. Three of them are below. The one to the left ran on July 20, 1957… Read More
Remembering Bill Blue (1946-2022)
2022-07-20 15:03
This obituary for Bill Blue was written by Ralph DePalma. It was published on July 20, 2022, by the Key West Citizen. *  Once in a while, a special person comes along and has an im… Read More
The Perpetual Threat
2022-07-14 21:33
Like a lot of people who follow politics, I think Trump will eventually be running for president, AGAIN. You know how he must hate the publicity the January 6 Committee is generating, all of… Read More
Life In A Single Frame
2022-07-08 20:17
An abstract cartoon?As a kid I had a few recurring dreams that routinely woke me up in a panic. Some were violent.  In my mid-30s, I started trying to make art based on a couple of t… Read More
In The Crowd
2022-07-05 22:43
My age group, commonly referred to as, "the baby boomers," has been a crowd-loving generation. For many of us, some of our favorite memorable moments took place when we were in a crowd at an… Read More
About Timing
2022-06-29 20:08
During six riveting episodes of the January 6th Committee's hearings, the testimony of witnesses and the displays presented have revealed significant new things. The hearings have also unde… Read More
Picasso’s Richmond Period
2022-06-26 00:37
   Picasso’s Richmond Period: a 14-week romance at the VMFA    By F.T. Rea Published Feb. 18, 2011, in the Richmond Times-Dispatch  It was built …… Read More
The Enemy. Oh, Yeah.
2022-06-25 15:55
With all the disinformation swirling in the air, these days, it has been easy to get distracted, even fooled. Oh, yeah. Sometimes, it's not all that clear what is the truth. And, linger… Read More
2022-06-24 23:48
With four-and-a-half months to go until the mid-term elections, it's a good time to remember that without Donald Trump's pivotal 2016 victory, his appointees -- Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh… Read More
2022-06-10 21:25
The first episode of what could be called, "The Truth About January 6th," will begin to unfold on Thursday (June 9, 2022) night, at 8 p.m. ET. The second will be held Monday, June 13th, at 1… Read More
Shooters Shoot: The Thrill Of Doing It
2022-05-26 22:50
  After each AR-15 slaughter, to respond to calls for banning assault rifles we hear the gun fetish crowd repeating one of their favorite bullshit lines: "Guns don't kill, people do." I… Read More
2022-05-13 22:01
Speaking of the highest court in the land, it's probably fair to say that most professional opinion writers have not had one of their columns become part of the published record of a Supreme… Read More
2022-05-11 00:18
Since 9/11 the Democratic Party's leaders have been consistently losing the propaganda war to the Republican Party's leaders. I suppose we could argue over how badly Democrats have been losi… Read More
VCU’s 2022 Rrecruiting Class
2022-05-09 17:43
From Chris Kowalczyk, VCU Assistant A.D. : "Toibu 'Tobi' Lawal (London,  England/Lee Academy (ME) has signed a National Letter of Intent with VCU, Rams Head Coach Mike Rhoades announced… Read More
Discover The Fan: April 14, 1973
2022-04-15 16:40
Forty-nine years ago an ad hoc group of 21 merchants along the commercial strip just north of most of VCU's Fan District campus cooperated for a one-time-only promotion called Discover t… Read More
Truth Is Democracy's Oxygen
2022-04-09 01:51
When politicians, pundits and other blowhards refer to "the free world," what do they mean? Well, I'm  not sure. To me, the term is warmed over Cold War vernacular; the "free" in t… Read More
Five Film Favorites: Directors
2022-04-05 23:41
Being the manager of a repertory cinema, Richmond's Biograph Theatre, for nearly a dozen years (1971-83) was quite a film education. By watching selected movies several times I came to under… Read More
Last Dance
2022-04-04 23:38
Tonight, at the Superdome in New Orleans, the tournament's Last Dance will play out. The North Carolina Tar Heels (29-9), a No. 8 seed, are facing the Kansas Jayhawks (33-6), a No. 1 seed. S… Read More
Speaking Of Talk
2022-03-28 23:55
Speaking of talk, I don't buy it that Joe Biden was making foreign policy, by way of a Kinsley gaffe. His comment that in 2022, as a national leader on the world stage, Putin is an unaccepta… Read More
2022-03-28 18:37
Note: This piece I penned about the last day in business for Chiocca's Park Avenue was published by Richmond.com on Dec. 2, 2004. It ran under the title of "Exit the Masterpiece." *On… Read More
