Category: Thoughts

The Good, Bad and Ugly

Good: Watching the Los Angeles Marathon. My dog and I walked to the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, yards from the Kodak Theater (site of the Academy Awards and the American Idol finals). Accompanied by hundreds of other cheering neighbors, we saw thousands of our fellow residents stampede past, a herd of disparate...

Human Animals

Despite our opposable thumbs, superior intelligence, and special relationship with God, we are animals. Lucky for us, we’re at the top of the food chain. But we’re still animals.  Should you require a bracing reminder, go to an airport, or visit an overpopulated city. Look at your brothers and sisters at work, scurrying to wherever,...

Learning to Live Under Water

For some time now, a small but vocal group of ostriches — some of whom occupy seats in the United States Senate — have described the phenomenon of global warming as one of the most pernicious hoaxes perpetrated on the American people (as well as other less important occupants of this planet). They say that...

The Super Bowl Pointspread

Since the publication of my book “The Smart Money: How the World’s Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies out of Millions,” numerous reporters and radio hosts have contacted me asking for a prediction on the Super Bowl.  I can’t say what the result will be. Nobody can. I can, however, tell you which side is...

Vegas, Old and New

While the core business of Las Vegas is the same as it’s always been, i.e., separating people who aren’t very good at remedial math from their money, the style of the place has undergone a well-documented facelift. Gone are the Mob-run grind joints; scrapped are the family destination ambitions; almost forgotten are the days of...

Punishing the Lookers

Based somewhere in downtown Long Beach, California, a technically adept unit of Immigration and Customs Enforcement that specializes in computer forensics spends the bulk of its workday looking at child pornography. They look at kiddie porn from the Internet. The agents assigned to gather evidence against the suspected pedophiles who create and distribute the illegal imagery...

Astonishing Talent, Astonishing Anonymity

At the annual International Association of Jazz Educators conference, held this past weekend in New York City, one could wander through acres of hotel ballrooms filled with musicians of all ages, colors, and nationalities. And no matter what room one entered, even those chosen randomly or by mistake, one was confronted with so much talent,...

Fear and Whining in Las Vegas

Sprinkled among the reviews for my book “The Smart Money” like so many dog droppings upon an emerald lawn, several notices emanating from Las Vegas — where much of the book’s action take place — have claimed profound disappointment with my use of nicknames for some of the characters. These dismayed critics seem to think...

Robert Rosenblum

On December 6 of last year, the art historian and educator Robert Rosenblum died of cancer in New York City, where he worked and taught. He was 79.  Since our tabloid culture finds no prurient interest in the partners Rosenblum was or was not “hooking up” with, most people outside the art ghetto won’t grasp...