“Why should anyone care about injustice when we have Alan Greenspan (past chairman of the Federal Reserve), Robert Rubin (then Treasury Secretary) and Lawrence Summers (his deputy) still riding around in style giving interviews instead of being behind bars being interviewed by their lawyers? These bums were once put on the Time cover in 1999 as the committee to save the world …Journalists still pursue them and ask their opinions, and these three shameless jerks continue to offer them…”
—Taki in the Spectator
TOO RICH TO CARE might well be the mantra of what’s being tagged as the new global elite, that growing international body of chilly capitalists who have elevated themselves so far above the common people that they live in a world of their own. “The circles we move in” opines Glen Hutchins of Silver Lake, a private equity firm, “are defined by ‘interests’ and ’activities’ rather than geography”, while an American media executive in London adds: “We are the people who know airline flight attendants better than we know our own wives”.
Isolating themselves ideologically, the business elite increasingly view themselves as a global community, says the Atlantic, distinguished by their unique talents, and way above such parochial concerns as national identity or devoting ‘their’ taxes to paying down ‘our’ budget deficit. “The widening gap between the rich and non-rich has been evident for years… parasitic bankers and other elites (living in a plutocracy) in which the rich display outsize political influence, narrowly self-interested motives and a casual indifference to anyone outside their own rarefied economic bubble”. (The Economist describes them as “smug, self-satisfied jerks”)
Meanwhile (the Atlantic explains) the vast majority of US workers, however devoted and skilled at their jobs, have not been part of this winner-take-most economy—or worse, found their savings, employers or professions ravaged by the same forces that have enriched the plutocratic elite. “The result…a jaw-dropping surge in US income inequality. Between 2002 and 2007, 65% of all income growth in the US going to the top 1% of the population… The 28 leading hedge fund managers were paid, on average, more than $1billion each in 2009. One of the two cofounders of, the private equity company Blackstone, was Stephen Schwarzman, who came away with $8bn.”
The now-jailed former Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky admitted last year that he had “treated business exclusively as a game” and “did not care much about social responsibility” and Allstate’s ceo Thomas Wilson claims he can get workers anywhere in the world, one explanation of why so many of America’s business elite don’t care about the problems of the US workforce.
Astonishingly, this above-it-all elite are enraged by criticism, displaying “a wounded incredulity that anyone could think of them as villains rather than heroes”, the villains in their eyes being the working and middle classes for extravagantly buying things that they can’t afford.
Increasingly however, they are being judged by their own kind. Paul Volcker, former head of the Federal Reserve, declared that Wall Street’s claims of wealth creation were without any real basis: “I wish someone would give me one shred of neutral evidence”, he said, “ that financial innovation has led to economic growth”.
IT’S ALWAYS SEEMED too obvious to give the homeless money instead of indirect help, but London tried it—and it worked. Admittedly this was on a small scale, a trial run with about a dozen people who were given an average of about $1,250 each, but none of them blew the money on drink or drugs, all bettered their lives in some way (buying clothes, an old trailer, a TV set) and so authorities now think that as it costs the state an average of $40,000 per year to care for the homeless, maybe cash hand-outs might work out better in the long run.
“National stereotypes take a long time to die. Foreigners
still talk about British ‘reserve’ even though the nation that
pioneered Big Brother is a world leader in emotional incontinence.
They talk of our good manners and sobriety, even though we are
the drunks and hooligans of Europe. In the foreigners’ mind, and even in our own, bankers still wear bowlers”
—Jeremy O’Grady in The Week
Brancusi's Bird in Space
WHAT IS ART? Is a cliché so venerable that you’d think the question would be obsolete by now, but even the distinguished guardians of the European Community still seem uncertain of the answer. Art in America tells the story of Berlin’s recent import of a Dan Flavin light sculpture which was classified as having “the characteristics of lighting fittings” and charged the 17.5% VAT tax instead of the 5% tax for artworks: a difference of $47,000. The magazine recalls an earlier precedent, back in 1926, when customs officials tagged Constantin Brancusi’s Bird in Space merely as “a manufactured object of metal”. That definition was eventually reversed by a judge because, he explained, “it was pleasing to look at and highly ornamental”. Art in America said about the Flavin sculpture that it was surprised that the EC reached this “unenlightened conclusion”.
WITH A POPULATION of 310 million, the U.S, is ungovernable, suggests Kirkpatrick Sale, referring readers of Chronicles to Aristotle who maintained that “a very great multitude cannot be orderly”. Of course, writes Sale, the population in that philosopher’s day was around 50 million tops, but nevertheless he had a point. More than three quarters of the world’s most prosperous countries today are small with “economic and social misery” increasing in direct proportion to the size and power of a central government. What size brings, Sale maintains, is increasing restriction, warfare, autocracy, crowding, inequality and starvation. And the solution? “The only hope for reenergizing American politics is to create truly sovereign states through peaceful, popular, powerful secessions”.
