Category Archives: Boston

No, Your Hate Won’t Break Our Love

It is unexpressed emotions harboring latent demands for redress which cause violent disruption to society. The seemingly extremes of heinous actions and vitriolic words each casting blame, instead of assuming responsibility and moving positively forward, actually feed eachother to ever escalating destruction. It is in the never ending cycles of human history rife with the absence of hope which manifest anger and discontent and, in some, a call for ‘retribution’. A politician stands up and speaks ‘on behalf of a nation’ with words that only serve to inflame those who hate, and exacerbate the fear amongst the panicked flock who demand a response to their collective fear with demands of isolation, xenophobia, and more brutality.

As Eve Ensler, poet, so perfectly and simply wrote:

“Bullets are hardened tears”.

We must unharden. We must stop the tears and the subsequent bullets and bombs. We must find a way forward between the madness and genius and that fraction of capability to cope with inequities tipping the balance to terrorist actions.

Anger can be a gift that keeps us sane; anger will make us sit-in, go on strike (hunger, walk off our jobs), meditate, light candles, and engage in activism we never imagined embracing fostering beautiful life affirming change. And, just like hundreds of thousands of cherry blossom petals ‘we’, coming together, cast a pink glow over our hurting world.

In various locations in Stockholm statues of St. George figure prominately – in the 12th and 13th centuries his legend came to include the story of a battle with, and victory over, a voracious dragon. In its purest form St. George’s tale is one of good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, life vs. death. Stockholm, Homs, Paris, Zliten, Baghdad, Nice, Kabul, Brussels, Boston, London, New York, Orlando, and sadly many other cities share a pain created in the absence of love. Our responses in each of the tragedies we have borne has been resilience and community.

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.” ~ Roger de Rabutin de Bussy

I believe that within us we are both a cherry blossom petal and St. George and the dragon we must slay is hatred, ignorance and fear. We must be kinder, more compassionate, empower not condescend, find a way to ensure hope remains a constant and together build a great reserve of universal love which cannot be extinguished in the name of any God.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via livelikeadog@gmail.com through PayPal, and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiPlease click here to order my book, thank you! 

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Transcendence and Snowglobe(s)

boston at nightFor a moment pretend you are four years old, your nose pressed against the cold window pane, against the dark backdrop huge snowflakes fall and swirl in the street lamps’ golden halo, your tiny exhales fog the scene but magically it clears over and over again you are in rapture and you exist in this quietude of wonder for what seems like no time but in fact a half an hour or more has lapsed. Mom, or Dad or your favourite Aunt notices but doesn’t interrupt, distract or call you to dinner – as they are capturing this moment of your pleasure in their own memory to wistfully recall as the years slip by and you grow. The memory is palpable and shared, though you were blissfully unaware the gift your silent observation has provided. When your next birthday came around your tiny hands held the gift of a snow globe, and as you shook it the picture memory flooded back to you – because within the sphere was a small snowy landscape with a street lamp, exactly as you had experienced standing at the window as the snow and the street lamp merged into you and lit you from within.

33Bridges-Snow-Globes-Walter-Martin-and-Paloma-Munoz

See: http://www.martin-munoz.com/ for information about the artists of these contemporary snow globes

Some memories are more powerful, have greater impact upon us in the long term than we can even begin to comprehend. And when we draw upon these moments of our lives they aren’t remembered as a short film with sounds and words and precise lighting, no, I believe that they are recollected as the miniature scene in a snow globe. The swirling flakes of iridescence in water obscure the memory and then as the snow settles we are provided clarity – just a very tiny vision of what was, but perfect, absolutely perfect.

My girlfriend Jennifer had invited me to accompany her on a road trip to Boston and I admit I had trepidation over such because there is a more tenuous hold on adult friendships than those of our youth – perhaps because we realise the fragility and impermanence of life – it’s ‘reasonable’ to at least think about avoiding circumstances that could undo something which we hold precious. Once reconciled that all would be fine, it was with the experience of being a tour guide in Niagara Falls for three years that I planned and plotted – and while it’s hard to know how anyone will receive what you present them, easier perhaps with anonymous strangers than a dear friend, I approached this with nurturance and love. I was all in to map out ‘a gift’ and while I culled what I loved most about living in Boston and surrounds in the hope of providing a transformative couple of days of beauty, peace and experiences – I admit the anticipation of being back in Boston swamped my heart and head. While it would never be possible to share the gains of emotional experiences found in solitary activities (like a child standing at a window) such as riding my bike along the Esplanade, skating alone at midnight one bitingly cold night under a full moon on the (rarely frozen) Public Gardens’ lagoon, singing carols by candlelight and street lamps as Christmas Eve snow fell on Louisburg Square, swimming at Rockport’s Front Beach in pre-dawn waiting for the sun to rise, sitting in the courtyard of Harvard’s Fogg museum listening to viola de gamba and harpsichord, oh, yes, a very personal collection of ‘memory’ snow globes each impossible to share but it was the essence of these experiences I wanted Jennifer to find ‘for herself’.

deborah's snow globe

Golagai 2 by Deborah Barlow

I appreciate, and I see, and I am moved to tears and reflection and joy, and contemplation over the creative endeavours of others – even when I don’t understand their work as they might have intended. I had the very great pleasure to stand before this piece of art last weekend in the dining area of the home of my new (old – turns out we both worked for the same tech company albeit a decade apart) friend Deborah Barlow and her husband David Wilcox. I won’t lie, the biomorphic nature of Deborah’s oeuvre is ‘over my head’ intellectually but mastery of anything can be felt if not understood. My immediate, non-edited reaction to this piece of art was it was a snow globe, newly shaken, and waiting to reveal its hidden secrets as the pearlised flakes swirled around in the space contained within the outlines of the frame and it made me happy – no, rather, nostalgic and happy and filled with anticipation of Jennifer’s experience of the ‘edited’ Boston I had selected for her (and for myself to walk again).

