Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ain't He Sweet

Dear dear Vladamir has showed that the bromance between King Rump and himself is alive and well. Today he offered the American government the transcripts of his meeting with King Rump in the Oval office to shore up his buddy's claim that no classified information was shared between the West and East.

A photo of the blue-eyed Rusky looking like a sheepish pussycat flashed across the TV screen next to the bloated alligator-esque visage of His Hindness.

I wonder, how do we know a transcript supplied by an adversary of the USA hasn't been subjected to artful editing? On another note, perhaps this is a wicked little trick of Putin. Afterall, if the White House is being bailed out by Putin, this does suggest a rather comfy relationship.

Sweet or sly like a fox? You decide.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

I Grew Two People

As I sip morning coffee on my divinely beautiful back terrace, surrounded by purple and yellow wildflowers, a 28 year old goddess stumbles out of the house, golden-blonde hair tangled in perfect disarray and blue eyes shining. She encircles my shoulders in her arms and presses her creamy smooth skin against my cheek with a sweet, "You're the best mommy in the whole world."

An hour later, the commanding presence of my 39 years son appears at the patio door with his trusty dog-friend Dunkin, who gets first dibs on a sloppy kiss to his grandmother (me). Then his master bends his massive frame to give me a very human and tender kiss on the cheek.

Luckily, my female child is slender and delicate, and my male child a vision of manly protection, capable of taking down a bear in the woods. I muse - in our world of value judgements, it's a good thing the physiques weren't reversed.

In addition to a sense of gratitude for my two amazing children, a sense of complete dumbfoundedness overtakes me. I GREW these two in my stomach and then pushed them out in to the world, where they slowly but surely became separate humans with all their very own characteristics.

Looking at this process as an alien from another world, it seems bizarre, if not miraculous. And so it goes. The world of creation in which we live has an inexplicable quality that no one can explain, not even those who devoutly believe in the Bible.

Today is a day of wonderment. May it be so every day.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Bizzaro World of King Rump

Letter From King Rump to FBI Director James Comey:

"While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau.” 


Historical note: when Hitler rolled into the Sudetenland pre-WWII, he expected to be pushed back by the Western powers. When he was not, he was astonished, and thus concluded that he could carry on with his world-domination dream.

The parallel here is that King Rump continues to push the boundaries of democratic government with its checks and balances. If the Republican dominated Congress cannot push back to this dictator-in-progress and truss him up good, then we shall have a catastrophic result. We the people must take charge and throw the bums in jail by electing truth seekers.

Friday, April 28, 2017

And the Winner is...

Former President Obama remarked today that Obamacare was viewed more favorably than President Trump, 47%-36%. That, in my estimation, is waving a red flag in front of a mad bull. Surely, a Twitter shit-storm will ensue from the pudgy little fingers of our ersatz leader as he reacts to this inconvenient truth.

This brings up a critical point. Integrity, honesty, and authenticity are vital in all components in human relationships. Marital partners, business partners, teachers, students, friends, et al cannot have a productive and healthy future without those ingredients. If they are missing and what presents is a shell of illusion covering festering malfeasance, what will it portend other than disaster?

School kids in the early 1960's were told an apocryphal tale about the young George Washington. The lad chopped down a cherry tree and when this travesty was discovered, the owner of said tree was furious. Little George, being the swell kid that he was (supposedly) confessed to his crime. This story was meant to instill in five years olds the idea that no deed cannot be rectified by honest and truthful behavior.

Good character does not infer infallibility but rather a willingness to course correct for the common good. We must continue to throw a light on the darkness that has descended over our nation to illuminate a path to goodness. There is no time to lose.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Can See Russia

Sarah Palin's infamous remark, "I can see Russia!" from the Alaskan shores drew mirth and scorn for her dumb-as-shit comment. However, this morning as I sat in contemplation, it did occur to me that the Russian empire stretches around the globe.

While it appears to loom largest as a power broker in Eastern Europe (note invasion of the Ukraine), in fact this vast land does circumnavigate the earth to sit quite close to the United States...if you include Alaska, technically a state in the USA even if it does belong to the Eskimos in spirit.

