Author: Michael Konik

Things Versus Experiences

We work to make money so that we may clothe, feed and shelter our family and ourselves. We also work so that we may acquire things: baubles, gadgets, appliances, games, art, and more clothes, food, and shelter just in case we run out. Sometimes a good life is measured by how many things we’ve managed...

Our National Anthem

Whenever we view an international sporting event, we’re reminded anew how awful is our country’s national anthem. (Exhibit A: just listen to “Oh, Canada” and “The Star Spangled Banner” back-to-back.) Our song is about the flag, but it’s also about war, about perilous fights and bombs bursting in air. To some people – particularly those...

Why Gays Should Be Permitted to Marry

Yesterday the Massachusetts legislature voted down a constitutional amendment that would have limited the august institution of marriage to people of the opposite sex. Hateful religious types traveled from out-of-state to protest at the Senate steps, outraged at the erosion of “family values” propagated by egalitarian lawmakers who inexplicably think the laws of our nation...

Janet Jackson’s Breast

During the halftime show at last weekend’s Super Bowl, Janet Jackson, a not very good singer who compensates for her dearth of musical talent with ribald gyrations and costuming befitting a budget-priced dominatrix, exposed her right breast on live television. She was assisted by Justin Timberlake, a similarly uninteresting singer bleating with faux passion about...

Kroc’s Great Gift

Joan Kroc, the widow of Ray Kroc, founder of the American dining institution MacDonald’s, died a very rich woman. Thanks to sales of Big Macs, deep-fried potatoes, and colored corn syrup in water, she was, in fact, a multi-billionaire. Upon her death last year, Kroc’s executors were pleased to announce that the fast-food heir had...

Super Bowl Sunday

This weekend brings the biggest sporting event in America, the Super Bowl. The violent antics on the playing field are only a small part of the ritualistic gatherings that happen in living rooms and dens around our country. People will congregate together to pass judgment on a well-known celebrity’s lip-synced rendition of our national anthem....

The Nature of Luck

This past weekend I competed in a made-for television event called “World Series of Blackjack.” The producers invited 25 gambling luminaries — if such a thing can be said to exist — to square off in 5-person, 30-hand matches. The winners got a pile of money, and the others got to be on cable television....

MLK

Martin Luther King’s birthday is the same as mine, January 15th. According to several recent books, Dr. King was anything but the saintly leader his hagiographers would have us believe. He was, it seems, a complicated, flawed person. A human being. And he is worth remembering. King’s great and lasting legacy is that he helped...

Mars Versus Earth

Like millions of others,¬†I watched with fascination and wonder as NASA’s space probe Spirit touched down safely on Mars and began to transmit back to Earth images of our planetary neighbor. As a child who enjoyed reading the science fantasies of Arthur Clarke and Ray Bradbury, among others, I didn’t imagine that sending a spaceship...

Poem: Without Health

Do you agree? Do you think this is true? Have you considered or are you offended or does this¬†conform? When we say with certainty and a large (any word but “healthy”!) dollop of pomposity:   Without health, we have nothing. Without health, abiding happiness is not possible. Without health, the pleasures of life seem muted...