Indelible Images & Palpable Fear
2022-03-26 20:31
Here we are again, facing the real possibility that events we can't control will overcome our desire to avoid going to war. And, when Pres. Joe Biden suggests Russia has committed "war crim… Read More
Free Throw Contest Ends Rams' Season
2022-03-20 15:59
NIT 2nd Round Final Score: Wake Forest 80, VCU 74 Location: Winston-Salem, N.C. (JLVM Coliseum) Won/Loss Records: VCU 22-10, Wake Forest 25-9   Wake Forest connected on 29 of 37 free th… Read More
NIT: VCU Tops Princeton, 90-79
2022-03-16 03:36
Final Score: VCU 90, Princeton 79Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)Up-to-date Records: VCU 22-9, Princeton 23-7   When VCU scores 90 points it's likely to win, since… Read More
NIT: Princeton At VCU
2022-03-14 03:05
From Chris Kowalczyk, VCU Assistant A.D. for Athletics Communications: VCU (21-9) accepted an invitation to the NIT Sunday night and will host Princeton first round on Tuesday, March 15 at 7… Read More
A-10: Spiders Oust Rams
2022-03-12 15:45
Final Score: (No. 6) Richmond 75, (No. 3) VCU 64Location: Washington, D.C. (Capital One Arena)Up-to-date Overall Records: VCU 21-9, Richmond 21-12 For whatever reasons, VCU co… Read More
How Many War Crimes Does It Take?
2022-03-10 01:26
Reports are now saying that Russia is making claims that Ukraine is contemplating the use of chemical and/or biological weapons. Which, of course, challenges us to wonder briefly if it's… Read More
Russian Roulette
2022-03-09 02:52
American commentators are saying Putin doesn't want to fight a war directly with the USA. Maybe that's true. Of course, we all hope so. However, I can say with a high degree of confidence th… Read More
Rams On All-Atlantic 10 Teams
2022-03-08 20:29
From: Chris Kowalczyk, VCU Assistant A.D.: Senior forward Vince Williams Jr. was named to the All-Atlantic 10 Conference First Team, while sophomore guard Ace Baldwin Jr. and freshman g… Read More
Jońca's Bear Steps On  A LEGO
2022-03-07 21:37
 Here's part of a message from Polish architect/artist Pawel Jońca:  Hi, I am an illustrator, I create press drawings and posters. I recently created a poster entitled 'Russia… Read More
2022-03-06 05:54
Final Score: St. Louis 69, VCU 65 Location: St. Louis, Mo. (Chaifetz Arena) Records: VCU 21-8, 14-4 in A-10; St. Louis 21-10, 12-6 in A-10  VCU ended the regular season with a loss to S… Read More
What's Now At Risk
2022-03-05 03:08
With the threat of nuclear war now on the table, there's a lot more at stake than Ukraine's sovereignty. More than the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian lives that are now at ri… Read More
Most Dangerous
2022-03-04 04:07
For a few years (2017-21), it seemed Trump was the world's most dangerous man. No doubt, he was quite pleased with the notion that millions of people were seeing him in that eerie light… Read More
2022-03-02 15:08
Final Score: VCU 74, St. Bonaventure 51Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)Current Records: VCU 21-7, 14-3 in A-10; St. Bonaventure 19-8, 11-5 in A-10.  VCU's Rams led… Read More
Rhoades' Veteran Army
2022-03-02 01:04
The Virginia Commonwealth University men's basketball team's head coach, Mike Rhoades, frequently refers to his team as an "Army." With that label he seems interested in selling to his team… Read More
2022-02-27 03:00
Final Score: VCU 77, UMass 62 Location: Amherst, Mass. (Mullins Center) Current Records: VCU 20-7, 13-3 in A-10; UMass 12-15, 5-10 i A-10.  Senior guard KeShawn Curry continued his hot… Read More
Exorcising Forced Reverence
2022-02-24 22:30
The Lee Monument pedestal June 5, 2020 In June of 2020, Richmond's Fan District residents found themselves living at the epicenter of a cultural earthquake. Quite unexpectedly, the demonstr… Read More
2022-02-24 04:34
Final Score: VCU 72, George Mason 66.Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)Current Records: VCU 19-7, 12-3 in A-10; Mason 13-13, 6-7 in A-10 Although the Rams threatened twic… Read More
Exorcising Lost Cause Haunts
2022-02-21 22:04
 Lee Monument pedestal June 5, 2020 (my photo)In June of 2020, Richmond's Fan District residents found themselves living at the epicenter of a cultural earthquake. The demonstrations i… Read More
The A-10's Post-Season Prospects
2022-02-21 15:49
As February winds down, we know the chatter about the NCAA men's basketball tournament will get steadily louder. Which Division I conferences are up this season? Which are down? Based on the… Read More
The Future's (Almost) So Bright...
