Ojai Orange.com | home | archives | press | contact us

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

January 2, 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

 

 



January 2, 2010

John Wilcock
the column of lasting insignificance

[ What follows are selected items from this column all of which were posted in December 2006 ]

THE IMPENDING NEW SEASON of Fox TV's American Idol is already striking terror into the hearts of competing networks declared Variety in a front page story just before Christmas. The show is scheduled to run "45 highly-rated hours" from January 16 through May, dominating two or three nights each week—what ABC's Jeff Baden calls the "Idol tsunami". Variety discussed the Fox show in near apocalyptic terms claiming it has already "vaporized" 20 series competing with it "piling up the body bags" and defying "the laws of Nielsen gravity with its jaw-dropping popularity". NBC's scheduling chief Mitch Metcalfe says: "It's this hurricane that blows in. We know it's going to come—and we just have to buckle down and prepare for it as best we can". --December 30, 2006

CHINA IS RAPIDLY buying up Africa’s oil, metals and farm produce reports the Economist, but it’s questionable how much it is offering in return. Offering low wages and less than desirable working conditions in some of the companies it now owns, bringing in thousands of their own workers instead of hiring local labor, undercutting local business with cheap Chinese products and insisting countries drop recognition of Taiwan are some of the accusations the magazine makes. And “China’s lack of interest in human rights” has been a boon to Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe (who) “has turned to China for political and economic support—and got it”.

IN RESPONSE TO A ROCK MUSIC magazine’s list of “the 50 coolest people” (mostly unknown names to non-music fans have never heard of), the Independent devoted two pages to the 50 Most Uncool  People.  Among them were Elton John (“crimes against fashion too numerous to mention”);  Paris Hilton  (“Paris Travelodge, more like”); David Hasselhoff (“a mystery wet patch around his groin on a recent plane journey”); Sarah Ferguson (“vulgar, vulgar, vulgar”); and Graham Norton (“nowhere near as funny as he thinks he is”).

ALLOWING PUBLIC OFFICIALS to stay in office so long, subject to no accountability and virtually no check, is a peculiar—and deeply undemocratic—feature of American democracy charges Herman Schwartz. He’s writing about the Supreme Court, the last ten members of which to leave served an average of 26 years, and of which there have been only 110 members in our entire history. “The anomaly of our system” Schwartz writes in the Nation, “is compounded by the fact that someone can be handed such power by a partisan Senate vote of just 51-49. And yet…most Americans do not seem to care”.

AUTOMOBILE OWNERSHIP is growing so fast in China that McDonald’s (770 outlets in the country so far) plans to make half of all future ones drive-thru’s.  “The opportunities are huge”, boasts the company’s Asia boss Tim Fenton who says that within a few years China will have a middle class bigger than the current US 300 million population.  A new deal’s being signed with Sinopec, the state-owned oil company to plant the Golden Arches at gas stations all through out the country.  The pace of change has been incredible”, says Fenton.  “A few years back it was all bicycles.”

PATTI BOYD, a young Eric Clapton groupie back in the Sixties, married George Harrison after meeting him on a movie set. The marriage unraveled due to her husband’s infidelities and she went back to Clapton. Her autobiography—a story of “drama, struggle and ultimately affirmation according to Headline Publishing’s Val Hudson—will be “the most exciting, talked-about and publishing sensation of 2007”.

SMELLY HOTELS are becoming popular since the Hyatt Park Vendôme in Paris hired perfumer Blaise Mautin to turn the hotel’s atmosphere and interior into “a signature fragrance…as essential to the hotel’s identity (as) its modern aesthetic”. Combining 18 ingredients (including patchouli, extract of sweet Brazilian oranges and sandalwood), the final aroma impregnates the premises of six other Park Hyatts around the world and guests at other upscale hotels in Tokyo, Monte Carlo. Calcutta, Hong Kong and London are greeted with signature fragrances in what’s been termed “sensory branding”. Ingo Schweder, director of the Mandarin Oriental’s spas, says: “Smell is under-leveraged, and because of the overload from sight and sound, people are more receptive and more sensitive to communication via scent”.

ANTICIPATING NEXT YEAR'S blanket ban on public smoking, the British American Tobacco Company is promoting Snus, a form of snuff sold in teabag-like pouches to be chewed in the mouth. Safer than smoking tobacco but still reputed to cause oral cancer, Snus is currently banned by the EU which nevertheless has promised to review its stance.

