It has not been a very happy year so far and it shows no sign of getting better any time soon. I know I’ve been off the radar for two years now and I can’t seem to get back on the horse. I am putting a link that will tell the tale for me in the hopes of getting some help. Here it is http://www.gofundme.com/bm047c
I never thought it come to this but desperate times call for desperate measures. Thanks for reading, and to any who used my work for term papers and such. I hope you got good grades.
Category Archives: Rants
It has not been a very happy year so far and it shows no sign of getting better any time soon. I know I’ve been off the radar for two years now and I can’t seem to get back on the horse. I am putting a link that will tell the tale for me in the hopes of getting some help. Here it is http://www.gofundme.com/bm047c
I have been depressed lately despite the fact that I’m on vacation, I’m just not happy. I am very concerned for a far away friend who may be having a health crisis and I can’t do anything but pray and hope. The fact that I am reaching the end of my available cash and will be back on austerity within a week or two is not helping matters any, and I am very unhappy with the state of the world in general, as I have mentioned before in my writing. The job market is again on the down turn, my brother is out of work…again! I’m going broke subsidizing the family income. But it’s the lack of culture here that I find so frustrating. In New York no matter what your into you can find something to do at almost any hour, and many things are free or cheap. I love having a garden and growing veg and flowers, but you have to drive everywhere if you want entertainment. Living in the suburbs is nice to a point , but there is just nothing to do around here day or night. Unless you want to hang round in a bar or go to the movies, there is nothing much to do but shop or eat out. The thing I am most sad about is the total lack of friends, especially friends in the arts or literary world, you get to a certain age and you don’t have the opportunity to make friends anymore. This week has been hot and humid and I spent all my energy last week on a walking tour of New York’s Chinatown on Friday and then two days of prepping the house and garden for a family Forth of July celebration on Monday. So by Tues I was completely exhausted and yet at the same time restless and just couldn’t get out of my own way.
I just finished reading Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” and my desire to be an expat in Paris reared its ugly head once again, the” lost generation” might have been lost but they lived in a time when it was good to be alive and everything was cheap and accessible. I know I’m typing on a computer that wouldn’t have been available back then, but I still feel that we lost much when we passed the age of telegrams and typewriters. It seems then it was still possible to live well on a stipend from a parent or the advance of a publisher. I think the thing I desire is a simpler life in a far away place, some sort of escape from the misery of the modern world and all its problems. I know the recent case of an Casey Anthony; the allegedly killer mother, whose daughter drowned possibly out of neglect, makes my concerns sound like the whining of a child. But guess what; that young mother who will go free. Is already receiving offers in the millions to appear on talk shows as soon as she gets that magic get out of jail free card. That kind of money could put me in the position to make my life what I want it to be. There will be no offer like that coming my way any time soon, since I will not be committing any crimes-except of course excessive complaining and ranting.
So I have spent a few days being miserable, driving around aimlessly looking for that which I just can’t find.Finally, I realized I was wasting time. Next week when I’m back at work at that miserable hot counter listening to the sounds of air tools and screaming bosses, I will look back on this and kick myself. So I picked up my dry cleaning and even though I didn’t want to spend the money, I joined my mom and brother at an Indian restaurant nearby for an excellent buffet lunch. Afterward I decided to go to the liquor store.
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to the liquor store. I am quoting a bit of Melville’s “Moby Dick”, one of my favorite books and one that I used to great advantage to get an A+ on my term paper for English 101 in college. I go here as a kind of spa, not for the wearing of mud on one’s body and cucumber on the eyes, but rather for the wearing of a smile on ones face. There is an enormous cast of characters to amuse a dull spirit and chief among these is my good friend Sam.
