Archive for social commentary

THE INJURED PARTY

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2010 by kimmy

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m no fan of Angelina Jolie.  Nor of Jennifer Aniston, nor Chelsea Handler, nor any of the players in that never-ending tug of war over the phlegmatic Brad Pitt.  I never did understand why reasonably intelligent women would bitch-fight over such a man.  That it’s been dragging on for years and still inspiring people to take sides is even more baffling.

Don’t tell me you haven’t picked one.  The poor rejected wife or the femme fatale, for which do you secretly root?  Which has appealed to your worst fear, or deepest desire?  This modern Hollywood soap opera has become less about the people involved than a template of archetypical conflict.  Wholesome girl-next-door has true love swiped by calculating man-trap, so let’s all draw sides and go to war.

Which brings me to the point.  Why are there only two sides?  If I remember correctly, two people are bickering over a third.  Where is he in all this conflict?  Just a hapless bystander who tripped and mysteriously found his dick lodged in a stranger?  Oops, sorry lady, guess I better stay here and help you raise the children I accidently sired.

What a load of crap.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he took the lessons from The Art of War a little personally.   As long as the ladies are duking it out, no one will notice what a dishonorable fuck he is and he can continue to play the distraught man caught between two lovers. 

I mean, who could blame him?  He can bang Angie until the cows come home,  cry on the shoulder of his sympathetic ex-wife who continues to blame the other woman and not the blubbering weenie in her arms, make a few public appearances at charitable events and suddenly nobody cares that he’s responsible for the rivalry.  Wow, what a man!

How can we find fault with such a stand-up guy?  He must be a real keeper if two women are willing to humiliate themselves in the ultimate public throwdown.  The fault must therefore lie with the women, so pick your side and prepare to do battle. 

Here’s a nice halberd:  He fell out of his marriage bed because the the exotic Ms. Jolie bewitched him.  Grab it and bludgeon your opponent!   Not to your liking?  How about this flail instead:  He reneged on his marriage vows because the high-maintainence Ms. Aniston bored him.  Slap that one in the face of your adversary!  Nothing feels as good as righteous anger.

Except that in this case, it’s misdirected.  Who is the injured party here?  I would argue that there are no victims here, or in any love triangle; each one is responsible for his and her own actions.  The stalwart wife?  Give enough rope to any partner and they will hang themselves with it.  The hussy?  A woman who takes up with a known philanderer can surely expect the same.  The wayward husband?  No one can eat cake and have it, too.

But like all fairy tales, the reader wants a happy ending with sides clearly drawn and enemies vanquished.  However, in this case when the enemy is one’s self, those endings are not so tidy.  As long as you point the finger of blame at another, it will grow ever larger until it finally turns and pokes you in your own eye.

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SOUR GRAPES OF WRATH

Posted in social commentary, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2010 by kimmy

Have you noticed what sour grapes people have become?  Just when you’re bursting with happy news, they’re ready with a needle.  When you’ve arranged for a lovely family get-together, someone decides to air their dirty laundry at the table.  When you’re enjoying a beautiful day at the park, some nimrod parks his Escalade, turns up the sub-woofers and lets loose a blue streak of profanity when you ask him to lower the volume.

It would be easy to follow suit and lose your temper, but what would you gain?  The satisfaction of telling off an idiot who doesn’t care what you have to say anyway?  Why blow your cool?  Sacrificing your peace of mind for a battle that cannot be won is pointless.

Why not kick back and enjoy the show?  Cranky people can be highly amusing.  They are so caught up in their reality that they have no idea of what’s going on… like the Three Stooges without the musical track.  

I have often wondered if their nasty bravado is only a façade designed to conceal an insecure nature.  As long as they are huffing, complaining, whining, sulking, bitching, screaming, demanding and threatening, no one will notice what wimps they are.

Of course it’s difficult to remember that when they are in the throes of a hard-core meltdown.  However, it’s only a strategy and one that you are not obligated to play.  In fact, refusing to play along usually sets them off most spiritedly.  It’s quite an experience watching faces turn red and poison spew from mouths that moments before were pledging solidarity.  And the funniest thing of all is that they have no clue how obnoxious and ultimately repelling they are.  They actually believe their strong-arm behavior keeps the herd together.

Who wants to hang out with a mean-spirited foulmouth?  Nobody.  That’s why, in the end, all sour grapes turn to vinegar.

