Today, LACMA and roughly 70 other art institutions across Southern California are brimming with works by Latino artists as part of the groundbreaking Getty-led initiative, “PST: LA/LA.” Ironically it includes numerous works by Asco members.
The United Nations now publishes an annual World Happiness Report, and it shows that the overall trend since the depths of the Great Recession, in 2008-2009, continues to improve. By the U.N.’s criteria, the world is getting happier. Likewise, the Gallup polling organization, which does an ambitious annual survey across some 140 countries of people’s subjective sense of well-being, reports that its metric is also rising.
It seems that happiness is busting out all over – like that famous lyric from the classic Broadway musical, Oklahoma. True, happiness is not much in evidence in our economy, or in our shrill and rancorous politics. But never mind. An explosion of research and a bumper crop of writings about happiness can be found -- somewhat incongruously -- in various academic journals these days, as well as in the bookstalls. A dozen titles were counted in a local bookstore recently without breaking a sweat.
I never thought of happiness as a state of mind that one must accomplish. Happiness seemed to be an unexpected sensation that swept through me fleetingly and made me smile. I could not predict happiness any more than I could be certain of the weather. Then I had a chance encounter with the author Doris Lessing.
Have you ever peered through a kaleidoscope, and marveled at the bits of brightly colored glass as they formed one geometrical shape – and then, with a slight turn of your wrist -- wow! a whole new, unexpected pattern came into view? Maybe you could see a snowflake design, or a hexagon, or a triangle, or a combination of shapes and angles as the colored bits tumbled about and re-formed?
It is somewhat amazing that Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, first published in 1957, is near the top of the current best-seller list. It has long enjoyed a cult following as a sort of CEO’s bible, inspiring each new generation of libertarian political conservatives. Now it seems that the gospel according to Ayn is spreading beyond the Tea Party to the parasitical “masses” that she denounces.
When I tell people that I represent clients in the restaurant industry, they often ask me why restaurants would need any kind of intellectual property protection. Often, they are surprised to learn that restaurants generally need the same types of intellectual property protection and enforcement as any other business.