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

April 18, 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 18, 2009


WHO MORE APPROPRIATE
for these troubled times than the very avatar of selfishness Ayn Rand who is back in the news with demand for her 1957 book, Atlas Shrugged, going through the roof? Sales have spiked, notes the Economist, whenever the U.S. government has tried to prop up the economy. Last year 200,000 copies of the novel were sold despite Noah Chomsky’s description of its author as “one of the most evil figures of modern intellectual history”. Rand described her philosophy of Objectivism as “the concept of man as a heroic being with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life”, which, in practice, advocated unfettered capitalism, with altruism or any help for lesser folk being a waste of time. In 1991 the Library of Congress described Atlas Shrugged as the second-most influential book in the U.S. after the Bible.

THAT MEDIA WATCH GROUP, FAIR has been talking about how the economic pressure on newspapers has been forcing a closer alliance between “church and state” (i.e. editorial and advertising). The Des Moines Register paper has its sports and ad departments conversing “to see what they can do together” and some FOX stations have been placing (fake) McDonald ice coffees on anchor desks. Rush Limbaugh, reports Extra!’s Peter Hart, has been offering “at a much higher rate” to weave product mentions into his monologues.

GOLD IS BACK as the only commodity that, in poor economic times, investors think they can believe in. “Gold is the new black” declares Smart Money reporting that the U. S. Mint sold 816,500 American Eagle gold coins in the past six months--triple the number for the same period a year ago. Fascinating people since the first yellow metal coins appeared in 550BC, gold has seesawed in value depending on fears of inflation, a time when investors seek “something that won’t go to zero overnight”. Now demand is so high that the U.S. Mint keeps running out of gold blanks and is rationing the 22-karat, one-ounce Eagle. NYC dealer Michael Kramer has been receiving only one delivery a week and has upped his markup on sales to 8 per cent. (Gold is currently valued at about $870 per ounce). In 1968, East Germany to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth, East Germany minted 76,000 gold coins bearing the image of Karl Marx (who once said “The rich will do anything for the poor but get off their backs”).

ACCORDING TO A STORY by Bennett Gordon in the Utne Reader, the firm of Crispin, Porter + Bogusky is “the most innovative, idiotic, hated and envied ad agency today” and is responsible for Burger King’s drop-your-friend from Facebook ads, as well as that inexplicable Microsoft gem featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates. The Miami-based agency, with 700 employees spread between offices in Boulder, Santa Monica and London, also represents American Express, Coke Zero, Sprite and Domino’s. “The root of the success” explains Creative Review, “is the offence people take at the advertising. Its work may not be pretty and it may at times center on a certain style of frat bog humor, but it will always get our attention and get us talking”.

DOCTORS ARE AWAITING the launch of the iPill which, inside the body of a cancer patient, can seek out an internal tumor and dispense drugs. It then passes harmlessly through the rest of the body. In the fall, Philips begins tests on humans with this electronic capsule. It contains battery, sensor, radio transmitter and drugs.

SPECULATION ON WHY artists are so often portrayed as crackpots and sometimes killers is the subject of a note in Art News which quotes Jeanine Basinger: “Pop culture has long told us that artists are madmen”. Basinger, of Wesleyan University’s film studies department, explains that the artist’s status as a creative person helps to make him a believable evil-doer. ”Audiences like to feel that villains are not like them.” Michael Powers (Peeping Tom), John Waters (Female Trouble), André de Toth (House of Wax) and Roger Corman (A Bucket of Blood) were directors named for their depiction of creative types as bad guys. “Art leads to awfulness” comments Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones.

THE WILCOCK WEB: An international force should invade that Somali coastal hideaway. Weren’t pirates hanged at one time? After all, they don’t have a government to protect them…Now both Russia and the U.S. are planning trips to the moon. Silly extravagance: why don’t they just collaborate?…. Whenever there’s a business downturn, big companies always act like they just appeared on the scene and haven’t had time to make (or save) any profits….Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi appointed as his “Equal Opportunities minister a dancer named Mara Carfagna. You can watch her sing and strip on You Tube….…..”Women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans” suggested some anonymous lady….. Felix Dennis is closing down the London edition of his magazine Maxim but will still publish the best newsmagazine in the English language (The Week), whose English edition is far superior to the U.S. one….Continually complaining about rip-off prices for concerts, fans don’t have the smarts to understand that they’ll keep rising as long as they’re willing to pay them…. Minnesota’s Norm Coleman is a sore loser and a Republican which these days, of course, is the same thing..…Organic food was deemed “expendable” by 84% of customers polled on what they would give up to cut down their expenses. And shoppers 18-34 as well as those over 50 were agreed that their top three “untouchable” items were internet service, cell phones and cable/satellite TV…. Hef’s daughter Christie, giving up her seat on the company’s board, says she’ll never wear the Playboy insignia because it makes her too easy to recognize. “I’m remarkably successful at being invisible until I pull out a credit card an somebody asks, ‘Oh how’s your dad?’”….. Disturbed by the drop in DVD sales because of cheapo $1 rentals, maybe movie studios will be obliged to learn to make less extravagant movies …..Tiger Woods is rumored to be paid $25 million for the first golf course he is designing (near Asheville. NC) with similar fees for courses in Dubai and Mexico—“The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people”—Karl Marx (1818-83).

4/11/09

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