Category Archives: People

On the road


 

Kickstarter update on the road away from prohibition.

This is an account of a one-day side-trip on the road in pursuit of the “Tales of Mary Jane”. Every day of that year-ending five-weeks was as interesting and satisfactory as (I hope you will agree) this one.

The first four chapters of the book have been distributed to the backers, and I’m polishing chapter 5 for posting soon.

Here’s to 2015 being better for you, and more productive for me.

Sincere best wishes,
Jack Large

PS to backers of either or both of my Kickstarter projects: Forgive the appearance of multiple identical updates, if you will. It takes a lot less time to apologize in advance than it does to forestall it when your tech skills are as sketchy as mine.

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RIP Whitney Houston


I was already thinking about the death of this tragic young woman  when a Facebook friend posted  the ABC News report of it to me. It had come up on Talking Points Memo when I had launched it minutes earlier. I responded (to the friend) with a complaint against ABC News, that had included in the first line of their report that Houston’s was a career ravaged by drugs. My vehemence rather startled my friend, and I felt a need to clarify to her, and now to the reader, that my discomfort with the whole topic had nothing to do with her, or the appearance of the report on my “Wall”.

What I meant to say was that Whitney Houston’s career, and her talent, were brilliant with or without the drugs.  I understand drugs and drug use about as well as a person can and still be alive. I can think of only three purposes that justify the use of drugs: fun, medicine and self-knowledge. Too much use, regardless of which rationale is operating, produces negative (undesirable) effects that range from defeating the purpose of use, to user fatality. Millions have died as a result of our societies’ sending us, from the time we are old enough to pay attention, a barrage of mixed, hence unreliable, messages about substances available for us to ingest, licit or illicit.

We’re told these substances will make us well, sick, tired, energetic, happy, sad, hungry, appetite-less, ad nauseam. They will make our lives better, or at least endurable. We’ve all been living down this rabbit hole to which “authority” has relocated us for so long that we don’t know up from down any more, when it comes to substances we are offered for consumption. We know marketing well enough to wisely ignore most of the claims it trumpets, if we have more than half-a-wit.

So we trust those closest to us. “This drug hasn’t killed me. I feel great. Have some. Here’s a beer to wash it down” Once it has become a way of life, it’s very hard to change it, because to do so, we would have to push away  the enablers in our life if we if we are to succeed at change. Few of us are ready to let our people go, even if it means saving our lives.

ABC News and the rest piss me off because, top to bottom, they lack either the will or the intellect or the fortitude, or any combination thereof,  to dig deeply enough into our behavior, what’s behind it and what it does to us, to produce the kind of evidence that would empower people to demand change, and see it through to a day when real change has healed our ailing civic bodies.

Every one of these stupid, unnecessary deaths of young people, be they as dull as most, or as brilliant as Whitney Houston, might have been helped,  if what was killing them hadn’t been criminalized, putting it beyond the perimeter of intelligent, sympathetic scrutiny by ABC News and their ilk. Now, like carrion-eaters,  they return to feast on Whitney Houston’s sad remains and to capitalize on her tragedy by “reporting” it in a moralistic tone.

Stop a Head when Flashing


[note] I wrote this for a publisher who wanted something about the people, days and events in it. After he accepted it, I checked it with Charlie and he objected to what, in his memory (admittedly somewhat more acute than mine, for reasons that will become apparent). I pulled it, so you’re reading it fresh. Rather than change it, I’ll just call it a work of pure fiction, and add Charlie’s objections in the home stretch. Let the reader make of it whatever he or she likes.

Charles Potts and I met in Pocatello not long before he left for Mexico, so I didn’t get to know him well until he showed up months later in Seattle. Charlie and LSD came on me at about the same time. Acid was stronger, but had nowhere near Charlie’s legs. He was staying with a friend in Olympia, intent on starting a poetry magazine in Seattle. I had quit my job at Boeing the day after dropping my first acid. I had a room in Abie Label’s “artist’s colony” on the eleventh floor of the Frye Hotel at 2nd and Yesler.(It wasn’t all altruism-the elevator went only to 10. The rooms on 11 were just over 6 ft high on one side, sloping up to about 7 and a half on the other to allow for drainage from the roof.)


I had been reading publications like Screw and Fuck, a lot of Ed Sanders’ and Tuli Kupferberg’s stuff, and other arcana of hipness at Jean Andre’s Id Bookstore on 1st Avenue at Yesler, kitty corner Pioneer Square. Sitting around the Id a lot, one lighthearted day (if that’s the right body part), I wrote a send-up of Poe, encountering his eponymous Raven on acid.

