Tagged: adam gopnik

The Grand Illusion

The purpose of life is to work. The purpose of life is to play. Or, there is no purpose to life. These are schools of thought that you may or may not subscribe to. You might have been in one camp and moved to another. You may change your mind every time something good happens...

An Inspiring Friend

My dearest friend, my wife, is in Africa at the moment, enjoying what we shall delicately refer to as a birthday of significance. Having gone through this getting older thing, I know that it’s easy to get caught up in mathematics – fractions, mostly – figuring what’s gone and what remains. When you arrive at a certain...

Living Large

Prior to the dynasty of Bush the Younger, my chief embarrassment about being an American abroad wasn’t that we were a nation of belligerent, imperialist, arrogant bullies. It was that we were fatties. Among the French and Finnish, Dutch and Danish, American tourists were easy to identify, whether or not they wore fanny packs. The...

To Our Investors

Dear Inverstors in MichaelKonik.com, We’re really sorry about our most recent trading loss. People will say we require more oversight, and, in this case, maybe they’re right. It shouldn’t have happened, and we’ll take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen for a third time. The $4,000 or so ($4,882) of your money that we...

No Worries, Bro

You’ve talked to someone thirty-or-younger recently, so you’re aware that we’re presently living in the blissful state of no worries. No worries, bro. The problem for those of us who read newspapers and have some time to think is that there seems to be plenty to worry about — if you’re into that whole caring...

Free to Be Disconnected

If you’re reading this essay on MichaelKonik.com, you know that this is a reliable place to find “me,” the me who shares his ideas with the world, whether or not any part of the world is interested. This is where I unilaterally invade my privacy, allowing strangers to read my mind, exposing my beliefs and...

Lotteries, Poker, and Other People’s Money

Braving odds of 176 million-to-1, scores of otherwise sensible Americans, including several of our intelligent friends, were infected with Lottery Fever this past week, standing in lines of up to three hours to buy a ticket at “lucky” liquor stores and gas stations. The prospect of a $640 million jackpot and the assurance that some...

Violence Voyeurism

Outrageous. Horrifying. Disgusting. These were some of the adjectives hurled in the press when news broke that the former world champions of football, the New Orleans Saints, for years had instituted a bounty system that rewarded their players for knocking opponents out of the game. Players contributed to an in-house pool and collected $1,000-$1,500 when...

Cages

After reading Adam Gopnik’s masterful examination of the American prison system in a recent issue of the New Yorker, in which he examines our fetishistic compulsion to warehouse millions of errant citizens in prisons, it’s easy to conclude that our conception of “cruel and unusual punishment” needs reconsideration. Gopnik burrows through the rotten veneer of...