“I’m just drawn to more difficult stories. I always was, even as a child—I started reading the Russians, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, when I was 11 or 12. I’ve always been drawn to things that are left of center. That’s just been me. I never see it as a risk. I just see it as my artistic voice….What I’m best at doing are the things I know are unusual and dangerous. That’s always been my case”
—Nicole Kidman talking to the Santa Barbara Independent
ARE THEY CLONING PEOPLE YET?
Alex Besher: They're definitely headed that way. They ALREADY have the technology to clone people, but as you can imagine it's a political, social, "religious" etc. etc. TABOO.
Next best thing, medically and approved—and they're already doing it now, albeit on a beginner's scale—is they are CLONING bits of vital organs instead of doing transplants likely to get rejected.
Now that they’ve cloned animals are they cloning people?
AB: It's imaginable/unimaginable where the human species is headed, but there's not much doubt that "man" is going to look and be a whole lot different within the next half century.
Organs diseased or aged get replaced. There will be a life-span revolution whereby it will be possible to live a "quality" lifestyle, active, and whatnot, up to say age 300, and thereafter the sky or eternity is the limit.
Once the so-called bionic man has been created (memory data disks containing neurological archives of memories, ability to access all the known knowledge in the universe, thereby if you're in Spain you instantly start speaking Spanish like a natural-born pro, customized all the way down to local dialects, references to literature, song,
local info etc . . .
We will be, already are (but I certainly don't feel like one, in fact I rebel against this sort of pseudo-reality which WILL be the predominant consensual reality) GODS.
THE WILCOCK WEB: Pity the Koch brothers are so greedy; with all those billions they could really do some good. But, of course, they’d have to grow hearts…. Despite uncertainty about the future of the Euro, talk continues about the prospects for creating for South America a common currency (Single Unit of Regional Compensation), the Sucre which, in a previous century was the name of Ecuador’s currency…. Unpunished war criminal Condoleeza Rice has deservedly been forgotten but it’s too optimistic to hope that she won’t pop up again sooner or later….“I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat”, quoth Will Rogers….It’s a mystery why would-be immigrants pay thousands of dollars to smugglers when they could just buy airline tickets as tourists and then overstay their visas as do so many others…. Britain’s BAF Systems has devised a laser weapon which can be used to temporarily immobilize Somali pirates before they get close…. Entering a doctor’s prescription into the ATM-style InstyMeds machine issues a coded voucher which, in turn, releases the prescribed meds …. Calling him “an accidental distiller” Newsmax touts Brian Ellison’s Death's Door gin, produced on Washington Island, Death’s Door being the waterway between the island and the Wisconsin mainland…. I want my Al Jazeera TV….A new Sherlock Holmes adventure--“aimed at an adult audience”-- has been commissioned 80 years after Arthur Conan Doyle’s death, by his estate,…. Why on earth do 6million airheads want or need to know what Ashton Kutcher thinks?….Still in the early stages of testing, reports the New Scientist, is a drug ZGN-443, which (it’s claimed) can reduce one’s weight by up to a couple of pounds a week…. Is anybody reading this column?….Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?…. Clever tyrants are never punished.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
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— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Sixteen--JW'S Secret Diary (continued)
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— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Thirteen--Figaro Diary, part one, Soho Saturday
– Week of January 30, 2016
— John Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Twelve (continued)--Traveling with Nomad; SoHo Confidential
– Week of January 23, 2016
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Twelve--Andy Gets Shot: Max's Kansas City;
Jane Fonda's gesture;
Christo & Jeanne-Claude
– Week of January 16, 2016
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Eleven (continued)-- We go to Rutgers, Ann Arbor ...
What people say about Andy
– Week of January 9, 2016
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Eleven -- Andy Warhol First encounter....People talk about him....His movies...
