Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Sign of the Times

When I was young, in the 1950s, most people started off friendly; then, if someone was unfriendly, you gave them attitude. Today, most people start off with attitude; then, if they someone is nice, you give them friendly.

I miss the 50s.

Thanks to SK

"A woman said to my friend: 'Hooking up? No thank you. If I wanted sex without a relationship I would have stayed married.'"

Monday, September 28, 2009

On Black and White and Brown

I'm tired of black people. And white people. And Yellow people. And Red people. And Latino people (which is not a race, by the way, but a culture or a common language base.). In truth everybody is shades of brown; or we all soon will be. I'm tired of all those color identities. They remind me of a children's coloring box...in more ways than one.

How did all those shades happen? After all, didn't we all start black, in Africa?

People started shifting, I guess. Black people who couldn't take the African heat, or who just wanted to get away from their mothers and fathers, etc, went North and East.

They lightened up as they travelled. By the times some of them got to Sweden and Norway, they were a very, very light shade of brown, almost pink. (You think they would have stayed dark; especially when the got to Norway and Sweden; black absorbs the sun better. Oh, well, who said evolution is always straight, linear, and logical.)

Another group of blacks that left Africa went North and East. We can call them the North Eastern group. They wound up in China and became off-white, became a kind of pink-brown (for some reason people started calling them yellow; maybe it was the way the Asian sun reflected on their pink-brown faces).

Another group who left Africa, let's call them the South Eastern group, went to Australia, and stayed there...and stayed black...until some of them moved North, and mixed with some earlier whites from the Caucasus who had moved East and became brown. That later mixed group got Indian and darker Brown.

Some dark browns stayed there; some went to Micronesia etc.

Etc, etc, etc. A lot of moving and travelling. Until...today.

So all this racial identity as some pure color strain is bull, crazy. We all started black; we've been directly and indirectly getting shades of brown ever since.

Thank God for sex; the great common denominator. My hope: that we don't stop having sex until we're all simply shades of brown. They we can give it up and get along. After all, sex is nothing but a release of tension, right. No racial differences, no tension to relieve. Heaven on earth.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I'm finding it hard to be positive these days. I don't want to sound like a grumpy old man, but I hear my increasingly critical voice echoing in my ears, like a tumultous wave breaking on dangerous rock, beating it futilely, waiting for the millenia to pass, ever so quickly, so that the incessant waves will eventually conquer the rocks, until they exhibit a smooth face; so when I walk on them they will not cut into me feet, mocking my soul, as they do now.

I have just awakened from a long dream, dropped into this world unwillingly, never to depart, never to meld into today, but always destined to live in a yesterday and tomorrow, a stranger in somebody else's place, displaced in my own time and universe.

To cry or to scream is my only sign of hope. I no longer believe in you, or your convictions. I believe only in myself; not the myself of today, but the myself of my past; of perhaps the myself of your future. Your future be can one day be my future, the future I saw when I was young, when I believed that my friends and I were all good, when I believed then the unknown strangers of our life deserved happiness and health, all men and women were deserving of God's gentle hand. That time is gone.

I know longer believe in God. Perhaps I never did; but I do miss the self-deception. I am saddened by my loss of faith, and trust, and belief. But tomorrow, when the sun rises, when the dark cloud of my night retreats as a coward should in the brilliance of a new day, God will return and I will be positive again, young again, hopeful again. Despair will be washed by another new wave, a new millenium will be reached, and my shore will be smooth again. Maybe I can live in the present without bleeding feet.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Slight Personal Rant

I was reading the LA Times and NY Times Sunday, perusing the movies and travel section, looking for a movie to see or place to go. Two problems struck me: There are too many movies in the theaters and too many places to travel to; and...the reviews on everything were so wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. They can't be true.

I've seen some of the movies and travelled to some of the places; and they were not that great. Can anyone or anything you read in newspapers be believed anymore?

Or is it a time of absolute excess and hype everywhere, not just from politicians and sub-prime mortgage lenders? Everyone is a liar and publicity flak.

God, I yearn for a filter, a source of objective evaluation and criticism to help me with my decision-making.

What happened to Walter Cronkite-type reporting; the NY Times obeying its banner: "All the News That's Fit to Print"? Cronkite's dead and the New York Times is dying.

Is there no "representative democracy" anymore? Someone I can choose/elect with confidence to be both smarter than me and objective in their dissemination of info to me. Is nothing's fit to print? Even the NY Times (the source of the "All the News..." quote) is biased left. Fox News is biased right. Colunmist Maureen Dowd of the Times is just the other side of the Glenn Beck coin. This century is a time of identity politics, chosing sides, adversarial spining of the truth, anarchy and relativism.

I think I'll stay at home this weekend; no movies, no travel plans. I don't believe what anybody says any more, about movies, travel or anything else. I guess I'm left depending upon myself for truth and objectivity.

Now there's a scary thought.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Leather Shoes

I was seated in the doctor's office the other day and noticed that almost all of the people were wearing running shoes. The running shoes looked hardy, immortal, resistant to disintegration, subject not to the onslaught of weather or use, but only to the shifting sentiments of taste and style.

What happened to all the shoemakers repairmen, I thought. Those small Italian and German men of my youth hunched over their benches, carving strips of leather, fitting them into place onto and under worn out shoes, fitted the replacements with stitches or glue, rounding and curving the skin of animals into the soft reworked footwear of thousand and thousands of my neighbors and friends.