What can I say about Sam, he is the kind of guy that can make anyone feel special, he has a good line of bull too. He has a heart of gold and every customer wants to see him. I am one of the people who is allowed in the back office to shoot the breeze and tackle some of life’s mysteries with Sam, he also respects my taste in wine and it guides his purchases for the store. Sams brother Tommy is a great guy, he has been sharing his knowledge of Sommelier school with me and has been brushing up on his studies again, I like to think I inspired that to some degree. He is married to Evelyn, who also works full-time. My buddy Evelyn is my foodie friend and a good listener, she knows more about my life than my last therapist and never judges me, just offers what I need… positive support and friendship. I don’t know Christine too well, she is Evelyn s daughter and they fight in a quiet funny way as only mothers and daughters can, but she is interesting and a whiz with technology. The co-owner Jamie is a funny mom with great stories about her travels and the tribulations of being a mother, and some recipe advice for my foray into Greek cooking. Jamie is the kind of fun, energetic woman I would like to meet, someone who knows how to live well but not spend foolishly. Then there’s Carina, she is not around much anymore, she is going to be a teacher and is in school much of the time now. But those kids are going to get one of the nicest, bubbly, happy teachers they’ll ever see, I hope they don’t ruin all that positive energy. Lastly, there is Gene. He comes in and does the grunt work and the shelves and dusting part-time, he actually has the job I wanted. Gene is a riot, he messes with Sam and Evelyn and cracks me up with his provocation.
The cast of characters that come in to the store is as varied as the shelves of wine and spirits. I sit in a stool on the side of the counter and hold court a little and watch and listen to the stories and the antics. There’s the dog lady who is very reserved unless she has been drinking, then she is a fascinating study in unrestrained behavior. The friendly guy who is shaking hands with everyone because he’s high and buys little airport bottles of cheap Hooch to add to the buzz. The loud ba-da-bing guys who are too numerous to name whose antics with Sam include hugging, high fives, and occasional gropes. There is the bad foot lady who I also see at the food store who is always got a story to tell. The trio of lesbian fire fighters, several gay couples who are impeccably dressed. There is a cross dresser who has very bad taste in frocks and the famous “Buddy Guy Dude” who unfortunately died before I could meet him but the stories about him are legendary. I sometimes help a customer find something and most people think I’m an employee on break or perhaps security. I listen and laugh and make mental notes for future use as characters in as yet to be written plays or novels.
Today however was special, after spending an hour listening and laughing, I went home just as the rain was getting heavy and went upstairs and started to clean my room, organizing everything and putting away things that were not needed. I opened up my easel area and made it possible to paint, and continued with the change in my desk set up after getting rid of some stuff I was happy and energized. I then proceeded to take the laptop down to the kitchen and started to write this story. I haven’t wanted to write in weeks but now find myself happily drinking Pinot Grigio and writing this piece. So for tonight at least I’m out of the dark seas of depression and sailing off into the calm waters of contentment. Maybe I too could learn something from Melville’s most famous work. I think that Ahab was chasing Moby Dick to try and get his soul back from the whale who had torn it apart when it took his leg. I have been chasing dreams that I’ll never see, the Paris of the twenties is gone. I could be there right now typing this al-fresco at a cafe and still not have the experience of the lost generation. I couldn’t have the experience of the post-war generation either, only the famous St Germain cocktail can bring you closer to 1947 Paris. The thing that Sam said to me out of the blue has made all the difference, searching for your bliss starts in the moment, it’s right in front of you all the time. It’s not in Paris or Provence or even on the moon. It’s how you feel right now and what you choose to do in the moment right in front of you. That’s the secret to life. Not the Holy Grail or the fountain of youth; although those things would be nice if they existed, just making every moment your own.
So thanks guys, for all you do for me. We may only see each other at the store but you guys are my true friends
I remember years ago me and my brother watching “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” a series on public television based on the books by Douglas Adams, the madcap sci-fi was centered around the adventures of Arthur Dent, an Englishman from earth, and his friend from somewhere in the cosmos Ford Prefect.He (Ford) rescues his friend from the destruction of Earth in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass. The Guide itself was an electronic book that Ford used to great advantage to get them out of and also into trouble. We both thought the electronic book was fantastic and talked excitedly like kids about the prospect of owning one, wishing that it did indeed exist. But now roughly twenty-five years later it does exist at least in its early stages, and I find it deserves the label of “silicon snake oil” So as they say be careful what you wish for…
This winter finds me staying in (despite my remarks in previous stories to the contrary) and reading voraciously instead of venturing to the wilds of New York City. The severe weather we have had and lack of finances has kept me home. I just finished reading “Life” by Keith Richards, before that it was “The Quiet American” by Graham Greene and currently I’m almost finished with “Eating The Dinosaur” by Chuck Klosterman. But recently I read with a sinking heart the news that Borders bookstores were expected to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week. I already knew they were closing about one-third of their stores nationwide but didn’t realize how grave the situation might actually be. They are considered the number 2 bookstore in the US behind I’m guessing Barnes & Noble. Borders has posted a drop in sales the past few years and a disappointing holiday season this past Xmas.
