Monday, June 28, 2010

A Tea Party Invitation

You are cordially invited to sip tea with me, a left-winger.  I will supply the lemon for you Americans and milk and sugar for you Brits.

The conversation will be lively as long as your vocabulary includes words other than “No.”

If you are a Palin, Limbaugh or Beck devotee, please leave your shoes at the door…would not want what you have been stepping in inside the house!

Serving an assortment of organic black, green and white teas.  Herbal drinks are for sissies.

A proper platter of crumpets will be served.

You may wear a silk scarf, an ascot or cravat if you desire.  Silk pocket-handkerchiefs are acceptable. 

Promptly, then, at 3:45 PM.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Starbucks and the Death of Community

This happened yesterday at the Starbucks at the corner of California and Spruce in San Francisco.  The store is forever enshrined in my consciousness as a monument to narcissistic selfishness.

I arrived 35 minutes early to an appointment with a couple about to be married.  Early is often necessary to find a table with three chairs.  None were available.  The community table was full as were the smaller tables and the easy chairs.  The public WiFi space was filled with college students cramming for their final exams.  They drank coffee or tea, ate their picnic lunches out of Tupperware containers brought from home, copied their notes, read their textbooks, surfed on their computers and they spoke on their mobile phones.  Some daydreamed or ingested the salient points and premises of lectures past.

An elderly woman parked her walker and set about organizing several shopping bags filled with grocery store discount coupons.  A young man walked over to his ethnic likeness, sat down to sip a beverage and to explore the wonders of his new iPad.

I stood near the tables waiting for an opening.  I stood there for 30 minutes.  Three times staff persons asked if I was waiting for a drink…”no,” I said.  “I am waiting for a table.”  Three times they shrugged their shoulders.  Three times more upset I became.

Eventually, I approached a young man and explained that I was meeting a couple in several minutes.  I asked if he might take himself, his computer and his backpack to the end of the community table a distance of 18 inches away.  And that would free up the space to accommodate him and the soon to be three of us.  “No,” is all he said!

Soon after the young couple arrived and we left Starbucks, walked up the block and found a far better place to meet and discuss their wedding ceremony.

Let not Starbucks ever say that they promote a sense of community.  Not so.  And let no one say that this generation of young adults is the brightest or most compassionate or empathetic.  Again, it is not so…too much personal smart media isolation and separation.  I think they will never recover the basics of interpersonal communication and relationship.

We are faced with young people so “me” orientated that the future is destined to collapse into a narcissistic shambles.

Thank you, Starbucks for facilitating the destruction of community.  Now that I know what you are I will avoid the void you perpetuate.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When did we wear flowers in our hair?

When we believed in the peace process

When two parties respectfully disagreed

When young adults believed in something other than money

When we still had a middleclass

When we played duck and cover in our classroom

When integrity meant something

When printer’s ink left a mark on a hand

When guys in Silicon Valley began to dream about making stuff in their garages

When $10 was almost valued at $10

Before mace, pepper spray, stun guns, plastic cuffs and traffic cams

When the water fountains were still segregated in the south

And, when an apple was an apple

A treatise on the value of blue and white

(After all, those are the colors of the tallit and of the flag of Israel.)

Orthodox Judaism’s Manifesto

Never mix milk and meat

Never trust a naked liberal rabbi

Never think community broadly

Never allow the children to wear Levis or listen to secular radio

Question modernity: what was good for an old Polish Jewish tailor is good enough for you

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The “L” word

It’s difficult for some to say.  Harder still if it’s unconditional.  It’s impossible to utter for those afraid of commitment.  It’s beer commercial material.

Looking for the “L” word




I L--- you!

Monday, June 21, 2010

While walking in the city one fine day

I came upon the following visual moments in my time and space

It’s Gay Pride Week in San Francisco

The colors are vivid and in profusion

The vividly colorful parade is next weekend

The Castro and the Mission are the two most colorful districts in the City

I go where the wild colors go

Here’s to your Technicolor psyches and Pantone libidos

Saturday, June 19, 2010

These people went to re-hab

For drug addictions

For nervous ailments

For sexual compulsions

For gambling

Literally and Figuratively

It pays to be poetic.  It’s worthwhile to think outside the box.  It’s admirable to see beyond the mundane.  It’s glorious to pun.  It’s mystical to see between the lines.  It’s Freudian to find the slip of the tongue or the truth behind the truth.  It’s conspiratorial to filter with paranoia the world taken in through the senses.  It’s great fun to capture an illusion and to hold it for ransom.  It’s astsy-fartsy to make pretty a double meaning, the hidden meaning, the symbolic meaning, the embedded code, the secret representation, the metaphor and the simile. 

Artists and extremists do it with either a composition or a sword.