Good Taste
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   October 26, 2021

Surely it can’t be merely coincidence that, in our language, “taste” has two separate meanings which however are somehow in sync with each other. One kind of taste relates to the tongue and the palate. The other, on an entirely different level, has to do with culture, esthetics, and educated appreciation. But they are both […]

Ad Hoc
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 28, 2021

Back in the virtually prehistoric days before there were personal computers — (actually, it was 1964) a Canadian professor named Marshall McLuhan published a book called Understanding Media. I didn’t even understand the book itself – though I tried – but one thing I got out of it was a new view of the concept […]

 

Recently Trending

More from Montecito

Risen Again?
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 21, 2021

Recently, when writing elsewhere about some apparently endless troubles, I concluded with the words “How long, O Lord, how long?” I didn’t realize, until somebody informed me, that I was quoting the Bible, where that expression appears several times. I only remembered it from the last line of George Bernard Shaw’s play Saint Joan (first […]

Time to go Bananas
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 14, 2021

When I was six years old, I received a consolation prize of 25 cents for not knowing the answer on a Toronto radio station kids’ program called “Snappy Answers.” But only twice in my life since then have I ever won anything substantial – and the first time was pure luck. In the early days […]

Funny You Should Say That
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 7, 2021

The Library of Congress categorizes all published books which are submitted for registration, according to their contents. When my first book, I May Not Be Totally Perfect, but Parts of Me Are Excellent, was published, I had no idea how they would classify it. I had thought I was writing a new kind of one-line […]

Where Does it Hurt?
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 31, 2021

There are good things to be said about pain, along the consoling lines that it’s an important message, telling us that something needs attention. But we know that’s all rubbish. Any decently designed body wouldn’t need such attention or would at least have more acceptable methods of communicating with its manager. Besides, many of the […]

Believing is Seeing
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 25, 2021

As far as believing goes, it’s hard to know what to call myself. I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist, or even an Agnostic. But, to some extent, I admire and envy people who do have strong beliefs — so long as they don’t try to impose them on other people. But there’s […]

Advertisement
Train of Thought
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 19, 2021

Many people seem to forget that the automobile was not the first “horseless carriage.” For most of the 100 years before motor cars began to appear on our roads, self-propelled vehicles originally powered by steam, had been crisscrossing the world’s continents. The main difference was that “locomotives,” as they were called, required a very special […]

Order in Court
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   July 22, 2021

I’ve only been in court twice in my life, and the first time, in 1956, resulted in a jail sentence. I was 21, recently immigrated from England, and eager for new American experiences. Driving my first car, I had received a ticket for going over an occupied pedestrian crossing. (Since then, I’ve mostly been a […]

Read more...

Then and When,“Instead of Past, Present and Future, I’d prefer Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry.”
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   July 15, 2021

I am often asked (in my dreams) how I ever got to be so smart, so wise, so good-looking, so popular and successful. Then I wake up, and the only question in my mind is, how can I get through one more day, with this aging mind and failing body? Here I am, on an […]

Of Humans and Their Obsession with Heads
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   July 8, 2021

The practice of making an “either/or” type of decision by flipping a coin has a surprisingly long history. The Romans had coins with a ship on one side and the emperor’s head on the other, so their equivalent of “heads or tails” was “ship or head” – in Latin, “navia aut caput.”  It has always […]

The History of Complaining
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   July 1, 2021

Many large businesses have or used to have “Complaint Departments,” where a specially trained employee deals soothingly with dissatisfied customers. To my knowledge, there is never a corresponding “Compliments Department.” The only approach I’ve ever seen to that idea has been an occasional jar labelled “TIPS.” In this online age, it can be much more […]

A Lifelong Intrigue When it Comes to Toys
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 24, 2021

There was a time when the very word “toys” was magic to me, and the idea of a big department store, with a whole section devoted to them, was probably as close as I’ll ever come in this life to conceiving Heaven. Of course, there have always been children at play — and children must […]

How to be a Saint
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 17, 2021

Being brought up Jewish, I never learned much about being a Saint. At least one Hebrew prophet (Isaiah) made a mockery of the whole idea of any human claiming to be “holier than thou.” Of course, besides people, virtually every religion — even Judaism — has its holy places and holy objects, to say nothing […]

Advertisement