While there recently I was told by a clerk (who has been there for years) that my local store is an active one and in no danger of closing, but as we all know the employees are the last to be told. I know that many people are using the web to purchase books from Borders online,(which could explain the drop in store sales) and yet I can’t help feeling that the drop in sales is directly liked to the insidious rise of the Amazon Kindle, and the many other e-readers on the market which seen to be growing daily. These e-reader’s has begun to chip away at book sales over the last few years, and yes I know. Borders has its own that its hawking in the stores and online too. But the thing that fills me with dread is what all this might mean for the future of books.
We have already seen the demise of the mom and pop book shops, they just couldn’t compete with the large chain stores which does by the way include Borders. But the fact is that the small bookstores didn’t have the inventory, the cafe’s and didn’t provide the comfy chairs to sit and relax, read and in some cases sleep in. There are of course specialty book shops selling priceless sets and antiquarian volumes. But many of these are by appointment only. I’ve traipsed through a few of these shops in my time under the watchful eye of the store owner, who I’m sure – realised before I did, that I couldn’t afford to buy anything he had on the shelves. But that’s New York City-whaddya expect! My problem with e-readers is more complex than mere hatred for technology, I mean I love my computer. It brings me the world 24/7 and presents me to those who read my essays and stories. What I detest is the possibility that my local bookstores will close one by one. A sad result of the obsession with technology that grows yearly like the national debt. While I’m sure that the tree people applaud the notion of millions of trees being saved from the axe, (I’m a tree hugger too-at least to some degree) the greater problem is the millions of people employed by the publishing industry who will find themselves out of a job. This of course will take time…lots of time, but if I was in publishing I’d be worried. It’s not just about me and my selfish desire for a bookstore to lose myself in a few times a month. Think about it, very few of those people will be able to cross over to jobs producing e-books, I can’t imagine too many tree farmers being down for the sterile halls of a silicon chip factory. Many will have to go to school to start over and believe me, it’s not easy to do in your thirties or forties.
The loss will also be the tactile feel of a book with pages instead of plastic and metal, the smell of the paper and faintly too of ink. Then also the much-loved book signing events we all enjoy attending, the chance to meet ones idols and get a book signed will also be lost! How is a signing going to work with a Kindle? Yet another distraction from the everyday that will be lost in a post book binding world. The investment in a Kindle alone is a half-a-weeks pay for some, then the inevitable updates, crashes, re-boots and down loading of new books. Lets not forget about the battery charging that you have to add to your already full “To Do” list. It seems like too much bother when you can pick up a book for a few dollars, have a coffee and maybe even meet another human being to interact with socially.
The makers of this product I’m sure don’t see a problem going from your computer screen to the kindle screen and back again…and again, then add the TV screen to the equation and you can almost feel the eyestrain this will cause. We have become a world of people staring at screens, hypnotically pointing and clicking at work and at home. The future generations will grow up further and further from real books as the decades roll by. I’m sure to some who may read this I sound like a paranoid over-reactionary fool who’s panicking at something that will never happen in my lifetime. To others maybe a prophet of a very real future. I don’t know but I can say with conviction that I’d rather be guilty of the former than the latter. The path for me is clear, to buy more books and to urge others to do the same. Your local bookstores need you and if your like me you need them too. Don’t take it for granted thinking they will always be there. The bookstore could easily go the way of the general store that our great grandparents knew, replaced first by the five and dime them by the chain stores like Newberry’s and McCrory’s, only to be swallowed up by K-Mart and Target. Like the drive-in movie, arcades, and soda fountains. No one notices the loss till it’s too late.
Maybe I’m just feeling my age and wishing for a simpler time, or perhaps I’m just a tragic figure like Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last” about a man who just wanted time to read. It ends with him stumbling around the ruins of a post apocalyptic library with broken glasses in hand saying over and over “That’s not fair, there was time to read now!”
I can safely say that I will never own an e-reader and hopefully I will find a kindred spirit and she and I will have the library together I always wanted. Of one thing I am also sure, I will definitely be buying a second pair or three of eye-glasses…just in case.
