There’s an economic theory — The Law of Diminution at the Margin — that has largely been echoing in the hollow. Few of us are attuned to the consequence of the condition, but that doesn’t mean the meme doesn’t exist or factor into the existence of what binds us to the living.
Justin Bieber has been behaving badly lately, and we are left to imagine what’s gone wrong with the teenaged heartthrob, and why he’s so precipitously falling off the cliff of life so willfully at the peak of his fame:
Justin Bieber hit speeds of 136 miles an hour in his rented Lambo just hours before his arrest …
We’ve now obtained the FULL GPS speed readout for the evening in question — not just the period immediately surrounding the arrest.
Check it out. The GPS map corresponds to the readout. At 1:23 AM Justin was on the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami Beach, heading toward the nightclub. He was clocked at 108 MPH and within a minute he accelerated to 136 MPH.
It’s no secret in the music business that the bigger star you are, the more song royalties you get by claiming “authorship” of a hit song written by a committee of lyricists and composers. You can force yourself into an author share of the profits because, by recording a song, you can make it popular enough that everyone will get paid. Giving you a little something for something you did not write — instead of guaranteeing an even split of nothing for the actual authors — is one surefire way to win in any business dyad.
Chuck Berry has been accused of not writing his own hit songs that he claims ownership of — because, some argue, the songs are written in chords that are more common on a piano than a guitar. If you don’t write a lot of music to begin with, having to transpose musical keys from one instrument to another in your head during composition of a song is nigh impossible. You’d write the song in the familiar, and easier to play, key signatures of the instrument you use to perform.
Johnnie Johnson, one of Chuck Berry’s longtime sidemen and the man who inspired Berry’s classic “Johnnie B. Goode,” filed suit against Berry in a St. Louis Federal District Court on Nov. 29.
The multi-count suit alleges that Johnson and Berry were equal collaborators on early rock classics like “Roll Over Beethoven,” “No Particular Place to Go” and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” to name a few. Johnson claims that Berry registered the copyrights to the songs in his name alone, and therefore was the sole recipient of royalties from those songs. Johnson’s suit also seeks public recognition for his songwriting role on the fifty songs he claims to have written with Berry.
How many of us live to be defined by our possessions? How many of us find value only in what we have achieved and won and coveted? I wrote about this nagging issue of human governance on November 22, 2006 — “Worthy of History: Only Expensive Things Survive” —
The perversion of the historical accuracy of how our ancestors lived, and how we currently live, is created by preserving only expensive possessions — tokens, icons, valuables – and in the purposeful construction of indestructible architectural monuments used by the privileged few.
History is skewed by this preservation technique because it only pretends to tell future generations how people actually lived. When we visit museums we are only seeing what the powerful majority of the culture of that time deemed important enough to save and pass down.
We only get to know what they thought was worth saving and inevitably those things are the expensive, the pretty, the unique and the tokens of the wealthy. Even pioneer and Native American museum dioramas are idealized with hardy items and the most beautiful things. The ordinary is forsaken for the power of the inherent value in the preservation of the perceived best.
Ella was born rich — if you consider a revocable living trust an exploitable financial asset — into a family of a self-made lawyer father, who was rumored to be a Midwestern consigliere for the East Coast mafia, and a mother who bred racing horses in the backyard of their remote, and expansive, farm. Her mediating older brother was a template of his harsh father. Ella was a meek mimeo of her mother.
I have a rather darling friend who prefers to remain nameless for the endurance of this story. I reluctantly agreed to protect the identity of the innocent.
The other day, my lovely friend was walking in the Woodside, Queens area of New York City when a small woman approached and told my friend she was seeing “The Letter J” swirling around her. Startled, and a little unsettled, my good friend — FOR SOME REASON! — confirmed to the tiny stranger that her name did, in fact, begin with “J” and the street scam was on!
We made our way back to the hotel intending to have dinner at a little restaurant we had spotted at the bottom of the road before turning in for the night. Our trip on the underground took us to THAT STATION — the one where my card got eaten and we thought we could go to the security offices and check for an update.
In the end, we did not need to make that detour — as we met our friendly helpful security guard who gleefully informed us that our card had been found — and would be posted to our home address in Portugal. SIGH ( Sigh here means much muttered swearing under breath and sheer desperation). We double checked it had gone to our Portuguese address and not to the hotel — but, no, he said it had definitely gone to our Portuguese address. We said thank you as gracefully as we could under the circumstances and rapidly changed our dinner plans for the evening.
We decided to dine in. I always travel with crackers of some kind in case I need something to eat quickly. We had a bottle of duty-free champagne saved for our night in Venice as well. We stopped off at the supermarket in the station and bought some pate, cheese and some fruit and bottled water and headed back to the hotel for the night.