WTF is Happening?

Or, Two Years Before the Blast

By Robert M. Herzog

Think they’re going to reach across the aisle?

Have a vegetarian in your family, or a friend who is one? When you invite them for dinner (remember those days) I’ll bet you went out of your way to make food they would be willing to eat. Without comment on its lineage.

Here’s a question. Did they do the same for you? (Some do, but most…)

There’s nothing like self-righteous certainty to cut you off from your fellow human.

It seems like there have been countless articles, news stories, analyses from liberal-oriented media trying to understand…

by Robert M. Herzog, a pragmatic humanist

A practical philosophy for finding contentment in scary, changing times

1. Get over yourself

a. Origins aren’t determinate

b. Look at how long hatred lasts and assess if you are buying in to it

c. Stop judging, start accepting

d. what really affects you

e. there is a common weal, and the higher it’s quotient, the better off you are

2. Let go of whatever binds you

3. Just say yes

4. Fundamentalists are bad news, here and there. Fundamentalists think they have all the answers because they don’t ask any questions.


Early Days for the Early Stage and Startup

The Hour Glass Theory of Early Stage Company Development

by Robert M. Herzog, Managing Partner, Alchemy Value Services

Okay. You’ve had the idea. You’ve developed it. You’ve PowerPointed it, you’ve Angel Listed it, you’ve presented and presented and presented.

And somebody bit.

You’ve raised your first real funding and are raring to take off. You’ve got your product concept down, you’ve figured out your MVP, your product-market fit, checked off every box. You put it out there.

Well, the world, it appears, wasn’t breathlessly waiting for it. You get a few responses, not a lot of follow-up, and you’re starting to worry. Suddenly burn rate isn’t so abstract.


The Problem of Inaccessibility, or, Why Won’t They Just Listen??

by Robert M. Herzog

“A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest. lie la lie.”

Paul Simon, The Boxer

But still. I have to admit, I can’t fathom the Trump voter. Yes, I keep reading attempts to understand them. They are aggrieved, they hate having to pay for something that someone else gets for free, they distrust the other, they wanted somebody who ostensibly told it like it is, disrupted a status quo they felt was not acknowledging them. Someone who sticks it to the man. …

When the Shell Cracked

The Fragmentation of America

Robert M. Herzog

I. Are we living permanently in Humpty-Dumpty land, or is there a path to rejoining the pieces?

We have recently been treated to multiple, sharply contrasting visions of America. The Democrats’ perception of themselves, and their assessment of Republicans. The Republicans’ representation of themselves and their view of Democrats. The viewpoints driving Black Lives Matter, contrasted with armed militias roaming public streets. If we were writing a term paper, the next phase would be: compare and contrast. Whew!

From Donald Trump to Black Lives Matter, from grotesque income inequality…

The Tyranny of the Minority

Like Saddam Hussein’s Baaths, a minority party is imposing its narrow beliefs on the majority of our country. When the majority of popular votes for President, and the collective voters in the states, are consistently overridden, it brings into question the legitimacy of the governing, a gap that is a recipe for authoritarianism or insurrection.

The failure to cope with a minority elected president establishing a Supreme Court of party-line conservatives imposing a minority’s vision for the nation is simply the latest expression of a fundamental issue that has been a growing plague in the…

It hearkens to an earlier day, but is all about the people in power socking it to those who have the audacity to defy them

by Robert M. Herzog

“Walk, walk, walk,” people chanted as the tear gas first exploded. You wanted to run, get away from it, but that only increased inhalation and made it worse for everybody.

We ended up bunched along the same tiers where Martin Luther King had proclaimed he had a dream a long time ago, only now we were surrounded by opaque smoke that narrowed my world down to the next step in front…

Don’t be surprised when manmade catastrophes strike!

by Robert M. Herzog

It would almost be comforting to think that the coronavirus pandemic and in particular the many faceted inept response to it, was a chaotic event, springing unpredictably out of nowhere. There’s a branch of mathematics called chaos theory which, much as it sounds, says that every now and then something occurs which is unexpected, non-linear, can’t be extracted from past performance, flies off the charts. But the sad fact is that America has suffered through catastrophic failures of management in this country repeatedly.

These failures cut across party and ideological lines, propelled by a commonality of…

Another time of wearing masks, a time that hurt but united us.

by Robert M. Herzog

I wrote this piece living in Lower Manhattan through the surreal time right after the Sept. 11, 2001 WTC attacks. I thought it would be relevant as we now confront another great crisis, that challenges our assumptions about our world and will no doubt also have lasting repercussions. Much of the piece is excerpted in my book, Views from the Side Mirror: Essaying America, weaving a fabric of how our country has gotten to where it is, and what we might do to make it better for all. …

Waiting at Gettysburg

Waiting at Gettysburg

by Robert M. Herzog

A century, two score and seventeen years ago, Abraham Lincoln stood on a makeshift podium on a field where a battle had just been fought for the soul of a nation. There he addressed the fundamental question of whether that nation could survive and stay true to its founding principles as a democracy. The outcome was not a foregone conclusion then. Nor is it now.

When we grew up our textbooks and teachers often spoke of the United States as “an experiment” in a form of government of, by, and…

Robert M. Herzog

Published author exploring they dynamics of America, in Views from the Side Mirror: Essaying America, and novel, A World Between, see my writing at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store