So, for all of us who live in California and enjoy wonderful weather and the bounty of harvests, beware. China, Russia, and even little North Korea have long arms that can either embrace us with good will or wrap themselves around us like a deadly python that will squeeze the air out of us.

Bearing all this in mind, wouldn't peaceful, productive, reconciliatory policies serve for the benefit of all?


Carmen Scherubel-Valentine has left a new comment on your post "I Can See Russia": 

In a perfect world...

North Korea wants to land a nuke on us. We can't just sit by and let that happen. 


Of course defense of our lands is a top priority, but my blog suggests that there are many ways ameliorate threats that don't involve the use of lethal military force.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Fresh Face of Obama

I turned on CNN this morning expecting to see more demented and insane policy decisions of the Trump administration being reported on. Lo and behold! Instead, the relaxed and good vibes presence of Barack Obama lit up the screen as he held a discussion with university students. I promptly went into an alternative reality where he was still the president and the tangles of ego-centered "me first" policies were being gently massaged out of our government policies.

The bad news is that this dream-like dream is not so...he no longer holds the reins of power. The good news is that he has re-entered our lives as a force of reason. Reason. Reason. Reason. As a wise man once said, "Common sense is uncommon" and no matter what one's politics, it is glaringly obvious that a thoughtful, compassionate man has re-entered our lives after 8 years in the hot seat.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

To Err Is Human, to Forgive Is Human

"To err is human, to forgive is divine" is a well known aphorism with questionable philosophical underpinnings. I quite agree that forgiveness is a powerful force and is the gateway to love - the most beautiful, healing, and wondrous thing a human being can emote. For that matter, animals can also express exemplary feelings. The dog, wo-man's best friend, can warm the cockles of the hardest heart with its unabashed adoration of the master. However, if the divine (God) is all forgiveness and love, then who is responsible for creating all the evil-doings of mankind? Perhaps it would be more correct to say, "To err is human, to forgive and love is human." Until someone can explain how an all-knowing and all-loving God can fuck up so badly, I can only assume it is we who create all that is good and bad on this earth.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Boredom as Dis-ease

There are no psychiatric diagnostics nor classification codes for a state called boredom.
Our world is filled with wonders, horrors, and every shade of the rainbow in between; logically there could be near infinite ways to engage the mind interactively given the vast stimuli available to the human mind.

Thus, why would anyone ever be bored? It is simply illogical except if one examines the feeling of boredom through an analytical lens. 

Boredom = not understanding or perceiving the vast range of potentials dwelling within our mind-body that exist no matter what our intelligence level, social status or education.

Boredom = a semi-paralyzing depression that dampens motivation to explore, expand, and create.

Boredom = a passive-aggressive stance towards oneself and others akin to a stubborn mule that sits on its hind legs and refuses to budge. It bespeaks of an unwillingness to give of oneself to the collective.

Boredom = a state of numbness born from a stressor that has not been brought to conscious awareness and liberated.

Boredom = a feeling of isolation from the world that feeds on itself, leading to further disengagement and deadening of the senses.

The next time you or someone close to you feels bored, try looking into the mirror of self to find the blockage. Once uncovered, perhaps that deadened state will morph into life-affirming activity once again.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

When An Inconvenient Truth Becomes a Convenient Lie

It would be hunky-dory if people embraced inconvenient truths and had the courage to face their own demons to say, "Scram." Alas, it takes a level of scrupulous honesty, or bull-shit busting, to face what is really going on instead of doing the ostrich routine or living a lie that you pass off as a great scenario.

The tendency for most humans is to do the chicken dance (no offense, my fowl friends) and strut through life with pretension. The fact that we actually elected a President who has perfected this art form is nothing short of astonishing. It is the anti-miracle of centuries past and present.

On a somewhat smaller stage, how many of us do the same thing in our little lives? One cheating husband actually told me that it was an act of compassion to lie to his wife about his infidelities...that the truth would be too painful so he was being kind to conceal his alternate life.

