Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Year in Review

Hard to believe it’s been over 3 months since my last post. Time flies while global shit is hitting the fan. My absence has neither been due to a lack of subject matter nor a lack of interest in said. The fact that I couldn't get up for the game to rant about Greece or Syria, Hamas or Newt is testament to information/bullshit overload. I mean, what can you say when the quote/unquote objective report says it all. You don't have to read into it. The bizarre and If you have read any of my posts then you know one of my fall-back tenets is that I can’t make this stuff up. I am constantly finding myself in awe of the pitiful state of America’s politics and economics, which are inextricably connected.

My temptation is to not recount the events of the year. Unless the media and the government have completely seized your brain, you lived through the year and know what happened. I hate to dwell on the bad and the ugly, so I won’t. Like I say, you know what happened. I don’t have a top ten of news stories. I don’t have a top ten list at all. I didn’t see ten movies this year. The music I listen to is mostly ten years old and I barely watch commercial television. And not in that effete way, like I am above it all... I've just lost interest.

The bottom line is, I agree with Time magazine, who named the Occupy Movement as “person of the year.” I don’t particularly agree with the direction the movement took. I don’t think shutting down our ports. I watched the movement evolve into turning the consciousness into encampments for the homeless, although I do think it is high time there is attention given to the homeless problem. More than anything else , the movement brought attention to the disparities between the haves and have-nots in the country. Personally, I find the adulation that the unwashed masses show toward anything and everything that relates to wealth is grossly unhealthy. I can’t blame Robin Leach for doting on the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Like Billy Joel sang, he didn’t start the fire. But things have gotten so far out of control.


While Republican politicians and phony religious zealots preach family values, Kim Kardashian covers every tabloid and gossip rag in the country. In a country where half the children go to bed hungry, there is a certain level of obscenity when a talentless, pneumatic woman becomes a celebrity by allegedly being herself, along with the rest of her talent-deficient family. Where said woman gets married for $15 million, sells the rights to the event to People Magazine and separates from her new husband 72 days later. Basic math reveals that the amount of money spent could have put an average of 300 more teachers to work.

A convergence of collagen and cleavage.
Baby-dolls in public?

At the beginning of this past Christmas shopping season, one of the more popular viral videos showed a woman pepper-spraying other shoppers so she could get the latest gadget for her ADD addled, malnourished child. Last week, near-riots broke out as predominantly African-American shoppers literally fought to be among the first to buy a pair of $180.00 Air Jordans. They have bought the dream on layaway. The payments go on way past their misbegotten goal has been tarnished and torn.

Disillusioned words like bullets bark

As human gods aim for their mark

Make everything from toy guns that spark

To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark

It’s easy to see without looking too far

That not much is really sacred

It is sad and ugly to watch people shed their dignity like a slithering serpent crawling out of last season’s skin. How much proof does one need that our priorities have become so distorted and ultimately self-annihilating? Can I tell you something between just you and I? I used to go after that gold-toned brass ring. Hell, that was how I was brought up. I wanted the latest, newest, shiniest, coolest. But that drive has passed. It is not like I am not motivated. It is that my priorities have shifted. Last week, my wife and I went to a town in California’s central coastal region that has evolved into a wine growing Mecca. I literally got sick when I looked at the menu at a restaurant we went to with our friends. The prices were so stupid expensive, I had what could only be considered a panic attack. I just can’t do that anymore.

You say you’re sorry

For tellin’ stories

That you know

I believe are true

You say ya got some

Other kinda lover

And yes, I believe you do

You say my kisses are not like his

But this time I’m not gonna tell you why that is

I’m just gonna let you pass

Yes, and I’ll go last

Then time will tell who fell

And who’s been left behind

When you go your way and I go mine

Petra Ecclestone-- almost real

Ever read the New York Times Style section on Sundays? There lies the bastion of the idle rich for intelligent people to cluck their tongues at out loud but secretly envy. Have you ever heard of Petra Ecclestone? I never did until I read about her in said section of the “Old Gray Lady.” Now, there’s a piece of work. Admittedly not American, but included for buying a serious piece of it. She is 22 years-old, and, as far as I can figure, has never worked a day in her life. Well, that’s not really true nor fair. She has worked, as a model for Armani. But it is her diminutive father’s moolah that allowed her to buy Candy Spelling’s Holmby Hills estate for $35 million. She called the 57,000 square foot mansion a comfy little home.

The former Candy Spelling Residence... comfy

It is publicly known that she also has a $91 millon home in Chelsea, London for her five dogs. She reportedly has seven Rolex watches, each worth about $33,000 and ten Hermes Birkin handbags worth “upwards of $65,000.” And, how do you define obscene? How about this: in reaction to Paul McCartney’s proposal for meatless Mondays, Petra was quoted as saying, “I am not a veggie and I don't have much time for people like the McCartneys and Annie Lennox.” In all fairness to Ms. Ecclestone, she was launching her leather fashion line at the same time. Fashion line? Hmmm… makes me think of Paris Hilton and the Olsen twins.

Bernie Ecclestone, Petra Ecclestone, Slavica Ecclestone
A financial giant and human slug, with his wife and child
Where are your stilettos, Bernie?

I could never have imagined that an over-the-top Oliver Stone film (is that redundant?) would be so prescient. But the essence of his movie, Wall Street was right on. It hit the golden nail on the head. He pointed out, through the words of Gordon Gecko, that greed is actually not so good. That greed leads to really bad things.

* * *

Bottom line: if you want to find out what made the top ten lists, find it in the magazines and newspapers. Otherwise, cue up Blonde on Blonde, Beggar’s Banquet, Who’s Next and London's Calling, roll another joint and kick 2011 on down the road.

Thanks to Bob for the words, always.