Well, it’s happened again. Yet another tragedy in some part of the world I would like to see but have never been. The earthquake in Italy has left over 150 dead (last I heard) and a massive devastation, and right now people from all over the world are flocking in to help, as aftershocks add insult to injury. But as usual I’m doing nothing, it’s not that I don’t want to but what can I do? I am off this week but it’s not like I can get on a plane and fly over there, I mean for one thing I don’t speak the language, I don’t have the money for the plane flight or any lodging and food, and I have relatives coming over from England tonight that I am meeting tomorrow in New York that I promised to take on a walking tour. So why do I feel so guilty about having fun while people are suffering, it’s not like I have any skills to bring to a disaster like that anyway. I mean I’m way too sensitive a soul to be hauling bodies out of rubble, I would wind up on the psychiatrists couch and have nightmares the rest of my life and I got enough trouble sleeping as it is. So what do I do? Yeah of course I can send money in to News Channel 4 in New York to aid in the effort, but what is that…nothing, it never feels like enough anyway. You do it and then forget about it a day later.
I don’t even think the 911 victims family’s have gotten all the money that we all gave to help them, personally I think half of it went “downtown” if you know what I mean, and it just seems like a wasted gesture anyway, the money doesn’t bring back the dead or restore the old architecture of a place like that, just like New Orleans. It will never be the same as it once was, once you replace old materials with new it’s just a replica. I felt the same way each time I heard about a disaster natural or otherwise every time one happened. I know I can’t go there and leave my job, or my brother and folks for that matter and say “see ya in six months, good luck with the rent and stuff…let me know if you loose the house without my income-bye!” I know I can’t go there and give everyone a hug either, for one thing it wouldn’t help and I’d probably get arrested for another ( and no I’m not joking-when people are suffering my first thought is to grab them and give them a hug if it’s appropriate, even though no one ever does it for me when I’m suffering) but my twenty bucks is just not good enough. This is what I hate about life, the feeling of being powerless.
This kind of thing really bothers me, I don’t have the freedom to act on my impulses and do what’s good and right when I want to, I always sit on the sidelines and weakly cheer for others who make a difference, I am mostly too wrapped up in the problems of the daily life of my orbit of satellites and myself to make a difference to anyone outside that orbit. It makes me feel like less of a man, like a kid still who sits in his room drinking soda while his dad works on the yard. I guess the only consolation for me is that now my dad sits on the sofa and drinks beer while I work on the yard. That is what you call full cirlcle.
So this is not one of my story’s that your used to reading, this is the real me spontaneously talking to you. Not like I usually do as if we are in a cafe somewhere exchanging stories. More like the way I talk to my family when I’m ranting about something I feel strongly about. Some injustice coming from points unknown or the stupidity of our leaders, or the lack of planning that finds me putting out fires at work or at home that I can’t seem to prevent from starting in the first place. Why do you ask? Because no matter what I do I just can’t seem to get ahead far enough to see all the traps and pitfalls of life on any front, and that really makes me feel powerless.
First Published- April 2009
I’m sure many people in the US were greeted with the most earth shattering news of the year last week when they got up and brought in the morning paper. The front cover story on top of the Daily News in New York was most memorable for me, since I don’t get the paper at home I rely on others who bring it to work. So you can imagine my surprise to see Valerie Bertinelli in a blue bikini laying on the beach in some exotic locale! I mean OMG is this a real untouched photo of her at 48 looking this good! This gives a whole new meaning to the whole “Cougar” thing for me, I mean holy sheepshite batman!
I hope you could hear the sarcasm as I typed these last few sentences, in case you didn’t-let me spell it out for you. I don’t give a fat rats bottom about Valerie Bertinelli and her new body, who cares… is what I want to know? In these hard times why do we even need to have her plastered on the front page of a major newspaper for Long Island and New York? Is this more important than the economy, the jobless rate, the fact that our tax dollars are being wasted by our government so that business execs can have rides in black cars while I’m praying that my Saturn holds up another year! Is this more important than the fact that I eat peanut butter on crackers for breakfast to save money so that maybe I can afford to eat out in Manhattan once every three months, while meanwhile these jerks who put us in this position are chowing down on eggs Benedict and bagels with lox every morning in their penthouses.
I’m not putting down the fact that she has done a wonderful job of losing weight, this is a good thing for her and for the people she will inspire to cut down and take charge of their life, and quite frankly I’m one of them who should do this too. But my problem is that it’s front page news, and not just in this particular paper, but across the country it was plastered over every news website you could imagine. The problem as I see it is the fact that there is very little responsibility in journalism today, it’s a business. That business is for making money, not providing information to the public, that is secondary. This type of hype is just under the “rags” in terms of targeting readership, you gotta know that many more papers were sold because of that picture on top of the paper, it’s like money in the bank.