COPYRIGHT LAW, once tagged “an engine of free expression by the Supreme Court” is more often these days “an engine of corporate censorship” declares the Columbia Journalism Review in a story headed Copyright Jungle. It says that copyright is an incentive to bring work to market, rewarding writers for their creations, but it also has the potential to lock up knowledge, insight, information and wisdom and has been used by large multinational media companies who have “twisted it toward their own short-term interests”. In this, says CJR, they have been aided by Congress which, by extending copyright protection for work created decades ago, robs people of their legacy.
                
THE BREAKDOWN OF public order in Iraq will never be remedied by American forces declare the co-authors of Out of Iraq (Simon & Schuster) a book that claims that the longer we remain in occupation the more recruits will join terrorist ranks. In their new book, extracted in Harper’s, former presidential aspirant George McGovern and policy wonk William R. Polk point to the huge U.S. bases (with “aspects of permanency”) in Iraq which symbolize and personify a hated occupation and with which “no Iraqi government will ever feel truly independent”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström forecasts that telephone calls will eventually cost nothing. “You don’t pay for each email or each web page you unload; it’s the same with phone calls. That’s where it’s going. It will be free”….After yet another gibe from the British press about the expected influx of immigrants when Romania joins the EU next month, the country’s biggest paper, Libertatea, fired back by accusing the Brits of exporting “pedophilia, drunkenness and hooliganism"… Undeterred by the weak dollar, affluent American tourists are still flooding into London prompting the flagship of the InterContinental chain to charge $9,000 a night for the best suites in its newly refurbished hotel….. Britain’s Labor government spent more than $2 billion on ‘consultants’ last year, many of whom charged almost $5,000 a day for their advice. What do government departments actually do if so many of their plans come from outside?…Britain’s richest teenager Daniel Radcliffe, 16, received $200,000 for the first Harry Potter film, $13 million for the latest….  .“American movies today are aimed at three kinds of audiences: kids, cokeheads and those seeking any kind of loud and vulgar stimulation with which to fill up a gaping inner emptiness for a couple of hours”— “Michael Potemra in National Review….Since it started airing its Deal or No Deal show, NBC has split with its partner almost $25 million income from viewers’ text messages…. Venice authorities, studying a $125 million plan to pump millions of gallons of water into the sand below the city hoping to stop it sinking any further, was warned that the sand would rise at different levels and damage scores of buildings. One expert called the idea  “science fiction”….. On sale at some stationers: antiversary cards for bitter folk  who seek to celebrate the date of their divorce…. If your car could go straight upwards, says the astronomer Fred Hoyle, space wouldn’t be remote at all--only one hours’ drive away…. London publisher Headline plans to draw attention to its books next year by making them slimmer than, and taller than, existing formats… WalMart discovered that stores that employed greeters who said ‘hello’ and offered assistance to customers reduced shoplifting by 35%… Using plastic resin instead of wood pulp for the pages, London publisher  Charles Melcher will produce a series of waterproof books for reading in the bath or at the beach…..A new powerful pogo stick, the Flybar 1200, costs $400 and can bounce its rider six feet in the air… Eyebrow transplants are the latest craze among people who want to look like their favorite celebrity says Dr. Richard Rogers who charges about $3,800 for transferring hair from the back of the head to the eyebrows….. Extending the easing of its gambling laws, Britain will allow poker--for limited stakes--in pubs from next fall …..“Carbon offsetting” is the new charge by travel companies added to airline tickets based on what they term “the CO2 emissions of the flight” and the cost of compensating for them….. The fastest growing section of the luxury fashion business is accessories and especially oversized handbags some of which Gucci ($1000), Chanel ($1700) have been fetching outlandish prices….. Friendly tax breaks and accessibility are credited with London’s appeal to billionaires according to Forbes which says that of the city’s 23 billionaires, only a dozen are British whom the best known is Sir Richard Branson ($2.8 billion). …“There is more to life than increasing its speed” suggested Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

(All previously posted: Dec.06)

impossible war
“The U.S. estimates (our) cost at $500,000 soldiers per annum. Most Afghans live off less than $10 per month, have little or no education and will never leave their home area much less their country. Yet, we are told these poverty-stricken peasants represent a threat to us so great that we send our young men 4,000 miles to kill them or be killed…100,000 soldiers at $500.000 is $5bn, double the entire budget of Afghanistan… One billion spent on (the country’s) resuscitation would win us more friends ands cost us no lives”—letter in the Independent

************************************************

 

12/26/09

===========================

comments? send an email to John Wilcock

===========================

TOP

      return to top
       

© 2006-2013 ojaiorange.com | web design by David Buehrens