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

May 30, 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

 

 



May 30, 2009

ANTHONY VILLARAIGOSA, labeled with ‘Failure’, fills the June cover of Los Angeles Magazine which accuses LA’s mayor of neglecting his job in favor of “seizing opportunities and satisfying ever-larger appetites”. In other words, seeking to run for governor after failing to fulfill his promises to the city since he was elected three years ago.

Some of these campaign vows, as listed by writer Ed Leibowitz, are education (“our schools are still a shambles”), the environment (“which side were you on?”) and affordable housing (”the least affordable metropolitan area in America”).

The mag says it is bitter “because you promised so much…You had charm, poise and vigor and you spoke in cadences that reconciled reason and compassion”.

In 3,000 words or more, Los Angeles details what Villaraigosa has and hasn’t done, while urging him to “resist the urge to bound up the career ladder faster than even term limits compel you”.

In a happy ending Dear Mr. Mayor is invited to redeem himself by staying for a second term in “the gang capital of the world” and resolving at least that one issue “to remind us that you once stood for something more than political advancement”.

The INEVITABLY FAST-sinking  Los Angeles Times has so much extra space to waste that they’re devoting double-page centerfolds to merely the name of the paper along with a collage of meaningless pictures. Could somebody explain to these dimwits, that readers of the paper already know its name and non-readers (at whom the ad is presumably aimed) won’t see it.

The argument continues about whether or not the business press should have offered readers a more accurate picture of what was going on before everything not-so-suddenly collapsed. Writing in Columbia Journalism Review, Dean Sparkman said the only way to prove it was to read all the stories the business press had run on the subject between 2000 and 2007. And so he read more than 2,000 of them.  ”The business press” he wrote, “is the sole means by which normal citizens would know of what was going on in the lending industry and on Wall Street” and it soon started to suffer, he suggested, from the Stockholm Syndrome so that the “warnings” it issued didn’t sound to readers like warnings at all.  As corruption heated up, coverage “generally downshifted into...service and consumer pieces….the business press subsequently lost its taste for predatory lending investigations, and developed a case of collective amnesia about Wall Street’s connection to sub-prime, rediscovering it only after the fact”.

YOU MIGHT EXPECT  that a magazine called Smart Money would have some tips on how to cash in on those poor wretches entangled by the foreclosure mess, so predictably the June issue carries a story on The New Prospectors. These are the vultures descending on homes offered at bargain prices in places like Las Vegas, San Diego and Detroit. “They buy bundles of 200 to 1,000 homes…for 20 to 30 cents on the dollar, hire locals to rehab, rent out the most promising properties and abandon the rest” the mag explains. “Some see it as their last shot at making back the savings they’ve lost in the stock market”. Detroit --“America’s bleakest big city” --is said to have 67,000 homes in foreclosure with the median price at $5,800.

IT’S 29 YEARS SINCE Jerome David (”JD”) Salinger gave an interview but reporters still trek up to the author’s home in Cornish, NH, to report on how they didn’t get an interview. The latest, Tom Leonard, revealed that the famous author of Catcher in the Rye (published in 1951 but still selling 250,000 copies a year) is occasionally seen at a café in nearby Windsor eating a spinach and mushroom sandwich, and sometimes shopping at the local supermarket with his younger (by 40 years) wife Colleen, who is apparently as friendly as her husband is reclusive. Leonard, like dozens of aspiring interviewers before him, never got to speak to JD (who was 90 in January) but in the Spectator repeated rumors that the house held two unpublished novels and 15 manuscripts locked in a  safe.

ACTIVE LAND MINES are scattered all over the world, more than 110 million of them in 68 countries, and now a Danish company, Aresa, has developed a plant that changes from green to red when it detects nitrogen dioxide leaking from an underground explosive. Called the Bio-Senser, it is a genetically modified tobacco plant whose seeds can be dropped from a plane over areas that ten weeks later are scanned for signs of leaves that have changed color.

“I am the most interviewed person in China” says artist Ai Weiwei even if I cannot be published here…I live under a government that espouses an ideology I believe to be totally against humanity…The government should be elected by the people and act according to the will of the people…”

                         --from the Index on Censorship’s conversation with the “digital dissident”. He  called for the Chinese to re-establish “the basic value of contemporary thought” and to “discuss what kind of a government we should create”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: The Dems should have dumped that hypocrite Pelosi long ago….And if they’re debating new names, how about the Republican Greed Party?….Surely there must be some way of barring irrelevant amendments being added to important bills?….. “God seems to have left the receiver off the hook” wailed a frustrated Arthur Koestler ….. Because drinking caffeine “increases people’s emotional arousal” (reports the European Journal of Social Psychology) you’re more likely to change your opinion about controversial topics after imbibing…. In time for hosting the Olympics in 2012, London is bringing back the iconic double-decker red buses but with lighter aluminum frames and hybrid engines…..The U.S. Embassy there, incidentally,  owes almost $5 million in congestion charges that drivers are charged for entering the crowded downtown area, but refuses to pay on the grounds that they’re above the law…. An Indian company is developing a urine-based soft drink with herbs added, and toxins and the smell removed …..Writing poetry is like trying to catch a black cat in a dark room reflects Robert Greacam….. Under its recession-fighting plan called Kidvantage, Sears promises to replace any clothing that wears out before the child grows out of it….The number of visitors to the online videosite Hulu increased almost 500% in the past year reports TelevisionWeek…..Renewing its beguiling series Breaking Bad for a third season, cable channel AMC is starting to get the same surprised acclaim as it did for MadMen….If we’d pulled out of Iraq four years ago the country would have solved its own problems, for better or worse, by now….Will that criminal Cheney ever shut up and go away?…. ….. HarvestMark.com is one of several companies which are instituting tracking systems so that buyers of farm produce can trace the route it followed…. A huge building on Manhattan’s Lower Broadway was offered for sale at $29 million last week—a 50% reduction from its earlier price….And shouldn’t the Long Island Gotti mansion (currently on sale for $4m) have been confiscated long ago as a product of illegal gains?….Deft Definition:Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly…..Disagreeing with the legislation aimed at banning erectile dysfunction ads on television, Advertising Age asks “What’s next: do feminine hygiene ads make you uncomfortable?”…. Legislators in half a dozen states are pushing bills that would force Amazon to collect taxes on mail order items….“Any girl can look glamorous” advised Hedy Lamarr. “All you have to do is stand still and look stupid”….German scientists have developed a metallic form of plastic that can conduct electricity….”All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies”—John Arbuthnot (1667-1735)

JOHN WILCOCK IS CURRENTLY ENROUTE TO AFRICA

5/23/09

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