APOCALYPSO

Posted in rants, social commentary, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2010 by kimmy

Why the secrecy?  Why don’t they just line us up and shoot us, throw us in mass graves, raid our homes and bank accounts and be done with it?  There really isn’t any need for formality; we all know that we’re at the mercy of monolithic corporations.  Pretending that we have feelings and rights just makes it worse.

Of course once we’re all dead and all the world’s resources safely tucked away, there will be nobody to wait their tables.  Or mow their grass, watch their addled-brained children, sew their couture fashions or buy their wasteful products. 

Slave labor… now there’s an idea.  Don’t think it hasn’t been discussed in the boardroom at Haliburton.  They’re just trying to frame it in such a way that we’ll actually ask them for the shackles and thank them when they turn the key. 

It’s not preposterous; it’s happening now.

YOU allow elected officials to turn over millions of tax dollars to private business.  YOU allow representatives to wage war in foreign countries.  YOU permit off-shore drilling and deforestation.  YOU refuse to vote out incumbents.  YOU turn a blind eye to misdeeds provided YOU are not inconvenienced.  And now YOU are appalled by the physical and fiscal disasters that pock-mark the world.  What did YOU expect, the return of Eden? 

The world is not run by charitable foundations.  It’s time to turn off the Barney tape that’s been endlessly playing and distracting you from behaving like an adult, and assume responsibility.  That is… if it’s not already too late.  Those who have been busy profiting while we slept are unlikely to graciously withdraw.    The only safety measures they are truly interested in are the ones that keep money flowing… to them.  

There will be no clean-up, no compensation to those adversely affected.  Those funds will be tied up in litigation for years… another safety contingency designed with corporate interest in mind.  We will however be treated to expensive media blitzes full of pacifying sounds and colors, à la Barney and Friends, which will lull us back into collective stupor and free them to conduct business as usual. 

Don’t weep for the ocean and its living creatures; weep for yourself and your inaction.  The mess you see without reflects the mess within.

THE CHERRY BOWL

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2010 by kimmy

I never expected to find a metaphor for life in a cherry.  Somehow I believed that unless it was a Vegas-style manifestation replete with chaser lights and free drinks, it didn’t count. 

I’ve heard life described as a bowl of them, but attributed it to the songwriters’ hangover from bathtub gin.  Henderson, DeSylva and Brown wrote it in 1931, a time when you couldn’t even legally drink away the pain of the Depression.

People are queer, they’re always crowing, scrambling and rushing about;
Why don’t they stop someday, address themselves this way?
Why are we here? Where are we going? It’s time that we found out.
We’re not here to stay; we’re on a short holiday.

Life is just a bowl of cherries.
Don’t take it serious; life’s so mysterious.
You work, you save, you worry so,
But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go.
So keep repeating it’s the berries,
The strongest oak must fall,
The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries,
So live and laugh at it all.

They found humor midst global financial disaster, dust bowls and looming world war.  Were they drunk or just resigned to their fate?   It was a strange time to be alive, destructive and oddly creative, but not an era one usually associates with happy memories. 

I’ve heard life described as cherry pits as Erma Bombeck wrote in 1978, not especially a terrible time unless you factor in disco and trade embargos.  I often wonder if the malaise of that time wasn’t due to lack of dopamine, since it was constantly squandered in coke binges.  What did they have to bitch about then, that they couldn’t find their dealer?

I’ve heard now that life is either cherry or not, depending on outward appearance and social status.  Does that mean that the lumpy, discolored fruit is less tasty than the pristine?  If we must douse ourselves with pesticide and be plucked from the tree before we’re ripe just to meet shipping and industry standards, we’ll never really know who or what we are.

So what is life, a gluttonous feast of fruit or a dental nightmare of broken teeth?  Perhaps it’s not what it is, but how you approach it that matters.  If the flesh is sweet and the pit hard, you must bite gently or risk self-damage.

WHO, IF NOT I?

Posted in social commentary, writing with tags , , , , , , on February 14, 2010 by kimmy

Is there some other person responsible for getting things done?  I am supposed to relegate action to another and excuse myself?  Is is better to sit idly and wait upon someone who’s waiting for someone who’s also waiting for someone?  Is this nothing but a line of people endlessly waiting for something to happen?