What liars don't take into account is that everyone knows everything on some level of awareness. The collective consciousness holds all the data and those who are adept etheric researchers can discover the data. Those who are not gifted at detecting subtle energy patterns nonetheless are aware that something is not kosher. It is like having a ghost in the house...a discontent spirit that can't be seen or heard yet vibrates through the airwaves with a disturbing frequency.

Up until the age of 40-ish, I told white lies a.k.a. exaggerations of the facts. While it is not a criminal act to say, "I won the blue ribbon in a horse competition when I was thirteen," when in fact it was a second place red ribbon (guilty as charged) nonetheless it is a misrepresentation of "what is."

The sad truth, if not the inconvenient one, is that we are totally OK being real, being authentic. If only we realized that we have nothing to lose but loss itself, what would we gain?

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Questions in Search of an Answer

The moment seems real yet the moment the moment has passed it becomes a dream. There is essentially no difference between a waking memory and a motion-picture that sleep-time rolls out.

This begs the question: does the present moment event exist? Is it measured in nano-seconds, seconds, minutes? Certainly not hours or days. What is "a moment in time" when time itself is a relative concept? Does this mean that our version of reality is mere flimsy fiction to justify a worldview?

If ordinary human perception is an experience of the dreamtime, it begs the question: where is reality, if anywhere?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Puppies and Kitties

Television pundits drone endlessly as they attempt to unpack the disaster that this new presidency has wrought upon our nation and the world. While it is important to be informed and craft a personal plan of action, the overall gestalt weighs upon the soul mightily.

As a counterweight to this dreadful reality, my choice of entertainment has shifted radically. Scrolling through Netflix, I bypass drama, comedy, and all sorts of high-concept films to select puppy and kitty documentaries. None of these films would make a splash in the world of intelligent filmmaking. Yet, the vision of innocent and vulnerable domesticates cavorting on the flat screen can drive away the blues in a nanosecond.

Despite a slight case of self-judgement about such light-weight choice of fare, the smile on my face and the light in my heart tells me that budding life is a joy to behold. To be renewed is essential for our health and welfare in these times...any way we can find it!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I Cry for You

When I think about the election of 2016, one image comes to mind: a woman in 17th century Salem dragged to the stocks. Her hands and head are shoved into rough hewn holes; a vulnerable, painfully humiliating punishment in the village square. Jeering crowds hurl rotten fruit at the immobilized woman, her alabaster skin colored by stains of cruelty, her soul tainted with the hateful thoughts of her tormenters.

Certain sectors crow over the misdeeds of Hillary Clinton with chants of "lock her up." Yet, they enjoy the spoils of a country that has pillaged the planet for self-serving gains of the material kind. The utter injustice of a psychopath seizing power while the real leader is vanquished has become a real-time nightmare.

I cry for the hurts inflicted upon Hillary Clinton and more importantly on our nation and the world. We can only hope that the arc of truth shall prevail over the span of time, but it is we who must bend that arc.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Pain As a Gift

Sentient beings don't want pain on any level - physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. However, that is the one sure-fire experience of incarnates and is intricately laced within pleasure and other states of sensation.

Looking on the bright side, pain does present a viable alternative to the thinking, worrying mind. While most of us waste endless hours contemplating trivial matters or events of grave importance, the moment pain erupts due to injury, illness, or loss, all mundane concerns vanish. Pain puts us in the here and now; everything else recedes into the distance.

This is the gift of pain, and allowing oneself to experience the immediacy of the sensation is a built in meditation, courtesy of mother nature. As the mind surrenders to the call of immense discomfort, it ceases to be that which we must escape, and becomes on some profound level a friend that reminds us of the need for balance and mindfulness in all things.

Thus I contemplate as I rest with legs elevated, nursing a frayed tendon in my leg and grateful that the pain has brought me back from a labrynth of disembodied thoughts.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Karma Rides Again

I recall an incident from 2013 when my love was alive and the niggly details of cohabitation were at the forefront.

We are on a plane for a short domestic flight and a flight attendant offers the usual complimentary beverage. I ask for bubbly water but Michael declines his own a drink, saying, “I’ll just share hers.”