2022-02-21 02:51
The jobs picture continues to improve and the latest COVID news is also an improvement. Let's hope those trends will continue and maybe the body politic will notice. From my desk, just as wi… Read More
2022-02-19 04:50
Final Score: VCU 77, Richmond 57Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)Current Records: VCU 18-7 (11-3 Atlantic 10), Richmond 17-10 (8-6)After playing Richmond even in the first ha… Read More
What Does Putin Want?
2022-02-18 23:28
What does Putin Want? How much land will it take to satisfy Putin’s hunger to put the old Soviet Empire back together? And, besides land, there must be more to it. Some benef… Read More
Three Fan District Restaurant Obits
2022-02-16 16:45
Note: These obituaries I penned for what were three popular Fan District restaurants were originally published by Richmond.com in the years indicated.* Texas-Wisconsin Border Caf&eacut&hell…Read More
2022-02-16 14:19
Final Score: VCU 66, Fordham 61 Location: Bronx, N.Y. (Rose Hill Gymnasium) Current Records: VCU 17-7, 10-3 in A-10; Fordham 11-13, 4-8 in A-10  VCU's seniors, KeShawn Curry and Vince W… Read More
2022-02-13 03:25
Final Score: VCU 85, George Mason 70 Location: Fairfax, Va. (EagleBank Arena) Current Records: VCU 16-7 (9-3 Atlantic 10), George Mason 12-11 (5-5)   VCU's crafty sophomore point g… Read More
Richard Lester, The Mocker
2022-02-09 17:04
Since receiving MTV’s first Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984 Richard Lester (pictured to the right), has been seen by some pop culture aficionados as the inventor of music videos… Read More
2022-02-09 04:42
Final Score: VCU 73, Rhode Island 64 Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)Current Records: VCU 15-7, 8-3 in A-10; Rhode Island 12-10, 3-7 in A-10 Senior guard KeSh… Read More
The Devils & The Details
2022-02-08 23:21
Looking back on it at the end of the first year (1972) of the Biograph Theatre's operation in Richmond, we -- management -- could easily see that our midnight show’s grosses were c… Read More
Willard's Wretched Demise
2022-02-06 15:33
It should come as no surprise to most film buffs that sometimes there was a dark side to the business of doing business after dark. While some saw the Biograph Theatre as a beacon in the n… Read More
2022-02-06 04:34
Final Score: VCU 71, Duquesne 62 Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)Current Records: VCU 14-7, 7-3 in A-10; Duquesne 6-14, 1-7 in A-10.  With four players scoring in… Read More
2022-02-03 15:01
Final Score: Dayton 82, VCU 52 Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center) Current Records: VCU 13-7, 6-3 in A-10; Dayton 15-7, 7-2 in A-10   Playing against the Dayton Flyers without Vin… Read More
McDowell: February Can Always Fool You
2022-02-02 16:20
RT-D Editor’s note: For 32 years, syndicated Times-Dispatch columnist Charles McDowell (1926-2010) deplored the dreary, endless month of February. The following column is reprinted… Read More
2022-02-01 23:48
On Feb. 4, 2014, Heather Moon wrote in the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Charley McDowell wrote a series of columns about the month of February that became quite well-known. This was the first… Read More
City In Denial
2022-02-01 17:20
For Black History Month, this piece ran as a Back Page in Style Weekly in February of 2002; 20 years ago it drew more comment, pro and con, than most of the other OpEds I did for Style. How… Read More
Williams Named A-10 Player Of The Week
2022-01-31 20:12
The photo of Vince Williams and the information below were supplied by Chris Kowalczyk, VCU Assistant A.D. Senior forward Vince Williams Jr. has been named Atlantic 10 Conference Player of t… Read More
