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

October 24, 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

 

 



October 24, 2009

John Wilcock
the column of lasting insignificance

In an effort to pay bills of hundreds of thousands of dollars for leaking roofs and collapsing outbuildings, enormous English country homes are being rented out for orgies and porn shoots.  Maintenance and repair bills can cost $15,000 or more each month, says the Sunday Times Magazine but directors of porn movies are willing to pay up to $7,000 a day for the elegant backgrounds behind their cavorting couples.  One American director explained, “We’ve got a Victorian piece coming up soon and you can’t shoot a girl in a corset walking around a trailer park.  You really need a grand scale.  These houses are filled with texture, sophistication and the smell of leather.” Country homes are also gaining in popularity for weddings and more than one venue has managed to pull off double duty with a wedding upstairs simultaneously with an S&M sex club orgy taking place in the basement dungeons.

The legend about Colman’s mustard (invented in 1814) is that Mr. Colman made a fortune from the amount people left on their plates.  But the famed English condiment has dropped 5.2 percent of its sales recently as customers shift to smoother or blander French and American versions. Salesman Mark Bosworth told The Grocer Magazine that young people have lost their taste for Colman’s and it needs to be given a new image.

The supermarket chain Waitrose’s purchase of food products company Duchy Originals (owned by Prince Charles) “raises uncomfortable questions of potential conflicts” charges Jon Temple, author of the deliciously named Living Off the State:  a Critical Guide to Royal Finance”.  Duchy originals, says Temple “has been able to exploit what is most definitely a public asset...to promote the Prince, his charities and his pet causes, seemingly without Parliamentary authorization or any fee payable to the Exchequer”.

CLAIMING TO BE the first city shopping center to launch itself online as a virtual world, NearLondon.com will appear with buses running up and down Oxford, Regent and Bond streets and billboards streaming film trailers from Leicester Square cinemas. Project director Alex Wrottesley promises that a link with Facebook will allow friends to meet and go shopping together. Boldly promising that the realism will even include actual weather in real time, the organizers may have forgotten how often it rains in November.                    

“Even from the trite snippets of information gathered here, it is as clear as crystal that he is a world-class control freak.   The fear of saying something deep and wrong that eminates from the book can be smelled from the other side of the bookshop.”---Waldenmar Januszczak reviewing the autobiography of art  dealer Charles Saatchi.

Funerals in the sky are becoming popular with a dozen different companies ready to zoom your remains into space.  Bristol’s Heaven on Earth charges about $7000 to send you off returning “as a shooting star”.  Orbiting the moon costs $8000 and for $14,000 Heavens Above Fireworks offers a ten-minute aerial show.

ANNOYED BY UPGRADES in technology almost every day a group of “refusemiks” have begun to question the logic of staying “state of the art”.  A new web site, lastyearsmodel.org encourages people to think before they upgrade and get the most out of their existing equipment.  In Indonesia, Abram Tam asks “why buy something new when the old one still does it’s job?”  He maintains you don’t have to be technically minded to fix older gadgets, "the parts are everywhere and older gadgets seemed to be made from better materials.”  England’s Arid Dash talks about the incessant focus on what’s new on the market, “it makes even those of us who have great fancy expensive devices feel we are slipping behind.”  In a story in the Independent, headed “the high Refuseniks”, Nick Harding comments:  “Modern day digital appliances are mayflies, beautiful but fleeting, useful for a few months before they outline their purpose and wither away.”

Commenting on the environmental book tour by Margaret Atwood, in which the Canadian novelist eschewed meat, wore black clothes (to minimize washing) and demanded programs printed on recyclable paper, London columnist Terence Blader wrote “there is something fairly absurd about her boastful eco-exhibitionism”.

THERE’S NOT MUCH PLEASURE in directing, gripes Woody Allen who’s currently making his fourth film in London. “I get up very early and come to the set and stand around all day while the photographer spends three hours lighting the set, then I get 30 seconds to do the scene and then we move on, then gets another three hours and I get another 30 seconds. It’s very tedious. The pleasure is when I get home and look at all the footage and sit down and put it together and put in the music and make it look like something”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Pubs are closing in England every week but 71 new breweries were established last year. All kinds of special ales are being brewed. “Britain has more small craft breweries per head of population than all other major industrialized countries” says Roger Protz, editor of the Good Beer Guide....Dark blue Greyhound buses now run from London to Portsmouth and Southampton making eight trips each day (about two hours) and with introductory fares of £1 each way… With growing opposition to the mandatory TV license fee, 280,000 viewers have paid fines of up to £1,000 for evasion … Virginia Woolf and the rest of that Victorian Bloomsbury crowd wrote so many letters, that they’re still finding batches of them and 700 letters recently fetched £50,000 at a Sussex auction. …..New traffic plans have shown that fewer signs, road marking and traffic lights have reduced accidents so next should come a 20 mph speed limit in residential and urban areas, advises the Independent, so that cyclists and other road users “can mix happily”….. Swear words listed as fxxx, shxx and pxxx were uttered on British television 155 times in a recent work reported the Sunday Telegraph, with 103 of them by Gordon Ramsay on his Kitchen Nightmares USA show…..Senior army officers are among the hundreds who have criticized politicians for their abuse of the expenses system that have seen some MI’s claiming for porn movies or repairs to their duck ponds….. Two London women have invented an umbrella whose Jackson Pollock-inspired designs dramatically change color when wet….. A portable solar charger, Solio (solio.com) which can be fanned open to the sun for an hour, will then recharge your cell phone for 15 minutes of talk….. London’s Islington Council has adapted a Honda motorcycle into a vacuum cleaner to remove dog doo and spray the sidewalk with “a flower-scented sterilizing wash”…..The $1.1 million pay paycheck of BBC Director General Mark Thompson should be reduced to the same as Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s $280,000 says Tony MP Jeremy Hunt. “We should look at the Prime Minister’s salary as a benchmark”….. Heart attacks decreased by 10% in the first year after Britain banned public smoking July 2007 says a Department of Health spokesman….. Nearly half of the shops in the now-defunct Woolworth’s chain have turned into £1 stores (£1 is about $1.50)…..Hurt by declining circulation like almost everywhere else, several provincial dailies have converted to weeklies and more are expected to follow….. Researchers in Poole, Dorset, have been combing householder’s garbage bins, analyzing their contents to find if recyclable items are being dumped incorrectly…..…..The Digital Video Memo ($42) is a refrigerator magnet with a built-in video camera and audio with a flashing light to alert your family to the 30-second message you have left for them….Claiming to have 100,000 on the mailing list of her Big Beautiful Women organization, Linda Koch is auditioning fatties for a national contest scheduled for next spring as well as a television series. It will be led by a cabaret group call Moulin Huge.

10/17/09

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