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Ojai Orange | The Column of Lasting Insignificance | Books | Wait-A-Minute

October 27, 2007
John Wilcock - October 20, 2007

 

  The column of lasting insignificance
     


also posted:



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

 

 


October 27, 2007

“Operating under the illusion that the mujahideen in Afghanistan were "freedom fighters," as Ronald Reagan called them, we armed and supported them to the tune of billions of dollars. After driving the Soviets out, though, they were feeling their oats and looked around for a new target….Armed with our shoulder-mounted Stinger, among other weapons, the mujahideen turned around and bit the hand that fed them. In other words, both by arming them and alienating them, we constructed enemies out of whole cloth. Who says the US doesn't make anything anymore?”—Russ Wellen of Freezerbox magazine

SOMETIME NEXT YEAR, 63-year-old Jay Cochrane hopes to be the first person in more than a century to walk from the U.S. into Canada high above Niagara Falls. All this past summer, the high wire artist has been making the perilous stroll on a wire tethered between two 20ft towers a block from the water’s edge—300 ‘skywalks’ so far-- capping a 50-year career at his chosen profession. “I’m the same as an Olympic athlete” claims the gallon-a-day milk drinker. “The only difference (is that) I go to the Olympics very day and must come home with the gold”. Former Niagara Falls mayor Councilor Wayne Thomson supports Cochrane’s proposal (“he certainly does not have a death wish…is confident and competent”) but approval rests with the Parks Commission which is still examining the bid. If the high wire over the Falls actually comes off, his spectacular walk will be seen every night, duplicated by a 3D hologram of Cochrane traversing a green laser beam.

NEXT YEAR’S OLYMPICS may officially cost China as much as $67 billion writes CFO’s editorial director Wu Chen, but the true expense appears to be a taboo subject in Beijing. “Corruption aside, Beijing has been closed-mouthed about the cost”. The magazine, whose request for an interview with Olympic officials was turned down because of the “sensitive nature” of the subject, urged China to open its books “and demonstrate that China is both deserving of global recognition for its accomplishments and mature enough to withstand global scrutiny”.

BETTER USE OF the ocean’s resources are on the wish list of British researcher John Munford who explains that adding iron filings to the sea would promote the growth of algae which could then be harvested and processed into bio-diesel fuel. “Biofuel aquaculture”, comments the Economist, “is as about as green as you cold get”.

DESPITE CONTINUING OPPOSITION from environmentalists,, genetically modified (GM) crops will be allowed to re-enter British farming after opposition caused them to be banned a decade ago.  A European poll showed 70% opposed to GM crops, although farmers have been agitating for their return. “The ability to have drought resistant crops is important not only for the UK but other parts of the world” says a government spokesman. “And the fact that some GM crops can produce higher yields in more difficult climactic conditions is going to be important to feed the growing world population”.

BRING YOUR OWN bottle, a concept that was big at hippie parties in the Sixties, is rising once more from the grave says Hemisphere magazine which reports that at least 300 Zagat-listed restaurants are encouraging it. Some of them don’t have liquor licenses, and even some of those that do, no longer balk at customers who favor BYOB and eschew the restaurant’s own overpriced wines. Most restaurants charge a ‘corkage’ fee which Hemisphere defines as “what you pay to drink your own wine in someone else’s premises—and not drinking the wine at his price”. Corkage charges apparently average about $15—still considerably cheaper than paying the 300 or 400% markup “that infests wine lists throughout the U.S.”

UNLESS YOU’RE A FAN of third-rate sitcoms, TV Guide has become virtually useless for many television viewers. Time was when the magazine’s listings were a must (and circulation was about three times the size) but today’s listings are often inaccurate and largely incomplete. Suppose you were a viewer last Saturday, for example, what’s on ABC after 8:30pm or the CW, NBC or PBS? Well, according to my edition (Los Angeles area): Local programming.  Helpful information, eh? Wanna know what’s on after 10:30pm? Sorry, that’s when the main listings end.

IN HIS REMINISCENCES of fifty years of covering politics, Fat Man in a Middle Seat (Random House, 1999) veteran columnist Jack W. Germond recalls the time when Israel’s Menachem Begin had lunch at the White House with Ronald Reagan who was speaking from cue cards in his lap. “We had to wonder how the country made it through eight years with someone as vague and detached as Reagan used to be”. But, of course, it was RR’s aides who made it possible, just as it is with that clown in the White House today.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Here’s an appropriate palindrome: Star comedy Democrats…. Will somebody please tell Comedy Central that the idiotic way they superimpose the closed captioning lines on top of each other makes it almost impossible to follow them?……Alibila, a new French company, charges $20 to make a convincing telephone call for adulterers who seek an alibi…On the eve of its 20th anniversary in December, Wall Street--“the greed is good” movie—has a sequel in the works, its plot line centered around hedge funds….“The trouble with being poor” mused artist William de Kooning (who wasn’t), “is that it takes up all of your time”… Clean Gum, a chewing gum that won’t stick to the sidewalk has been invented by a team from Bristol University and will go on sale next year….. The most expensive show on network TV (according to TelevisionWeek ) is currently a 30-second ad in Gray’s Anatomy which costs $419,000, followed by Sunday Night Football ($358,000) and The Simpsons ($315,000) ….One of the world’s oldest (1602) and biggest (7.8 million books) Oxford’s Bodleian Library, is planning a $60 million new storage facility…..Books that are packaged exactly like cigarette packs, complete with cellophane wrapping and silver foil, are being marketed by a U.K. think tank which hopes to turn smokers into readers….“Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action where it often substitutes for both” astutely observed author John Andrew Holmes…. The latest edition of Tolley’s Yellow Tax Handbook, the authoritative guide to Britain’s tax laws, is 9,866 pages spread over four volumes…. “Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth” Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

         Coming up in three weeks: Manhattan Memories, JW’s autobiography

10/20/07

comments? send an email to John Wilcock

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