I think parenting these days has gotten extremely lack—at least parenting of politicos and corporate folk. I’m seeing more and more spoiled children behavior out there. Don’t believe me? Here are two examples:
Congress. Yup. Spoiled children. The attitude seems to be “I’m going to get my way, or I’ll have a temper tantrum. You can’t make me eat my vegetables. You can’t. You can’t.” Look at Mitch McConnell. He blames Obama, who in reality has given in to most of what the Republicans want, with much more cutting of the economy than I’m sure he would like to do (knowing Obama, he’d probably like to stimulate the economy with government funds, not cut). But Obama is willing to cut. But because Obama won’t give McConnell everything he wants, Obama’s the bad guy. In fact, any parental figure who seems to say “no” to the Republican children (which, I will readily admit, are not all Republicans). I’m beginning to think we need to take Congress to the woodshed to teach them a lesson in how to cooperate.
- Amazon. Amazon is mad at California trying to get Amazon to collect use tax. So Amazon, in their traditional temper tantrum, cut off their affiliates. They actually don’t care about the affiliates. Most won’t bother to update their sites to remove the affiliate links in case the matter gets resolved… thus Amazon gets the referrals and doesn’t have to pay the affiliates. But Amazon knows it will lose in court, and so now they are trying to get a referendum to kill the sales tax law. I’m sorry, Amazon, but you should pay the tax. It’s like drinking your milk and eating your vegetables. You sell and deliver tangible goods in the state. Demonstrate that you are a good corporate citizen instead of just being greedy for your profits.
P.S. Speaking of children, the creator of programs that many of us older folk loved as kids has died. Sherwood Schwartz, creator of those thoughtful social explorations about blended families or the behaviors of stranded castaways, is dead at 94.
I’ve recently learned of the death of Bob Morris.
You’re probably going, “Bob who?”. You might know his son Robert Tappan Morris better—he created the first big Internet worm. But Bob is arguably more important. He’s one of the creators of Unix; he’s also a genius in the area of cryptography. I met Bob when he was working at NSA—he was a TRB member, and I often presented to him. I remember him chain-smoking away, asking the occasional insightful question.
We’re losing them one by one… the pioneers of the computer industry. It is the passing of a generation.
The remaining lunch-time links don’t form a unifyable theme, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth following:
- Wither PSA? Remember the days when it was cheap to fly? Not so much, anymore. The WSJ has an interesting piece on how Southwest’s prices aren’t so discount these days. Evidently, they are cheap if you by far in advance, but as you get closer to the flight, the price goes up until they sometimes exceed the non-discount carriers, even if you add in baggage fees. In other airline news: American Airlines has stopped accepting bulky strollers at its gates. So evidently, you need to pack your child in your carry-on luggage (actually, you can still use umbrella strollers, just not the really big, over 20 lb ones).
- Seeing Red. An interesting “frequent flyer” story from an opthamologist who operates a flying eye hospital. He flies into poor countries, often on commercial flights, but flies out on the eye hospital. This creates all sorts of security questions. They often don’t believe there is a flying eye hospital, but there is: a DC-10 jet that’s fully equipped to teach and provide eye care no matter where they are in the world.
- Dennys. Seven boys from Trabuco High in Orange County have attempted to get into the Guiness Book of World Records by eating Denny’s pancakes for 24 hours! You see, Dennys has an “all you can eat” pancake special, and their goal was to to order it for $4 , and then to continue ordering refills — for 24 hours straight. They ended up consuming 301 pancakes, for an average of 43 hotcakes per person — or about 7,000 calories per kid for the pancakes alone. To break up the routine, the boys occasionally ordered bacon. They ate so many pancakes that the Denny’s manager had to run out during the night for more ingredients for batter. One kid vomited in a bush on the patio, and another almost fell asleep on the toilet. For variety, the boys put hot sauce on the pancakes. One crushed a hotcake into a glass of water to “eat” it in a different form. Don’t feel like pancakes? Dennys’ is offering a sundae made with vanilla ice cream, maple syrup and bacon bits.
- The End. Just because no one has posted it yet: Jack Kevorkian has died, unassisted.
