Wednesday, December 24, 2008

(12.24.08) Recommends:

Taxicab Confessions.

Stories That Grabbed Our Attention This Year, Written While in the Cab to LAX.

01. The election. This probably tops most people's list. From primaries to caucuses to FiveThirtyEight to that awful Sarah Palin person to the election of BH Obama, it was literally a year-long ride.

02. The near collapse of the world economy. Who thought we'd read with such interest stories about the TED spread and the commercial paper market. Every day tried to top the previous day in over-the-topness of bad news.

03. Pirates. A mixture of childlike fasination, admiration of the perhaps dubious populist stance of the pirates, and a fear that due to point 2, pirate economies would become more prevalant, we couldn't read enought about this.

04. Nebraska Anti-Abandonment Law. So NE passed a law meant to encourage parents who couldn't carry the burden of a baby, to turn newborns in rather than abandon them. Problem is, no age restriction was written into the law and something like 50 children, many as old as 17, were immediately given up. Law was amended in an emergency session.

05. Suicide of David Foster Wallace. If anybody could have put stories 1-4 into context of modern culture, it would have been Dave Wallace. When he checked out early, we feared mass confusion had finally carried the day. We all carry on, but with heavy hearts.

06. Myspace verdict. It's always hard to talk about the import of case law until years later when it's impact can be fully analyzed. But this case makes it a federal crime to violate a private company's terms of use. The back story makes this result easy to handle for casual observers, but it's theoretically taking us into murky waters.

Well, that's all the time we have. We're being lectured on taxicab credit card use by the driver and can no longer concentrate. What is up with the cash entitlement complex of cab drivers? I know it's marginally inconvenient for you, but it's marginally inconvenient for me to pay for the price of the ride. So it evens out, okay?

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