2022-01-27 14:42
Final Score: VCU 70, Davidson 68 Location: Davidson, N.C. (Belk Arena) Current Records: VCU 12-6, 5-2 in A-10; Davidson 16-3, 6-1 in A-10.Late in the second half, the surging Wildcats h… Read More
The Hall's Rule 5 Strikes Again
2022-01-26 15:16
Major League Baseball just announced its Hall of Fame inductee for 2022. According to the rules that govern the voting of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, this year, only David… Read More
The Trump Machine
2022-01-21 00:09
From my desk it doesn't look like Donald Trump is modeling himself after a European fascist dictator, like Adolph Hitler of the 1930s. It appears more like Trump wants to run the USA from th… Read More
2022-01-19 19:30
Final Score: Davidson 63, VCU 61 Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center) Current Records: VCU 10-6, 3-2 A-10; Davidson 15-2, 5-0 in A-10) VCU had no answer for Davidson's big man, Luka Braj… Read More
2022-01-16 01:15
Final Score: St. Bonaventure 73, VCU 53 Location: St. Bonaventure, N.Y. (Reilly Center) Current Records: VCU 10-5, 3-1 in A-10. St. Bonaventure 10-3, 2-0 in A-10. In a rematch of last s… Read More
2022-01-12 04:02
Final score: VCU 84, GW 57.Location: Siegel CenterCurrent records: VCU 10-4, 3-0 in A-10. GW 4-10, 0-2 in A-10.  Four Rams scored in double figures, as VCU consistently overwhelmed Geo… Read More
Defending Satire
2022-01-11 00:23
Rebus and his creator, F.T. Rea, are veterans of provocative humor and art in Richmond.Note: This piece, which comments on the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, was published by the Richmond… Read More
2022-01-09 01:08
Final Score: VCU 85, La Salle 66 Location: Philadelphia, Pa. (TruMark Financial Center) Current Records: VCU 9-4 (2-0, A-10), La Salle 5-7, (0-2 A-10) VCU finally snapped out of it… Read More
2022-01-07 01:49
Ted WilliamsFiction by F.T. Rea June 3, 1959: A lean boy with sandy hair and blue-gray eyes, 11-year-old Roscoe Swift lived in a nine-room stucco house with his mother's parents. The 40-ye… Read More
2022-01-06 14:20
Final Score: VCU 53, Dayton 52 Location: Dayton, Ohio (UD Arena) Current Records: VCU 8-4 (1-0 Atlantic 10), Dayton 8-6 (0-1) Wednesday night VCU's sophomore point guard, Ace Baldwin Jr… Read More
VCU To Retire Graham's No. 21
2022-01-03 22:28
Note: Soon Treveon Graham’s No. 21 will be hanging from the rafters of the Siegel Center, along with five others already there. During halftime of the VCU Rams’ game vs. the St… Read More
For What It's Worth
2021-12-24 20:16
Fiction By F.T. Rea Jan. 24, 1991: Bright sunlight danced through the thin coating of freezing rain that had painted the city the evening before. In the crisp air a slender middle-age… Read More
Carlos The Crab-folder
2021-12-24 15:41
Twenty years ago Carlos Runcie Tanaka, a Peruvian sculptor, was in Richmond’s Fan District for a few days. In case you don't know it, Tanaka was/is a star in the international art wo… Read More
NH At VCU Cancelled
2021-12-19 18:47
From Chris Kowalczyk, VCU Assistant A.D.: VCU Men’s Basketball’s game with New Hampshire, scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 21 at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, has been canceled due to… Read More
2021-12-16 22:00
Note: This piece about Biograph Theatre anniversaries was first published nearly 21 years ago by Richmond.com (Feb. 16, 2000). Time flies. The 50th anniversary of the Biograph Theatre's open… Read More
The Aughts: A Decade Of Storms And Hype
2021-12-16 15:17
Doug Wilder celebrating his 2004 victory. My illustration. The following piece, attempting to sum up the passing of a decade, was published by Richmond.com on Dec. 16, 2009. *The Aughts… Read More