The other problem is one that I find with the People magazine cover which featured Ms. Bertinelli in a green bikini, only this time she was standing in a provocative open leg pose with the bikini pulled up to show her naughty bits off very well. Now, I’ll cop to the fact that I do like women and their beautiful bodies very much, they have all the curves and quite frankly I don’t see what turns women on about men at all, our bodies have no redeeming features. I guess that’s what makes me hetero, but my objection to the cover is the message it sends to the young girls of this country. One day girls are being told to keep their bodies to themselves and to respect themselves. Be good girls, proud and smart, girls who save themselves for marriage and careers, and whose children will be taught good values. The next day they see how easy it is to make money and create hype by using your body and sexuality to sell products and services, in this case newspapers, books and diet programs that can’t possibly deliver to half the people who buy into them because as we all know…diets don’t work! Not to mention a great way to boost a lagging acting career even though you have tons of money and don’t really need to do anything but raise your kid and make sure he doesn’t wind up like dear old dad.
What gets me is the blatant use of all medias to make people spend money on things they really don’t need, I’ll bet anything that thousands of newspapers were sold to people who don’t normally buy a paper just because of the picture and pose. I’m not naive, I know sex sells and that this is all premeditated and that is what gets me “ginned up” as our President Obama once said. It’s the double edged swords of Eat right and stay healthy!, Wouldn’t you LOVE an ice cream sundae with three toppings right now!, Work hard and get ahead in the world!, Why don’t you take it easier…you deserve a break! The back and forth of the whole system, squeeze us for tax revenue, squeeze us to spend more, squeeze us to work hard, squeeze us to go on vacations we can’t afford, so that we have to work harder to make the money to pay off our credit card debt.
I used to think that my generation got screwed out of the American dream but now I see that the kids and teens coming up now are the real victims of this whole scheme, that’s why you see girls wearing makeup and jewelery at twelve, belly shirts and hip huggers at fourteen, and practically nothing at sixteen. This is all geared to make these kids spend money, and if they don’t have it then mom and dad pay for it all and if they say no because it’s too provocative, then the teens want it all the more and they find a way to get it. Why, because they have been made to desire it by the media and the image it projects of cool sexy confident girls being bad. Then everbody screams bloody murder when these teens become sexually active, get pregnant and wind up needing state aid. But who are the role models, Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan, and who will their role model be in their forties, uhh lets see….could it be Valerie Bertinelli? Well maybe not her exactly, but it will be the latest 40 something actress or singer who needs to jumpstart her career and uses the media to create interest in herself for that TV or picture deal.
Some of you I’m sure will think I’m being a real jerk about this, and that’s OK …because I know I’m right, I mean nobody ever saw Jared, the Subway sandwich kid in a speedo because he lost inches off his waist eating healthy, I mean no offense dude but your just not that cool looking are you (neither am I for the record), but then again he’s not a chic is he? You get the picture don’t you. Let me spell it out for you, sex sells… female sex sells doubly so. Because it sells to the men who lust after them and the girls/women who envy them. So girls, don’t say you weren’t warned but if you want a body like hers all you need is the residuals from movies and TV, mix it up with a good settlement package from your divorce to a rock star, and then add the bucks you made off your book deal, commercials and guest spots on daytime TV and PRESTO! You’ll have a great body too, just like hers. What? You don’t have all those resources. Mmmm, well don’t worry something else will be plastered on the paper for us all to go gaga about. Isn’t it great to be mentally wacked around like a tennis ball, I know I love it!
There is a thing that happens every year where I live around late fall, a thing that fills me with a kind of dread, I should explain that most of the local businesses are landscaped here, I imagine they are everywhere these days wherever people take pride in the look of their homes and businesses. We have gas stations with beautiful slate walled berms with dwarf evergreens, rhododendrons, perennials and annuals topped with colored bark chips. These are maintained by lucky local landscapers who make a living off the small strips of land that border banks, coffee shops, diners, and chain eatery’s like Taco Bell which features an exotic landscape that puts me in the mind of Mexico. When you leave the drive up there you pass flower beds with tall grasses, bright rust colored ground cover, topiary cut pines, and tall flowers with sword like fronds that slice into the sky like rockets waiting to be launched. It all reminds me of an old spaghetti western and I half expect to see some figure in a poncho and wide brimmed hat smoking a cheroot.