Everybody I read it to thought it was cool, naturally, so I was having my 15 minutes when Charlie came back from Mexico with poetry, or more accurately producing a poetry mag on his mind. He didn’t have a name for it yet, and in my new-found acid consciousness, I reached down into memories of my boyhood and found “Litmus”, with its cool dual entendre of the little strips of paper chemists use to test solutions for acidity, and the alliteral allusion to literature. This account is disputed by the estimable, and otherwise absolutely dependable Larry Kent,  also present and the time, and making the same claim for himself. Maybe we had become the same person in that moment. The difference was that I knew exactly what the idea had sprung from.

My father had given me a chemistry set for Christmas back when you could still get one with everything needed to make black powder. His demonstration of the use of litmus paper was magical, indelible in my memory. I’m not sure Charles is ready even now to acknowledge that I named Litmus. I let him down in the stretch, leading up to the appearance of #1, by failing to get the big old multilith printing machine into orbit, that I had acquired in hopes of ensuring book quality printing work.  I was also smoking a lot of weed by, and during, the time he was laboring herculanimously to get #1 out, and off, and on multiple fronts. He took a job at a motorcycle tire dealer to save enough to move to Seattle from Olympia, where he had, in a very short time, become a popular reader in the [name?] coffeehouse.

I’d had friction with some of the artists at the Frye by then. Their underwear bunched up at my plan to move a noisy printing machine into their Zen sanctuary, as it might disrupt the flow of lissome art groupies fluttering in and out of their ersatz ashram. With no appetite for another war, ‘Nam nowhere near over yet, I bailed from there.

Charles and I took an apartment together for a couple months in Belltown, on 2nd Avenue. We found it tastelessly ironic that our new pad was directly above the navy recruiter’s office. That any of our crowd had to pass the “Go Navy” sign to reach our door, tickled us nonetheless. It was there where I took the photo of Edward Smith in the same bathtub where Charlie has written elsewhere that he had found his roommate breaking up a “key”, and it was also there where I shot the picture of Charlie uprooting the Space Needle, both hands under the cap as if it were a great metallic fungus.

Edward Smith was one of several persons that Charlie and I met in the poetry workshops we led together for the Magic Mountain’s Miriam Rader and her Free University of Seattle project, who would become influential in our lives. I was a farce as far as being a poetry teacher goes. I was a humorist abusing the privilege by pretending to write poetry. While the occasional jokes might amuse, they didn’t make for good poetry. A redeeming fact, perhaps, was that I recognized this before anyone else, with the outcome being that I dumped the A B Dick lemon on a guy eager to strike a blow against the man in the form of a magazine for transvestites, and I bailed.

This left Charlie holding the growing poetry bag-Litmus, poetry class, and all, but with with a pair of good hands. I moved into the back room at Jack Cabe’s Zig Zag Gallery in the Pike Place Market, where I would still be in a position to help Charlie host the “Theodore Roethke Gladness Wake” (he still has the flyers!) About that event I can say that on that evening, Charlie, Edward and another former Pocatellan, Clair Oursler, showed me how exciting a live poetry reading could be; it really had to be if it was to do more than merely derive from others’ earlier work, however magnificent.

Of course I did my Poe turn, which was already tasting stale in my mouth. Edward read his feminist call to arms, “Rise up my cunted ones”; Charlie read “I dream of Oaxaca” (which I had been the first person to hear, earlier, when he finished writing it in Belltown), and Clair, astonishingly enough, read the product liner notes from a package of VA douche powder, by the light of an electric lint remover. Whatever one thinks of Roethke, his name lost some of its luster that night, or if not, at least the 30-odd poets and hipsters who attended the readings left less inclined, probably, to use reverential tones when dropping the name.

Another poet who read was David Hiatt. Because I didn’t know him well, I lost complete memory of him and his reading until recently, although I was always aware that there was a hot poetry connection between him and Charles Potts. I recently got a Facebook friend request from David, and in a subsequent exchange of messages he debunked my presumption of propinquity between him and the too-soon-gone poet, Ben Hiatt, he reminded me that I had given him a small amount of “walking around money” at that reading. Maybe Facebook is as close as we have yet come to the global electronic village promised us all those decades ago by Marshall McLuhan and Tim Leary.

