Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Rant About Marketing

A Rant

I deeply resent THEM, the marketing people, playing on my fears.  It all came home to me as I was watching a  smarmy Grecian Formula commercial.  First, a sexy female voice-over says "She'll never know, even though she runs her fingers through your hair". A man and woman are happily embracing.  The girl purrs "ooh, I love your hair. It's Soo sexy".  Then the man looks directly into the camera and winks.
Right.  I get it.  He uses Grecian formula.  He scores. In order to sell thousands of tons of this diabolical scalp acid the marketers saturate us with the implication that we won't get laid by beautiful women if we look old. 
Women are treated far worse.  Every day they’re told that if they get a wrinkle or two, they're ready for the crone-heap, they can go out to the shack in back and start stirring newt's eyes and lizard scrotums into a big pot. 
The evil that seeps up from the black heart of our commercial culture is so insidious that we become zombies under the influence of something we can 't hear, smell, taste, touch or see.  We should spank these greedy marketing people on their tush.  We need "re-education camps" for advertising execs. They will attend mandatory  therapy sessions administered by ex-con hermaphroditic junkies. 
Who the fuck do they think they are?  Scaring me into wanting to buy Rogaine?  Telling me my sex life is over if I lose a few patches of hair.  I've ACTUALLY thought about it.  I refuse to give in, I won’t be a victim of faux peer pressure.  Instead I’ll spend the money I’ve saved not buying Rogaine and I'll go to Venezuela to get a face lift by Doctor Mendoza.  This jovial man is a world famous plastic-surgeon.  He has worked miracles on hundreds of Miss Universe contestants and many Hollywood stars.  He is also a philanthropist who donates part of his time fixing up hare-lipped urchins from the streets of Caracas. 
If you’ve reached a certain age you realize that the world has been going progressively more psychotic.  Nothing is genuine anymore, everything is used as a shuck.  I got a flyer from a so-called "Green" investment firm.  They want me to invest my money in their mutual fund, and I should do so because they only buy “Green Stocks.”  Uh huh.  I was born yesterday.  The most tender ministrations of the most altruistic do-gooders have been turned into Wall Street spam.
Even if I had money I would feel queasy about investment.
I can't help but feel as though the whole banking and finance system will go through a REAL meltdown around the year 2014 that will result in all the world's money winding up in Rupert Murdoch 's underground strong-room.  He must be like Mr. Burns on The Simpsons. 
I wonder if he wrings his hands. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rainbows In The Morning

      I live in an RV and I love the lifestyle.  It seems appropriate to our times.  It's "green", economical (if you know what you're doing), and it has the feel of living in an alternate universe.  Sometimes it's isolating. There's a sense of being separated from the "real world".  But the "real world" is such a madhouse that I can only handle it in small doses.  Yesterday morning I got up, took one look at the amazingly fluent double rainbow and ran for my camera.  I used a super wide- angle lens, which, at 12mm focal length, adds considerable distortion.
      That's all right.  Distortion can be a good thing.  Who, or what, in this world is not distorted in some profound measure?

     Visit my photography website at www.artsdigitalphoto.com


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Oprah: Religion In The Future


           A thousand years from now the Twenty Eighth Dalai Lama and the Fourteenth Oprah will have a  meeting at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California.  The Fourteenth Oprah will be only eight years old, but she will sit upon her dais with gravity and balance.  The Twenty Eighth Dalai Lama will attempt to bow lower than the Oprah, but she will always be able to out-bow him, being only four feet six inches tall and much more flexible. A carefully selected group of people will have been invited to this significant gathering.  Several thousand more will be trying to get through the security barriers designed to protect the august presence of the Dalai Lama and The Oprah. 
            This meeting of the great religious leaders of the East and West will be the second meeting of a Dalai Lama and an Oprah in three centuries.  The Thirteenth Oprah was a snarling cantankerous woman who loathed  pompous spiritual ceremony. She was a great trial to her attendants.
            All kidding aside, I think there should be established an office of The Oprah, at the death of the present Oprah, and that there should be a matriarchal spiritual guide for the world.  I watch Oprah because she represents the course of the mainstream spirituality movement in America.  It is no accident that
her constituency is composed primarily of middle class women. This demographic has sufficient time
and motivation to turn its angst into self improvement.  
            Having no knowledge of Oprah's personal and private behaviour, I must nonetheless pay tribute to someone who has consistently presented an accessible level of transformative thought to the American public.  It may be maudlin, sometimes embarrassing and even, in a sense, pornographic. I can't help cringing when couples in deep trouble attempt to have therapy in front of twenty million people. I can barely prevent snot from running out my nose when Oprah all but guarantees that our dreams will come true if we passionately persist in following our bliss. But anyone who honors volunteers, who rewards the silent, invisible, tireless workers who are attempting to help other people is okay by me. She helps writers and encourages the act of reading.  She trots out new teachers and gurus who then go on to their own syndicated TV shows. Her phrases can go into the lexicon of future Oprahs.  “Big, Big!”  “Lightbulb moment.” “I got a chill!” “Remember Your Spirit.” 
            You go, girl.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Self





Be a person
whenever you get the chance.
Be new.  Distinguish yourself
from primal ooze.
Form intelligence,
pursue it with outrageous diligence.
What an opportunity!
To exist
as a discreet form,
a single mind,
may be rare as a precious gem.
Some gurus teach
that there is no self.
I think there’s so much self
that it’s easy to suffer
mistaken identity.
There is a self to be.
There is a mind to think,
a body to feel
a soul that is real.
Wave flags of your own design
crazily, where no one can see them.
Wave yourself in all your colors,
dance until you are without breath.
Be a person,
don’t hesitate. 
Don’t be one of those pallid beings
who die without filling up
with madness, with tragedy and passion,
with glorious mistakes and profound learning.
This is it, your big chance.
Be a person.  Be afraid, be brave,
be wrong, be right, it doesn’t matter,
just be
what you are and invent everything else
as you go along.