Now, everyone knows that flying dehydrates the cells of this precious human body. Thus, with the prospect of him having his very own free drink but deciding to partake of mine instead, indignation sets in.

I insist, “No, get your own! I need all the water I can get!” 

 The tactful attendant wards off the onset of bad vibes by saying, “I’ll bring you a can and you can share it.” Michael acquiesces with a smile and goes back to memorizing the LA Times. (He’s not an idiot savant – just an incredibly bright guy who never smoked dope.)

I am in the midst of gulping our shared can of bubbly water when another attendant comes through with a garbage bag and asks, “Are you through?”

Quick as a cat, Michael takes the can and my half-full glass and hands it over. Before I can utter the words of protest, "No, not yet,” the garbage bag has moved down the aisle with my can of soda water and cup forever buried.

Masking hysteria with a calm voice, I turn to Michael and say semi-politely, “Why did you give him my drink? I wasn’t finished.”

The answer: “I thought you said you were finished.”

“No! I said I wasn’t finished.”

“I heard you say you were finished.”

Now a slight whine garnishes my reply. “I said I wasn’t finished.”

He stubbornly insists, “I heard you say you were finished.”

In the absence of a King Soloman, we go into 'retreat and withdraw' mode and carry on within our own worlds, an armrest apart.


Michael wanted to drink from my cup in an act of collective intimacy and I defaulted to self-preservation. His subconscious reacted and paid me back by banishing half of my drink, gone not by way of his gullet but by plastic garbage bag. My fear of sharing half of my drink brought about the exact consequence I feared - losing half of my drink.

Despite this aggravating turn of events and my unquenched thirst, the glorious red desert beneath the wings offers up beauty and wonder...and I chill out and let go into relaxed goodwill.

At that moment, karma rears its head again, but this time in a lovely fashion. The flight attendant catches my eye and hands me an unopened can of bubbly water "for the road," even though cabin service ended twenty minutes ago and the loudspeaker is barking at us, “Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for landing.”

Rendered speechless by this unsolicited generosity, I can only wonder: is it really true that one can ask and receive, even if the road's twists and turns obscure what lies ahead?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

My Conversion to Dumb and Dumber

Escapism has always seemed like a strange phenomenon; a denial of reality where one purposely and willfully checks out of a here and now situation into a land of make-believe, while fully aware that the return to the untenable and unbearable is unavoidable.

During the Great Depression, many businesses went belly-up; in small towns with desolate storefronts, the one remaining functional operation was the local movie theater, a source of refuge from the horror of a society collapsing in on itself.

Now the function of fantasy-fare has taken root in my day to day life. No more documentaries on the Third Reich or genocide in Rwanda grace my screen. I search for romantic comedies, culture-clash comedies - in short anything that does not require serious thought or provokes probing questions on the nature of existence.

Escapism has become my friend and now I know why crappy, corny, silly, low brow movies do so well. Prospective filmmakers, gird your loins. It's time to descend into mindless pablum that the masses will need as the insanity of Rumpland takes hold.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Love Thine Enemy Like Thyself

In this period between President-elect status and the inauguration of King Rump, all sorts of rationalizations are taking place.

"Give him a chance."

"Have an open mind."

"He'll govern differently than the rhetoric-laced policies he eschewed on the campaign trail."

"Put a photo of him on your altar" (the worst suggestion so far).

Unbridled contempt and negativity help no one but there seems to be a basic naievity in the above postures. True, incessant whining and griping is a downer for everyone; to hurl counter-insults at King Rump and his kind in the hopes of out-sliming the slime merely engenders self-sliming.

Having an open mind, in my scenario, is being awake and aware to "the what is," which is in fact a hostile takeover of the US government. Adolph Hitler began his Holocaust with words. Organized killing came much later in the game, long after Hitler had thoroughly soaked his minions with hate-speech.

Where in Rump's picks is there any indication that we have none other than a far-right government grabbing the reins? And why would us lambs think that a Justice Department, run by the rabids, would not be the handmaiden of hate legally enshrined?