But when the colorful blooms of spring have faded and the rich orange marigolds have turned rusty and blackened, and when the last tomatoes struggle to even ripen just a little. Then my friends the landscapers remove the sad reminders of a summer just past and instead put in their place that most depressing and fatalistic plant of all. Yes my friends I’m talking about the loathsome ornamental cabbage, I have to hope that that these were somehow genetically engineered by man and were the result of a horrible unintended mutation. That the whole idea of using these as decoration was skillfully foisted on an unsuspecting public by a person or companies unknown anxious to recoup capitol after investing in a genetic failure, and there is just no way God put his hand to such a sickly and squanamous creation.
They are used to great extent at malls on both the outside flower beds and in the courtyards between stores or restaurants thus ensuring an encounter with their unatural countenances no matter where you go. It was on just such a trip recently that I encountered them unexpectedly. I had taken my mother (who is partially disabled) to the mall to do some shopping, I parked in an area where there are no flower beds because it’s close to the store she needed to go in and also because there are many handicapped spaces on this side of the mall. This can be an exhausting task for me since mom can only walk so far on her own and I wind up pushing her in a Jazzy that’s really not meant to be pushed by another. So after having lunch and going to a few stores I found myself getting overheated in my overcoat, after settling my mom in Bloomingdale’s jewellery department. I walk out side for some fresh air into the courtyard to cool off. Now mind you, I haven’t been to this particular store in years and I don’t think I ever set foot in this courtyard before, so you can imagine the horror as my eyes adjust to the semi-darkness and find myself standing in the middle of a sea of cabbage. There are dozens of them in beds bordering the department store exit and the Cheesecake Factory restaurant opposite me!
Both the sickening pale green and the whitish purple kind are here, they were planted in a haphazard fashion making the whole courtyard look like the chilling incubator in Aliens. One could easily imagine the squalid leaves opening to release an unctuous beast upon the faces of unwary families. Some of the specimens lean at ungodly angles seeming to talk to their neighbors, others stay low to the ground shooting out in all directions multiplying as they do, and yet others grow straight and tall like sentinels watching over the blighted landscape. Their long stalks looking like vertebrae supporting large vibrant heads which seem to pulsate with an unearthly glow in the fading light of dusk. Most disturbing is the dead and dying lower leaves scattered around in pale sickly disintegration, turning blackish at the edges but not turning dry and crispy like friendly blowing fall leaves that bring back memories of jumping into the big piles that dad had just raked up. No these are heavy and flesh-like jumping into a pile of these would feel like hugging a cadaver. I am put in the mind of good old H P Lovecraft’s “The Color Out of Space” where a meteor brings unwelcome creatures to a farming community and causes a blighted heath where once was a good and wholesome meadow. I pace a few minutes wishing I had a sword or sickle to hack these blasphemous vegetative entities. I cut my time outside short wishing only to rid myself of the presence of these gross unatural horrors.
Now I am sure that some of you just love these things to pieces and can’t wait each year to buy them and put then in your yard, and if that’s the case with you dear reader then I can only say sorry…But perhaps they have already got you in their clutches…your one of them now. Maybe I’m just a little extreme in my dislike for one of God’s creations I don’t know. I shake off the cold as I go back in to find my mom and take us back to the entrance we came in, where asphalt and concrete prevent the horrors from getting a foothold. I tell myself that spring is just six weeks away and the promise of color and light will drive these things back to the gates of hell from whence they came.
I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be in his shoes, he had the world on a string, he’s done what no one else has done in the Olympics, he has made sweet amounts of money on endorsement deals and commercials, everyone wants to talk to him and interview him and get his opinion on anything and everything. He has earned a place in sports history that will always be remembered. But….he can’t even take a hit off a bong at a party with his friends, or go to a strip bar, or treat himself to an in-call from an “escort” without the media sharks somehow reporting on it and trying to disgrace him on purpose.
