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July 14, 2007
John Wilcock - July 14, 2007

 

  The column of lasting insignificance
     


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2011
November 26 2011
November 19, 2011
November 12, 2011
November 5, 2011
October 29, 2011
October 22, 2011
October 15, 2011
October 8, 2011
October 1, 2011
September 24, 2011
September 17, 2011
September 10, 2011
September 4, 2011
August 27, 2011
August 20, 2011
August 13, 2011
August 6, 2011
July 30, 2011
July 23, 2011
July 16, 2011
July 9, 2011
July 2, 2011
June 25, 2011
June 18, 2011
June 11, 2011
June 4, 2011
May 28, 2011
May 21, 2011
May 14, 2011
May 7, 2011
April 30, 2011
April 23, 2011
April 16, 2011
April 9, 2011
April 2, 2011
March 26, 2011
March 19, 2011
March 12, 2011
March 5, 2011
February 26, 2011
February 19, 2011
February 12, 2011
February 5, 2011
February 5, 2011
January 29, 2011
January 22, 2011
January 15, 2011
January 6, 2011

2010
December 25, 2010
December 18, 2010
December 11, 2010
December 4, 2010
November 27, 2010
November 20, 2010
November 13, 2010
November 6, 2010
October 30, 2010
October 23, 2010
October 16, 2010
October 9, 2010
October 2, 2010
September 25, 2010
September 18, 2010
September 11, 2010
September 4, 2010
August 28, 2010
August 21, 2010
August 14, 2010
August 7, 2010
July 31, 2010
July 24, 2010
July 17, 2010
July 10, 2010
July 3, 2010
June 26, 2010
June 19, 2010
June 12, 2010
June 5, 2010
May 29, 2010
May 22, 2010
May 15, 2010
May 8, 2010
May 1, 2010
April 24, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 10, 2010
April 3, 2010
March 27, 2010
March 20, 2010
March 13, 2010
March 6, 2010
February 27, 2010
February 20, 2010
February 13, 2010
February 6, 2010
January 30, 2010
January 23, 2010
January 16, 2010
January 9, 2010
January 2, 2010

2009
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 12, 2009
December 5, 2009
November 28, 2009
November 21, 2009
November 14, 2009
November 7, 2009
October 31, 2009
October 24, 2009
October 17, 2009
October 10, 2009
October 3, 2009
September 26, 2009
September 19, 2009
September 12, 2009
September 5, 2009
August 29, 2009
August 22, 2009
August 15, 2009
August 8, 2009
August 1, 2009
July 25, 2009
July 18, 2009
July 11, 2009
July 4, 2009
June 27, 2009
June 20, 2009
June 13, 2009
June 6, 2009
May 30, 2009
May 23, 2009
May 16, 2009
May 9, 2009
May 2, 2009
April 25, 2009
April 18, 2009
April 11, 2009
April 4, 2009
March 28, 2009
March 21, 2009
March 14, 2009
March 7, 2009
February 28, 2009
February 21, 2009
February 14, 2009
February 7, 2009
January 31, 2009
January 24, 2009
January 17, 2009
January 3, 2009

2008
December 27, 2008
December 20, 2008
December 13, 2008
December 6, 2008
November 29, 2008
November 22, 2008
November 15, 2008
November 8, 2008
November 5, 2008
November 1, 2008
October 25, 2008
October 18, 2008
October 11, 2008
October 4, 2008
September 27, 2008
September 20, 2008
September 13, 2008
September 6, 2008
August 30, 2008
August 23, 2008
August 16, 2008
August 9, 2008
August 2, 2008
July 26, 2008
July 19, 2008
July 12, 2008
July 5, 2008
June 28, 2008
June 21, 2008
June 14, 2008
June 7, 2008
May 31, 2008
May 24, 2008
May 17, 2008
May 10, 2008
May 3, 2008
April 26, 2008
April 19, 2008
April 12, 2008
April 5, 2008
March 29, 2008
March 22, 2008
March 15, 2008
March 8, 2008
March 1, 2008
February 23, 2008
February 16, 2008
February 9, 2008
February 2, 2008
January 26, 2008
January 19, 2008
January 12, 2008
January 5, 2008

2007
December 29, 2007
December 22, 2007
December 15, 2007
December 8, 2007
December 1, 2007
November 24, 2007
November 17, 2007
November 10, 2007
November 3, 2007
October 27, 2007
October 20, 2007
October 13, 2007
October 6, 2007
September 29, 2007
September 22, 2007
September 15, 2007
September 8, 2007
September 1, 2007
August 25, 2007
August 18, 2007
August 11, 2007
August 4, 2007
July 28, 2007
July 21, 2007
July 14, 2007
July 7, 2007
June 30, 2007
June 23, 2007
June 16, 2007
June 9, 2007
June 2, 2007
May 19, 2007
May 12, 2007
May 5, 2007
April 28, 2007
April 21, 2007
April 14, 2007
April 7, 2007
March 31, 2007
March 24, 2007
March 17, 2007
March 10, 2007
March 3, 2007
February 24, 2007
February 17, 2007
February 10, 2007
February 3, 2007
January 20, 2007
January 13, 2007
January 6, 2007

2006
December 30, 2006
December 23, 2006
December 16, 2006
December 9, 2006
December 2, 2006
November 25, 2006
November 18, 2006
November 11, 2006
November 4, 2006
October 28, 2006
October 21, 2006
October 14, 2006
October 7, 2006
September 30, 2006
September 23, 2006
September 16, 2006
September 9, 2006
September 2, 2006
August 26, 2006
August 19, 2006
August 12, 2006
August 5, 2006
July 29, 2006
July 22, 2006
July 15, 2006