We are just descending in the fire of ignorance and chaos run amok. In the short term we may lose nothing; in the long term the Age of Ice and Fire has commenced.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The New 911

Since election day (our new 911), a creeping surrealism seeps through the airwaves as King Rump's cabinet picks are trumpeted via a larger than life flat screen. A toxic smog fills every molecule of perceptual reality during waking moments; as nightfall settles in, bedtime is met with eager anticipation as slumber becomes the refuge from this hell-in-the-making.

A mantra oft heard now - a country divided - is actually not accurate. Most presidential elections disenfranchise approximately half the voters, but in this case the divide is not between Republicans and Democrats but between the blind and the depressed.

Why did almost half of this First World country choose to ignore irrational behavior, lies, threats, deceit, fraud, and predatory behavior? Even the false news stories couldn't hold a candle to what came straight out of King Rump's black hole of a mouth.

The refusal of intelligent, educated people to see the dangers of this madman are not only troubling but mystifying. What has happened to common sense of half of the United States?

For those who choose to keep their eyes open and  recognize a red flag when it is waved in front of their nose, start revving up the engines. A long fight lies ahead...not one of violence, not one of weapons, but a battle for the heart and soul of humanity.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Slow-Moving Coup

In the two year period of single motherhood
between marriage #1 and and marriage #2, I dated one of the White brothers from the famed band Earth, Wind & Fire. Apart from a friendship that eventually surpassed romance, one thing stands out. Said boyfriend gazed into the air and remarked that in the 21st century there would be a Fascist takeover of the American government.

His comment seared into my brain and has remained in the forefront for over 30 years. What we see now is a full-fledged coup that brought to power a candidate with an extreme right-wing agenda. His appointment of Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist was only the first of horrific picks, all of them either members of the extreme right and/or amoral men of great personal ambition.

The FBI stepped into the election process to inflict maximum damage to Hillary Clinton. The Russians hacked Democratic party member emails and released them on Wikileaks (and the content was pablum compared to the dealings of King Rump over the decades). This is called sabotage at the highest levels and cannot be underestimated.

Hitler was democratically elected and drew huge crowds. The Big Lie brought unimaginable suffering to the entire planet. Although Hillary Clinton in fact won the popular vote, our electoral college system, the brainchild of the slave states intended to weight the game in their favor, has also insured that when the people speak a.k.a. giving Hillary Clinton a majority, their voices will be squelched.

Our democracy has been imperiled at various junctures of history and we are entering another time of heightened danger and a waning of the Light. The only solution at the moment is to get our own houses in order so that when we act it can be with precision and clarity for maximum effect.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Blind Pigs

Please excuse this disparaging titular reference to pigs because they are divinely sensitive creatures. In the current lexicon, however, they are a symbol of smut.

I can't bear to listen to Fox News for its uber-right wing rhetoric, nor do I listen to MSNBC with its more liberal agenda, even though my sentiments echo the later.

CNN is my choice because it is a centrist channel which airs both the right wing sycophants of King Rump and the Democrits. My preference tends toward soaking in a range of opinions without being completely dipped into the shit of Fox or the safe haven of MSNBC.

Hold on though - safe haven? Well, this is where the blind pig analogy begins to settle in. Almost no one in the media is addressing the point that King Rump's ascendency is based on lies, repeated so often and with such a vituperative pitch that the masses took it in as truth. The mainstream media seems to ignore this lethally effective tactic that was a ploy straight out of Adolph Hitler's playbook.

It goes without saying that it serves the Democrats and the American people (who voted in a majority for Hillary Clinton) to retool an approach that forms a massive push-back to our neo-fascist government. As Bernie Sanders tweeted, if the Rump agenda continues to foment hate, "we will be your worst nightmare." Go Bernie.

And so, as the media asks the Democrats to contemplate their navel, let's not be lulled into the illusion that it was their fault. Just as the rise of Hitler poisoned Germany and the land of Johann Sebastian Bach, let us not be poisoned with the idea that we failed in any one strategic error. Hillary Clinton was sabotaged by Russian leaks delivered by their handmaiden Wikileaks. The American people were sabotaged by the director of the FBI, the handmaiden of Rudy Guiliani and King Rump and more aptly, the neo-con agenda for world domination.

