Tagged: konik essay

The Gas Tax Holiday

Desperate to curry favor with short-attention span voters, both John McCain and Hilary Clinton have proposed plans for a “gas tax holiday” this summer, when Americans drive most. The explicit reason for such a plan, which is gaining popularity among Congressman facing reelection challenges, is to give consumers “a break” while the economy is poor...

Alcohol Versus Cannabis

Everyone has a friend like Tony. He’s the guy who is really cool when he’s straight. He works hard running a small company. He’s a great single dad to his precocious son. He’s funny. He’s smart. He’s a pleasure to be around during the day. At night, however, he likes to drink. Mostly beer, though...

Advice for Aspiring Artists

If you want to sell what you create, you must tailor your creativity to the marketplace or have a creative sensibility that, fortuitously, hews closely to the “average” person’s, someone who, thanks to his “average” outlook is probably not an artist. Given the tastes and expectations of most consumers, it’s impossible for David Foster Wallace...

The Internet: A Safe Haven for Cowards

A beloved 1990s Peter Steiner New Yorker cartoon now adorning countless refrigerators depicts a cute canine seated in front of a computer terminal, where he says, “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.”  As we’ve learned in the ensuing decades, on the Internet no one knows if you’re a man, woman, adult, child, Nigerian con...

Gambling on Healthcare

Almost every month, the call goes out to those of us in, or on the fringes of, the so-called “jazz community”: So-and-so was in a bad car accident. He has medical bills of $44,000 and NO INSURANCE! We’re organizing a benefit concert to raise money to help pay for his care. Please contribute what you can… ...

The Stigma of Prostitution

The fall of the (former) Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, was a glorious windfall for comedians, political pundits, and connoisseurs of schadenfreude. But lost amid the jeering laughter (and disappointed tears), the competing tendentious agendas, and the grave scholastic commentary was an opportunity for us to collectively ask: what’s wrong with us?  Perhaps we...

This Bud’s for You

According to statistics that many national and international publications consider reliable, almost half of our adult population, around 100 million Americans, have “experimented with” or continue to use marijuana. Given the ordinances against marijuana on most municipal books, some of which are enforced assiduously in certain regions of the nation, we are largely a republic...

Numbers That Ought to Make Us Pause and Ponder

The vast majority of Americans, seduced, distracted, and effectively lobotomized by a national ethos of conspicuous consumption, are more concerned about the cost of filling their Range Rovers and Tahoes with cheap gasoline than examining why that fuel will soon cost $4 a gallon, and why our treasury is rapidly being bankrupted by the “limited...

He Doesn’t Believe In What We Believe In

Among the usual detritus that makes its way into my inbox, an email I got recently made the come-ons for penny stocks, penis enlarging pills and Nigerian lottery windfalls seem downright benign.   I was forwarded a missive featuring an authentic photo of Barack Obama standing in front of an American flag with his hands...

Tortured Logic

Our quasi-elected government, the one that ran successfully in 2004 on the stirring “protecting the institution of marriage from sodomites and dykes” platform, the one that upholds “family values,” the one that consults divine “higher powers” before making tough human decisions — that same government, the one populated by “compassionate conservatives,” advocates the use of...