Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Emperor for a Year

--I don't think we're paying our governor enough if he can only afford the cheapy, one-diamond prostitutes!
--For a $1000 an hour, Eliot was demanding unprotected sex? I would have been demanding a lot more than that!!
--It kind of makes you wonder what the 7-diamond/$5500 an hour hooker buys you!!!

These were just a few of the things I was hearing today about ex-Governor Spitzer. I'm ashamed to admit I laughed at some of it. Who was it that said, If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything? I just don't think that's possible anymore in this Information Age where we're all supposed to know what's going on, and have to offer an opinion at the risk of appearing ignorant and obsolete. And since most of us don't know about what's going on, scorn and ridicule have become safe mode, default reactions. They say the automobile forever changed the structure of society by introducing mobility and breaking up family and community structures. What was it that spurred humanity to create the four-wheel extension of itself? The need to feel less suffocated? The desire to see what was on the other side of those mountains? What about the prostitutes in this context? Are they extensions of power run amok? An aura of invincibility? Or a more basic, more primal instinct to connect? What about the Internet? What has this technological extension done to us? Has it made us more connected to our fellow human beings? Or has it disconnected society to the point where it's broken beyond cohesion and repair? I suspect many of my fellow New Yorkers never had an interest in New York State politics until this story broke out. And then faster than a high-speed Internet connection, we all quickly became experts. Experts on something that will surely--by the end of this week at the latest-- amount to nothing.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Off With Their Heads!!!

Greedy. Shortsighted. Vain. Just a few words to describe Michigan and Florida, who in their salty lust to hog the spotlight from Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan have ended up looking like imbecils. Each state wanted to be more important in the nominating process by pushing up their elections to January against Democratic National Committee rules. Each state had its results disqualified. Each state now faces the process of do-over elections at costs of $5 million and upwards. It's only a matter of time before some public interest group sues the governors of each state for said costs, who by the way have shown absolutely no remorse for the sorry state of affairs. This is another classic case of putting individual interests before those of the group. Failure to see the larger picture. Failure to fulfill the potential to come together as one national party. If the Democrats lose in November, the heads of party leaders will be rolling down the steps of the Capitol. And DNC chairman Howard Dean knows it. Which is why he's clamoring right now for do-overs to save his sorry, grossly negligent ass. A mistake one can abide. Sheer ineptitude, no. Allowing Florida and Michigan to move up their elections, thereby displacing millions of voters into a political black hole, recalls Michael Brown and FEMA leaving New Orleans to drown and die in Hurricane Katrina. Howard Dean may yet turn out to be the face that symbolizes this year's Hurricane Election. But if I were Charlie Crist and Jennifer Granholm, the MisGovernors of Florida and Michigan, I wouldn't be breathing easy just yet. Look away now while you can. It may be the last look you get in politics.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Who Can Put the Pieces Together?

The world is shredded. Here in America we glorify fragmentation, segmentation, compartmentalization. Everything is done in blocks of time that have nothing to do with the natural rhythms of human needs and desires. I have given up on trying to find a group of friends with whom I can do everything. I have resolved myself to having tennis "friends" and volleyball "friends" and movie "friends" and eating out "friends" and museum "friends" and bookstore "friends". It was a marvel to see the look of disorientation on the face of one of my tennis "friends" when I suggested that we see a movie. No one really cares anymore about what is going on with the bigger picture in the company as long as their little cubicle is working as it should be. I guess this explains how the privileged in America can waste inordinate amounts of energy debating whether or not David Hernandez should be sent home from American Idol for his stripper past and at the same time be absolutely clueless that inordinate swathes of the globe are mired in social, political and economic turmoil. The Democratic National Party was vehement that no funds would go to support do-over elections in Florida and Michigan. "We've got to use our resources to win the national election." This is broken thinking beyond repair. Do they not realize that the Democrats won't win the White House without the support of Democratic voters in Florida and Michigan? What the world needs now are individuals who can see the big picture and understand how all the details dovetail to create that picture. Someone whose vision is broad enough to encompass everything and everyone. Where are the visionaries? When do we stop denying that part of ourselves that longs to come together as one? Or are we too mad to find the way back out of oblivion?