Tagged: reefer gladness

Free to Be a Pedophile

Orthodox free-speech advocates must be cringing, certain that donations to their nonprofit organizations will slow to a trickle and, eventually, dry up like an extinct lake. What critics have been saying about groups like the American Civil Liberties Union is true: they stick up for the rights of the worst kinds of people, anti-social crackpots...

Sicko

“Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 911,” Michael Moore’s last two provocations disguised as “documentaries,” were entertaining (and infuriating) because they took on emotional issues — guns, and the Bush administration’s criminal incompetence — that genuinely have two sides to the ongoing story. As demonstrated by the result of our last presidential election, millions of Americans...

The Hipness Equation

This past weekend in Los Angeles, where consumers of popular culture and art probably have more choices than any place in the world except New York City, we had a rematch between Genius and More of the Same, and More of the Same won again.  At the Jazz Bakery, Mark Murphy, one of the most...

Nature Hike

When I was a boy growing up in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, my schoolteacher mother would periodically and without warning announce to me and my brother that she was taking us on a “nature hike.” This typically meant that we would be conscripted into a platoon of wildlife observers and botanists prepared to witness the wonders...

Gambling on the Future

The state where I live, California, needs money to pay for massive infrastructure improvements, a sprawling penal system whose budget is larger than most sovereign nations’, and the salaries and pensions of a bloated bureaucracy. Our movie star governor, Arnold Schwarzennegger, has a plan. Rather than issue more municipal bonds, the interest on which must...

Escaping Reality

A billboard prominently displayed on Sunset Boulevard, in Hollywood, urges consumers to “Escape reality…live the fantasy.” In this case, the fantasy is a “Renaissance Faire,” one of those period-costume amusement park re-creations featuring bawdy lasses, brave knights and drunken fools — “’twas too much meade, I doth declare!” — which appeal to those who find...

The Super Bowl Pointspread

Since the publication of my book “The Smart Money: How the World’s Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies out of Millions,” numerous reporters and radio hosts have contacted me asking for a prediction on the Super Bowl.  I can’t say what the result will be. Nobody can. I can, however, tell you which side is...

Good Writers

Readers of my books often ask me what I like to read when I’m not writing. And whenever I post a Thought lamenting our aesthetic culture’s descent into exalted mediocrity and irrelevance, the email correspondence usually includes queries like, “Well, if you don’t think Dan Brown is a good writer, who is, smarty pants?”  I...

How to Be Happy, in Three Easy Steps

1) Surrender all ambitions to make, do, or build anything truly great. Trying to achieve greatness will lead to certain failure for everyone, except maybe Tiger Woods. The odds are so stacked against you — like, I don’t know, 10,000,000 -to- 1? — that you’re going to fail in this lifetime and probably the next...

The Kindness of Forgetting

This week I witnessed something I had previously only read about: the sudden onset of temporary amnesia.  My friend recently lost her daughter to a brief but devastating illness. She had watched her daughter die. The pain of losing her child eventually became too much to bear, and her brain stopped remembering that it had...