Tagged: michael konik essay

Online Gambling

If you enter the phrases “betting on” and “stock market” in the Google search function, .12 seconds later you’ll be furnished with 322,000 Web page matches.  Nearly every state in our great union — except for Hawaii and Utah — oversees some form of gambling, including State Lotteries, which serve as a regressive tax and...

Payment Due

What a wonderful world it would be if we could spend all the money we had, plus buckets more that we didn’t have, and when we awoke from gorging ourselves on all the stuff we don’t really need yet somehow desperately wanted (for reasons we can’t quite elucidate) a magical Czar of Responsibility declared that...

Ignorance Triumphant!

A culture that knows more about the sexual peccadilloes of its cinematic court jesters than the crimes of its elected officials probably deserves leaders of grotesque incompetence. We understand (and care) more about power-hitting Third Basemen than our Supreme Court Justices. We feel that the romantic heartbreaks and triumphs of a pretty girl with no...

Great Writing

Relatives sometimes discover a book that brings them so much enjoyment that they want to share the experience with everyone they meet. That’s cool. Unfortunately for me, most of the books they like, despite glowing accolades from literary critics such as Oprah Winfrey’s intern and the editors at Vogue, are painfully difficult to read, since I...

The Party of Change

Last week the Democrats had their convention. This week it’s the Republican’s turn. Much speechifying has and will be done, and some of it might cause those not yet irredeemably cynical to feel the frisson of uplift and inspiration. The powerful and transitive word “change” has and will be employed with a promiscuity befitting folks...

Wine, Awards, and Telling the Truth

Not until I started working with a handful of foreign-born musical artists was I aware of the honorific “multi-awarded” — as in, “the recipient of numerous awards.” Good singers (or actors, or authors, or whatever) get an award. Really good ones are “multi-awarded.” The more awards, the better the artist. It’s pretty easy to follow. ...

Buy American (Weed)

With gasoline prices hovering near historic highs, many Americans (and the commentators that inspire their opinions) profess outrage, umbrage, and annoyance that so many of our increasingly worthless dollars are being sent overseas, further enriching Middle Eastern oil barons who hate us and our morally decadent way of life. According to conventional wisdom, every time...

In Print

Mr. Russ Stanton, the Editor of the Los Angeles Times, the largest news-gathering organization west of the Mississippi and my home-town newspaper, delivered an extraordinary message in the Sunday edition. What he wrote — that the future of the Times, in print and online, rests on its ability to deliver news and information that is “unique,...

The Primary Benefit of Movie Previews

A steadily increasing majority of moviegoers — at least the ones I talk with — are becoming increasingly unsteady in their reaction to the previews shown before presentations of feature films. The advertising and promos for Dolby and THX are oppressive enough, they say. Must we be assaulted with 15 minutes worth of previews?  I...

A State of Vocational Bliss

My favorite uncle, and an inspiring man to hundreds who know him, was sworn in recently by the Governor of Massachusetts as an Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court. The speechmaking and ceremonial pronouncements (and the catered luncheon) were all very nice, and all who know the new Judge levitated slightly with familial and...