Archive for January, 2012


January 28, 2012 Leave a comment

 Remembering back to my days at Highbourne High School, there were some pretty good social lessons one could learn, if one made note of various details of the “romantic” behaviour among the young men and young women. The school was in a quite upscale neighbourhood, and almost every kid came from a wealthy home.

 I remember noting that the cars in the parking area for students were far more expensive than the cars in the staff parking area. The students’ cars were new convertibles like Oldsmobiles, Corvettes, Jaguars, Triumphs, etc., while in the staff lot the cars were Volkswagon bugs, AMC Ramblers, Gremlins, Isuzus. The students’ cars were usually of the current year or perhaps one year old. The staff cars were old, some rusted basic models.

 Two of the slickest cars belonged to two of the best looking guys in school. They were not macho, they were not football stars or any kind of athletes at all. Both were into girls. Both were dedicated to dating the most appealing girls in school. Of course, the girls came from wealthy homes as well, so they usually had their own sports cars, fine wardrobes, and all that sort of thing.

 Jason Stein drove a new, shiny black Chevrolet Corvette, and David Farber drove a red Jaguar XKE. As if it wasn’t enough that they were both ridiculously good looking, but they also each drove the sexiest babe-magnet cars on the road. Neither had any trouble getting dates, even mid-week, even last minute. Over time, however, Farber’s success with the chicks gradually diminished, while Stein’s apparent desirability grew steadily among the social princesses. Even young women who did not attend Highbourne, and were several years older than high school boys, were available to Jason Stein.

 To find out why, I tried to interview some of the girls who dated Stein, or Farber, or both.

 Without exception, the girls who had dated David Farber only, or as well as Jason Stein, said that time spent with Farber was like work. Sort of an unpleasant job. He had almost nothing to say, and when he did talk, it was boring and pedestrian. No matter how gorgeous he was, with his curly golden hair, dark eyes, and red Jag roadster, an evening with David was a drag, and a weekend almost unbearable, even at his family’s sumptuous lakeside summer home. They never accepted second dates with him.

 Jason Stein, on the other hand, was very popular and sought after by the most desirable girls and women. On one occasion, the glamourous mother of one of the girls he dated seduced him while her husband was away on business. The secret apparently was that Jason was interesting. He spoke well, looked into the eyes of his female companions while he talked, and had interesting things to say on many worthy subjects. Universally, they claimed they would pursue him even if he wasn’t rich and handsome. Time spent in his company was good time.

 I wanted to learn why one gorgeous hunk was boring and the other was interesting, so I asked Jason Stein how it came to pass that women enjoyed his company. He had thought it out, and he concluded that it was because he had been painfully shy when he was younger, and believed he was unattractive. Although under the impression that he was unattractive, he desired women, so he developed a personality that would compensate for his plain appearance.

 Later in his life, when he was usually in the company of the ladies we now know as “cougars”, they were not shy like young girls are, and they told him outright that he was gorgeous, and had a terrific ass. That was the first he knew of these lures. Combined with his personality and wealth, he was sought after all his life.

 I conclude that the kind of man one is can be much more important than how one is packaged, personally or with luxurious accoutrements.


Don’t Dare be Different!

January 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Of all the many flaws and failings in contemporary society, one of the worst is the inability of the “average” person to accept with equal respect, a person who is not average.  This is commonplace in business, especially in the advertising profession.

The backbone of an ad agency is its creative prowess.  All agencies are basically the same, but some have stronger, more innovative people in their creative departments.  Creative people, by their nature, are often “different”.  Longer hair perhaps, or ornately trimmed facial hair, clothing unlike that of their co-workers, but still, responsible professionals.

It’s a strange mix… the sort of hippie/beatnik creative men and women, working together in unity with account executives wearing the obligatory contemporary suits, dresses, hair styles, school ties, etc.  These “suits” as these executives are often called, cooperate with the eccentrics who conceive, write, design, and execute the ads and commercials.  They depend upon the “different” members of their teams because they need the ideas and creativity of the nutty ones… but they wouldn’t want one to marry their sister.