2021-12-16 04:08
Final Score: VCU 66, FAU 46 Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center) Current Records: VCU 7-4, FAU 6-5 The short story: VCU forced 25 turnovers on the night and shot 71 percent (15-of-2… Read More
2021-12-12 14:34
Final Score: VCU 75, Old Dominion 66 Location: Norfolk, Va. (Chartway Arena) Current Records: VCU 6-4, Old Dominion 5-6 The short story: The Rams scored 44 points in the second stanza. Seni… Read More
Tacky Lights At 25
2021-12-09 21:14
In December of 2010, I wrote "Tacky Lights at 25" for Richmond.com. Click on the link to read it there, if you like. Or you can just keep reading here. I snapped the photo of Chuck Wrenn and… Read More
2021-12-09 14:28
Final Score: VCU 66, Jacksonville State 52  Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center) Current Records: VCU 5-4, Jacksonville State 3-5 The short story: Freshman guard Jayden Nunn poure… Read More
Giving Peace A Chance
2021-12-08 17:47
Here's my piece about a true story set in Nashville in 1987. It was published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Jan. 7, 2017, under the title, “Shredding magazines, dying comets, and J… Read More
Lee Pedestal Removal
2021-12-06 21:13
The removal process for the Robert E. Lee memorial's towering pedestal on Monument Avenue has begun. Obviously, Gov. Ralph Northam prefers not to leave this particular task to the incoming g… Read More
2021-12-05 13:43
Final Score: VCU 65, Campbell 61Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)Current Records: VCU 4-4, Campbell 6-2 The short story: Four Rams scored in double figures, as VCU… Read More
Master Of The Mighty Wurlitzer
2021-12-01 00:57
The piece below was published on Jan, 27, 2000, by Richmond.com. When the news broke that Eddie Weaver had died, I was asked to do the necessary research and write a remembrance of a sort. T… Read More
2021-11-26 14:00
Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis Final Score: #6 Baylor 69, VCU 61 Location: Paradise Island, Bahamas (Atlantis Resort) Current Records: Baylor 6-0, VCU 3-3   The short story: Seniors V… Read More
Thanks For The Truth
2021-11-25 16:10
The fourth Thursday of November is the day for Americans (and those in a few other countries) to celebrate Thanksgiving.  For hundreds of years it's been a day for special feasts. And… Read More
2021-11-25 03:44
Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis Final Score: VCU 67, Syracuse 55 Location: Paradise Island, Bahamas (Atlantis Resort) Current Records: VCU 3-2, Syracuse 2-2   The short story: Graduate… Read More
Freeze Frame: A Remembrance Of Carole Kass
2021-11-24 20:30
As I watched the clever "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on TV and polished off my lunch, I thought of Carole Kass, a friend who was the longtime movie critic at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She… Read More
2021-11-21 18:55
Final Score: Chattanooga 56, VCU 54 Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center) Current Records: VCU 2-2, Chattanooga 4-0   The short story: Chattanooga’s Malachi Smith hit a sho… Read More
2021-11-18 13:53
Final Score: VCU 48, Vanderbilt 37 Location: Nashville, Tenn. (Memorial Gymnasium) Current Records: VCU 2-1, Vanderbilt 2-1   The short story: Senior forward Vince Williams scored… Read More
Our Dinner With Andre
2021-11-16 19:54
After the Biograph’s second anniversary’s "Devil" prank in 1974, it became a ritual on each February 11th for the staff and friends to observe the occasion with a reunion get-t… Read More

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