If so, then it’s a waste of time.  What are we waiting for anyway?  The sky to fall?  The other shoe to drop?  For love, fortune and joy to walk through the door?  For a magic wand to make everything right?

We’re so conditioned to cede our hand that we’ve forgotten how to manage our own lives.  And when we attempt those first uncertain steps toward what we feel is appropriate, we get slapped and forced back in our place.  What were we thinking, that everyone would be overjoyed?  That they’d buy a round of drinks to celebrate our new independence?

Nobody lives inside my head but me.  At the end of the day, I have to account for my actions and weigh them against what I believe is right, not to what I’ve been told is right.   If I conformed to societal dictates, I’d be a mess and just as dysfunctional as it.  Is that what I want for myself?

I must make those changes within that I wish to see without, even if it means facing collective disapproval.  If I sit around and wait for someone’s permission, I’ll be waiting forever.

DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL

Posted in musings, relationships, social commentary, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2009 by kimmy

I couldn’t help but feel a tremendous amount of empathy for him because I know exactly what he’s undergoing.  If there was an easier route, we’d take it.  However, how many of us really know where we’re headed when pain grips so tightly that all vision is temporarily halted?

Having been through it more than a few times, I know that the reward on the other side is much greater than the effort.  However, first-timers are often overwhelmed by the magnitude of the challenge.  It seems insurmountable, but that’s only an illusion concocted by the players.  If you extricate yourself before intermission, the ensemble will be short an actor and the drama suspended, causing resentment among those left onstage.  Pity we can’t send in an understudy…

Not that he would be welcomed.  A pinch-hitter is only as good as his predecessor.  It’s unlikely that he’s aped your habits well enough to fool the audience, or the blood demands of your fellow thespians.  So you must choose between your own wellbeing and that of the show.  Which will go on?

Of course the problem is that the longer the show goes on, the harder it is to leave it.  It’s like a long-running stage contract in Las Vegas or a sitcom with endless residuals.  It’s difficult to leave the steady paycheck and familiar routine.   And yet even these may not be enough for you, especially when you’re alerted to something greater beyond them.

Hence the quandry, which in essence is not conflict between others, but internal strife.  When you realize that the hot mess you’re in is of your own creation, suddenly you have no one to blame and the long watch begins.  It’s a lonely black night sitting with yourself, ruminating on all the detours you’ve taken.  You might rail against all those choices, despairing over your inability to hit the bull’s eye.  But who of us do on the first try?

You might feel ashamed that you didn’t learn sooner and had to involve so many people in your journey.  But how can you thank those who are ignorant of the role they’ve played?  Or angry and dismissive when you do?  No amount of explanation, however earnest, will convince them.  Just as you have, they must discover these subtleties on their own.

And they will… in time.  But for now you must sit quietly in the dark and wait.  The light of understanding will come, not carried on a tray by a rowdy host of friends and family, but slowly over the horizon.

AGING MATRONS NEED NOT APPLY

Posted in musings, social commentary, writing with tags , , , , , , on July 12, 2009 by kimmy

 

Hideous creatures, aren’t they?  Why not herd them up like landfill waste and bury the lot?  At least we will be spared the visual assault.

Oh, don’t bother protesting!  You might be able to convince the liberal neighbors with your self-righteous opinions, but you can’t fool me.  You’re revolted by the sight of aging women and frankly, I don’t blame you.  Sagging flesh should be a felony offense.   Concealing it beneath Spanx and push-up bras is false advertising.  Women should have the decency to remove themselves from the market once their charms have faded.

What’s more nauseating than women who don’t know their place?  By now, it should be obvious that their roles are limited and they ought stick to the rules. . . if they know what’s good for ’em.   It’s just too bad, isn’t it, that they continue to prance around like teen girls.  Haven’t they looked in a mirror lately?  No one in their right mind would confuse them with properly attractive females.  What a pity they haven’t learned to stop flirting; they are a public embarrassment.

So what if the only jobs left to them are charwoman, nursemaid and breadwinner?  They should be grateful to have those!  Someone has to pay the bills and clean up.   And while we’re at it, why don’t we cut out their tongues?  Then we won’t be subject to their endless complaints.  Who wants to hear the whining and bitching of an old hag past her prime?  Not me!  I’d much rather listen to the empty stories of male prowess; they’re so much more riveting.