Before Ronald Reagan

download.jpgI see in the news that they have arrested a woman for paying $400,000 to get her non-soccer playing son into UCLA on a soccer scholarship. I guess someone has to pay for those multi-level carparks and all that avocado toast at the CO-OP.

When I was planning for college they offered me $140 a semester and I didn’t even play soccer. How could I refuse? Of course in terms of today’s dollars this seems a paltry sum but back then it was more than enough to sway my decision.

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Who Runs America?

A poem by Allen Ginsberg, Braniff Air, Denver—Dallas, December 3, 1974

Oil brown smog over Denver
Oil red dung colored smoke
level to level across the horizon
  blue tainted sky  above
Oil car smog gasoline
  hazing red Denver's day
    December bare trees
      sticking up from housetop streets
Plane lands rumbling, planes rise over
      radar wheels, black smoke
        drifts wobbly from tailfins

Oil millions of cars speeding the cracked plains
Oil from Texas, Bahrain, Venezuela Mexico
Oil that turns General Motors
    revs up Ford
  lights up General Electric, oil that crackles
thru International Business Machine computers
      charges dynamos for ITT
  sparks Western Electric
      runs thru Amer Telephone & Telegraph wires
Oil that flows thru Exxon New Jersey hoses,
rings in Mobile gas tank cranks, rumbles
        Chrysler engines
shoots thru Texaco pipelines,
    blackens ocean from broken Gulf tankers
spills onto Santa Barbara beaches from
      Stand of California derricks offshore.

Rodents Of Unusual Size

images.jpgThe dangers of the fire swamp are the flame spurt, the lightning sand, the Internet wormholes, and the dreaded Rodents Of Unusual Size (ROUS). Leslie has demonstrated the most effective way to avoid three of these dangers but no one has a viable way of avoiding Internet wormholes short of tossing your computer (or Smart Phone) into the Well at the World’s End.

I personally fall into what should be an easily avoidable wormhole in two seemingly innocent ways. The first is when I go to YouTube to catch up on the four or five video podcasts I follow and enjoy. Unfortunately the folks at Google tempt me with dozens of related or semi-related videos that seem to promise arcane knowledge of digital watches or at least a few minutes of entertainment ranging from mild humor to sexual enticement. My favorites tend to involve food porn (especially street food, down and dirty), classic rock covers played on obscure asian instruments, and videos displaying the my favorite comedian-du-jour (Lewis Black  rocks!). I also still insist on watching the How-To video whenever I need to restring my ukulele.

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