Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Too much Foie Gras

Who deserves the attention of our mass media? Our culture is obsessed with freaks and monsters. In particular, we are currently seeing daily the image of a man who is clearly worthy of no fame whatsoever. Here is my current letter published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Celebrity status goes to wrong crowd

John Mark Karr is a symbol of serious problems in our culture ("Karr won't face charges,", Aug. 29). JonBenet Ramsey herself was a victim because of misguided ideas about celebrity that fueled a psychotic mind.

Our worship and envy of celebrities needs tempering by a more humanistic realization. Even Karr was made into a celebrity by the news media. His status was confirmed as he flew here from Thailand as an elite, drinking champagne. No doubt he'll soon appear on "Oprah."

Instead of putting pretty little girls on a pedestal, instead of glorifying criminals and the criminally insane, we should praise those who make the world a better place: those who work for Habitat for Humanity or fight AIDS or reduce global warming. Extol compassion, not notoriety.

Here's to Jimmy Carter, Larry Kramer, and Al Gore.


Friday, August 25, 2006


If anyone is heir to the nihilism of Nietzsche, perpetuator of the Beats, and son of the angst of the existentialists, it has to be Gus Van Sant. Last Days , the embodiment of the death of Kurt Kobain, has all the nothingness that Sartre sought to comprehend in Being and Nothingness.
Van Sant plumbs the dire depths of the psyche once again, as knowingly as he has done in Elephant and in My Own Private Idaho. The World War II of Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir held no more nausea than the Northwest U.S. or the high school halls of Van Sant.
William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg throb in the veins of the young, despairing souls of these films. Eros and Thanatos are indistinguishable. Drugs and alcohol are not the cause, but rather a part of the sacraments, the eucharist host, providing profane rituals that momentarily dispel dread. The emptiness and horror come not from the lost psyches of these characters, but from the ordinary, commonplace worlds they inhabit: the shopping mall, the American Empire of oil, corporate capitalism, the mindless schools of social wasteland, the suburbs, our happy television world-- valueless, amoral, Bush country.
It is revealing contrasting Van Sant's beings with those of Pedro Almodovar: a contrast that, in part, reflects the difference between hopelessness in America and exuberance in Spain. Almodovar's individuals are fully alive, passionate, and no less mad than those of Van Sant. Their situations are equally desperate and existential. Yet they are able to find joy in life, to create meaning rather than destroy it. Creative defiance may not rid the world of its horrors; but the romanticism and brief ecstasy in Almodovar surpass the futile deaths depicted by Van Sant, however sublime and frightfully gorgeous they may be.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Summer begins with a scheduleless day.
Awake; but no need to arise. The sense of possibilites.
Before our experience of the oceans, we ascend the mountains:
First days of summer bring the drive to Pisgah,
to the Blue Ridge. Blue smoke brings
Dreams in Asheville.
Dancing. Sipping red martinis. Getting
Thrown out of the Out bar of Asheville
for brandishing a martini glass. Sensational.

From the hiking trails at 6000 feet,
We descend to the first ocean.
An ocean of memory brings waves of our emotional past.
Old friends sensing old age. Recalling past sensations.
After scotch and weed with the now grown children,
A secret cracks open ungluing the sticky memory of a
long buried indiscretion-- lust in the heart.

That disturbing ocean of lost sensation yields
To the ocean of contentment-- to Cape Cod,
To the sensation of hot buttered lobster,
The sensation of luxury in the Morrocan Tower,
The sensation of sun and naked men in the high dunes--
And intellectual nights with editors and poets.
The sensation of cool ocean breezes as we sip wine on the
Expanse of open porch,
Or watch parades among the tiger lillies.

Again, mountains precede the ocean as we hike
in Cloudland, nieces charging ahead.
And drinking champagne with Starr deep into the night.
Then we are airbourne. More champagne on our pampered morning flight of mimosas
to Mexico. To the Pacific. To the Night of the Iguana.
What a wealth of sensations: the glittering beachside pool, dazzling;
the freezing cold room scented with eucalptus, then mint, then orange.
The thousand thread Egyptian cotton sheets.
The taste of pre-Columbian Mole' sauce. Or shrimp flamed at our table.

The third ocean gave the most sensations.
Boating over the sea in a thunderstorm to watch Aztec dancers,
An ancient wedding dance in the jungle, fiery torchs and rain.
Boating to Yelapa, the air fragrant with marijuana smoked by
Workers building a bridge below the waterfall.
Sand between the toes. Ocean waves knocking me over,
Handblown blue-green glass holding a marguerita.
Dancing on the boat. Absurd music. Fountains of tequila from the open bar.
Blue Chairs. Jazz at Garbo's. American breakfast at Kit Kat.
An erotic massage with satisfying fingers in the mornings.
The glimpse of an Iguana among the banyon trees.

The Atlantic, Boston Bay, Pacific Pelicans, and The Pacific Ocean
Photos: Jameson

Summer ends in sensations.
The top-flight home, served with mango cocktails from Finland,
Pampas fed beef from Argentina...
Even a smile from the customs man.
Today, a thunderstorm wets the yard, the oaks, the parched lawn.
Rumble and flash,
And the summer is over.
Autumn is on the way.

Seize the Season


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Iguana Bliss: August in Mexico

To add to the July 27 entry, below, Puerto Vallarta provided us bliss for ten days.

Click here for a few photos

Senora de Guadalupe Church
photo by Jameson

A few of our Favorites: (all clickable links)

Huichol Art

The Blue Chairs

The Premier

Paco Paco


Barcelona Tapas

Rito's Baci

Los Muertos Beach, Live Cam

for reading, try the Banderas News.

Hasta Luego...