Design is both a noun and a verb

Last week, I spoke with a fellow who owns a business called Kitchen Advertising. I asked where the name came from and his reply was that it’s the most creative roon in a house- where one takes various things and creates something better with them. With that, here’s a little piece from the New York Times on design, which is both a noun & a verb…

Father Trump


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Professor Georgia Lakoff’s lengthy article on Donald Trump speaks to many of the psychological reasons how and why he is been able to get as far as the Adams in his run for the presidency.

Think what you will about Trump but there is no denying that he has been able to do what virtually no one before him ever has – be the number one news item for months on end while spending virtually none of his own money.

He has been able to capture the imagination and support of millions of Americans by seeing things with an almost Tourette’s like outburst: brash, inappropriate, non-PC and juvenile. Yet, people still back him, even though his values differ greatly from their’s.

The notion that Trump is appealing to the strict father morality that tens of millions of Americans adhere to seems to be spot on.

Lakoff, a distinguished professor of cognitive science and linguistics at UC Berkeley, presents concept that you are likely to read anywhere else. Most interesting…

Understanding Trump

Set in Stone

Today’s New York Times Magazine features a story about Oliver Stone and the making of the film about Edward Snowden. The long cover future takes us from Los Angeles to Moscow  and introduces us to Snowden’s lawyers in the United States and in Russia who seem to have similar and differing views of and interest in Snowden, the story at hand and the bigger picture.  Like many of Stone’s film exploits, this one has intrigue, budget frustrations and  delays.

“Snowdon” which screened at Comic-Con in San Diego a few months ago features a quote from Stoughton I find interesting “I no longer have to worry about what happens tomorrow,”says Snowden, “because I’m happy with what I’ve done today. ”

One statement from Snowdon’s on screen boss at the NSA I found haunting –
“Most Americans don’t want freedom, he says, “they want security. ”

This explains much about the current state of affairs we as a nation find ourselves in.

Shout out loud

Today’s LA Times had an interesting take on the state of affairs via the Calendar and Arts & Books section…  Under the title The Culture Of Anger, both sections explored the current state of discontent from a social and right brained angle. The piece from Tom Morello, the guitarists who put rage on the map, portends the future week ahead- he and friends plan to augment the GOP convention this coming week in Cleveland.


What we have here is a massive failure to communicate, resulting in a world on the verge of chaos.

Read his piece, then get ready for an exciting end of July with both parties participating in the disruptive economy- unhappiness for all!




Give give a damn

When I was a boy living in New York City I collected a few things  in a red circular Kodak film canister. I think it was made of aluminum. One of the things in this can was a cloth patch, white type against a black background, which read ‘Give a damn’.  I thought it was a pretty cool slogan so I kept it.

Now, many years later and with the advent of YouTube, I finally have learned what it meant. It was a social initiative in the 1960s trying to help impoverished people of color in New York City.   The commercial below is pretty provocative for its time and gets one thinking.   It might be nice to see such messages on our airwaves instead of the same car commercial repeated 40 times a day…



TMZ Exposed

Harvey  Tom Ashbrook had an interesting segment on his radio program On Point today featuring Nicholas Schmidle, the author of a New Yorker piece about TMZ, the TV show.  TMZ, a historic acronym for Thirty-mile Zone, was used to identify a 30-mile  radius from the intersection of  Beverly Blvd and La Cienega Blvd in L.A.  At one time this point was the headquarters of AMPTP, the negotiating body for many studio management dealings.  The term referred to The Industry’s desire to keep TV and movie productions within the ‘zone’ to keep expenses down.

TMZ is now widely known as the name of a TV program that specializes in celebrity reporting. Founded by Harvey Levine, the show features a group of ‘reporters’ talking with Levine about the day’s news – all of it pertaining to famous people, most of it embarrassing for the person being reported on.  TMZ made national news when it reported on Mel Gibson’s arrest in Malibu a number of years ago.