Speaking of marrying, it is all too true that some female ad people have affairs with, and sometimes marry, the executives who can do the most for their careers.  I suppose that in some cases the affections are sincere… and in some, they are not.  One thing is for sure… lying is standard procedure in advertising.  Suppliers lie about schedules, clients lie about budgets, creative directors either steal staff ideas, or blame them on staff members.

If you are different, be strong.  In all probability, you are not only different, you are better.  For this, you will suffer.

Categories: Uncategorized

Those G*dd*mn Television Commercials!

January 21, 2012 Leave a comment

There is even more to complain about with television commercials these days.  They’ve never been a good thing for one’s relaxation at the end of a busy day, but now they are outright crappy and irritating.

First of all, they turn up the volume when commercials come on.  Just in case they weren’t irritating enough at normal level. The advertiser/broadcasters don’t have the spirit to consider the comfort and emotions of their audience.  We hate you, idiots, for being so pushy.

How about those “nice skin” commercials… more than a minute long, irritating, ugly visuals, and all directed at the nation’s young people – a creepy group to begin with.  Hair colour commercials, dozens of them, all making the same bogus promises.  Weight-loss programs, spewing baloney a mile a minute.

One wonders why so many wealthy performers lend their names and images to commercials.  Are they a bottomless pit of financial hunger?

Worst of all, because I hate to attack them, but those Christian Childrens Charity commercials are sickening.  We’re supposed to sit back and enjoy some television, drama, comedy, reality, news, whatever.  How are we supposed to feel comfortable, interrupted to look at video of starving black children in tattered clothes digging in garbage?  Or those Leprosy commercials, with collapsed faces and rotting bodies.  I know, it’s selfish and heartless to criticize these fund-raising efforts, but the images ARE disgusting.

Furthermore, I don’t believe them.  I believe the kids in the videos are “set up” for effect. And what if the kids in question are not “Christian”?  If they are Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, or Jewish, I guess we just leave them to die.

Instead of showing us the sickening videos of human suffering, why don’t they show us the certified earnings of the charities, and vetted numbers showing how much of each dollar goes to the needy ones, how much to the TV commercial creation, production, and media costs, and how much to the administrative executives at the “charities”.

Finally, why do those suffering Africans need our help?  We face winters, we face droughts, we face winds and market fluctuations, and we thrive, endlessly toiling to make good lives for ourselves.  Not for distant tribes, but for ourselves.  They have no winter, they have vast areas of fertile earth, they have huge livestock potentials of all kinds.  Why don’t they do for themselves and leave us to do for our selves?  I know they’re poor and unfortunate, but I don’t understand why.

Nobody Gets Out Alive.

January 10, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m old now.  They don’t tell you that it hurts to be old, but it does.  In more ways than one.  Normally, it is painful to rise in the morning.  The dormant period through the night lets the old joints and muscles temporarily atrophy, and the first hour in the morning is quite painful, ’til things get limbered up.

The physical hurt isn’t the only pain.  There’s emotional discomfort, too. Everybody dies, and when one gets as old as I am, many of the deaths are friends and relatives who have not been as long-lived and I am.  I don’t know if they are fortunate to have gotten out of life sooner, or if I am more fortunate to be still going.  Maybe there’s another decade or two on the books for me, and I don’t know if I want them.

Several of my cousins, with whom I grew up, have died.  My old buddies, from the days of hot rods and chasing girls, are gone.  One of my brothers, younger than I, has passed.  I feel threatened by the possibility of that my remaining brother might predecease me.  That would leave me alone in the world, in terms of blood relatives.  There’s my children, of course, busy with their own lives and relationships, and I’d rather pass away than become a financial or emotional burden to them.