– Week of January 2, 2016
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Chapter Ten (continued)--The 'Movement' splits: Eldridge Cleaver
Year of the Great Hoaxâ€¦The OZ trial
– Week of December 26, 2015
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Chapter Ten--Tom Forcade's smuggling funds High Times;
Rolling Stone's underground sabotage
– Week of December 19, 2015
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Chapter Nine (continued)--Rip Torn on stardom… Robert Mitchum's gift; London: Julian Beck’s critique; Emmett Grogan and the Diggers; Greece: The Junta, Charlotte Rampling, and art hero Daniel Spoerri
– Week of December 12, 2015
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Chapter Nine--Bob Dylan in the Village, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, Richard Neville and OZ, What Does London Need Most?, The International Times
– Week of December 5, 2015
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Eight (continued)--Japan: a working honeymoon;
The Shinjuku Sutra
– Week of November 28, 2015
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Eight--Art Kunkin's LA Free Press; In LA with Hunter Thompson, Lenny Bruce; Visit by Warhol; Hakim Jamal plays god; The San Francisco 'Be-In'; Underground papers meet
– Week of November 21, 2015
— John-Wilcock ... Manhattan Memories: Chapter Seven (continued)--The Underground Press; Army revolt: Â fragging officers; Bowart goes to Millbrook
– Week of November 14, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Seven--The singing Tit-o-Gram; The East Village Other; Art & Forgery; Birth of Black Power; The Underground Press
– Week of November 7, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Six (continued)--Tom Forcade: smuggler supreme; That pathetic drug czar
– Week of October 31, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Sixâ€”The weed that changed the world--Confessions of a pot smoker
– Week of October 24, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Fiveâ€”Reefer Madness (continued)--Jan and Stan change my life; The man who turned on the world
– Week of October 17, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Fiveâ€”Reefer Madness--The man who turned on the world; Tested by Harvard professors; Jan and Stan change my life
– Week of October 10, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Fourâ€”Into the '60s--London's underground press; Jean-Jacques Lebel burns US flag; Everybody's friend: Jim Haynes; Lenny Bruce and the kitchen tapes
– Week of October 3, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Fourâ€”Into the '60s--More Working at The New York Times; Mexico On $5 a Day; What Richard Condon taught me; Henry Miller's wise words
– Week of September 26, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Three--The Village Voice (continued) --Lasting insignificance: the 3-dot column, ECHOÂ and Larry Adler, Woody Allen plays classic nerd, A sample Village Square column
– Week of September 19, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Three--More trouble with our star novelist; Lasting insignificance: the 3-dot column; Jean Shepherdâ€™s phantom novel
– Week of September 12, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Two--Steve Allen derides TV columnist; Marlene Dietrich--glamorous grandmother
– Week of September 5, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter Two--Gilbert Seldes' The Lively Arts; Norman Mailerâ€™s Voice column; Giving parties to meet strangers
– Week of August 29, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter One--Chatting with Marilyn Monroe
– Week of August 22, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Chapter One--Jack Kent Cooke tells me to stay in Canada; Becoming a New Yorker ;A new Village newspaper; The casual wisdom of Steve Allen
– Week of August 15, 2015
— Manhattan Memories: Introduction.
– Week of August 8, 2015
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in the press...
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
A Budget Travel Pioneer on a Time When $5 a Day Was Real (Frugal) Money
nytimes.com: Frugal Traveler
by Seth Kugel
It was the first handwritten letter I’d received in 5 years. Or maybe 10. Signed by John Wilcock, a man I’d never heard of, and postmarked Ojai, Calif., it was waiting for me when I returned from my São Paulo-to-New York summer trip. Mr. Wilcock wrote that he had been an assistant editor at The Times Travel section back in the 1950s, and had written the first editions of “Mexico on $5 a Day,” “Greece on $5 a Day” and “Japan on $5 a Day” for Arthur Frommer in the 1960s.
By George, I thought. This man was the original Frugal Traveler.
by John Wilcock
"A GOOD WAY to describe John Wilcock is to say that he is a talented bohemian counter-culture journalist who once played a major role in the emergence of America’s underground press. Born 1927 in Sheffield, England, he left school aged 16 to work on various newspapers in England, and on Toronto periodicals before moving to New York City. There in 1955 he became one of the five founders of the Village Voice in which he and co-founder Norman Mailer wrote weekly columns. Wilcock called his column “The Village Square”, an intended pun. He and young Mailer were not quite friends, although Wilcock was at times annoyed, but always amused, by Mailer’s monstrous ego."
-From the preface of Manhattan Memories, by Martin Gardner
The Autobiography and Sex Life of Andy Warhol
by John Wilcock
Edited by Christopher Trela
Photographs by Shunk-Kender
Village Voice and Interview cofounder John Wilcock was first drawn into the
milieu of Andy Warhol through film-maker Jonas Mekas, assisting on some
of Warhol’s early films, hanging out at his parties and quickly becoming a
regular at the Factory. “About six months after I started hanging out at the
old, silvery Factory onWest 47th Street,” he recalls, “[Gerard] Malanga came
up to me and asked, ‘When are you going to write something about us?’”
Already fascinated by Warhol’s persona, Wilcock went to work, interviewing
the artist’s closest associates, supporters and superstars. Among these were
Malanga, Naomi Levine, Taylor Mead and Ultra Violet, all of whom had been
in the earliest films; scriptwriter Ronnie Tavel, and photographer Gretchen
Berg; art dealers Sam Green, Ivan Karp, Eleanor Ward and Leo Castelli, and
the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Henry Geldzahler; the poets Charles Henri
Ford and Taylor Mead, and the artist Marisol; and the musicians Lou Reed and Nico. Paul Morrisey supplied the title: The Autobiography and Sex Life of
AndyWarhol was the first oral biography of the artist. First published in 1971,
and pitched against the colorful backdrop of the 1960s, it assembles a prismatic
portrait of one of modern art’s least knowable artists during the early
years of his fame. The Autobiography and Sex Life is likely the most revealing
portrait of Warhol, being composite instead of singular; each of its interviewees
offers a piece of the puzzle that was Andy Warhol. This new edition
corrects the many errors of the first, and is beautifully designed in a bright,
Warholian palette with numerous illustrations.
The British-born writer John Wilcock co-founded The Village Voice in 1955,
and went on to edit seminal publications such as The East Village Other, Los
Angeles Free Press, Other Scenes and (in 1970) Interview, with Andy Warhol.