My Poe takedown appeared in Litmus #1, which also used my B/W photo of a spider on a chrysanthemum on the cover. From then on, as a result of having met David Horton, already a master photographer espoused to another of the dozen or so brilliant attendees of the poetry class, he became my mentor in a visual art form for which I thought I had more aptitude than for writing poetry. Prose was always more “my thing”, and we all know its not the same.

I was probably a little jealous of the bond I watched grow so quickly between Charles and Edward; they are, or were, now Ed is deceased, both eminently loveable men. The final cooling stroke in the relationship between Charles and I was delivered in the person of Janice P, a lively Nordic blonde, with  a large Alsatian, and  also in the poetry class. We thought of her as our groupie, as she had put a lip-lock on Charlie before you could say “fellatio trumps cunnilingus”. In the end, she threw us both over for a guy who “could beat her at tennis,” but I chalked it up to a rough first acid trip. Twenty years later, either one of us would have accepted the tennis challenge, switching gender roles for the Bobby Riggs-Billy Jean King Classic match-up result, but I didn’t come here to take up sports writing.

For awhile, as time was reckoned in the Summer of Love, it was fair to say she was Charlie’s girl. One day she came around the gallery looking for Charlie, so she said, and I don’t claim otherwise. Charlie wasn’t there, nor was he usually, for if not at his job, he would be very busy working to get Litmus out. Before anyone but the rare clearheaded person realized what was happening, Janice and I were putting the wood away on the gallery floor while the Alsatian licked his balls in the corner.

I felt a little self-conscious about it afterward, all our fashionable pretensions about the correctness of free love notwithstanding. I didn’t think Charlie was too pleased about it either when I told him later, but the damage was done. A few months, a thousand poetry publishing headaches, and a few issues of Litmus later, and Charlie was off to meet his alter ego, Laffing Water in Berkeley (cf. Vol II, Valga Krusa, Green Panda, 2007, Cleveland).

It’s been said that if you remember the 60’s, you weren’t there, and there may be truth in it. I sent the above text to Charles, expecting his memory to be as good or better than mine. Our versions don’t match, but I have neither an argument against his, nor an inclination to vary mine, since I remember it. Even so, I concede to Charles’ account of his motivations, intentions and actions. His mind wasn’t nearly as addled with weed, wine and psychecelics as mine, then or ever. His account of the time follows:

“Per the biography, my memory is substantially different from yours. I did not return from Mexico or move to Seattle obsessed with publishing a poetry magazine. When we re-met in Seattle, you and David Wagner and others whose names escape me were planning an anti-war anti-establishment magazine that was to be called Shrapnel. For which Wagner had made a proto typical cover misspelling the word as Scrapnel I believe.

What I offered in those late days of August was to procure some poetry for this magazine as I had left Pocatello feeling slightly guilty that I had let Bob Serpa talk me out of including Dawn, Clair, and Mary Heckler in an anthology Serpa and I published called Do You Want to Be in Our Zoo Too? which contained the works of Serpa, CP, Zig, and Geoffrey Dunbar.

I had read Ford Madox Ford’s It Was the Nightingale which was a nightmare about publishing The Transatlantic Review and I had determined never to be the editor or publisher of a magazine.
As time went along, and the name of the projected magazine changed to Litmus, it became apparent that you and Wagner weren’t going to be able to produce. I was perfectly willing to let down my friends, Oursler, Dawn, and Mary Heckler one more time and let the project languish. It was only after the 3rd meeting of “Poetry—Language—Now” at the free university when Ed Smith read “The Queen of the Blue Fox” and we had a poem that had to be published, did I become obsessive about getting the first and second issues out, and subsequently took over the publishing in order to finish it.
Those are the most substantive objections to the portrayal of me in those days. Per the Theodore Roethke Gladness Wakes, the first one was you me and Clair. Ed Smith read at the 2nd one along with Paul Malanga and Bobby Byrd. [Charles Potts, personal email, 11 March 2009]

Sequelae: I sought Charlie out in Berkeley alongside a “buying trip” I had undertaken, as necessitated by seekers from Seattle in those early days of designer chemistry. I arrived at the airport early in the morning, bought a newspaper and took the bus into Berkeley. The headlines blared the the cops raiding Black Panther headquarters in Berkeley, killing two men, including Bobby Seale, and arresting Eldridge Cleaver and Huey P. Newton. It was not unexpected push-back by the police, and was viewed on the streets as the cops getting even for the Panthers well-established habit of “patrolling the pigs”, or cruising the streets of Oakland and Berkeley with serious firepower protruding from every window. It was a policy ostensibly designed to awaken all to a perceived need to protect local citizens from being harassed by police for walking while black.

