Waiting at JFK outside a Peet’s Coffee and Tea drinking a paper cup of inflated airport priced coffee. Peet’s charges a dollar extra to drink coffee at JFK than at any other location.
I am now up in the air on my Virgin America flight back to LA writing this. My back is sore from clambering around Cooper’s air mattress and there is a small child behind me deconstructing the tray table. Over and over again. When he is not slamming the tray table he is kicking the back of my seat. On no occasion has the accompanying parent corrected the child. I am in no mood to correct the parent.
Apart from my deliciously pro Octomum rant, the blog post that caused the most negative reaction from readers was my blog about civility-also inspired by airplane etiquette. The lack of civility between people simply interacting, in public life, or between countries.
Some examples stick in my caw: Paris Hilton’s ex bf pissing on a homeless person, the guy on the flight to New York shoving his seat forcefully back ward or the racist congressman Joe Wilson calling President Obama a liar in the White House.
There is little or no politeness/humility/vulnerability evident anywhere and that, as far as I am concerned, is the end of civilization. Nor, I am afraid, are any of those attributes neither considered virtues nor championed by the media.
Yet, arrogance and self-centeredness is sadly understandable. The culture of self-obsession encouraged by ‘therapy’ (I’m too selfish to have a relationship, I’m working on MY stuff). Languishing in self. We are all we ever think about.
Against a backdrop of unsanctioned wars, lying politicians, unchecked larceny committed by public servants entrusted with our hard earned money! On top of all THAT-we deal with the cheaters and the liars who emotionally asset strip within the context of personal relationships. Who wouldn’t just concentrate on their own stuff?
When I arrived here I warned myself that I risked losing everything and that indeed may very well happen. The entire system is based on taking as much as possible from any working mans pay cheque legitimately or illegitimately-preferably as quickly as possible.
It still amuses me to hear people here tell me how much more tax we pay in the UK. That UK citizens are not free, that our healthcare stinks. Total lies! Comparatively Americans pay far more tax than the Brits yet get nothing useful in return. The only thing Americans really love spending huge amounts of money on is security. Hence the theft of billions of dollars in Iraq on bogus reconstruction projects and bribes to terrorists organizations supposedly keeping the peace. Their huge taxes, their government, their church and now the corporations enslave Americans. As I have said on numerous occasions slavery did not end in 1863, that was merely the year slavery was mandated for the rest of us. We are all enslaved.
Enslaved by debt, obesity, shame and fear.
Whenever I write about inequality I am accused of America bashing. Go back to Whitstable they squawk-if only I could get back to my darling home town-but for the meantime I am here and whilst here in the land of the free I can exercise my right to free speech. Is this what freedom means to you all? The freedom to steal from each other? To treat each other like shit? To allow some the right to marry and equal rights and not others? What kind of half-baked FREEDOM is this?
Is it wrong of me to want the very best for every man? To understand the frailties of men and make provision for them? To face up to the messes of my own making? Am I responsible to offer my hand when those around me are drowning or do I just think about myself?
We watch images of people desperately trying to feed themselves in Haiti or after Katrina and describe it as looting. Every day the government and the corporations loot from every one of us. This time they have gone too far, destroying the middle class, creating an unbridgeable gap between rich and poor.
My detractors fail to understand how much the British taxpayer gets in return for our supposedly huge tax payments. I can only speak on behalf of my family but during the past half century I have received excellent health care, three free years of university education as well as the BBC, public arts etc. The list goes on and on.
And, as much as I used to loath them-we even get a jolly good, year round entertainment called The Royal Family with all the prerequisite dramas of any good soap opera: Murder, marriage, duplicity, infidelity.. you can’t write this stuff.
I left behind, on the cold winter New York streets, a man that I love. Conflicted about us he may be but I believe in my heart that he will find a true path and follow it. If only he could let himself off the hook. I looked into his eyes and told him that I loved him. I kissed his mouth and eyes and remembered how hard it is to say I love you to another man. I remember the first time I loved another man-when I was just a boy. To another man? When two men say I love you how special and different that feels.
Man, manly, love.