Islamic caliphate, you have a problem. The Fascists have their eye on the prize too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

King Liar Ascends the Throne

On the eve of Rump's election, a media commentator said that she hoped the character Donald Rump created in his campaign for "effect" is not the person he will be as president. Another person on the panel reminded us that who he represented himself to be is indeed who he is. Rump's victory speech was none other than that of a wolf in sheep's clothing lulling the flock into complacency.

Commentators are all talking about what Clinton did wrong to lose the election. They are missing the point. Donald Rump perpetrated The Big Lie. He rallied an ignorant and uninformed base with lies so big and bold that his toxic brew found a cancercous spot in which to rest in the American body.

Perhaps the most disturbing are the people I know in my daily life - many with Master's Degrees - who were as woefully uninformed as that "basket of deplorables" a.k.a. the KKK. Why did these educated Californias join with the Far Right to support Rump?

Hillary Clinton just remarked in her concession speech that we need to approach a Rump presidency with an open mind - and she offered her help. She is a class act but the subterfuge that has dogged her for decades seems to be so alive and well.

With a Republican Congress and President, and with a Supreme Court to be restocked, we will see a reversal of many the laws and programs that protect human rights. Our only choice is to never lose heart, to continue to press for the rights of all, and know that nothing ever stays the same, for better or worse.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Need to Be Needed

Recently, the Dalai Lama published an OpEd piece in the New York Times that caught my attention, although that's not peculiar as I regard him as the most sane person on the planet. He wrote that we all have the need to be needed. Infants need caregivers as a matter of life or death, but as they grow into childhood and beyond, if they feel useless or unseen, an acute pain will grown in their hearts and minds. At the other end of the spectrum, the elderly often feel pushed aside, not appreciated for their life experience, and discarded even while the body yet breathes life.

Buddhist philosophy exhorts the individual to perform actions to benefit all beings, with the inference that at our best we are "givers" and not "needers." Yet, the Dalai Lama pointed out the pathos of human existence. Unless we understand that we are an vital part of the universal sphere, that we are very much needed to create a kinder reality, it is like being cast out to sea in a boat with no rudder.

In short, we need each other desperately. The parts are more than the sum of the whole and to be whole, all of us has a part in this drama called "life."

Monday, October 31, 2016

Don't Let the Propaganda Machine Eat You

I came of age in the 1960's. In my twelfth year on earth, I experienced what it was like to be a minority when I represented the local teen chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. at their National Convention - the sole white face in a sea of dark-skinned people. My parents took me to the march on Washington at the age of fourteen to hear Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech; at the time, no one dreamed that it would become the quintessential speech of the 20th century. In college, I marched on the Pentagon to protest the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and felt noxious tear gas burn the lungs and blind the eyes. And the night Nixon was elected, I was rounded up at a demonstration in Times Square and felt the boot of a policeman connect with my backside, turning my body into a blue-jeaned projectile hurtling into the paddy wagon.

Then and now, lobbying for progressive change meets with serious headwinds from those who lack empathy for "the other," not realizing that the viability of the parts effect the efficacy of the whole. However, this election season presents an ominous vein threading through the national psyche and my heart is heavy with fear - could it happen here? Could this unbalanced demagogue with an unbridled propaganda machine possibly lure the American people into his insanity?

A good many millions of the electorate support Donald Trump, a man who has shown himself to be a propagandist of extraordinary magnitude. No untruth is too bold to propagate, no idea too outlandish to declare as fact.

Whether one be a conservative or a liberal, unleashing this man on the world stage would be a serious setback for humanity. With a new wrinkle in the election season - an unprecedented bid by the Republican F.B.I. chief to derail Hillary Clinton at the eleventh hour, what was obvious has become painfully underscored.

