Vive La Difference

I recently read an essay by Eric G. Wilson, a professor of English at Wake Forest University, in which he laments the decline of melancholy in American culture.  By contrast, he questions the preoccupation we Americans have with happiness, as evidenced by the poll he cited conducted by Pew Research Center which found that 85 percent of us admit to being happy or somewhat happy. Continue reading

A Day at the Opera

I was reminded recently of a line form an old Jack Douglas book, “I promised my analyst on his deathbed that I would see an opera once a year.”  Moving past the likelihood that very few will remember who Jack Douglas was, or that I actually was in therapy when I was twelve, I calculated that, were this really the case, by now I would have owed my hypothetical analyst upwards of forty operas. Continue reading

Veni, Vidi, Vend

Ladies, please!  What is it about shopping that you don’t understand?  I’m not talking about the shopping times when you are in it for the sake of the browsing.  I mean when you actually intend to make a purchase. At times like these, when you want to buy something, you have to pay for it.  It seems a simple enough concept, but my unfortunate experience says otherwise. Continue reading

An Ox on Both Your

I have petitioned the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to officially add the ox to its list of endangered species.  With 12,484 lobbyists registered in Washington (according to the Center for Responsive Politics), there has been such a dramatic increase in the number of oxen being gored by new and proposed legislation, that there is fear that there may not be enough oxen for the new Congressional term. Continue reading

Impeachable You

Believe us, Rod, we feel your Paine. These are, indeed, times that try our souls. Barely have we, in the Land of Lincoln, had time to bask in the optimism of Obama before being brought back to more sober times over the babblings of Blagojevich. Even worse, the recent events surrounding Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich have left many of us straining to hold on to that icon of the American justice system: that one is innocent until proven guilty. Continue reading

The Last Contango in Washington

The silence has been deafening.  Everyone must be watching the stock market.  At least, everyone who wants to discuss the “market” these days means watching the stock market.  To be sure, there are a few “sophisticated” types who have learned what a credit-default swap is.  A few more may decry the renewed weakness in the dollar, but usually if they are planning a trip to Europe. Continue reading