Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

Prophet and commercials

March 9, 2013

(To Rodriguez: As if his songs were written today)

He’s pained and starved

But his eyes were clear

His heart whispered in the crowd’s ear

Words of beauty, words of truth

Not from the scriptures

But from every table and every street.

The truth was sweet, a pretty sight

… But just for the night.

The morning after

They woke up in fear

They looked in the mirror

His words weighed heavy

The make up disappeared

They felt nauseous

They downed more pills

The tv flicked on:

“The DOW was up

Jenny got pregnant

Snooki lost weight”

His words were drowned

Safely fizzled away

Commercials won

Yet another day



December 1, 2012

It is amazing how the alchemy of power can turn a garden variety human into a monster– devoid of any feelings his  Kafkaesque counterpart might have had!

It is more amazing how perfectly normal,  law-abiding, family loving, church going humans accept the morphed monster amongst them, overlook the monstrosity face, and even be awed with its atrocity.

Truman nuked a few million civilians, but he was idolized as a freedom loving, tough leader. The claim to fame of JFK was that he almost got the whole human species extinct in his showdown with the Soviets. Ariel Sharon, a prime minister of Israel, ordered the Sabra and Shatila massacre of Palestinian civilians  during the invasion of Lebanon circa 1982. He was hailed “a man of peace” by W. Bush.  Two US presidents ordered the blockades of two foreign countries and inflicted heavy suffering on its civilian population, and so they magically became freedom and human rights champions!

Our current president has a “kill list”. New names are added to this list every Tuesday morning. A lot of innocent people die in the process.  People cheer him on or, at best, they look the other way. Our friends across the pond even awarded him the “Nobel Peace Prize”!

Amazing indeed, isn’t it? No shortage of excuses befalls the good-natured, western folks.

God bless  Lafontaine who figured it out way back in the middle ages:

La raison de plus fort est toujours la meilleure


The good Catholic and the pothead

December 2, 2011

When the secretary at work told me that her friend and her fiance are moving into the house across the street from mine, my mind kept wondering about the smirk she had on her face while telling me this.  Finally she dropped the bomb.

“But they smoke weeds”, she said.  She waited a few seconds to assess my reaction before adding with a multifaceted laugh: ” you know, they’re potheads” .

I shrugged.  I keep to myself usually and, to the extent that I care who my neighbors are at all, I only worry about whether they’re quiet or not. 

Not until they actually knocked on my door one night, dressed elegantly and smelling luscious, that is.  “Here is our phone number”, they said politely, “in case we get loud tonight. We’re having a graduation party. We’re graduating from college. You’re welcome to attend too!”

Wow! That was a far cry from what I had in mind about potheads. And it wasn’t the only far cry caused by my neighbors; well my next door good catholic couple neighbors this time!  

They practically live in church. I never see much of them. They leave envelopes at my door soliciting donations for one cause or another. And just to be neighborly, I usually oblige.

One time, after a hard day at work, I saw their kind of envelopes at my door, and I began calculating how much money I can spare this time.

Not so fast!

It turned out that it was a scathing note threatening me with court action if I did not remove the bags of leaves I spent the weekend  raking. The bags were too much for the “goodness” of my pious neighbors, I guess.

I waved back at the cheerful face of my pothead neighbor and continued reading.

“Everything is alright neighbor?”, the pothead said smiling. 

 “It is just fall again  and nature is showing its true color”, I said, smiling back.

I wadded the note and put it in one of the bags.


Meatless-less burgers and veggie lies

April 19, 2011

When I became a vegetarian it was a moral decision first and foremost. Life looked more harmonious and peaceful to me that way. 

I felt  much admiration for the magnificent  creatures that ended up on people’s dinner plates and a deep understanding (at least in my opinion) of what life is all about.

Eating meat came to represent the arrogance of our species, the signature of its brutality, the gluttony of its soul,  and the hypocrisy of its culture.

So you can imagine my frustration and feeling of betrayal when one of “our own” supposedly,Vegnews, doctored photos of meat burgers and beef chops and claimed them to be vegetarian meals.

Shame on you. I thought it was  supposed to be all about humility and honesty.


Attention Deficit and Budget Deficit

March 18, 2011

Move over, the deficit-cutting ax is just about to hit you.

By the way everyone, does anyone still remember the wars going on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen? How much they’re still costing us; anyone?

Just take a look at this technologically marvelous and factually credible website and see where the deficit really comes from.

The cost of wars  to the state of Wisconsin so far: $18, 616, 142, 400 and it is multiplying by the second. Its deficit is $1.5B.

The cost of wars to New Jersey that required the hero of our time, Chris Christie to slash much-needed social programs: $53, 317, 921, 516. Its deficit is 10.5 B. Do you hear him even hint at this?

Just enter your state in the upper left hand corner of the website and see how much it is costing you by the minute. It is bleeding all of us dry.

And our esteemed officials are looking to save money by cutting  heating oil for the elderly, laying off school teachers,  busting the unions, and cutting funding for day care programs.

No one in the media is reporting on the cost of  wars anymore. It is total amnesia inducing a total attention deficit to the real problems.

We’re cannibalizing each other here at home. All of a sudden public employees and unions are the villains that caused the deficit. They’re the ones that brought the entire world’s economy to its knee!