Because entertainment news is so damned interesting to so many Americans, the program has grown in popularity and influence.  Now being likened to a modern day FBI (which stems from former FBI head J. Edgar Hoover’s penchant for gathering dirt on his favorite targets to be used as blackmail) it is interesting to learn how Levine and his entourage encourage sources to spill on almost any topic (from haircuts to break ups).  Paying sources money is different from more traditional news sources and apparently helps to reveal some things that would ordinarily stay under wraps.

Schmidle, who researched his piece over two years, reports on the tactics and results that have evolved over the 11 years TMZ has been doing their thing.

Read his piece, entitled The Digital Dirt, here:







Perhaps you were entertained by reading Saturday’s editorial in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. The piece castigated Ben and Jerry’s founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the famous Vermont ice cream makers, for donating tubs of ice cream to Bernie Sanders’ campaign.  Comparing it to super PAC money and the likes of the Koch Industries (Texas brothers)  and Las Vegas’s Sheldon Adelson, the Journal  went on to lament that what is good for the goose is good for the gander and all regulations pertaining to political contributions should be removed.

The paper has long been known for somewhat extreme right wing political positions  but this piece made them look just plain silly.   I figure that the entire editorial board was on vacation  and that some GOP operative seized upon the opportunity to slam the Democrats.

A link to the piece below won’t do you much good unless you have a subscription:








You’re going to carry that weight

imageToday’s LA Times has a good piece about Juan Romero, the 17-year-old bus boy who cradled Robert Kennedy in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel  47 years ago.  Romero, has been haunted by The experience for decades having only recently emerge from a sense of responsibility he shouldn’t have had to bear.

Kennedy, who Ramiro had delivered room service to days earlier, helped to make the young Latino immigrant feel better about himself, which he tried to repay on that fateful day.


What the Hell?

It’s often advisable to watch the last few episodes of any successful series because they often contain memorable content (saving the best for last). To that end, I’ve been watching The Daily Show because this is the last few episodes that Jon Stewart will be host. After sixteen years, he is hanging up his spurs.

In short, I’ve not been particularly impressed with this week’s offerings. Two weeks ago he had the President – last night he had Dennis Leary.

Oh well.

One thing that did catch my attention was an ad from the Freedom of Religion Foundation. Although the ad is over one year old, most Americans have not seen it.  That changed a bit when it aired at the end of last night’s Daily Show. Featuring Ron Reagan Jr., son of President Ronald Reagan (The Great Communicator) it was striking in its directness.  I’ll let it speak for itself.

A Tipping Point?

I am CharlieThis week’s attack on the offices of the Paris based magazine Charlie Hebdo, which resulted in the murder of 12 people, followed by the dramatic firefight that ended the lives of the two alleged murderers again pits mainstream Western culture v. radical Islam. On the one hand, freedom of speech allows anyone to say or write practically anything freely; on the other, a thinking that severely limits it.

The two orphaned brothers who plotted and executed the assault on Wednesday had traveled to and trained with Al Qaeda operatives who’s strategy is to seemingly wish to take society back to the dark ages. Any dissenters are eliminated.

This continues a disturbing trend where violence in many forms steals headlines nightly around the word: from two year old children accidentally shooting their mothers by reaching into a purse while in a shopping cart, to the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of of children in the Central African Republic to the beheading of people while on camera. The list goes on for miles…

What’s disturbing is that while humanity ambles it’s way forward, there a large tracts of people who wish to ‘get medieval’ upon those who disagree with their way of thinking. Where is the love and happiness that Marvin Gaye sang about a generation ago?

In last week’s issue of The Economist, a story entitled Bangers v. Bullets says that the Center for Disease Control reports that if recent trends continue, this year deaths by guns will overtake deaths on the road for those under 25 years of age.

The only possible positive result of all the death and suffering caused by violence worldwide is that it may, at some point, act as a catalyst for the vast majority of people to stand up and say enough is enough – violence is not acceptable in any form and we as a species must end it.  How is the larger question, when being less so.  Let’s say NOW to that.