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

March 27, 2010
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

 

 


March 27, 2010

John Wilcock
the column of lasting insignificance

THERE’S AMUSING IRONY in the fact that after ruthlessly and fruitlessly battling against marihuana for half a century, the Feds may now legalize it because they need the money. What could be more American than a victory for commerce?

mmj
Rolling Stone reports a Harvard economist’s estimate that legalizing pot could save the government $13bn annually in prohibition costs and reap a further $7bn by taxing the benevolent herb. Meanwhile, High Times is playing its part. Along with listing contacts in  300 cities, from Aberdeen to Zaragoza, who are making plans for the May 1 Worldwide Marihuana March, the mag’s current issue announced the birth of a new spin-off magazine that couldn’t be more topical.

SEX AND RELIGION seem to be irretrievably entangled in virtually every country and hypocrisy always seems to be involved. Mother Jones points out that in Iran, sex outside of marriage is punishable by 100 lashes, or even stoning to death, but of course there’s an exception. Of course. In Iran’s case it involves the little matter of sigheh, the Parsi word for “temporary marriage” in which an unmarried couple are permitted to fuck their brains out—endorsed by the Shiite clerics as “a sexual escape valve”. Mehr is the specific amount paid to the woman for this little adventure.  The custom is not unfamiliar here, of course. We call it prostitution. “Men do it or fun. Women do it for money; they don’t enjoy it at all” says Rezvan Moghadam, director of an Iranian women’s health clinic

Unpublished letter to the Los Angeles Times:
The lengthy article about Tila Tequila (Calendar, March 14) epitomizes everything that is so crassly wrong about today’s celebrity journalism. Thousands of words devoted to a talentless “tabloid mainstay” who’s only apparent skills are to being able to attract media coverage via her shameless behavior. It would be naïve to suppose that such free publicity doesn’t enhance her ego and bank account.

The fact that voracious paparazzi have already made her a lame “star” is apparently all it takes to justify an allegedly serious paper like the Los Angeles Times enhancing her brand. There is no hint of disdain or disapproval of this way of life in a story written apparently by some awe-stricken, pre-pubescent “reporter” who was ironically defined by Ms. Tequila herself.

“I thought you were a real journalist” she reportedly said, “not a trash mag gossip blogger”.

DIGITAL FILM-MAKING has barely begun, considering what might be in store. At stake, warns Forbes, is who owns the rights to a movie star’s image and what does it mean to be an actor in the future. The theme of its essay, ‘A Star is Reborn’ is that technological magic now  allows the injection of long-gone actors into new films. “Directors will cast anyone they want, living or dead, with a talented unknown as the basis for a digital puppet on which will be plastered the computer-manipulated face of somebody famous”, says the mag.

LIVE EVENTS SUCH AS opera and college bowl games will be seen in movie theaters more often predicts Smart Money. Such events can fill as many as 75% of a theater’s seats on days when movies attract less than half as many. Updated 3D technology will also be installed in more and more theaters and serving drinks and meals will become more commonplace. Pre-performance advertising, the bane of many moviegoers experience, will only increase because surveys have shown surprisingly that most patrons accept them. And the rising price that customers are paying  for snacks and sodas—it’s now $3.09-- accounts for  25% of a theater’s revenue.
 
EXOTIC AFRICAN FRUITS barely known outside rural areas of the country are to be developed for wider use and increasingly exported. The continent is home to 3,000 wild fruit trees many of which are ripe for domestication reports New Scientist which calls it “a peasant revolution taking place in the fields of Africa’s smallholders”. Farmers are being trained in horticultural techniques such as grafting such species as gingerbread plums (“the crunch of an apple, flavor of a strawberry”), chocolate berries  and ebony fruit (like succulent sweet persimmons). Experts say that the allanblackia tree has seeds which can be processed into margarine and has the potential to earn $2bn a year. In addition to producing an income, the new crops are encouraging young people to stay in their villages rather than leaving to seek work in far-off cities.

IT’S NO LONGER SURPRISING to read about young boys being mistreated, bullied and sometimes beaten after being committed to a training camp. Now the story moves to to an internet addiction camp in China, a “rigid hyper-competitive society” says Wired  which sees the internet explosion as “an existential threat”. China’s 338 million online users have made internet addiction a national obsession. The boot camp at Qihang in Guangxi province states that 80% of Chinese youth suffers from it, and “salvation training” is the way to cure it. The result has been hundreds of the camps are “unregulated, un-credentialed and relying on a grab bag of treatments“, including electroshock therapy administered by untrained personnel. This has now been banned by the authorities who are looking into the whole phenomenon.

THE WILCOCK WEB: After you’ve read Michael Lewis’ book, you’ll wonder: Why aren’t the Goldman Sachs crooks in jail for fraud?…. And when you read about these oversized greedy companies suing each other don’t you hope they’ll both go bankrupt?…. Speaking of which, what kind of a crazy financial system allows somebody to buy (and then bankrupt) a company with its own money? (See Manchester United & Malcolm Glazer, the Los Angeles Times & Sam Zell etc. )…..New York dietician Ken Glassman suggests a plate of artichokes every day is a good way to lose weight. “It’s low-calorie and takes a while to eat”…. Senator Mitch McConnell’s path-to-nowhere tactics are excellent proof of why Kentucky is regarded as “flyover country:…..Thousands of priests all over the world have been diddling young altar boys for decades, so why have the German cases only just  come to light?….Celebrating its 75th anniversary with a circular board, Monopoly has added electronic sound effects…..

Monopoly

A supermarket chain in England has introduced super-soft toilet paper crafted partly of cashmere…. Ironic indeed, that the Salvation Army used to be castigated for harboring gays and now it’s criticized for keeping them out…...It seems inevitable that food or funds donated to poor countries will be ripped off by corrupt officials. Does anybody ever follow up on these billion-dollar give-aways?…..Abandoned watermelons, formerly left to rot in the field, are now being transformed into biofuel… One-time beauty queen Anita Bryant whose major fame stemmed from trashing gays while she was pitching Florida orange juice in the Sixties, will be the subject of an HBO biopic…. This year, the 20th  anniversary of Carlos Slim Helú’s rip-off of Mexican telephone customers, he became the world’s richest man…. South of the Border, Down ex-a-foe Way….They’re still touting the Turin Shroud claiming that it once wrapped Jesus. Two million visitors are expected to attend when it goes on show next month, but in 1988 carbon dating said it originated just a few hundred years ago… … Simon Cowell, boss of the stupendously over-promoted American Idol, a talent contest for amateur singers, is quitting to introduce the X Factor, a  talent contest for amateur singers….For one more month, the Smithsonian Museum is exhibiting one of those tiny Tata Nao cars that sells in India for under $2,500… Do Muslim women bump the ground with their noses in prayer five times day, too? Never seen a picture….A Michigan firm has invented a passenger seat belt that inflates to five times its size when the car us in a collision….If he can raise $500 million in the next seven years, physicist John Hunter claims his 3,600-ft gun will be able to shoot objects to an orbital outpost in space for $250 per pound compared with twenty times that cost by rocket…. The support that Israel has lost by its determination to keep building where it shouldn’t, is incalculable ….. “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful”—Seneca the Younger (c.4BC to AD 65)

3/20/10

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