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December 12, 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

 

 



December 12, 2009

John Wilcock
the column of lasting insignificance

 “An aggressive lack of consideration for others is spreading across the country (and) although people are quick to blame rampant rudeness on advances in technology, the truth is, rudeness is the human condition…We modern humans are a bunch of self-involved jerks, the same as generations of humans before us. We’re guided by quaint Stone Age brains suited to manage social interactions within a small tribe—yet we’re living in endlessly sprawling areas that would more accurately be called ‘stranger-hoods’ than neighborhoods.”
flame-haired syndicated advice columnist Amy Alkon in her book I See Rude People.

DISENCHANTMENT WITH DEMOCRACY has been spreading. Is there any alternative to the current electoral system? Well, at least five current authors think so. Two books—A People’s Parliament by Keith Sutherland and The Athenian Option by Anthony Barnet and Peter Carty—both offer some variation on the idea of a parliament composed of people selected at random (or by lottery) to make the necessary decisions. And Independent explores the role of independents not obligated to a particular party. One of the authors of this one, Martin Bell (with Richard Taylor) actually was an independent British MP for a time. In the middle of the last century, the Houses of Parliament included scores of them. Information on all these books at imprint-academic.com/pp

LITTLE TOUCHES OF FAKERY seem to have crept into the home-building business since it began to be impacted by the recession. Smart Money says the industry calls it “value engineering” and, what it typically involves, is paint and polyurethane substituting for costlier wood; “double” garages narrowed to 17 feet wide and fixed windows that don’t move.  A massive “wooden beam” above the garage door might prove to be merely painted foam, for example. Builders are asking architects to revise home designs in ways that cut costs without diminishing what pros call “perceived value”.

HOW RIDICULOUS THAT the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is still planning to raise $multimillions to hang Jeff Koon’s railroad car from a 161-foot crane outside the museum. This is art? What kind of idiots run museums these days?

PAYING HUGE FINES is just written off as the cost of doing business for the contractors who do business with the federal government. Pfizer, for example, paid $2.3 billion a few months ago to settle several cases including Medicaid fraud. But the pharmaceutical giant gained  $77 billion of federal contracts in 2007,  made $40 billion profits last year and is still doing business with the government. Not bad for a “corporate felon” remarks the Nation  which says that the top 100 government contractors made nearly $300billion in 2007, the same companies responsible for 676 cases of ‘misconduct’ since 1995, for which they were fined $26billion for fraud.

Cheap Chinese goods are flooding Middle Eastern countries. Textile factories in Aleppo and Hebron are among those that have closed due to the cheaper imports from China whose exports to the region have quintupled in the past decade. Meanwhile, in Shanghai businessmen are spending $15m to build a replica of Michael Jackson’s Neverland. “His music is a legacy to the world and should not be forgotten” investor Qiu Xuefan told China Daily.

Pollack

The Smithsonian printed a picture of Jackson Pollock’s huge 1943 canvas Mural along with the hypothesis by art historian Marianne Berardi that the painter’s name was imbedded within.

The magazine ran this interpretation below along with the suggestion that Pollock often began with a diagram, or basis structure, around which he painted a picture. But other art critics—who don’t see the letters—are skeptical.

pollack sig

THE WILCOCK WEB: If Dubai finds itself in financial trouble why doesn’t it just print more money like the U.S. does?….Anybody who refuses to be listed in Britain’s new, all-embracing ID Database will be refused a passport, according to an organization called No2ID: Stop the database state….. The movie Gone With the Wind premiered in Atlanta 70 years ago on December 15. Black actress Hattie McDaniel was banned from attending….Banning old-fashioned cathode tube televisions and seeking more efficient designs of fridges, freezers and washing machines are next year’s projects by  the European community’s “energy police”. The same folk who declared the incandescent light bulb obsolete….Secret Service agents slip up on their security duties and are punished with a paid vacation? Nice job....Have you ever wondered why companies, cities, states don’t make a priority of paying down their debt so that so much of their budget wasn’t seized for interest every year?… ….Santa Barbara Independent columnist Nick Welch suggests that for the same $1m a year we spend on each U.S. soldier, we could hire 600 Talibanistas  (at double their current wages) to put down their guns and go home …..Earning most votes from readers to the question by U.S. News & World Report about which entertainer they’d like to see run for office was Tom Selleck….. The slump in property values has halved the price of islands for which a dozen are for sale off Australia’s Queensland coast, costing about the same  as  a two bedroom house elsewhere….. Meanwhile, researchers in the region have developed an apple that can stay fresh in the refrigerator for months…Thriller writer James Ellroy, 61, claiming that “the American language has become horribly mangled”, adds: “I find the canonization of rock ‘n roll especially puerile: institutionalized rebelliousness of the worst sort”…..But he also said: “I want to find the guy who invented sex and ask him what he’s working on now”... Xerox has invented a washing machine with two cylinders, which uses minimal soap and water. Nylon beads interface with the laundry for the spin cycle ….“Most of the cost of drug development is the price of failure” – says Merck’s  strategy chief Mervyn Turner explaining that developing the new high-tech wonder drugs, fashioned from living cells, might take eight years and cost more than a billion dollars….. “Growing old is compulsory” said Enid Blyton, “but growing up is optional”… …As it costs more to make a penny than it’s worth, why make any more? We could probably get by with the 300 million already in circulation…. "Political correctness is to thought what sentimentality is to compassion"—source unknown

12/5/09

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