 

 

July 14 , 2007

POLLS IN THE U.S. show that a Muslim or a homosexual has a better chance of being elected president than an atheist, according to the Atlantic, which suggests that “a symbolic statement” against the pious right is what was caused Americans to distance themselves from organized religion. “The more extreme secular voices regard religion as a virus or poison” writes associate editor Ross Douthat, while ”more nuanced polemicists” regard faith-based politics as “a stalking horse for theocracy”. Comparing Europe’s relative disdain for religion against America’s professed beliefs, forecasts that nevertheless both continents are likely to experience increasing tension over religious issues.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, THE NEW ATHEISTS is how the Nation entitled its essay on the five anti-religious books that have become best sellers in recent years. “In attacking religion (they) have been …breaking the spell in which every other area of life can be critically analyzed while admittedly irrational religious faith is made central to American life but exempted from serious discussion”. Writer Ronald Aronson estimates that “the possible sum of unbelievers” is nearly one in four Americans, and suggests that they have become beleaguered with tens of millions of godless Americans “voiceless in the public arena”. A report last year by the Pew Research Center declared that 49% of those interviewed complained that the religious right had gone too far “on trying to impose their religious values on the country”.

“Geneticists and physicians would like us all to have our DNA sequenced (but) widespread testing could reveal many uncomfortable details about what went on in our parents’ and grandparents’ bedrooms…as many as one of every seven men who proudly carry their newborn children out of a hospital could be cuckold”—Steve Olson in the Atlantic

THE HEART ATTACK GRILL  whose burgers are named Single, Double and Triple Bypass, has done so well in Tempe, AZ, that owner Jon Basso is planning to open a branch in Phoenix this month, and a third in New Orleans before the end of the year. No low-calorie salads are on the menu, nor are any of the drinks low-calorie or decaffeinated. “Yes, we’re against political correctness’ says Basso. “I give people what they want: good food and drink served by beautiful girls”. The “girls” are his waitresses, originally called “nurses” (ready to deal with any heart attacks) until the state attorney general warned that nurses can be used legally only in reference to duly licensed practitioners.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER is an essay in Discover questioning the fad for The Secret which has enticed millions of suckers into paying to be informed that the inexorable route to success is to convince yourself that you’re successful. The method is best applied in the same “foggy arenas“ from which it emerged, the mag concludes. “It’s great for self-help gurus, spiritual evangelists salespeople and multi-level marketers because it’s based on the same mythology on which they’re always relied”.

WHEN THE TRADE magazine Stores compiled research about shoppers’ attitudes they quickly discovered that the five top complaints were (i) employees don’t know/care (21%); (ii) understaffed (21%); (iii) bad customer service (20%);  (iv) rude employees; and (v) staff no help (19%). Studying 7,000 responses from BIGresearch, the magazine commented: “The biggest complaint is that employees don’t know about merchandise and don’t seem to care that the shopper can’t find what they’re looking for”. But, discouraging as that is, things could get worse (when) “Gen Y takes its place on the selling floor. Say what you will about the waves of youth that preceded it” Shopper adds, “but this over-indulged, over-praised generation has real issues with the concept of serving others”.

MOST OF THE PROBLEMS with the once-liberal The New Republic are the fault of its former owner, Marty Peretz, who recently sold the magazine after 33 years after doing what The American Prospect described as ”lasting damage to the cause of American liberalism”. TNR has suffered many tribulations in recent years: plagiarism by Ruth Shalit; faked stories by Stephen Glass; racist fear-mongering by Charles Murray and literary abuse by Camille Paglia—all under the discredited former editorship of Andrew Sullivan who was succeeded by Michael Kelly with his “obsessive hatred” of Bill Clinton. TNR ‘s circulation dropped by half and Peretz, ”pretending to speak as a liberal…enlisted (the magazine) in the service of a ruinous neo-conservative doctrine” charges its leftwing rival.

THE WILCOCK WEB: "Show business salaries are so inflated" says Woody Allen, "that next to normal salaries, they're like a pasha's or something. It's unbelievable. But I'm not Hollywood wealthy. I never took advantage of the sellout opportunities I had. I've never agreed to do Annie Hall 2"...Digital Anarchy's Toonit transfers real-life footage into instant animation... In late July, the Spanish town of Neves celebrates the Fiesta of the Near-Death Experience when people who claim to have died and then revived are paraded around a local church"...Mat Groening says: "This is my advice to cartoonists: if you want to invent a memorable cartoon, draw characters that can be identified in silhouette"...Would you have guessed that after corn, wheat and rice the fourth most-consumed item (by humans) in the world is bananas?...We're fighting them over there to help them rehearse for fighting over here ... Black Swan is a slang term used to describe an unlikely circumstance that popped up after you had complacently (and mistakenly) decided you had accounted for all possibilities. It's also the title of a new Random House book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb which is subtitled The Impact of the Highly Improbable... Quotes from Independence Day: columnist Thomas L. Friedman wrote "Muslims have got to understand that a death cult has taken root in the bosom of their religion, feeding off it like a cancerous tumor" and Sasha commented: "What a country! They traded in King George the 3rd for King George the Turd"....MIT's recent experiments with what's called WiTricity have demonstrated that electric current can be transmitted without wires and may eventually make wires obsolete... Broken and unused iPods are bought by www.buymybrokenipod.com , a company that repairs them and resells them in bulk to small businesses...China's Kumho Tire company has produced a lavender-scented tire and hopes to follow up with tires smelling of jasmine and oranges...It ain't what you don't know that gets you; it's the things you know that ain't so – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

07/07/07

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