Friday, February 27, 2015

Protocol Breach

A detached hand dripped it's red payload onto the silk Persian rug, the fingers were commanding approachers to stop.

The smugness on the face of the maitre d' of the Washington Cigar lounge had not been disturbed by the sword that disconnected his shrugging shoulders from his aloof brain.

The leather bound guest register had been signed with a large and exquisitely symmetrical turd placed with apparent care in the exact centre.

It was difficult to tell if the limbs and heads that were distributed around the lobby belonged to 8 or 9 random bunches of folks. What was clear was that there had been a lot of money spent on the hair of the three heads of the ladies which lay in a pyramid in front of the oak panelling. Women whether whole or in pieces were a testimony to the progressive strides the club had taken to embrace modernity in the past decade.

Some may say it is a pity the march to modernisation did not included allowing the uncouth man who marched into the club yesterday to enter. Mr Bibi was not wearing a necktie and behaviour such as that cannot be tolerated.  Protocol and yes simple old fashioned good manners are the two pillars which uphold the great American civilisation.

The erosion of tradition and custom is a threat to us all. A foreign non member cannot enter unless he has been invited not by the majority leader but by the president of the club himself. You can see it is written here in the rule book section 12, under the smeared of blood, it is clear and irrefutable.

The boorish Mr Bibi was shouting on top of his lungs that the vicious zealots were right outside and that they were chanting for the death of all of us Americans. Did he not know that we cannot allow shouting in this establishment ? How can we enjoy a hard earned martini with all that racket ?

The attack took us completely by surprise. We followed the press very closely in the days proceeding the holocaust, and there was no mention of any danger. Yes all Americans were killed and there are no survivors, but at least we will be remembered as a civilisation who cherished dignity above all.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Love in the Time of Contempt, Consolations for Parents of Teenagers by Joanne Fedler.

Love in the Time of Contempt, Consolations for Parents of Teenagers by Joanne Fedler. 

This is the first of Joanne's books that I have had the privilege of reading. As the parent of two teenagers I know I could use all the help that was available to prepare myself for further trials that await our family in the gauntlet of the next few years. 

Remember to think, remember to breath and remember to laugh. These are the central messages I took home from the book. 

Joanne does not preach or direct us, she does not prescribe behaviours. She provides us with a privileged window into her own brilliant mind.The artistry of her words did not have me reaching for a dictionary....much, and at the same time did not feel dumbed down at all. The pictures she painted with these words allowed me to feel present at the many touching and hilarious anecdotes.  

The book consists of 30 bite sized chapters that can be read in any order, and independently. She tackles a variety  themes as learning to drive ,suicide, bullying, religion and school . I read a chapter or three, each day, and always found myself thinking and smiling. I didn't always agree with Joanne , but that is not something she tries to accomplish do or wants. 

I gained an insight into how the mind of a brilliant intellectual, feminist works. My take on her "spiritual shit" is more inline with that of her kids than hers. She does seem like an "eccentric aunt" in many places but one who can laugh at herself, and see herself from the point of view of others. 

The world would be a far better place if others could be as tolerant, liberal and empathetic as Joanne. 

I would have loved to have seen more of the father's - Zed's point of view in the book.I know this is my own sexist bias creeping in but sometimes I could identify more with his hands offish approach. 

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to grow as a human being.  I do not think you even have to be a parent to be able to benefit from her book, her reflections will inspire you to be more tolerant and empathetic of any beings displaying seemingly irrational behaviour