It is scary. Be very afraid of what they’re doing to this country.


The insurance agent who loves me!

February 27, 2011

The cool Gekko didn’t get me. All the commercials on tv didn’t get me. The anonymity of these companies’ agents did.

Here is how I switched from the cozy, local, hometown boy insurance agent to someone who probably is located 1000 miles away from my home.

The good old home boy  made sure to call me by my first name when I walked in. He introduced himself in person and his family in absentia. The family pictures were on his desk and on the walls. I had to keep staring at his disingenuous, perfunctory smile to avoid looking at them. And I had to keep talking in order to avoid listening to his overstated, fake midwestern accent. Disclosure: Fake makes me nauseated

I made  up an excuse to get out of the  suffocating and fake ambiance of his office.  “My stomach is churning and I feel sick”, I said. It was  truthful;  metaphorically so!

The first thing I did after I made it out, I called an out-of-state insurance company.  At least, I thought, I didn’t have to see the fake smile and  all the family pictures.


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January 6, 2011

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A most beautiful gift this season

December 31, 2010

What is the most beautiful gift one could ever receive?

A gift so magical that it doesn’t fade with time. A gift so pretty and grows more beautiful every season. A gift that puts a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and serenity in your day every time you look at it.

I got a call from a beloved friend of mine next to whose house I had bought a small lot mostly, but not entirely, as an investment. He called to tell me about his  gift for me  this season.  “I  planted pine and olive trees all around the lot”, he said. “By the time your house is built here, the trees will have grown beautifully”, he added. “I would love to have you back here during your summers”.

I tried to take all that in: A beloved friend of mine would love to have me as a neighbor so much that he actually planted the land with the most generous and enduring trees as an invitation. What could be more genuine and more beautiful than that?

My eyes watered. How lucky a guy can be (with Sinatra’s permission). I have been speechless all day swimming in magical feelings of true love. That is the most precious and beautiful gift indeed.


Forever. -n. Unbearably Endless?

December 29, 2010

I don’t know how it could be done but I know that  some people  can do it. 

How can one go from being lavished with “my love” and “will never be apart” one day only to be a mere “Dear John” label a few days later? (Sugar-coating in the letter under the label not withstanding.)

Suspicions are ridiculed, doubts are dismissed. Then… Presto! she is magically leaving!

What I am trying to sell here is doubt. A dose of doubt, however small, is always healthy.  Surrender yourself totally and set yourself up for crash landing.

With Mr. Webster’s permission, “forever” in real life dictionary should include another meaning: Forever. n. 1. endless period of time except when used in context with the word love; in which case Einstein’s relativity theory gets involved and turns it into  unbearably  endless as soon as  one lover finds a new candidate for his/her affection. —adv. 2


La Rousse from the New York Times

March 7, 2010

I enjoy reading Maureen Dowd Columns in the New York Times like one would enjoy reading gossip columns. I never thought her columns have much substance but her writing style is charming, witty, sprinkled with panache, and always makes me smile.

In her piece today, she dabbles in the murky water of the Middle East conflict. I guess she is trying to get serious. She hits all the right notes. The ones that help her keep her job, that is. Not the ones that ring with truth.

She declares “… If anyone deserves to be paranoid, of course, it’s Israel….”

So let me get this straight. Israel, a small country with the sixth largest nuclear arsenal in the world,   the fourth–largest army in the world (the thirteenth if measured by manpower alone),  with more than 200 nuclear warheads6 billion USD in weapon sales,  “…It is becoming an increasingly important player in the global defence industry. It is both the sixth largest arms importer and the fourth largest exporter. Last year appears to have been a record year for its industry. In the first six months, Israel sold 5.3 billion dollars worth of arms abroad, compared to 4.7 billion dollars for the entire 2007, according to the France- Israel Chamber of Commerce. “, with nuclear submarines  and unmatched air force superiority  , at least within its neighborhood, if not in the whole world, this tiny little country, that could destroy the whole Middle East over night, should be paranoid, implied “la rousse ” from the N.Y. Times.

Just what is it with liberals?  They attack  the  regime in Iran as   theocratic. But they can’t see any wrong with whatever Israel, a country that does not deny its “raison d’être” is rooted in the Bible, does even if it hits them with a Camion (with Ms. Dowd’s permission!). In fact, they enthusiastically support/justify every brutal act Israel commits no matter how monstrous it is ( Gaza , Lebanon, Rachel corrie – whom Molly Moore of the Washington/Likud Post blamed for her own death in a March 17, 2003 article.) They are against the death penalty but they see no war that they don’t like. They fuss about the habitat of the spotted owl in Oregon and oppose drilling in Alaska, but they don’t mind the eradication of all Gazans and bulldozing their homes.

At least the religious nuts support for Israel complements their prosaic mythology. Their God, in his infinite wisdom, would like to have Jews live in Palestine so that he can watch hell on earth for a change. They are avid supporters of  wars but they also support the death penalty. They don’t care for the spotted owl or the pristine wilderness in Alaska, nor do they care about Gazans or drilling in their homes. Equal opportunity killing fans, they may be. But they are consistent.

Spineless, faceless, shapeless, and belief-less hacks. In other words-to borrow a Sinatra trick-, liberals.