There is indeed "a vast right-wing conspiracy" to take down the Democratic party and cement an agenda that turns back our human rights. For those who object to Hillary Clinton, just image the alternative. To invoke several platitudes, life does not exist in black and white and the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. To ignore the obvious at this juncture in history would be a grave error. As for me, I can only pray the sanity prevails.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Impregating Thoughts

Long gone are the days when one could click on a You Tube video and get content immediately. Popular sites now monetize their wares with advertisements that let you "skip ad" in 4 seconds to get to the beef; in some cases a full 14 seconds of advertisements must be endured.

This trend leads me to contemplate the very nature of advertising. Why would a business allott their hard won dineros for an intangible thought form to be tossed into the general population in the hopes that the great washed will flock to their doors?

Because - spoken words coupled with visual images have a sneaky way of wiggling into neuronal pockets of the brain to live on and subconsciously bug us with their presence. Capitalists long ago understood this, so much so that our news and television shows are really just an entertaining break from commercials.

If advertising can influence us in their brief moment on a screen or radio, then what could a friend, parent, relative or boss do to our brain with a repeated onslaught of messages? If they are positive we will get a healthy individual. If the messages are mixed we get a conflicted individual. It they are negative, we get a sorely troubled individual.

Thus warned, it behooves us to express ourselves with life-affirming words, sentences and paragraphs. "Life-affirming" does not connote idiot compassion but rather a way of being-ness that seeks to bring about harmony and peace. Given the unenlightened nature of humankind, this may seem like a pie-in-the-sky idea. Luckily, enough sages and saints also walk this earth lighting the path to a more sane existence.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Mirror of Self

Every individual sees the world from a subjective vantage point. How could it be otherwise? We have only our five senses (in some cases six or more) which inform our interpretation of the world and its kingdoms of near-infinite variety.

Moment by moment we are presented with a landslide of choices as to how we will perceive and process incoming information. How we will then craft "the story," based on a selective process, is colored by past experience. What gets accentuated and what gets filtered out become uniquely our own reality and version of "the truth," relative though it may be. 

Sadly, ego-centric minds will slant their version of reality to fit self-serving drives which usually trump "the other." Fortunately, there do exist human beings capable of understanding the interdependent and dynamic nature of our being-ness -  even if that mind is biased by an intricate pattern of filters called the gene pool that stretches from the dawn of time into nowness.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

As a staunch left-of-center humanitarian, the right wing of the Republican party has my blood boiling over or running cold, depending on their policy du jour. However, as the old Arab saying goes, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

I will admit, albeit sheepishly, that it seems most (and I mean most, not all) of the Republican right wing actually have a ground-level sense of decency - NOT when when it comes to their Taliban-style agenda against Planned Parenthood - NOT when they appoint Supreme Court Justices who strip away civil rights so hard fought - NOT in general - but simply because many of them are not "nuts," even when their legislation is ignorant of what grows a harmonious human community.

Caring for one's young is not a sign of great compassion. It is an inbred genetic response held by lions, bears and ants. So when Trump is lauded for his love of the Trump children, let's face it. His animal instincts are working just hunky-dor-ily.

Americans of all stripes are holding their collective breath. We might elect a nouveau-Mussolini, in which case world chaos will erupt. Or, the first woman president could hold office. Despite her ability to be rather tone-deaf herself (and a former Goldwater supporter), at the very least our Supreme Court will go on to reflect human values. Pray pray pray for the Light my friends.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hello Russia!

The current bru-ha-ha-ha in the news is the collusion of Trump's campaign manager P.M.with the Russian-backed President of the Ukraine who fled to Russia after being deposed. 

Trump has a penchant for Eastern European babes who are the descendants of Communist block parents/grandparents. He also gives Putin an "A" for leadership (love the man-boobs on the horse photo). Thus, it is no wonder that a bizarre form of glasnost is blooming like a noxious weed in the heat of summer.

I myself have ethnic roots in the Ukraine, Georgia (of the Mongolian area), Lithuania, Russia and Poland. I get the Eastern European-Russian vibe entirely, but derived from the Jewish strand; the pogrom-makers of the realm remain a mystifying puzzle of hatred. 

