Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Girls Gone Wild?

You know one of my guilty pleasures was the show Dateline on NBC where they would find someone interested in having sex with a teenager, have him go to a house and expose him on national TV. It would be fun to see some of them arrive with liquor in one hand and condoms in the other ready to strip and do the do with someone they had never seen before.

However, that smell of sweet young pussy that they thought was in the air, was actually the smell of the moderator’s Old Spice soon to replaced by the smell shit as the alleged perpetrator soiled themselves when they figured that they were not only caught but on camera. I laughed at how some of them would protest their innocence swearing that this was just an aberration and would not happen again. I would smile knowing that they were about to get a knee to the back of the neck as the police arrested them on the ground. Another sexual predator would be behind bars and all would be well with the world.

Today I read on MSNBC that there were 3 teenage girls in Pennsylvania that were suing the District Attorney in Wyoming County to prevent him from charging them with child pornography and the distribution of such material. Apparently the girls had taken pictures of themselves partially dressed using their cell phones and as will happen with kids, the pictures found their way to the cell phones of their class mates. This, the DA says, was illegal.

Now I’m not sure how this will come out, but I wonder if it doesn’t come out in favor of the girls, will they have to go around for the rest of their lives listed as sexual deviants, listing their addresses with the local authorities each time they move? And if so can it happen to me?

I really don’t think I’ve done anything wrong, but a few years ago I was on one of the free and dirty beaches under the Pitons in St Lucia I took out my camera to take a scenery shot and the ex in the water. Some of the local boys who were playing on the beach decided they wanted me to take their picture and ran in front of me and started to pose. “No big deal,” I thought. I’m not good at taking pictures of people but the sooner I got this over with, the sooner they’d leave me alone. They would take a position without me prompting them, I would take a picture and they would run back and see the results.

I think it was the 3rd or 4th picture that I noticed that one of them was taking off his trunks and that there had been another who was already naked. I should have asked myself why they needed to get naked for me. Was this something that they did before for other people for other reasons? Where were their parents or why did one of them had a black eye? No, inSt Luciastead what I did think was that I was going to jail. I would probably get 10 years in St Lucia or life plus 10 in the US. To this day, even though I use one of the pictures on one of my credit cards, I still twitch expecting a knock on the door from the FBI.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for sex with children or child pornography in any form, but I wonder where do we draw the line and if the line was drawn already, was it done in the sand, where it's moveable and or easily erased? Will we stop at arresting little girls for being foolish and childlike, or will we go further?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm Not Mad

I don’t think I am as mad as hell. I think I can take a little bit more in fact. I don’t why that is, I don’t have any special hidden reserves or caches of loot buried in a Swiss account or a bank in the Bahamas or wherever rich people keep their funds. I don’t have a wife who hasn’t worked a day in her life but somehow says that $160 million is hers and that whatever I may have done illegally has nothing to do with her assets. I am no more secure in my life or situation than anyone else I know, and yet as the world seems to be on the edge of heading into the abyss, I am not mad about it and I wonder why.

I think I should be mad. I see the value of my property fall as well as those around me. I see my debts rise in proportion to the hike in local taxes that are coming and the increase in insurance premiums. I also see my ability to cover those obligations decrease more and more while I receive less and less in services that I pay for. We only have 6 police officers in my town and 2 of them are part timers. At night the police station closes and if something happens you have to call the City of Camden, the county seat, and have them dispatch someone. I should be mad, but I’m not.

There are a lot of people who are upset and or up in arms about the bonuses that some executives received at AIG after fucking up the company and the economy. I am not. I see them as people who American International Grouphave learned to look after number 1 and I can’t fault them for that. If truth be told, in my next life I want to come back as one of them or at least have whoever represented them in their contract and compensation negotiations represent me.

I say if Congress or the Administration didn’t bother to care before about what the company would do with the money that they were given, or think that they wouldn’t do a Merrill Lynch shuffle board play on them, then why should I? You may answer because you and I will have to pay for it, but I would say that I’ll be long dead by the time that thing is paid for. I mean isn’t that we have done before, what we do now? Don’t we just pass on our obligations and the results of our actions on to those who come behind us? Isn’t that what things like global warming, national debt and social secuity all about?

