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

April 3, 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

 

 


April 3, 2010

John Wilcock
the column of lasting insignificance

THE LONG-TIME POLICY of creating cheap, poorly made products, which quickly become obsolete or fall apart and have to be replaced, has had its day says a new book.. In his Longer Lasting Solutions, Dr. Tim Cooper suggests that manufacturers should be obliged to accept full responsibility for the life of their products “from extraction to disposal” causing a revival of interest in repair. If products were made more durable, he argues, some jobs lost due to the increase in production would be offset by the addition of more highly-skilled maintenance and repair jobs which would have the additional advantage of being local. The book, due for publication in the fall, calls for “slow consumption”, a counterpart to the Slow Food movement which seeks to build consumer awareness. “The present economy is not sustainable” Cooper declares.

DESPITE THE NOW well-known fact that turning corn into ethanol both wastes the corn (in a half-starving world) and has an inefficient return (compared with, say, sugar cane), Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell is still angling for federal subsidies. These would pay most of the cost of projected 1,800-mile pipeline carrying the ethanol across seven states and help triple the production of bio fuels. No point in suggesting Boswell read about the subject—when it comes to taxpayer subsidies, dumbness rules and facts are irrelevant.

AFTER AN INTENSIVE STUDY of “lucky” people, the appropriately-named Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire summarized his findings in the following advice:

  • Break routine. New experiences offer fresh opportunities
  • Positive expectations are often self-fulfilling
  • Draw something positive from bad experiences by considering how it might have been worse
  • Decisions informed by intuition often produce happier outcomes

ASK ISADORA was the best way to get sex advice in San Francisco’s heady years and now my old friend Isadora Alman has gathered much of the wisdom from her syndicated column into a novel. Bluebirds of Impossible Paradises: a Sexual Odyssey of the Seventies (Amazon.com). You may or may not remember those days when an orgy seemed to be as accessible as your neighborhood movie theater. Well, maybe not, but ‘Thea’ does and at her first she had the same misgivings as so many others…

“She perched on the wooden stairs ready to bolt, trying to dampen her imagination's fervid formulations, pondering what men did together that could be different from what was known to her, how it was established who would take the lead, the protocol as well as the positions…”

 
Isadora Alman

An early review of Bluebirds  by one of Isadora’s friends, Tommy G.,  sums things up pretty well. “She's the most fascinating and sensual woman I've ever met and I always wondered what she was like before we crossed paths. While this is a novel and not an autobiography, I figured there must be a little (or a lot) of Isadora in Thea, our heroine. So how can Thea not be charming and literate and funny? For anyone who lived and loved through the 1970s ... or wants to know what it was like to live and love through the 1970s ... read this book! You'll live it and love it.”

          
Some Jewish Haiku

Sorry I'm not home
to take your call. At the tone
please state your bad news.

Is one Nobel Prize
so much to ask from a child
after all I've done?

Today, mild shvitzing.
Tomorrow, so hot you'll plotz
Five-day forecast: feh


AS A YOUTH
every would-be mathematician has played with trying to work out the numbers of that elusive formula pi (∏) , the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It’s an intriguing little exercise  because the result is what’s known as an “irrational number” which means it’s not finite, there’s no end to the decimal points, it just goes on and on, never repeating the same sequence. It begins 3.141592653589793….

pi was used as a ratio by the pyramid builders and gets a mention in the works of Archimedes (287-212BC). Since the computer age, attempts have been made to complete the calculation, but none ever has. Recently, a French programmer left his computer working on it for 131 days, which resulted in 2.7 trillion decimal places. It wasn’t the end.

I was 42 when I started and Kinsey (Millhone) was ten years younger than me. Now I’m 69 and she’s 38, and I resent that! Looking back it was cheeky imagining doing the entire alphabet—was I smoking something?—but I remember thinking that if Kinsey aged one year for every book, it would start to seem silly. I didn’t want her to be postmenopausal, chasing bad guys around. It just seemed…not dignified”.—Sue Grafton talking to AARP about U is for Undertow, her 21st ‘alphabet novel’

 

wisdom
[It will be one hundred years on April 21 since the death of Mark Twain.
     His advice is both sensible and durable so we are renewing it]

The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.

 
Isadora Alman

Look at the tyranny of party;  at what is called party allegiance, party loyalty-- a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes -- and which turns voters into chattels, slaves, rabbits, and all the while their masters, and they themselves are shouting rubbish about liberty, independence, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, honestly unconscious of the fantastic contradiction; and forgetting or ignoring that their fathers and the churches shouted the same blasphemies a generation earlier when they were closing their doors against the hunted slave, beating his handful of humane defenders with Bible texts and billies, and pocketing the insults and licking the shoes of his Southern master.

No matter how healthy a man's morals may be when he enters the White House, he comes out again with a pot-marked soul.

History has tried hard to teach us that we can't have good government under politicians. Now, to go and stick one at the very head of the government couldn't be wise.

The new political gospel: public office is private graft.

In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue, but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.

To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals.

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter--Mark Twain

3/27/10

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