Archive for June, 2008

All Right, Mr. DeMille, Michigan Is Ready for Its Close-up…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, June 16, 2008

Michigan recently pushed through a large incentive package to attract work from the film industry and apparently it is seeing some success. I don’t have any sort of idea of the cost/benefit ratio of the deal, but I do find it amusing when people who otherwise preach the gospel of small and limited government lose their religion when a movie crew shows up in their town….


Go Michigan Auto Industry! Go Wings!…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, June 9, 2008

Man, the Red Wings were fun to watch this year! Great team. Great players. Great organization. Obviously we need more Swedes in charge of things here in Michigan….


Andy Warhol Gives Me a Headache…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, June 2, 2008

So Ellie and I were at the Grand Rapids Art Museum on Friday. It’s the new one smack dab in the center of downtown. Very impressive facility. We happened to catch an Andy Warhol exhibit. I’m not a Warhol fan. It’s not so much his art as his packaging. As I explained to El, looking at Warhol’s work, I can’t help but to smell the smell of hundreds of cocaine-addled hangers on, talentless themselves but ever effusive in their praise of Warhol and Liza and Bianca and the latest goings on at Studio 54. Kinda gives me a headache. And while that might not seem entirely fair, consider that there was no Warhol art without the Warhol packaging. That’s what he intended.

But in looking at Warhol’s pop art and the other pieces of modern art, one of the things that struck me was their simplicity. I’ve got to think that part of the basic appeal is that the artists haven’t bothered to complicate their pieces. In a world where banning public smoking can quickly spiral into a massive piece of legislation and tax structures are so confusing they are like trying to understand your (gulp!) cell phone billing statement, simple is a relief, a refuge, a refreshment. And just because you can say “well I could have done that!” the appeal is the same.

I could write law that is no longer than a sentence: “There shall be no smoking in public places in Michigan.” But getting something that simple through the legistative process would be a work of art….


Memorial for Cheap Gas…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, May 26, 2008

Full disclosure: I can explore the geo-political causes, pontificate on environmental trade-offs, examine the macroeconomic ramifications — but when it comes right down to it, my basic thought on the issue is this: Paying $40 to fill up my little Ford Escort is seriously effed up….

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Do As I Say, Not As I Look…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Family magazine, May 2008