Putin has said he would welcome better relations with the US. Surely, all world leaders must strive to unite as a global family with the benefit of mankind as the top priority. Yet, if the goal is to join forces to form a "gang" that overwhelms the unsuspecting or weaker forces, then these relations are not "better" but dangerous.

Wise-guys have been made popular in the cinema for the caricatures they embody. Wise-guys in real life are a nightmare. So Russia, if you are listening or reading emails or this blog, know that this America would love to see a real glastnost and perestroika - not the collusion of thugs.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The 450 Pound Gorilla

Harambe, the rare 450 pound gorilla, lived in a quasi-prison called the Cincinatti Zoo. Yesterday he was shot to death as he watched over a toddler who had fallen into his watery pen. 

Looking at footage of the event, one wonders what was actually going on in the mind of that amazing creature. For most of the time before his demise, he sat protectively next to the child, occasionally shifting his body posture slightly - almost as if he was wondering how the child should be picked up. The gorilla looked much like an inept dad who doesn't have much experience handling a young'un.

Then, at least twice, he grabbed the child by the seat of his pants and swept him to another part of the pen. That action triggered a memory of watching a documentary called "Blackfish," where an orca whale in captivity pulled his trainer under and swished her around until she drowned. Another fear rose to the surface as well - elephants who have turned on their trainer and stomped them to death.

Given the history of wonderful mammals boiling over in captivity and lashing out at their captors, it does give rise to the thought that maybe this gorilla was dangerously deranged. 

However, in my estimation, this was not the case with said gorilla. It is telling that the young child was not screaming or crying or even trying to move away. He sat quite patiently facing the gorilla. His mother was calling to him, "I love you, mommy's here" yet the child did not acknowledge her. Even after his speed rides through the water gratis the gorilla, the child did not cry. Maybe he was having fun?

Granted, if it were my child in that pen, I might have panicked and felt that the gorilla should be eliminated. But it would be nice to think that we as a group would have encouraged the gorilla with kind words and thoughts as dart guns put him to sleep.

In the grand scheme of existence, the life of a gorilla and the life of a child are of equal value. Nonetheless, as humans we will always have a deep instinct to protect our own...a deep genetically programmed survival response that cannot be wished away.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Boring People-Not

My late husband Michael was an associate of Michael Mann, the pre-eminent Hollywood director. He used to say, "Mann could film the phone book and it would be interesting."

As I lay in bed this morning contemplating life's gestalt, various possibilities for a new documentary project floated across my consciousness. Cover a war? Document the life of a famous human rights advocate? Find a unique and bizarre story to capture the public's imagination?

In fact, one could randomly pick any stranger on the street and do a fascinating exploration of his or her life, no matter how seemingly bland or uneventful. Simply the fact that a human being is a complex system of thoughts, emotions and genetic matter make for an epic story. What does it take to survive birth, grow up and find a way to stay alive?

As we all know, plenty!

So if any of us ever pronounce a person "boring," then the fault lies with us for not mining the intricate and fascinating inner life of what it means to be human.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ants Are Afoot

I live in one of those squeaky-clean upscale Southern California neighborhoods with a Homeowners Association to enforce squeaky-clean behaviors. On the bright side, an interactive website dedicated to homeowners allows us neighbors to share tips that would be the envy of Better Homes and Gardens

Although the ten or so emails received each day get automatically deleted, one did catch my eye.

It read:

Malik Basadii, Eagle Rock Homeowners

Just noticed ants in our front yard and wanted to take care 
of the problem. 

The post managed to get a laugh out of this grumpy pre-caffeinated person perusing her emails while waiting for the morning coffee to finish brewing.

How can it be that a person living on the edge of a mountain range, albeit on a manicured plot of grass, bushes and flowers, be surprised to see ants in his yard? Is he unaware that the planet is populated by insects that outnumber us by at least 10 squared to the billions? And what would he do if someone were to show him a movie of the massive underground cities that ants build right under our noses?

God help him. He has ants in his yard. Blessed be the day when he notices the wind, the trees and the sunlight.