Tagged: humorous essay by michael konik

The Truth About Travel Writing

Since there’s probably a good novel or two in this subject, I can’t divulge all the dirty secrets at the moment. But I can say summarily that spending close to 15 years as a professional travel writer exposed me to the weakest sense of ethics and the highest exchange rate of quid pro quo you’ll...

Fighting City Hall

Last month my car was towed from a Hollywood street and placed in impound, where I was forced to pay a $177 ransom to liberate it. The car was found by an enterprising (and rather imaginative) traffic officer to be illegally parked, allegedly blocking a residential driveway. Based on the officer’s curious powers of observation...

Hooray for Labor

To most of us, today’s holiday means a long weekend, an extra day off from the office — which, for those who dislike their job, is reason enough to celebrate. The occasion is solemn enough that banks, financial markets, and government offices remain closed. Amid the backyard barbecues and furniture discount sales the essential purpose...

Religious Wackos

Those crazy Iraqis seem to be having a hard time crafting a national constitution. The biggest obstacle, according to news reports, is that every religious sect there has its own agenda. The Sunnis want this; the Shiites want that; and the Kurds want everything else. What these people don’t understand is the crucial difference between...

Why Golf on Los Angeles Municipal Courses Takes Forever

When I play golf locally, it’s usually at a nearby Los Angeles County municipal park course in Griffith Park. What ought to be a pleasant walk among the tress and birds often feels like a death march through rush hour traffic. Four-hour rounds morph into six-hour trudges, and the joy of chasing a little white...

What Is This Thing Called Luck?

Motivated strivers brought up on the encouraging nostrums of business seminars and personal “empowerment” training know that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. In this model, luck isn’t an unseen, fickle agent. It’s something that doesn’t exist — and if it does, it can be conquered with hard work and cleverness. People who play the...

Appropriations

Should any naive idealist still embrace the quaint notion that our country’s brief experiment in democracy fulfills the purpose of “representative government,” a cursory glance at the way the Appropriations committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives operate will cloud even the sunniest outlook. How we, the tax-paying citizens of America, spend...

Grow, Purge, Renew

When I was a child, once a year my family would conduct what my uncle the Marxist called “the great purge.” We would cull from our closets old clothes and other unwanted stuff, and make a giant charitable donation to Goodwill Industries, a local organization aiding the developmentally disabled. There was a sense of cleansing...

Deciphering Intelligent Design

Proponents of “intelligent design” — which is another way of saying “opponents of the theory of evolution” — were pleased by President Bush’s recent remarks that “both sides ought to be properly taught” in public schools. Here was the most powerful person in the world lending credence to a wacky notion that has been widely...

Time is Money

Of all the cliches one encounters regularly, “time is money” may be the one uttered most frequently and with the largest degree of conviction, particularly by people who charge by the hour. The concept is that the two are interchangeable. After all one IS the other. If only it were so. Our maniacal pursuit of...