For years now, corporate executives have made a ridiculous multiple in earnings of their average employee, and no one said anything; probably because people were just waiting for the opportunity to get the chance to make that amount of money for themselves. And now that things are going sour, people act like the inspector in the movie Casablanca, shocked to find out that there is gambling going on in the premise, but I’m not mad.

Really I’m not mad. I think like a worker bee, like a drone, I just shovel shit from one hole to another and wait for the next shoe to drop. I’m resigned to it.

I taped a copy of this movie years ago when I first saw it. But I’m not sure I know where it is now and it seems to be so appropriate at this time. Although I know I’m not at that stage yet, but I'll let you know when I am.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Must See TV

The Last Supper
This was to be my homage to the final episode of Battlestar Galactica. This was to be about the episode that I have been waiting for over 6 or 7 years to see and will be airing this Friday. But it's not.

Most people will think that Battlestar Galactica is just about cowboys in space, a remake of the old TV series with 2 dimensional characters and even weaker plot lines. The rest of us, the ones who have tried to understand the show, will see it as a microcosm of life and religion where there are no easy answers and nothing is ever as good or as evil as you think it is or as black or as white as you would want to believe it to be. Everything and everyone will have their various shades of gray and the trick is finding out if there are really any differences between them.

Battlestar Galactica
I’ve gone through strikes, single seasons spread over years, threat of cancellation, lack of production funds, and the lack of viewers all in hopes of finding the answer to my questions about the show. And maybe I won’t get them. It would be the irony of ironies if I should drop dead before Friday and never see the thing, but it would be sweet justice if I did see the show only to come out with even more questions than I had before I started to watch the show. But like I said Galactica was what I wanted to right about, but I won’t. Instead.

People said that I was cruel when I said that the people who were snaking outside of the building I worked and around the block to the Pennsylvania Convention Center a few years ago were the biggest losers as they waited for an audition in the rain for a chance to be on the reality show, The Biggest Loser a few years ago. Now it seems that I was wrong.

I’m sure by now everyone has seen the video of the thousands of people lining up in New York City trying to audition for America’s Top model when panic and pandemonium broke out. I haven’t seen the show since they had that former model, Janice I think her name was, on the show as a judge. You know whom I’m talking about, the one that looked like she was stuck somewhere between a transvestite with a really botched change operation and a hooker who had come across some extremely hard times. Anyway, even though I work with a few women who live and die by the show, I have never really understood their interest in it. A few skinny girls and the occasional normal looking one without a chance, vying for a one year contract for a cover girl position at a magazine that I’ve never heard of.

But then I must be only one not to understand it, because as far as I know the show is still going strong and there are people, thousands of them apparently, who are willing to risk life and limb for a miniscule chance to cry and show how awkward they are in life. Apparently there are thousands of girls willing to be insulted by Jay and Miss Jay in front of the nation and maybe the world, or just trying be America’s Top Model.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Rant on Responsibilty

Last week I had tried to write a post about the 3 NFL players and gym trainer that were involved in that fishing boat accident off the coast of Tampa. I had gotten about a quarter of the way through the piece when I thought that to actually post it would be an act of irresponsibility. To put on the net that if or when they should find one of the bodies from the missing football players, there would be a size 13 heel print left on the forehead by Mr. Schuyler from when he decided there would only room enough for one on the bottom of capsized boat. But like I said, for me to say that would be irresponsible and speculative.

Nick Schuyler
Speaking of speculation and responsibility, they say Bernie Madoff will be in court tomorrow where he is expected to plead guilty to fraud and whatever else he has been charged with in his $50 billion ponzi scheme. Yes I call him Bernie like I know him because I think in a sense I do know him. He is like so many people just trying to make it big while doing as little as possible to get there. I mean look at all those people who were investing with him didn’t understand or didn’t care how he was supposedly making money for them. Did any of them stoBernie Madoffp and take the time to say that needed to figure out what was going on? No, just as long as they were getting their 12% on paper, they were as happy as faggots in Boystown. I myself am guilty of doing the same thing.