From an announcement about the death of Jane Russell:
Russell’s provocative performance in ‘The Outlaw’ — and the studio publicity shots posing her in a low-cut blouse reclined on a stack of hay bales — marked a turning point in moviedom sexuality. She became a bona fide star and a favorite pinup girl of soldiers during World War II. Troops in Korea named two embattled hills in her honor. …
A piece of California history has died—someone who so embodied health that you thought he would live forever. I’m speaking of Jack LaLanne, dead at the age of 96. I remember Jack’s fitness shows, which I seem to recall were on Channel 9. From simple basic calesthenics and good eating, Jack taught that anyone could become and stay fit. If you go to a health club today and use exercise machines, you have Jack to thank. If you watch an exercise video, again, you have Jack to thank. If you like to drink whole fruit juices, that’s Jack again. He was a pioneer in the fitness field, and continued to do feats of strength until just before his death.
Jack, I’ll exercise tomorrow in your memory.
You may have noticed I’ve been obsessed of late with the death of Debbie Friedman, and I’m sure many of you don’t understand why. One remembrance by Rabbi Paul Kipnes put it in a way many will understand: she was the John Lennon of modern Jewish music—someone who changed the face of the genre significantly with her music. Do read her obituary (linked above); there’s a great tribute video here.
But Debbie’s death wasn’t the only one. Here are two more of interest:
- Margaret Whiting. The daughter of the famous songwriter Richard Whiting, Margaret Whiting was a popular singer starting in the big band era. Here’s a tribute video. Here’s my favorite part of her obit:
The singer was much-married. She wed producer Hubbel Robinson Jr. in 1948; pianist Lou Busch in 1951; John Richard Moore, a founder of Panavision, in 1958. Her most sensational marriage, however, came late in life when she met and married the much-younger, gay porn stay Jack Wrangler in 1994. The union proved her longest. Wrangler reportedly protested, “But I’m gay!,” to which Whiting reportedly replied, “Only around the edges, dear.” He went on to produce and direct many of her cabaret shows. They stayed together until his death in 2009.
- David Nelson. Yup, that David Nelson, of Ozzie and Harriet fame (you yunguns out there will have no idea what I’m talking about). Those of us who grew up with Ozzie and Harriet will remember David and Ricky Nelson. David was the last survivor of that TV family. Here’s a link to a segment of Ozzie and Harriet with David and Ricky.
Blake Edwards has died. This post, and in particular, this icon, is in memory, appreciation, and gratitude to one of the best comedy directors around.
Push the button, Max.
A late lunch break today—I’ve been busy getting ready for ACSAC next week. But I’ve accumulated a few news items:
- From the “Theatrical Departures” Department: The OC Register is reporting that the Fullerton Civic Light Opera will close in January. This is a loss for the entire Southern California Theatre community: The Fullerton CLO put on great regional shows, and continued the Civic Light Opera (an older code-phrase for “Musical Theatre”) tradtion started by organizations such as the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, now reduced to the travesty that is Broadway LA. This just leaves the South Bay CLO and the Downey CLO to carry on the tradition. Some may not care about this—after all, these are just theatre jobs—but who is to say that a job at the mall or a job in manufacturing is more or less important. This means the loss of numerous jobs that provided paychecks to families, both directly for Fullerton and for their technical and performing artists. We’ve seen other scares: the Pasadena Playhouse is slowly recovering, and the Rubicon in Ventura has been dealing with foreclosure threats to its playhouse. So what killed FCLO? The recession: specifically, a drop in subscription revenue by 20%, combined with a loss of rental income as high schools cut back their arts programs (these programs often rented sets and props from FCLO). These are things that could hit any theatre, making things especially scare. What can you do? Go see a show at your local live theatre.
- From the “Market Departures” Department: Another sad closing to announce: HOWS markets are closing all locations except Pasadena. Again, we have a victim of the recession. HOWS was the successor to Hughes. After Hughes was sold to Ralphs, some of the Hughes family members started the HOWS chain. It was doing good for a while, with locations in Granada Hills, Pasadena, and Trancas Canyon… but in the last year, saw major problems. I do agree with the conclusion of the article: the store failed because it lost its personality. Those who went their originally went because of the Hughes personality. After that died way, it just couldn’t compete with the market majors (Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons), the upscale chains (Gelsons, Whole Foods), or the quirky chains (TJs or Fresh & Easy)… and it certainly couldn’t compete with the non-Union chains.
- From the “Skank Departures” Department: Our last departure is a good one: The NY Times is reporting that the Times Square redevelopment is complete. Back in the 1970s, Times Square was a cesspool of pronshops and sleeze… and these days rent is up to $1,400/ft2. The number of tourists is up 74% since 1993, to an estimated 36.5 million last year, and attendance at Broadway shows has soared to nearly 12 million. The story of its revitalization is an interesting one… and one that owes quite a bit to the Disney Company and the New Amsterdam Theatre.