CATEGORY: Random Firings

Moving (on) sale

The delicious incongruence of random associations

Sometimes everything has everything to do with everything, sometimes it has everything to do with nothing. This is one of those everything days.

A dear friend is walking away from his house. Well, he’s short-selling: it’s a euphemistic expression for a financial bleeding that’s less painful than truly walking away. As so many are doing in these egregious times, my friend is moving on.

(Self included.)

There isn’t really an option, is there? Once you’ve packed up your dignity and set it aside; sold your belongings for one-twentieth of what you paid for them; ditched the things you thought you loved, those objets that helped define home – or so you thought – what else can you do but take that little satchel containing the only thing we’re gifted with at birth – our humanity – and slip it in your overnight bag and move on down the road.

El sol oculto

I swore as I left my parents’ house some eons ago that I would confront life with no expectations. I would find my way and simply live. I would bathe myself in life. Seek and be sought.

In years since, I learned to my surprise that despite my best intentions to live an expectation-less life, seeds of expectation had indeed been planted in my mind. In addition to the bombardment from advertising and mediocre airplane movies, we must inherit it from our parents. I’m convinced that as they bathe us as children they whisper subliminal songs into our ears: “Do better than me, do better than we…”

The fable of the parasitic twin

An old Eastern fable tells the story of an offspring called Opportunity. Born into a family of reasonable means, Opportunity was raised in modest comfort, far enough removed from the corrupting influences of Wealth and Achievement to know them, but close enough to desire their company. Opportunity was raised to believe that there was a natural balance to life; that the means to surviving it were an inherent gift of life itself: that is, that life would take care of you as long as you took advantage of the opportunities put in front of you.

Opportunity, in other words, believed that Achievement was its birthright.

As Opportunity grew, it realized it knew very little about real life. Well-intentioned though the parents may have been, they had sheltered Opportunity from Reality, raised it as a being unto its singular self – part of a larger whole yet at the same time detached. Life sped along, an unfamiliar tapestry rolling out behind it, like the landscape alongside a fast-moving car, until eventually Opportunity faltered.

Sidelined by a physical pain that had been increasing for years in its core, Opportunity finally went to see a doctor about his pain. On the x-ray the doctor discovered that Opportunity had a growth growing inside him. The doctor removed the growth and inspected it. He then announced, after Opportunity had come out from under anesthesia, that when Opportunity was conceived it was not conceived alone. The zygote had a parasitic twin and its unwritten name was Expectation.

“We’ve removed the growth,” the doctor informed Opportunity. “But be cautious,” he added as he wheeled him out of the recovery room. “There is always the risk that it will grow back.”

A prospect is that shower cubicles..

When robots and spammers are your readers…

This is the latest non-comment comment to come across the digital threshold (in German, from a subdomain in china):

“Viele überlegen einander sicher wie möglicherweise selbst mein Kröten gesichert anlegen. Eine Aussicht ist das Duschkabinen… Unsere Seite zeigen in unserem Blogbeitrag viele Wege diese Webseite macht vieles nichtausgeschlossen……”

[I took the liberty of translating using]

“Many superior each other reliably like possibly even my toads secured put on. A prospect is that shower cubicles… Many ways this web page do not show our side make much impossible in our Blogbeitrag ……”

Bot on.

civil rights, my ass

Market + Noe. 3pm.

Came out of Peet’s after grabbing a coffee to get me through the afternoon when I passed by a young woman pulling what is best described as a small freakish creature on a leash. The latter of the two – the elfen one – was skittering around in the dirt beneath one of the trees along the sidewalk.

It was a mostly hairless dog in a busy checkered sweater with tufts of fur sticking out around its head and paws. It looked like a miniature runt freak that must have been left in the litter cage, lost among the shredded newspaper and towels, after the rest of the puppies – the better looking ones – had been adopted. It squatted down to take a dump by the tree, which was right in front of the natural foods store. Its mommy, a young blonde haired woman who is probably fairly fun to have around at parties (hide the good tequila, though), cheered him on: “Do your business, baby :-) ”

I took a glance at the little runt, who’d squatted down low on his haunches and straightened his right leg all the way out parallel with the sidewalk, in what I swear was a nearly perfect yoga shoulder press known as Bhujapidasana.

Awed by the little rat’s blend of yogic flexibility and strength, the scene made me want to do a photo expose – a series of diptychs in which the left side is a photo of a dog or some other animal in a beautiful, asymmetrical asana, and on the right side is a photo of a yogi in a similar pose. It’s probably been done before, but regardless it struck me as an entertaining concept. Though I admitted to myself that it might be difficult to capture random shots of dogs in yogic positions. One could hang out in Duboce Park with a telephoto lens, or -.

Certainly there were better ways to spend one’s time.

Interestingly, all of this contemplation took place in an instant. In that instant I was confronted by the choice of whether I should lift my cell phone and quickly and adroitly open the camera app and snap a shot of this four-legged marvel in trailer plaid, or whether I should play the unperverted passerby and let the dog do its business in peace.

As I pondered whether to snap a shot, I was led to the question: would I be violating the dog’s civil rights in doing so? Furthermore: do dogs even have civil rights? The answer, of course, is no, they do not. They have doggie rights that bestow upon their owners certain obligations, but dogs are not citizens in the socratic sense, therefore they have no civil rights. Then, in due course of inquiry I had to ask myself: what about the owner? Would I be violating her civil rights by taking a picture of her dog taking a crap? Again, of course not. She chooses to parade her hairless little squirrel along a busy urban sidewalk and therefore has relinquished her animal’s ‘rights’ to unmolested toiletry.

Now, then, she herself could squat down by a tree and take a dump and she’d be legitimate picture fodder. That’s public domain, I say: she’d relinquish her rights to personal privacy the moment she began to defecate in public. Naturally, I doubt that the gentle folk eating their sprout sandwiches on the rustic wooden benches in front of the store would have been thrilled to see that particular scenario play out in front of them.

In any event, in that moment of decision, I decided not to to take a picture. It’s all well and good to verbalize certain odd proclivities, but once a camera becomes involved you’ve crossed a line.