Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Office Thespian

We've a small office so its hard to mask or hide away personalities, good, bad and strange. So it is the office thespian that I shall comment on this installment. Enter stage right, woman, early 50s, terribly dated in attire and appearance. Makeup; intense, attitude in full throttle diva gear. Hair, insanely black and long and childish and outdated, mode of thinking - so 80s its insane. In she saunters day after day, 5inch thick wedge heels, Madonna circa 1984 sunglasses and drama queen mode turned all the way up, catch phrases to boot. This is our office thespian. All I can say is that appears to be all in the mind. One wonders how someone could become so deluded that they fail to grasp reality. Our office thespian has never been cast in a major role, never worked as an extra, doesn't audition, doesn't do the beat of the average actor, yet she continues to put on plays that are discombobulated, confusing and in my opinion - embarrassing. She struts on stage, grand stands, talks acts the same way she acts up in the office in a story with no direction or purpose. I've seen it before and it's going to happen again. The thespian is hoping that this newest play will shoot her to stardom, freeing her from the confines of her present miserable existence and catapult her to the plateau she'd so badly desired for the last 30 years. Why is it that she can't let go, why can't she face the awful reality that most likely, its all over, the sobering fact that no one wants an aging amateur "star" who has to stage her own play because she can't catch a break elsewhere. A faded dream of a dreamer who always wants to be seen, heard, embraced, admired and watched. She's invited the "world", casting directors, etc. Casting directors wait to see the potentials, they don't do the work by coming out to scout, you've to go to them so I think that might be a pipe dream. With lots of money spent, I don't have the heart to ask or tell her that the last play was terrible and that she should abandon all hopes of ever making it. Then again, what do I know, maybe she'll do it this time, if only she could just do it. But what if she doesn't, what if the phone doesn't ring after this - what if nothing happens and she has to wake up yet again, come in to work, fax, file and answer the phone, trapped until retirement. What then, will she just have to hang her head in shame or keep striking out, going fitfully into the twilight of faded dreams and deluded aspirations.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Proselytizing oh Proselytizing

"Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion –- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven."

--- Mark Twain

Why do folks who are all caught up in religion seem to think that those of us that happen to hold an original thought or don't subscribe to their version of things need "saving"? Why do people of the "faith" deem themselves of superior vision and knowledge of getting safely and securely to a pleasant afterlife. Such was an experience of yours truly yesterday. What started out as an educated discussion about people, racism, classism and attitudes of some neighborhoods shockingly and rapidly took a screeching turn to a sermon about the "coming end" and where I was going or more like headed for in the afterlife. My sister-in-law's husband, a self professed Pastor can seemingly no longer hold a conversation about anything unless it includes the Bible or some form of salvation from this life. I noticed that at the figurative intersection his tone of voice change and he became emboldened and instead of a discussion the conversation turned into a church sermon, with my husband, my mother-in-law and me being the congregation. I was completely taken off guard and just didn't know where this came from, I hadn't said anything to allude to "the end" of times. He just went off on a tangent and said at one point "don't you want to spend eternity with Christ" - what! I lost it this time. I was alarmed and pressed to know where this suddenly came from, I was taken aback and completely insulted by the fact that he seemed to need to talk to me about where I was going after I died and that fact that he needed to tell me the "truth" as he called it. He tried to go down the road of me running from the truth. I became incensed, loud, forceful and confrontational.

My philosophies about life are completely different to most but I surely don't run around trying to shove it down people's throats or try to make them believe as I do at any circumstance. I hadn't asked for this meltdown nor was I over his house to discuss the Bible and life. Just throw me some history, world culture, even some typical pop nonsense and I'm good. I don't wear my opinions or philosophies on my sleeve, nor is my relationship with God anyone's business or up for analysis by folks who think they know better. I'd come over for a nice bar-b-que to enjoy my weekend and forget it all. Just looking at his self righteous face as he continued on in his condescending tone was making my temperature and blood pressure rise, just the thought of his disrespect for my views and his total lack of any education beyond the Bible was enough to make me want to slap the taste out his mouth. But I held a cool head and quickly put an end to the conversation.

I am completely soured and jaded on religions and people. We all run around on this planet thinking that this group or the "us" have the answers, the keys to that glorious shangri la up in the skies, truth is, none of us have it we don't even know what's going to happen next 5minutes much less next 50 years. We spend so much time pontificating and preaching that we don't stop and really take a deep breath and truly experience God, these people don't care they're just in a tremendous frenzy to get the message out and "spread the gospel" I think its all about turning conversions into cash and living their life on earth in their own slice of heaven. It's sickening and creepy at best. His whole behavior and attitude yesterday just pushed me ever farther from joining or partaking in any type of organized religion, it was weird and odd and it totally put me off I don't even want to speak to him again and more than likely I won't - Thanks a bunch Pastor and I'll say this again, the only salvation I truly need is salvation from insipid religious creeps like yourself.

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Cuban Shuffle

Dateline early August 2006, Fidel Castro, longest living dictator cedes power to his brother after some *sic* stomach problems and subsequent surgery. Exiles in Cuba jump for joy, celebrate in the street, throw a party, have a parade! Get the flag out and log on to for a ticket 'cause that trip home is looking like a few weeks away. But wait, he ceded power up to his brother, Raul Castro, the ferotious, the fearful the terrible, the executioner, the evil genius behind Fidel. So hold the horses on those tickets. Condoleeza, weary from trying to calm down the middle east flare up and piano recital promptly sits for cameras to beam her thoughtful words of support wisdom or whatever into the Cuban people saying that America is "with you" and will "support" in any way a "democratic" change. I'm sure the Cuban government saw to it that maybe 10 people saw that thoughtful message.
Castro's sister in in Miami, over 40 years strong while weak in the English language managed to convey to CNN her displeasure at the jovial climate following her estranged brother's sudden illness and public disappearance. Everything is up in the air and no one knows quite where anything stands, no one's seen Fidel or much less Raul The questions are now: who, where, what and how. My experience from being there is that no one ever seems to be quite sure of anything on a good day much less on these bad ones. Information is blurry and muddled at best concerning mundane things like, where is the nearest Western Union or how long for wired money to get here. So I could only understand the spin that's going on. The exiles are sure that he's dead, the Cuban citizens are probably convinced otherwise and folks like myself are left scratching their heads. We will see how all this plays out, it is an interesting pantomine which I'll be following and chronicaling with great fervor.
And as for Cuba - what becomes of it now? Don't blink or change that channel 'cause the action is just about to start!