Reaching Charlie’s room, I woke him up to read him this news, as he had as yet no inkling of it. It was a delicious moment for me, that rare one when any of his friends learned a salient fact before Charlie, always so diligent in his pursuit, and rarely forgetting anything. I imagine it enabled me to somewhat refuel Charles’ esteem of me as a reliable participant in our scene. I have been lucky in that way.

If you have read this far with any interest (and how could you not?)  and yet are unfamiliar with Valga Krusa (in 2 vols: The Yellow Christ, and Laffing Water, which details the hair-raising and heart-rending experiences of Charlie in Berkely, culminating in his descent into psychiatric hell, and subsequent (and quite brilliant) recovery, the book is available by contacting this space.

Dogpatch Spy Provocateur: An American Original


There are so many holes in this story, it’s hard to know where to push in the probes. It began, the public part, with an incident Jan. 27, in Lahore, as reported in the New York Times.  An American driver stopped at an intersection, suspected two men on a scooter of being armed, and firing “through his windshield” with a Glock 9mm, killed both. He then emerged from his vehicle to photograph the corpses with his digital camera. Soon afterward, he was arrested by Pakistani police. A search and preliminary interrogation turned up a lot of suspicious gear and eyebrow raising documentation, setting in motion a chain of shadowy exchanges between US and Pakistani officials, and the New York Times.

Meet Raymond Davis, identified as the American at the center of this brewing storm in relations between the two countries, and a figure so enigmatic at this point that one is hard-pressed to think of his equal in international spy fiction. An International (Express) Tribune story has identified him as either a CIA spook, or a US State Department adjunct working out of Lahore, Pakistan. He certainly looks like the sort we became so uncomfortably familiar with in the bad old days before  Blackwater, forced by a growing number of incidents eerily similar in type to the present one, rose Phoenix-like from its own ashes, reincarnated as Xe (pronounced “Kaiser Seozay”).

What is wrong with this picture?
What is wrong with this picture?

David Lindorf, writing on the growing debacle in Truthout,makes it very clear that, although the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post were all slow to seize on this story, perhaps due to pressure from the Obama administration, the story is so far out ahead of the traditional news outlets that, whatever damage it has the potential to do US-Pakistani relations is unlikely to be mitigated anytime before a lot more damage-causing information, and possibly disinformation, has been revealed.

Raymond Davis seems a most unlikely choice to be out in front of the kind of covert shenanigans he is being accused of perpetrating in behalf of whoever his shadowy masters are. At first glance, he seems utterly lacking in either the formal education or cross-cultural sophistication, to pull off anything nearly so tricky. And that is precisely why the story, focusing as it does on dueling spy agencies carrying out leftover missions from the W Bush era, seems so abjectly plausible. Stay tuned. This story is going to get a lot uglier before it goes away.

The Best of the Billionaires


Since I put the idea out there for them to embrace with the alacrity and verve we find so appealing in them, America’s billionaires have been slow to recognize the real opportunity my plan represents. This is hard to explain. After all, who’s better known for seizing an opportunity to become even more financially rotund than the commercial behemoths produced by the US system of trickle down, Hoover up freemarket capitalism.

The plan in a nutshell, you may remember, is a unique combination of reality TV and game show, with an American Idol twist. It starts with a move every billionaire can get behind, and divides up the planet between a number of the most competitive billionaires (weaklings under $2bn net worth need not apply.) Each billionaire is allowed to compete with up to one billion of his or her own money, and whatever profits are gained from their enterprise in the competition are theirs to keep, after all expenses have been settled.

Every day brings new ideas and insights to the scheme, and today’s come from the sale of the Shine Group, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s daughter, to the mogul himself, price tag: $672 million. The old fellow wants the company, we are told, because of all the great things it’s goint to add to the content-creation arm of his behemoth media empire. He may envision improvements to his FOX Broadcasting unit, where the need for help with quality content is sorely needed, if we can’t believe what we’re hearing and seeing there, and it seems we can’t. Good luck with that.

So here it is, Ms Murdoch, here is the gem that will help ensure that the new Shine on the Murdoch fortunes is real, and not just a reflection of the stage lights on Dad’s ego. Pick up the option on this program and produce an instant hit. I say start with the 50 states and give one each to a billionaire with no current financial holdings in that state. Charge them with building a team of idea people, researchers, managers and engineers, and public relations and marketing people who are presently unemployed in that state. Start by landing one or more of the many unemployed human resources professionals wandering around looking dazed and confused and go from there.

