» SO LONG LOU REED, YOU GOT ME

by Brian Awehali

LouReedLou Reed came to my dreams last night, looking ashen and skeletal, propped up in bed like it was his last interview, only it was a monologue, and he had dark and glorious things to share. The air around him was grainy, like old newsprint, and it was getting darker fast. He was an asshole, but I loved him in dream-time with as much tenderness and ferocity as I loved him with in my waking hours. Continue reading

» BERNARD LOOMIS: King of Toys No Longer Monetizing Childhood Imaginations

by Brian Awehali

Bernard Loomis (July 4, 1923 – June 2, 2006), the marketing genius who did far more than anyone else to help transform children’s television programming into a promotional arm of the toy industry, died of heart failure at the age of 82.

Largely through his introduction and marketing of dolls, action figures, and products including Chatty Cathy (the first talking doll), Barbie (measurements: 39- 21-33), The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, Baby Alive (who “realistically” pooped when fed), Play-Doh, The Man from Atlantis, Care Bears, and the entire Star Wars action figure collection, Loomis’ efforts helped spawn a “toyetic” world of “entertainment multiplexes.” Every company he worked for became the world’s largest toy company during his tenure.

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» TRICKIER DICK DEPARTS: An Obituary for Dick Cheney

(The obituaries of most famous people are written long before the subject’s actual death! Check out Obit., a 2017 documentary about the New York Times’ Obituary desk if you don’t believe me…) 

Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney
January 30, 1941- 2012

“Principle is OK up to a certain point, but principle doesn’t do you any good if you lose,” Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney, first appointed to office by Richard Nixon, told journalist Tim Russert in 1976. And it could be argued that until his closely guarded death at his Wyoming ranch sometime last week, Cheney never did truly lose, despite bringing scandal, ethics investigations, and eventual doom to every administration he worked for. By demonstrating his loyalty to an aggressive and frequently extra-legal realpolitik intentionally divorced from the realm of ethics–and getting away with it–this avid chili lover, “stump” of a high school football player from Wyoming, who dropped out of Yale, was twice nabbed for drunk driving, and who shot rabbits, birds, a hunting partner, and other animals in his free time, became a grimacingly enduring icon of American business and politics.

“He said the presidency was like one of those giant medicine balls,” said Bruce Bradley, who hired Cheney to work at his investment firm in 1973, after Cheney left the imploding Nixon administration. “If you get ahold of it, what you do is, you keep pushing that ball and you never let the other team push back.” People who think the presidency of Donald Trump is wholly unexpected should study Cheney’s playbook! During debates arranged for the benefit of Bradley’s clients at the time, Cheney would argue forcefully that Nixon’s resignation was forced merely by his enemies’ political ploys, and not because Nixon had violated any laws or betrayed the oath of his office.

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