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

April 4, 2009
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

 

 



April 4, 2009

“Scandal requires an audience: without a punitive-minded public primed to dole out the requisite shame and censoriousness, scandal as we know it would cease to exist. In short, we are the necessary ingredient to the enterprise. We pay attention; in fact, we’re positively rapt. Scandal makes the world a more lively and unpredictable place, largely because moral superiority about other people’s screw-ups is one of the great human pleasures” —Laura Kipnis reviewing two books about the subject in Harper’s.


TACKY CARDBOARD GLASSES,
in style again because of 3D movies, are inside Fortune‘s four gimmicky pages of shoddy images. These include ads for Disney’s Monsters vs Aliens-- the first of 21 different 3D epics scheduled for this year. Fortune ‘s issue contains several pages of 3D pix, including ads, along with the familiar blue and red glasses. The Big Mac looks the same with or without glasses. Before long we’ll doubtless have masses of classy glasses, offered by firms wanting to promote their wares.

THE BIGGEST AND best-financed private satellite company is Space Exploration Technologies Corp, whose founder Elon Musk proclaims that his rivals at government-sponsored companies are “sort of bureaucratic and a bit drab. They feel more like mausoleums”. The industry needs to look more into hiring “fresh out of college. You get a lot of energy and enthusiasm with somebody who is fresh out of school” he told Via Satellite. “You definitely have to have companies that are exciting to work at. With the big aerospace companies that issue is sort of a self-inflicted wound”. Musk last week unveiled his $50,000 Tesla car, and SpaceX, as his company is known, has existing contracts with NASA and plans to launch its 188-foot Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral this summer.

THE OLD TASTE TESTS that allowed drinkers to compare Coke and Pepsi are making a comeback in the form of Dunkin Donuts vs Starbucks , Select Harvest (chicken soup) vs Progresso and Domino’s (sandwiches) vs Subway. Stores magazine predicts that eventually “taste-test fatigue” will set in, but meanwhile tips its hat to Burger King which in one ad mingled Thai villagers, Transylvanian farmers and Greenlanders.

NATIONALLY-ADVERTISED BRANDS are facing their biggest challenge in 20 years because of customers switching to private brands reports Advertising Age. The trend is likely to grow, the mag forecasts, because “bedrock categories” (laundry detergents and toilet paper) are now being supplemented by skincare and feminine protection, this as even affluent shoppers are searching for bargains. Retail consultant Burt Flickinger forecasts that this kind of choice-changing could last for several years, leading to a “downturn generation’ that learns to scrimp and save permanently”.

YOU CAN IMAGINE how much political and inexplicable art that Jerelle Kraus must have monitored in her 14 years art directing the New York Times Op-Ed page. In her book, published by Columbia University Press, the work of 134 contributors can be admired, inadvertently demonstrating how much less adventurous the Op-Ed page is today. “No cultural movement”, Jerelle reflects, “ survives long beyond its initial impetus”.

TRY TO GUESS WHO this is a description of:

“He is variously described as aloof, contained, preoccupied, crippled by shyness, gossipy, grumpy, penurious, remote, unfeeling, abstract, disembodied, puzzling, old and old-fashioned, a fifties guy, a guy’s guy and a reluctant socializer”.

The words are by David Nasaw reviewing The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch by Michael Wolff in the pages of the Columbia Journalism Review, and while pinpointing the media mogul’s perceived flaws, the essay also points up some of his virtues. One of these, writes Nasaw (author of earlier bios of Andrew Carnegie and William Randolph Hearst) is rescuing (and continuing to lose money) on newspapers that would otherwise have folded. “There is something heroic about Murdoch’s foolishness” Nasaw writes, “and something scandalously and stupidly short-sighted about the foolishness of those who profess a love of newspapers but oppose his attempt to purchase another one”.

THE LATEST REVOLUTIONARY ‘HERO’ with feet of clay is Nicaragua’s re-elected Daniel Ortega who battled the right-wing contras in 1979 as a fighter for the masses but now, in trying to eliminate term limits so he can run indefinitely, has become (writes Tina Rosenberg) an old-fashioned caudillo. His ideology is no longer Marxism but simply Danielism”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Does the U.S. Treasury know the exact tipping point between printing more and more currency, and inflation?….. If this country finds itself at war with China over Taiwan (or anything else), will that mean we can keep all the money we owe them?…..Although China is nominally a Communist country, Karl Marx would be horrified to see it today declares a writer in The American Prospect. “With policies that favor the urban elite and virtually no social welfare programs left, this ‘communist’ nation has become one of the most unequal countries in Asia”…. And maybe Mexico would be in less of a mess today if the French occupiers hadn’t abandoned it (143 years ago next month)…… Suicide is a lonely death and not many people would do it in front of a washed-up record producer….More of McDonald’s 58 million daily customers buy chicken than beef… Indian army recruits in Karnataka no longer have to capture and eat a venomous snake to prove their survival skills….. Prison authorities say they could save money by letting minor offenders out early. And they could save even more if they were given alternatives to prison….“Twitter” muses Larry Magid, “doesn't add anything (to the media mix) other than the ability for people to grab messages quickly and respond in kind”…..Sweet tooth fans are “comfort-eating their way through the recession” says The Week, commenting on the fact that Cadbury’s annual profits are up 30%…. “It’s more important that there be a red carpet for valued people when they leave, than when someone joins” declares DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg. ”We try to be very generous when someone has an opportunity outside the company because we usually want them back” … Only one out of the first 27 listees (Toyoto, #3) in Fortune’s “The World’s Most admired Companies” is not American….” Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper—Spanish proverb

3/28/09

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