All they have to do to get started is to verify that they have placed $US one billion in escrow for the project, and the game is on. Round up the local media teams to keep an eye (and a camera) on their their every move, as they begin to shape a new industry for the state, or to improve its existing resources to a level of fiscal productiveness. Make sure they all get exactly the same breaks, in terms of obeying the local laws. Air weekly or even daily reports on the action, answering questions on the minds of local viewers: Who’re the players? What’s the action?; How much is being spent, and on what?

Empanel a group of experts to evaluate the moguls’ projects in terms of whose ideas are generating the most good for the most citizens of each’s respective state. Finally, set up a method, a la American Idol, where the citizens can make their own opinions count, in terms of how they are receiving that which is being put in place for them. Use an algorithm combining the findings of the panel with the votes of the public to allot a number of points per week to each player. The billionaire with the most points for the week is the “Best Billionaire”.

I’m looking your way, Ms Murdoch, for the same reason I first offered the idea to Donald Trump. I figured he’d jump at the chance to do it, and earned a well-deserved Nobel, thus putting him a giant step closer to the US Presidency that he feels so uniquely qualified for. He’s ignoring me, possibly because it’s easier to just keep building projects that shave money off those of his own class. Who can say?

I reckon that, if you know anything at all, Ms Murdoch, you must know media. I think you will see the merits in this plan, if your imagination is as good as we imagine. This project has the potential to produce more media revenue in the first year alone, than Diddums is forking over for your Shine Group. Here’s your chance to build another one, even bigger and better, and in less time, without even breaking a sweat. Call it Spit Shine. Call it whatever you want, once it’s yours. Call me.

Jack Large

Seoul

The World I Want to See


After posting yesterday’s, it occurred to me that, because the phrase, American Mogul, is a fairly common one, it has likely been used in one context or another by someone. If so, I owed it to that person and myself to find out. I did what anyone does, nowadays, and googled it. Sure enough, there he was, Russell Simmons, an entertainment world figure and a successful entrepreneur himself, if still a toenail short of the billionaire cut. If he remains healthy and energetic, and continues to do everything right, he’ll make it. It’s still America, after all.

Reading about Mr. Simmons, I began to develop a wary admiration of him and his pursuits. He had some help along the way from family, like so many successful people have, but he surely deserves the “self-made” distinction that Forbes applies to billionaires (and less) that the magazine considers more worthy of our approbation. I realized that, while making money had been a relatively central factor in Mr. Simmons’ motivational complex, I was hard-pressed to think of anyone for whom that isn’t necessarily the case. All it takes, in fact, is a trip to the supermarket to put the point into perspective.

I cannot comment about the reality show of which he was the central character, for I’ve only just learned of its existence and have more pressing lacunae on my to-Google list. Apparently it didn’t have the leg for the long run. Others will know; I don’t. It was apparently interesting enough to be signed up for more than a single season, so one wonders what essential ingredient it exhausted first. I had to think about the point for a spell.

As I thought (an activity I do more vigorously before lunch than after) I slipped into a kind of afternoon reverie. I remembered a project I had worked on years earlier in Idaho, taking photographs for a project run by a long-defunct magazine called Idaho Heritage. I spent a day or two, (depending on Day One weather) wandering about taking snapshots, and only occasionally intruding into the daily activities of the residents, to get their ideas about what might be the interesting subjects of my work.

The communities and their citizens were charming, villages, really, each was unique. I’ll bring some of the photos here, soon as it occurs to me where they are archived, for they coincide in years with the advent of the personal computer. I mention these places; there were twelve of them, for one reason. Each of the towns was healthy, but not noticeably growing, and each showed signs of a struggle to remain not just economically viable, but stable enough to remain more than a mere ghost town, of which there are more in Idaho than one might guess.

It occurred to me to wonder what might happen if a single affluent individual decided that one of these towns would be, in a wired world such as ours, a reasonable place to take up residence for all or part of a year? What if, having determined to do so with a budget of a million dollars to make the move, using locally available products and services and tradespeople as possible, they spent 90% of their budget there?

In fact, there is nothing speculative about this scenario, and in Bellevue, Idaho (one of the 12 Idaho Heritage towns) something very similar has happened nearby already, and repeatedly. The next town north of it is Hailey, after which comes Ketchum. All three are part of the Sun Valley, Big Wood River area of central Idaho, which has become the site of serial homes of some of the most recognized names in the country. The easiest way for a longterm resident of the area to become a millionaire is to sell the building lot their pioneer family home still occupies.

