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

August 2, 2008
John Wilcock - January 5, 2008

 

  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

 

 



August 2, 2008

“Our desire to spend more than we have is directly related to the emotion-laden tsunami of marketing messages we swim in daily, a flood that only keeps increasing in intensity”—Yosef Brody in a letter to the New York Times

THERE’S STILL A CHANCE that Bush, Rumsfeld & Cheney could be indicted for war crimes if they set foot outside America after they leave office. It all depends on the interpretation of “universal jurisdiction” already in use in eight European countries, notably Spain, Belgium and Britain. Citing atrocities in Iraq, human rights groups in France and Germany have sought to bring proceedings against Donald Rumsfeld, says the Economist, and “the once-cozy blanket of immunity is starting to look rather threadbare”.

JOURNALISM IN CHINA offers some great money-making opportunities but it’s more for NOT writing about disasters than doing what Westerners consider to be the actual job. According to Forbes, “reporters race to the scene of coal mine accidents not to investigate them but to collect hush money…The trading of favors for cash is so prevalent that, like the honest cop in a corrupt police unit, an ethical journalist risks the scorn of his colleagues”. The mag says that culture of corruption is almost official and is so entrenched that few journalists dare challenge it and that news outlets sometimes establish “bureaus” in distant cities not to collect news but to collect income.

AND OF COURSE the Chinese Olympics are already prepared for the new advertising scourge known as “ambush marketing” which is basically horning in on territory that has already been staked out. For example, in Europe there was an unsuccessful attempt by Heineken to infiltrate the Euro 08 Soccer Cup by sending in hordes of fans wearing trademarked green caps, whereas Carlsberg had become the official beer sponsor. The Chinese, apparently, are prepared to eject spectators carrying in drinks that bear any logo but that of Coca Cola (which has sponsored every Olympiad since  1928).

FIERCE ARGUMENTS ABOUT neoprene are likely to cloud the air when delegates to the U.S. Masters Swimming Convention meet at Atlanta in December, neoprene being the synthetic substance from which wetsuits are made. At present wearers of wetsuits are ineligible for championship medals because their non-porous properties are said to give an advantage—“originally designed for scuba divers, surfers and wind surfers to prevent hypothermia and aid in flotation” says swimming champion Dave Holland. “A wetsuit seems like a security blanket to me and I want that feeling of being immersed and tossed around to feel the water, waves and wind on my skin”. But among the arguments for wanting to change the rules is the fact that it would be an enticement to neoprene-addicted members of USA Triathlon, which claims to be twice as large as  USM.

GAY WEDDINGS have not been very beneficial to wedding photographers, says National Review, because many have close relationships with churches and many churches aren’t happy with the concept. NR also notes that a company in New Mexico, Elane Photography owned by two evangelical Christians, has been fined $6,637 for declining to participate in a gay wedding against their beliefs. Yet another example of PCGC (political correctness gone crazy).

BLACK MASK has been a familiar term since the 1920s when it was the name of a now-fabled 20c magazine launched by H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan. It was also a three issue mini-series from DC Comics set in the 1950s; a  villain in the Batman saga; a 1996 movie; and the original name of the situationist group later known as Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers. What it is now is the name of an engrossing website which continues the tradition of pulp fiction and claims to incorporate “Dime Detective, Dime Mystery, Strange Detective Mysteries, Terror Tales, Horror Stories, Adventure and Famous Fantastic Mysteries”. One of its icons, of course, is the fabulous Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961), the former Pinkerton's detective who created Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon, and The Thin Man. There’s no shortage of fledgling writers today seeking to churn out this sort of stuff but the magazine warns would-be contributors that at a minimum they should be “familiar with the work of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Paul Cain and some of the second generation hard boiled authors like Thompson and Spillane. No cozy or locked room mysteries are wanted here. Keep the conversation terse and to the point, with concise, hard-hitting prose and you might have the makings of an author that would deserve a place on this site”.

CHILDREN THESE DAYS are often given too much attention, declares Joseph Epstein, with indulgent parents becoming little more than “indentured servants”. In fact America has become a “kindergarchy” where children have moved “from background to foreground figures in domestic life, with more and more attention centered on them, their upbringing, their small accomplishments”. All this attention gives the kids, the writer claims in the Weekly Standard, “an inflated sense of their own significance”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Forbes’ editor Steve Forbes says the NY State Supreme Court has ruled the legislature must increase judges’ salaries. “Judges decreeing pay increases for themselves. Talk about the ultimate ATM!”….. The price of liberty is eternal publicity quipped Pete Seeger…. Despite the $100,000 cost per screen to convert to digital, enabling movies to be received electronically, 4,000 have already been converted reports Via Satellite, with another 2,600 committed. Projectionists are on the way out…. Brit artist Martin Creed hired 50 runners to sprint through the gallery at 30-second intervals for his latest show at Tate Britain…. The Future of the Internet and How To Stop It is the title of a book by Jonathan Zittrain who warns that increasing e-mail spamming, no-longer-innocent hacking, “skillfully designed viruses” and identity theft is likely to drive users to more secure information appliances like the iPhone…. A new zero-calorie sweetener called Truvia (derived from the stevia bush) will be launched next month…. Imagination is more important than knowledge declared Albert Einstein…..Romania’s Parliament has drafted a law stipulating that at least half of TV news bulletins be devoted to good news suggesting that too much negativity leads to ”nervous breakdowns and chronic diseases …Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel--Samuel Johnson (1709-84)

7/26/08

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