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

December 20, 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

 

 



December 20, 2008

“Maybe it won’t be long before some excellent writer undertakes The Decline and Fall of the American Empire”—Geoffrey Wheatcroft reviewing The Decline and Fall of the British Empire 1781-1997 in the New York Times Book Review

AIRPORT SECURITY IS A SHAM, designed to make travelers feel better but catching only terrorists too stupid to know how to evade it. Most of us have been bullied by the kind of power-freaks who enjoy humiliating us at the airport and now Jeffrey Goldberg claims that their often-obnoxious efforts are pretty ineffectual. Before writing his tale for the Atlantic, Goldberg bypassed security checks with home-made fake documents, told scarcely-credible lies and smuggled knives, liquids and box cutters past unsuspecting guards. The almost-$7 billion TSA budget is “an egregious waste of tax dollars” and existing measures “security theater in the name of art” he writes, pointing out that only stupid terrorists would not know how to game the system.

IT’S THAT TIME again when the kindest, most satisfying gift you give for Christmas is a life-giving animal (or share of an animal) to some poor family in a Third World country. Heifer International makes it possible via its heart-warming catalog displaying all the choices  (www.Heifer.org/catalog) from pigs, sheep, goats and rabbits to tree seedlings and even a water buffalo. You can help with as little as $10 for which you get a card illustrating your choice.

David Colman: How do you define kitsch?

Jeff Koons: I don’t feel close to it. I think that kitsch is a judgment and it’s using language—using the ability to classify something and to make things kind of unworthy at a certain level.

DC: I was surprised actually to see you described in Art News as the king of kitsch.

Jeff Koons: That’s a misunderstanding. Sometimes the messenger gets confused with the message

                                            -- from the December Interview

DON’T THOSE “greener-than-thou” eco-zealots drive you nuts with their snobbish claims of superiority along with their “inexhaustible capacity for talking about eco-consciousness. Particularly one’s own”? That’s the question posed by Joe Keohane in Boston magazine, a city with “a blossoming mania for all things green”.  With its vegan, raw-food restaurants (“food as an ideology”) and a liberal worldview “generously varnished with moral vanity”, Bostonians are compelled to broadcast their pride in turning Beantown into Greentown explains the story (reprinted in the UtneReader), “because they can’t tolerate someone thinking that they’re not fully righteous”.

IN WHAT the LAWeekly describes as “the center of the illegal billboard industry in the United States”, 11,000 billboards crowd the city’s streets, at least 4,000 of them illegal and some possibly unsafe. The paper says the city has failed to properly monitor on control them, especially in regard to the new digital versions that emit such “intense light pollution” that the yearly carbon consumption from a single one of them is enough to power 13 homes.

THE FUTURE OF WIND POWER might lie hundreds of feet up in the sky according to a pull-out display in Fortune which illustrates the way that experiments have shown how a freighter can be  towed by a huge sail more than 300 feet above its deck, saving $1,000 a day in fuel costs. Tethered kites soaring up to five miles high and going up and down to transmit energy  have been tested out by researchers at Delft University in a device known as a Laddermill and a rotating helium-filled blimp has transmitted power via cables to the ground.

ACCOMPANIED BY TWO other writers, Sean Penn visited Venezuela and Cuba, spent time with Chavez and seven hours with Raul Castro and wrote about the trip in a six-page Nation story which carried surprisingly little news. He did say that Raul was “warm, open, energetic and sharp of wit” and that the Cuban leader’s first request if he met President Obama would be “Normalize trade”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: If those five mass-murderers responsible for 9/11 are so eager to plead guilty and be executed, it sure would save a lot of time and money if they were just taken out and shot….If you watched black and white television as you grew up, says University of Dundee researchers, it’s likely your dreams will still be in monochromeResponding to David Steinberg’s question, Have you ever thought of going back to TV? Jerry Steinfeld replied: No, I have not. That was nine years…I gave it everything I had and I couldn’t have had a better ride. I had it all. I did the show I wanted with the people I wanted. And I had all the fun. I could only do it worse. And there’s no point in that…Red Bull’s new cola drink (made in Switzerland and not yet nationally distributed here) contains 30% more caffeine than its better known rivals Naïve males wonder why a politician would need a ”stylist” costing $54,900; a hairdresser ($42,225) and a make-up lady ($68,400) to pose as an ordinary hockey mom?…..There’s no limit to the inhumanity of Mexican criminals who prey on their compatriots. A paper in Culiacan, El Debate, reports that a prime target for theft are villagers returning home from the U.S. with Christmas gifts for their families are routinely robbed as they cross the border….Deadline is Dec. 30 for your 25-word suggestion about what Dubya should do when he leaves the White House (retirebush@thenation.com)…  Madonna has decreed that when Guy Ritchie gets to have their two kids to stay, they must have a macrobiotic diet, no television and be read to at bedtime from the haughty star’s book, The English Roses….New York, New York—the Vegas resort—devoted two pages in Los Angeles magazine to its slanderous ad: All the fun of New York without the hot garbage smell. The Euro (€) is ten years old next month…. Ben & Jerry’s turned down a suggestion from the People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals (PETA) to reduce the suffering of cows by substituting human breast milk in its ice cream…..”China is a poor country” says Chaz Miller of the National Solid Wastes Management Association, “so our recycled paper has become their forest, in a way”…After a tip-off. DEA agents discovered a hydroponic nursery  containing 200 marihuana plants in a second floor storage room at Miami’s Mall of the Americas…. People who value their privileges above their principles soon lose both—Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969)

12/13/08

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