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

July 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

 

 



July 4, 2009

 “Today, mainstream print and electronic media want to be neutral, presenting both or all sides as if they were refereeing a game in which the only players—the government and its opponents—can participate. They have increasingly become common carriers, transmitters of other people’s ideas and thoughts, irrespective of import, relevance and at times, even accuracy.”
        
Walter Pincus in the Columbia Journalism Review

NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE’S RECENT makeover has prompted appraisals from many of its contemporaries—among them National Review and New Republic—but the Atlantic’s critique goes further, comparing it unfavorably to the Economist, which it terms “a general interest magazine for an ever-increasing audience, the self-styled global elite”. And this, says the mag, “at a time when general-interest anything is having a hard time interesting anybody”. The Atlantic refers to the “tactical retreats” by Time and Newsweek as “brave stabs at relevance in a changing media environment. They’re also a decade late”. The article calls the Economist (circulation about 800,000) a true global digest and suggests that its value lies in a smart analysis of “everything it deems worth knowing”. Brilliant as it undeniably is, however, it takes more time and concentration to read than The Week which in my opinion is the best newsmagazine in the English language. The London edition covers the world more fully than its U.S. clone.

A WAVE OF nostalgia for Mao Zedong is sweeping China among those who remember that under him everyone was granted a job, housing, healthcare and schooling. This is okay with the current regime, writes Wu Zhong in Hong Kong’s Asia Times, as long as it doesn’t go too far and “threaten their rule”.

DRESSING LIKE HOOKERS with tiny skirts and feather boas, members of a feminist group in Kiev have been parading the streets with banners to confront what Ms magazine calls “a growing sex tourism industry”. They are led by raven-haired Anna Hutsol, 24, who declares: “People think of Ukraine as this giant brothel. They can’t tell you about any landmarks or monuments but they can tell you that there are pretty girls in Kiev who wear next to nothing when it’s summer”. Ms says that 20 million people visit the Ukraine every year and a country that was once a source of sex-trafficked women became a major sex-tourism destination itself after foreign visa laws changed and Ukrainian prostitutes returned home. Police estimate the country now has 20,000 prostitutes but feminists scoff at the estimate as too low and say that 30% of them are underage.

THAT AMUSING TRICK, seen so often on YouTube, of creating a fountain by dropping a Mento into a Diet Coke, is taken a stage further by a recipe in Wired for an Exploding Drink. It involves dropping one of the candies into each ice cube in a tray just before it freezes. Next, drop four of the cubes into a glass of Diet Coke, top with rum and await the melting of the ice which will expose the candy’s gum arabic to the cola. “It will erupt” promises Wired, “like a fifth-grade science project”.

BOB PARKS REPORTS that Simon Singh, award-winning science writer, author of Fermat’s Enigma, is being sued under UK libel laws for an article in the Guardian in which he called the claims of chiropractors "bogus." That sounds pretty tame, says Parks, for a treatment that has no plausible scientific justification. “Harming the reputation of a chiropractor would seem to be a civic responsibility”.

LARGELY UNKNOWN TO the electronic community. there’s been a boom in board games in recent years with a surprising tilt towards those originating in Germany where, apparently, games avoid direct conflict. Compared with Monopoly, according to Derk Solko which “is a very negative experience (that) has you grinding your opponents into dust”. German board games, on the other hand, tend to let players win “without having to undercut or destroy their friends”. Top game in that country, the Settlers of Catan, has become a worldwide phenomenon.  Wired says worldwide it’s sold 15 million copies, in the process “changing the American idea of what a board game can be”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Seeing that we’ll never succeed in pacifying Afghanistan, the sooner we’ll get out the more lives will be saved. Ditto for Iraq which would have settled its disputes by now if we’d left years ago….An estimated 16,000 pieces of junk are circling the Earth along with 3,000 satellites writes Glenn Harlan Reynolds in Popular Mechanics. “Space is getting crowded and the problem needs attention”…. Recounting the reason for his success, George Hamilton explains: “I was able to pass myself off as this Palm Beach millionaire with the aid of a good tan and the bespoke English clothes I picked up in thrift shops. I decided that sun-tanning was going to be for me what the funny blue suit was to Superman”….. Every year, 1.7 million bicycles are sold in the Netherlands but more than 2,000 are stolen every day….Daily Express columnist Ross Clark complains “A country in which litter droppers are given the same penalty as violent thugs has lost all moral authority”….. Why does the Fresh Air Fund keep spending half a million bucks on New York Times ads boasting what a generous charity it is?….”Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, and scorn in the one ahead” claims Mike McCleary….Of the estimated 5.7 million Americans who have lost their jobs since 2007, 80% of them are men….”If work was a good thing” said Elmore Leonard, “the rich would have it all and not let you do it”…. There are a growing number of reports of people buying universal remote controls and using them surreptitiously to turn off televisions in sports bars, airports and in whatever public places from which they can escape undetected….”Cheap labor”, observed Audre Lorde, “is never cheap for the person who performs it”…Escalating the stakes almost every week, some advertisers on L.A.’s KFI radio are now repeating their phone number five times in 30-second commercials…. Only a malicious person is always at his best--Somerset Maugham (1864-1965)

6/27/09

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