Author Archives: Alan

About Alan

The editor is a former systems manager for a large California-based HMO, and a former senior systems manager for Northrop, Hughes-Raytheon, Computer Sciences Corporation, Perot Systems and other such organizations. One position was managing the financial and payroll systems for a large hospital chain. And somewhere in there was a two-year stint in Canada running the systems shop at a General Motors locomotive factory - in London, Ontario. That explains Canadian matters scattered through these pages. Otherwise, think large-scale HR, payroll, financial and manufacturing systems. A résumé is available if you wish. The editor has a graduate degree in Eighteenth-Century British Literature from Duke University where he was a National Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and taught English and music in upstate New York in the seventies, and then in the early eighties moved to California and left teaching. The editor currently resides in Hollywood California, a block north of the Sunset Strip.

Such People

There’s Miranda’s speech in The Tempest – Act V, Scene I – “How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world that has such people in it!” Shakespeare is one thing, and Aldous Huxley is another. His famous novel Brave New World … Continue reading

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The Big Dog Barks

Bill Clinton, once known as President William Jefferson Clinton, is now called the Big Dog, affectionately. When he talks he takes over the room. He can explain incredibly complex matters with grace and humor – he knows his stuff, in … Continue reading

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Breaking the Spell

Repetition can be effective. The recent death of Glenn Fry – the founder and driving force behind the Eagles, the iconic rock band from the seventies, one more product of Laurel Canyon up the street here – had everyone playing … Continue reading

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The Competition

This is the weekend – the Super Bowl, and it’s Super Bowl 50 this time. This seems to have become an institution that defines America, or maybe it’s simply the only experience left that everyone actually shares in our fragmented … Continue reading

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She Grew

Things change. There was the Los Angeles Democratic Presidential Debate, January 31, 2008, at the Kodak Theater (now the Dolby Theater) on Hollywood Boulevard, sponsored and run by CNN – and it was good to have a friend who was … Continue reading

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As Seen From a Distance

It was December 14 in Paris many years ago, cold and dark at dawn, followed by heavy rain all day – an odd day – after staying up all night watching CNN-International in the hotel room. Somewhere in the middle … Continue reading

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Our Perpetual Possession of Being Well-Deceived

In 1704, Jonathan Swift published his first major work, the satire A Tale of a Tub – admittedly thorny and difficult but worth the work, because it’s a brilliant exploration of where what sounds so reasonable turns in on itself and becomes … Continue reading

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