Now understand I’m not saying he even needs to use an escort service for that kind of happiness, I’m sure he has loads of female fans who would love to show him the pleasures of their flesh. But the media and his mother got him covered like a school of hammerheads circling around a diver trying to get back up without getting the bends. I mean he can’t do anything anymore, when you think about it he is really screwed. I can’t speak from a girls perspective but guys…do you remember what it felt like to be an 18 to 25 year old? Well I do and I can tell you that it was the time when you experimented with life, you tried booze, pot, sex. Anything you weren’t allowed to do under the age of eighteen or twenty one for that matter was suddenly declared open season. This is what your supposed to do in your 20’s, live life to the fullest, make mistakes have fun, go crazy at times! Lets face it for once, it’s normal people to do this and to want to do these things.
But as we have seen so many times before now, we exist in a country where we create media stars and then we seek to destroy them, you think I’m exaggerating the point, I tend to differ on that and I’ll tell you why…it’s simple. We as a people love to smear or otherwise dis-credit our hero’s as much as we love to do the same to our family’s, friends and co-workers, as I mentioned in a previous post “To Be A Wannabee, That Is The ?”
There is a book published in 1999, Eric Denzenhall’s “Nail’ Em!: Confronting High Profile Attacks On Celebrities And Businesses” that uncovers the culture of attack that we live in. This is perpetrated by a collection of individuals including the news media; headline-seekers; angry former employees; and those seeking Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame that he assured us is every ones due (I’m still waiting for mine) and others with unfathomable reasons for persecution of others. Now I’ll cop to the fact that people like Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, and Tom Cruise all deserve everything they get because their behavior warrants controversy but I think it’s sad that our old pal from Doogie Howser: Neil Patrick Harris had to out himself to avoid in his words “this sort of witch hunt brewing” which he spoke about on the Ellen DeGeneres show. The Who’s famed lead guitarist Pete Townsend was accused of accessing child pornography websites and the media had a field day portraying him as a pervert, he was found not guilty because he didn’t download any files. Still, he had to register as a sex offender even though he was doing research on the pain of child abuse for book he was writing, oh and by the way he was himself molested as a child which is why he was writing the book in the first place.
I know that there is a rumor mill in Hollywood and that everyone was right about Clay Aiken from the beginning but duh!, how hard was that after all. The problem is that everyone is gay now, Tom Cruise is gay according to rumor, Robert Plant of all people!!! You must be high, he had more women than I’ve had hot meals! Now it’s LL Cool J who is reportedly gay, so what who cares? Why is it sooo important to talk about it and make people squirm. The sad fact is that people think I’m gay because I’m not married and don’t have a girlfriend. Well some of us who work full time and have a small business on the side, as well as an artistic career in writing and painting, who are also taking care of two aging parents and an unwell brother just don’t have the time to try and find anybody! I mean how much juice do I have in the batteries at the end of the day to go out and where do I go on a weeknight to find love and happiness? How do I afford all the expense of a relationship in this economy when I’m already in debt and struggling? I wouldn’t mind so much but the guys making the gay remarks about me are all married and their wives work, so they have a second income. But they think back to the days when they were single and mommy and daddy were still paying their way and try to apply it to my situation out of ignorance.
The real problem is that we as a people are just not really ready to accept love in all it’s forms, we won’t accept the idea that our hero’s are just people, people who happen to do something really well and get paid for it and that’s all there is to it. Why do we have to make them into gods anyway? I’ll tell you why, because we are not taught by the media to believe in ourselves as people. Instead we are taught to raise others to god-like status so we can worship them and only wish for their fame and fortune. The other side of the coin is that we are taught to spend money on our hero’s products so we can (hopefully) have some of their energy and good vibes rub off on us, if we buy their shoes or makeup or eat the snacks they supposedly like and eat in their own homes, then we will be just like them. This is big business, and the company’s who use celebrity endorsement want us to be hungry for all that bling and fame, so they make us spend money on things we are programmed to want even though it doesn’t do us any real good.
The thing about all of this media hype over Phelps and his bong hit that really gets me ginned up is that I predicted all of this when he won his first bunch of medals! So now after winning again and being raised to the status of the living god, he now has to live in a prison that wasn’t made by him. It was made by the media, and the hordes of people that swallow the often shallow ideas that are thrust upon these celebrities when they hit the scene. So hats off to you Michael, I’m looking forward to seeing you in the next Olympics, no matter what you’ll always be a hero to me, for taking me out of my worries for a week or two and giving me a sense that anything is possible. One more thing Michael, you should have said that you smoked but didn’t inhale… it worked once before for a President, it should work for a swimmer…right?