I remember a couple years ago and I heard that a friend of mine who works at Merrill Lynch was upset that his Christmas bonus was not going to be as big as he thought it should have been even though it was as large as my annual salary after taxes, and we do practically the same thing. I thought then and there that I had no idea how Merrill Lynch or any other investment firm made their money other than by commission sales of stock, but I was going get a piece of that action and turn much of what I had in my 401k into a mutual fund that bought and sold their stock. Needless to say, I’ve sort of lost about 20-30% of the value of the 401k when it was at its highest, but I still think there’s more there than what I actually put in so I’m not that upset. My mother on the other hand does get upset although she never shows it, and I’m not saying that only because I only see her about 3 times a year.

She was born and raised at time when even the worst of the things happening now couldn’t compare the norm of things when she was growing up. Even though she lost a few bucks when my father invested their retirement savings heavily just in time for Dotcom bubble to bust at the turn of the century and then having the inconvenience of a large tax bill coming in just as daddy decided to “shuffle off this mortal coil” and leave for the nether world; she has never shown much regret or distress over it. Perhaps it’s because of me. Perhaps it’s because I am the only man in her life and she knows I’ll be the one man who won’t screw her. And perhaps that true so she relys on me.

What I get upset about is that she will look to me for help so much without trying to think for herself, without getting the information that she needs for herself so she can decide what she needs to do for herself. naked back of black man

That would be no big deal if I was Warren Buffett and I was able to make good decisions without having to wait until my testicles tingled to feel good about them I would say "alright," I would take on that responsibility happily and without trepidation, but I’m not. I make mistakes for me that I’m fine with, but when those same mistakes or when bad advice is given and can harm the welfare of others I’m not.

Am I wrong for wanting people to be more responsible for their own lives and for their own actions? Or am I like others just frightened of being blamed for things that we really should have control over but don’t. Somehow this all just leaves me feeling naked and all alone and I’m not sure I like it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Conversation

I shot this picture of 2 men in Franklin Square in Philadelphia last September after the square was renovated and refurbished. The homeless people and drug addicts had been evicted and children and their families were encouraged now to visit. I wasn’t sure what the story of the men was, but I was certain that they were friends. They had an ease of conversation about them that bridged whatever kind of gap that may have existed there and bonded them to each other.

franklin sq philadelphia
It seems like it was a lifetime ago when I didn’t have an iPod glued to my ear. Whenever I’m out, travelling, walking, away from home or the office, I’m listening to something. Sometimes it’s music that I’m listening to or podcasts, or if I’m on the train I’m going even more blind trying to watch a movie or play games on a 3½ inch screen.

I’ve noticed recently that this keeps me sort of isolated from what’s going on around me. People will walk up to me while I’m on the street and try to ask me something, directions, money or whatever and I will often not see or acknowledge them. Alright, sometimes I’ll ignore them on purpose, but other times it’s because I’m so wrapped up in my own little world that it’s hard for them to engage me in whatever they want me to engage in.

It used to be that when I would take the train home before I got my first iPod, I would sometimes over hear the conversations of those who were around me. I remember one time coming home from work when the two men in front of me were talking to each other and one of them gave his theory as to why the train tracks in Haddonfield, our next stop, were under street level whereas the tracks were above ground for every other stop. One man said it was because Haddonfield NJ was like Jerusalem and the Jews wouldn’t take that type of inconvenience or desecration in their town. They both laughed.

I didn’t think that they were being racist or bigoted because I don’t really think there is a significant Jewish presence in Haddonfield. I thought they were just talking and joking because that’s what friends do between themselves no matter how it may seem to those on the outside. I may have been wrong. But friends will often have a sort of shorthand, a method where they can keep in synch with one another in order not to communicate but to comfort each other; even if it's just to comfort each other over a boring 20 minute train ride.

I noticed that about myself when I looked at a video that was shot of a fellow blogger and friend, Curtis on Fat Tuesday. The whole thing was a spur of the moment thing and took about 40 minutes. Much of it was really a bunch of nonsense rather than mind boggling scintillating conversation. If you’re interested, I’ve cut it down to about 20 minutes of sparring and parrying and can be found in the My Stuff widget at the side here. Or you can see it cut down even further to a cleaner version that is on YouTube as well as on Vimeo which is less than 8 minutes long and is shown below.

Look at them or don’t.

Either way, there is something special that people have with their friends. At least I think it’s something special that I have with my friends as opposed to the relationships that I have with the hundreds of other people that I just know, and I think that's worth talking about.


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