The most painful and unanticipated loss is that of the old girlfriends.  Those pretty girls in their felt skirts, bobby socks, saddle shoes and crinolines that I dated for school dances, house parties, sweet sixteens, and weekend movie dates, are dead or dying.  My ex-sister-in-law, twin of my ex-wife, is dead, and my ex-wife is in failing health as well.  She’s the mother of my children, and I can’t help feeling badly about it, even though my kids are now adults nearing fifty years of age.

What if I’m the last to go?  What might my final years be like?  I hope I’ll at least still be able to ride my motorcycle.

Government Ignorance by the Kilo

January 9, 2012 Leave a comment

   The governments of North America continue to waste tax dollars in vast quantities in a vain effort to stem the continued proliferation of marijuana and related products.

Hard drugs, like heroin and crack are not, in any way, related to marijuana.  It is, in fact, a very beneficial, naturally occurring wild plant that has played a role in societies down through the millenniums. Only now, in this befuddled era, does a government waste it’s resources on this futile effort.

I know it’s been written a million times, and here’s my bit: stop the waste, legalize the plant, license the products, tax them, and do a lot of good with the money saved by ceasing the ridiculous battle and the millions earned via the honest taxes paid by the growers, processors, and users.  Smarten up, government idiots.

Sometimes I believe that it is the criminal element that works to keep grass illegal, just as the mob did in the days of prohibition.  Criminals reaped fortunes from the illegal trade in booze, just as they are doing now through the production and sale of marijuana.  So stupid of the government to pursue it’s idiotic, unachievable goals.

I’m 74 years old now, and quit smoking grass years ago, just because I got tired of it.  All the same, for about 40 years I smoked grass all day every day.  During those decades, I built a successful career, started several businesses, employed dozens of people and paid fortunes in taxes.  People I knew who preferred to use alcohol to relax are now mostly ill, or dead, and were engaged in many destructive activities stemming from their addiction to booze.  Every smoker I knew over the years has enjoyed a calm, productive, satisfying life.

I don’t advocate the use of marijuana, but I am certain it should be legal.  I do advocate the abolition of tobacco and alcohol. Look at the statistics and it becomes obvious that the authorities have it bass ackwards again.

Legalize, license, and tax marijuana, starting now!

The Last Baklava

January 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Fred was a friend.  He was witty, creative, short, and obese.  Extremely obese.  Every week we met for lunch three times.  Mondays we went to Switzer’s for pastrami sandwiches, sour dill pickles, coleslaw, and hand-cut french-fries.  Wednesdays we met at Francesco’s for fabulous spicy veal sandwiches on kaiser rolls with Brio, and Fridays we lunched at Bagels, for their once-a-week kreplach soup special.

At each lunch, Fred’s bill was always double my bill.  One day, moved to reveal himself for reasons I don’t understand, he admitted that he always arrived at the specified restaurant early, to have lunch alone before he had lunch with me.  He also revealed the he sometimes lingered after I left the restaurant.  He would then have a third lunch, and finish with a baklava. On this revealing occasion, Fred ordered a baklava for desert while I was still with him.

I had tried many times to convince Fred to lose weight for health reasons, and he often swore he would do it… but he never did.

Fred was just about five feet four inches tall, and I believe that his stomach was so large that if he lay on the ground on his back, his stomach would also be five feet four inches high.

ImagePerhaps his enormous obesity was a sub-conscious desire to be bigger.  Well, he certainly was bigger in his way.  I’m five feet nine-and-a-half inches tall and weigh about one hundred and eighty pounds.  Fred outweighs me by about one hundred pounds or more, despite being five or six inches shorter than I am.

The day after Fred revealed his dangerous triple-lunches to me, his wife called to tell me he was in hospital with veins bursting in his legs or something like that.  The following day he died.

I’ve lost a good friend to obesity.  Perhaps he had an addiction to food. In any case, I had decided years before not to nag at him.  He was a good person, intelligent and well-intentioned, so I left him to live his life, and he left me to live my life.

I’m now thirty years older than Fred was when he died.  Sometimes I think he wanted to kill himself, and he finally did it, with that last baklava.

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