Then I remembered holes in the soles of my own teenage leather shoes, too poor to repair them or replace them--in those teenage days I was not the shoemaker's friend but their competitor--cutting cardboard to fit inside the shoe as temporary expedient to keep out the dirt and the cold and the rain. The elements eventually won, of course, in their inexorable drive to conquer my comfort; but for the next day or two, after my repairs, the cardboard was resilient and affective, I was clean--at least the insides of my shoes were--and warm and dry.

One summer I worked as a garbage man, hoisting large cans of industrial animal waste, blood and flash and fat gathered from the alleys behind butcher shops and supermarkets, onto the garbage trucks, then jumping back on the truck to evenly distribute the oozing mass, all the while feeling the slop disintegrate into and soon through my cardboard insoles, rushing against my feet, heels, arches, instep and toes, with the warm stickiness of the animal refuse.

The elements won during those moments; but I made good money that brief time as a garbageman, so I stood proud and tall, although on squishy feet, on the back of the garbage truck as we headed to the next pick up, nodding to friends and acquaintances who saw me as a working man; the man who would give his paycheck money to his mother every week, as she served me and I ate her cooking with prideful relish, all the while feet being dried and warmed by the oven near the kitchen table.

Old shoemakers came from a proud tradition of European leather workers; they served long hours as apprentices to other crafty and aged shoemakers; only finally, after many years of assiduous learning, opening their own shop. I wondered if the same could be said of the Central and South American, Chinese and Indian factor workers of today who fashion by machine the Nike and Adidas running shoes. Are they proud of their work? Are they part of a generational tradition; do they prize personal craftsmanship and the integrity of their finished product?

The nurse entered the waiting room, gestured to me. I went inside, sat in an inner waiting room, and doctor entered, carrying my thick medical folder. He sat close to me, personal. Once settled in the chair, he crossed his legs, lay his folder on his lap, and asked questions, taking notes with an old fashioned, elegant fountain pen. I noticed his pristine polished leather shoes, black loafers, the soles of which were only slightly scarred with use.

I took comfort in his total demeanor, that his medical work would reflect his shoes and appearance: sturdy, well-kept, prideful and knowledgeable; a continuation of a workmanlike tradition of craftsman, focused on detail. I was confident he would repair the holes in my aging body with the pride and craft of my boyhood shoe repairmen; now that I could afford his service.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Who Has the Real Power

Diane Sawyer was selected a couple of days ago as the second major network (ABC) anchor of nightly news, following Katie Couric who was and is the first at NBC. Two of the three network anchors are women! A sign of the times? Yes. In a way we might not think of? Perhaps.

Consider: while there are more gays, women and African Americans (and Latinos) in power positions in the US, in Congress, in local Government levels, in colleges and graduate schools than ever before, can it be said that the real power is tipping in their favor? Or, is all that attainment a sign of their empowerment, or as a New York Times columnist said today: "Women anchors [and by extension their fellow former disenfranchised, gays and blacks] may turn out to be what women doctors were in the Soviet Union, a majority without status or financial advantage."

Are blacks, women and gays just "seeming" to in power positions? Has the white male establishment just pulled a classic Judo move: when confronted by the 40-year old inevitable "diversity" attack, simply step back and let the attackers seem to be in control prior to falling on their face; that is, the white male power (read $$$$) structure simply backed off of overt prominence, let blacks and gays and women have the camera lights, but the $$$-white men still write the script and determine who runs the show?

How? $$$$$. Campaign contributions. The white power structure still determines who gets the cash to run for election and re-election, through their lobbyists, direct campaign contributions, and their PACs. The still run the show. The white male $$$ structure pulls the 'diversity' candidates and officials' electioneering-oriented strings.

Diane Sawyer, Barney Franks (and Obama?) just pretty 'diversity' faces for the ever-powerful and seemingly irrepressible white power structure to stand behind and control?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Health Care and Revolution

Why is there so much anger, right and left, over the health care debate? Perhaps because there is no easy answer, only two unacceptible alternatives. The first is to stay as we are, with high costing, insecure medical-insurance coverage (we can be dropped at anytime from the insurance rolls because of pre-existing conditions or loss of job); or, secondarily, we can be covered by a government we don't like, trust or respect.

Two years ago, the govcernemnt told us Medicare was in a disaster state; now they are touting Medicare for everyone.

They say are going to cut costs but insure everyone. They promise they are not going to cover illegal aliens, but they want to postpone immigration reform to next year. Be assured the same people touting single payer governemet plans this year will almost certainly back of form of amnesty for the 12,000,000o so residing illegals, which will automatically make the 12,000,000 eligible for governemnt coverage. Cut costs? On whose back?

So here we are: we don't trust corporations (medical, financial, pharmaceutical) to serve our interests, we don't trust goverment (look at the polls) to look out for our concerns (all they seem interested in are conducting parties for lobbyists to fund their next election) ...so we the electorate is stuck in the middle of a growing medical/insurance problem with no acceptible solutions.

Revolution, anyone? No wonder people are screaming and carrying guns.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Beware: trust is hard to gain, easy to lose.


Emotions are ‘how we humans feel’ beneath ‘how we deal’; how the human system responds emotionally, initially, impulsively, before its higher, more cognizant humanity, its human style, if you will, converts, refracts, hides or directly reveals that primitive emotional feeling, into patterns of outer behavior…as always, and as usual, guided toward purpose.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

In the 'Everything Changes, Everything Remains the Same' Category

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), of "Walden Pond" minimalist fame, trying to get his contemporaries to strip superfluities out of their lives, wrote:

"Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things."

150 years before the e-age; genius is eternally prescient.