If Not Adverts, Then What?

Too many of us are obsessed with the bottom line, making money, and taking advantage of others if it means increasing the balance of our bank accounts. America has always been about betterment — even if it means taking advantage of others to get there.

The American Way is no longer the American Dream, or home ownership, or education — no, the American Way is all about serving, and collecting, the mighty advertising dollar. Sell your eye for a penny; click your wrist for a nickel.

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Healthcare Hell: First Come, Last Served

We know the healthcare industry is broken, but one thing that has always been a mistaken mainstay in keeping our misbegotten minds and bodies in fit form — is the need to wade into an endless cesspool while attending a doctor’s office. Nay, the cesspool is not our infirm friends and brethren, but the very soggy pond in which we are all left to rot, in situ, for an appointment that shall never arrive.

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Reaping the Fallow and the Fallen: The Law of Diminution at the Margin

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.

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Why Does Justin Bieber Want to Be a Thug?

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.

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Songwriters Who Did Not Write their Songs

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.


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Cracking the Fiery Core: We are Not What We Have

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.

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The Woman Who Married Her Brother and Became Her Mother

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.

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