Chews for Jews

February 24, 2015
‘blessed art thou o lord our god, who sanctified us with your commandments and instructed us on the eating of the herb’
Just in time for Passover.
Now that’s ironic.

Status Consciousness

April 14, 2013

I frequently overhear teens and millennials talking about status. They constantly change theirs. When they hear a funny quote or take a phone photo of their dirty chai latte. Their impulse is a new type of status consciousness.

For them status is not something to be attained and then maintained. It is mutable. Also it reflects their opinion of themselves and is generally not derived from others’ opinions of them.  Social media enables tagging everything, including our own sense of self.

For the generations before them (myself included) status was based on what we owned, where we worked, our graduate degree.  Something more permanent.  It was granted after effort and no matter how hard we tried, we could not confer it upon ourselves.  It was to be earned and guarded with your lives.  Even if that meant stepping on our co-workers or friends.

Seems like it works better now.  That’s ironic.


No iStone unturned

January 4, 2013

There is a commercial running for Verizon FIOS that essentially claimed that in the next few years the number of devices connected to the Internet in my home will double. Hard to understand how this is possible. Right now my wife and I have two smartphones, two iPads, two iPods, a Mac desktop, AppleTV, a SONOS music router. When any of our four daughters visit you can add three devises per (phone, pod and either a laptop or other similar). So if one is home we are a household total of 12 connected devices.

What could we possibly add?

An iThrone – Apples’s new 4G toilet

iFood – A networked refrigerator that scans bar odes of the contents of the fridge and orders from Fresh Direct when we slip below minimum stock levels of smoked turkey, half and half or apples.

iClean – a networked robot vacuum that lets me see dust bunnies in realtime

iPet – a wifi collar that lets you talk to your cat from anywhere anytime. If you have the iPet and iClean you can have extra fun stalking your pet with your robot and watching the fun with FaceTime on your iBook that’s always on anyway and sitting open on your coffee table via your iPhone

iPud – an Internet enable dildo streaming to your WordPress blog. Now that would be ironic.


Distractive Patterns

December 21, 2012

We are hardwired to see patterns.  It is a survival mechanism.  On the African Veldt our ancestors successfully passed their genes onto a next generation if they avoided being eaten by lions.  Discerning threat from amongst a tableau of shrubbery is a darwinian gift of this type of progressive conditioning toward pattern recognition.  This is also why I see the snouts and eyes of cats buried in floral wallpaper.  I used to think it was the acid.  Now I know it’s the  human penchant for scanning the environment for threat.

It’s easy to fall prey to fear in our pattern recognition.  After the Hurricane and the Newton tragedy no one is going to name their daughter Sandy for a while (one positive outcome will be that no will mount a Broadway revival of Grease anytime soon either).

As we are all inundated with prophesies of both doom (Mayan Apocalypse is only the most current flavor) and of a dawning New Age of peace and love (the Harmonic Convergence was a cosmic appointment reminder from the same calendar) I am thinking about how maybe the real hidden message is that within our consciousness is an innate longing to work through the endless yin/yang cycling and move to an age of Balance and if I may go out an a little Cartesian limb here, REASON.

So today on the Winter Solstice, that solar extreme of darkness I am wishing our world a prolonged period of the Middle Way, Neutrality and a cessation of againstness.  Maybe 12/21/12 can be the end, not of the world, but of the pendulum.

Now that would be ironic.

The Spam President

August 10, 2012

I was an enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama in 2008. I donated, signed petitions, participated with Like many, I held a hope for a much more active progressive agenda but as a pragmatist I can at least revel in the passage of universal healthcare, the end of don’t ask/don’t tell, dismantling the cynical “no child left behind” apparatus and the albeit grudging support for gay marriage.

The diminution of my enthusiasm comes not from the president’s weak record on civil liberties, his escalation of the war in Afghanistan or his abandonment of the environmental movement. What has me twisting is the level of spam generated in his name, Michelle’s, Biden’s. It’s worse than Viagra and Nigerian princes combined.

I get that we live in the world of social media and I get that a big part of the success in 2008 was engaging the grassroots support, largely online. But now it’s too much communication, too much touch. Can you imagine a world in which I have to add the email address of the president to my spam filter? Now that’s ironic