Tagged: 420

Against Charity

Giving to the needy is supposed to be a virtue. Indeed, it’s once of the sacraments of most religions. In our venal world, being charitable — sharing with those who don’t have what you have — is akin to secular holiness. How much someone gives to charity is a powerful if imprecise barometer of how...

It’s Almost Over

My barber was incredulous. “Do you believe it, Mikey?” he said, gesticulating with scissors alarmingly close to my ear. “Only three more weeks and this year is over. I can’t understand how this year went by so fast. It seems like we celebrated New Year’s just yesterday.” Franco is in his late-forties. His eldest daughter...

The ‘Broken’ BCS

Many tears were shed this past weekend in Los Angeles, and the lachrymal mourning wasn’t over starving Africans or bleeding Afghanis. The crying – and the whining and the righteous indignation – was inspired by a college football ranking system that kept the USC Trojans out of the putative national championship game, the Sugar Bowl,...

The Nature of Vice

Drugs like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are legal and more or less woven into the fabric of daily American life. Drugs like cannabis, cocaine, and LSD are not and those who use them are more or less consigned to the squalid fringes of society. Paying a woman to take off her clothes and display her...

The Dust of a Comet

The other night in Los Angeles, it was possible to see faintly the Leonid meteor showers with the naked eye. A bright gibbous moon made the show less spectacular than it will be tonight, on the 19th, when the moon will be on the wane. The light we saw shooting across the sky was thrilling...

Why Comedy Matters

Comedy cannot permanently change the world — at least not as effectively as brave science, bold literature, and partially clad women. But comedy can bring us disparate human souls together in the shared communion of laughter. Even Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat can enjoy the same jokes. “A rabbi and a mullah walk into a...

Stock Pickers Versus Sports Bettors

Recently a man in North Dakota was found guilty of placing sports bets over the Internet, in violation of state (and possibly federal) law. He was fined a nominal amount of money and made an example to the hundreds of thousands – millions? – of people who use their computers to make wagers on football...

Gay Pride or Gay Comfort?

Halloween is a very popular event where I live. It’s one of the few times in the year when members of the large homosexual population in West Hollywood can put on a dress and impersonate Carol Channing without fear of ridicule. Another of these occasions is “Gay Pride Day,” a phenomenon that happens, it seems,...

Calling all Feminists: Legalize Prostitution

Those who support a woman’s right to choose to abort an unborn fetus have a number of stirring arguments to support their position. The most compelling (and most frequently proffered) rationale goes something like this: “A woman should have the right to do with her body what she wishes. She is the master of herself...

What Californians Have Done in Electing Arnie

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor-elect of California, has admitted to at least one and possibly more instances of inappropriately groping female colleagues. As wary as I am of “sexual harassment” laws, particularly those that curtail free speech, the alleged Schwarzenegger incidents reported in the Los Angeles Times do not involve making a woman feel uncomfortable by...