The point of today’s maundering entry is that it doesn’t take a big investment in a small community, its residents and their businesses, to set in motion a chain reaction of progressive optimism and hope for the future that makes of such places some of the best places to live in the country. There are a large number of civic projects just waiting on a little bit of liquidity for launch. The knock-on effects of employing a dozen of the most capable local workers, normally resigned to the “rocking chair” of off-season unemployment checks is well known. People with an opportunity to repair, expand, upgrade, begin or complete long-idle projects in their surroundings are people with renewed optimism. Without optimism, life is merely being. The missing ingredient that brings the transformation from being to becoming is disposable capital, and that only comes from the exchange of goods and services, unless you are a Wall Street Banker or a big corporation. But that’s another blog post.

The reality TV show I’d like to see


The United States, according to Forbes Magazine has a minimum of 400 billionaires. Almost half that number are worth $2 billion or more, give or take. When you’re standing on the mountain, its hard to know the size of it.

Donald Trump, at $2.6 bn, has his eye on the top of the pile always, and not just the money pile. He wants to be president. Fair enough. We’re taught from a very young age that, in America, we can be president if we want it badly enough, and if we work harder to get there than the runners-up do .

The Donald has once again inflated the trial balloon, and once again generated as much ridicule as support for the notion, partly because he claims the right no to decide until after the current season of his hit reality show, The Apprentice, has been put to bed.

I have given the matter a lot of thought (strangely enough) and I have divined a path, a Yellow Brick Road, if you will, that ends with Mr. Trump elected POTUS. It is not only plausible, but if he can just go out and pull it off with the same deftness he demonstrates in getting the members of his class to spend on other Trump enterprises, I will vote for Donald Trump myself.

The reader who doesn’t know me will be muttering “Here’s another fool with a disposable vote!”, and that’s fair enough, at least in part. I am a kind of American socialist; our votes are, thus far, the very definition of disposable in our country. Yet, that here is a socialist acknowledging even the possibility of voting for a man whose life e, should give any politically literate person a double-take. So here it is; it needs a name and yours may be better than mine. I call it American Mogul. I am not shy in my triteness.

Four hundred billionaires, if parity was possible, would mean eight per state. Only half of them have enough money to play in this contest, cutting the total number of billionaires eligible for it to four. Eligibility rests on one qualification. Each would-be mogul must be willing to place, at the outset, one billion dollars in escrow if they mean to play. The eligibility pool will contain but 50 contestants, or one per US state. An entry fee of one million dollars will be collected from the escrow funds.

To become the American Mogul, contestants will be judged by a method combining the small administrative skills of an expert panel, a la The Apprentice, and American Idol, with the local perceptions in the state theater of performance, by a panel composed of judges from the ranks of government, education, business and the public-at-large, and finally, by the tally of phone-in votes for candidates as regarded by the national citizenry.

A lottery would pair each mogul with a state. Ground rules requiring each to reveal the extent of their current business activity in the state allotted to them, so that the likelihood is minimized of their approach doing no more good than merely adding substance to an already substantial holding there.

The action required of each mogul, is to devise and implement an investment plan, to be completed within a set period of, say, 4-5 years, that can be shown to produce the greatest amount of financial, social and tax benefit to his/her allotted state, and as the demonstrated result of the mogul’s plan.

The economic spin-offs from media presentation, employment opportunities, bandwagon-jumping investor mogul wanna-bes should be significant and fun to watch. Close scrutiny to guard agains cronyism, corruption, insider trading, sweetheart deals, offshore accounts, and outsourcing of key elements should be recognized as real risks, and rules put in place to minimize and penalize their occurrence.

The perception of most people is that most moguls got their money the old-fashioned way: they inherited it. Furthermore, it is generally perceived that, without teams of lawyers, accountants and managers, most moguls would end their lives with less than they started with.

Here is a chance for them to put us all in our places. Donald Trump can lead the orchestra, and if he does so, successfully, he would deserve the Nobel Peace Price, the one that would make believers of us all, and put him in the White House.

So come on, Mr Trump!  Stand and deliver, you other billionaires! Show us what you’re made of. Prove to us, all and sundry, that Laissez Faire capitalism, even the taxed and regulated kind, is the way to the Promised Land. Or don’t, and continue to confirm our worst suspicions.