Within an hour of arriving in town we were at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, within two hours I was reaching a (desired) state of grace and white light in my solar plexus sitting in quietude in the MFAs Buddhist Temple. Jennifer sat on the opposite side of the main entrance and when I got up she also did, her eyes brimming with tears, in that moment incapable of expressing words she could only repeatedly nod her head as she looped her arm through mine to steady herself against the wave of emotion and peace the various Buddha’s had gifted her. rasha-flying-solo

Memories come at us hard and fast and when we least expect them to, art is like that – or should be; we are transformed by being ‘present’ for the experience of someone’s gifts of artistry, how these affect and have effect on us. I might have initially connected Deborah’s work as a “snow globe” but now, forever, it will linked to the gift I hoped for Jennifer, transcendence.

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Dearly Beloved We Are Gathered Here Today – a love letter to Boston

mateDearly Beloved,

The vows we make to love, honour and cherish are often thought of as the point of commitment following a courtship, sometimes – without realizing how or why – we make a commitment long before we even meet the love of our life.  This love embraces us, carries our burdens when we are weak, makes us stronger, gives and receives, become intrinsic to our psyche, this love becomes ‘home’ in every sense.

Me, age 17, September 1978, senior year picture

Me, age 17, September 1978, senior year picture

At the beginning of our senior years in high school (at least in the United States) we are asked to not only synopsize four years (including a school year not yet ‘lived’) but also to frame our dreams and life goals and it’s not lost on me that my personal summary read:

DSCN9825

First, please note, I had never traveled to Boston as a child, I didn’t have relatives that lived there, no personal reference point to have expressed this life goal. In fact my first sighting of the Boston skyline was via the Mass Pike as a 23 year-old newlywed bride when we stayed with a friend in Newton en route to Portsmouth, New Hampshire where my husband had a job interview. In 1998, divorced with my former husband’s words echoing in my ears “I am keeping you from being everything you are capable of becoming”, my new tech employer gave me the option of working out of the headquarters at 55 Broad Street in New York City or the ‘geek center’ off of Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge; the location was a no brainer as I actually loathe how NYC drains me energetically, and because I have long been a proud member of Red Sox Nation – this was my rebellion against my hockey-loving father who “would rather watch paint dry” than baseball – I was Boston bound!

Map copyright and more info at: www.emeraldnecklace.org

Map copyright and more info at: http://www.emeraldnecklace.org

Boston. And surrounds. Separate but entwined, each better because of the unique characteristics of the other, a rich tapestry, a complex piece of music, a gorgeous piece of art, red brick and puddingstone, slate sidewalks and iron fences, arcing spans to walk across in the ‘Emerald Necklace’ or on “The” Charles – oh, my ‘self’ and my love. charles

For a decade I lived with you, was defined, made whole and existed as the best person I have ever been intellectually.  I (inadvertently) found sanctuary in Emmanuel Episcopal with its exquisite music and thoughtful, inclusive and very progressive community, every week you offered up lectures about things I didn’t know I needed to know at the Boston Public Library, Harvard, MIT, the Theosophical Society and Swedenborg Chapel and chamber concerts with BEMF and Boston Philharmonic, at Sanders Theatre, Jordan Hall, and the acoustically perfect Medieval courtyard of the Fogg.  I was left breathless and renewed swimming in Cape Ann’s icy coastal waters as well as inspired by the collections at the MFA, Peabody Essex, the Sackler, Fogg (which with the Busch-Reisinger will reopen this fall as one museum as designed by Renzo Piano) and the Isabella Stewart Gardner  Boston, my beloved, you gave me life as if I had crossed the driest desert to find an palm oasis with a single cup hanging from an ancient hand-wrought chain affixed to a stone surround protecting an artesian spring of pure water from which to drink without abatement. Sustenance. Oh Boston, thank you.

Photo by Raymond Britt

Photo by Raymond Britt

I have been back and forth since 2002 when life forced me away from you and all you give. And when, last year this time, two young men who you also embraced betrayed you and then set out to destroy all of your beauty and turn you and your surrounds into a war zone my heart twisted in wretched agony and I cried copious and unrelenting tears. Oh, my love, oh, my dear Boston.

A serendipitous gift brought me back to you this weekend, and what I carried now as part of my being was renewed in your energy in places as familiar to me as the shape of my own lips which I used to metaphorically kiss you with tender spoken memories created together and to express endearments held tightly in my heart but always shed in tears of gratitude to be back with you if only fleetingly.

cherry

Boston Public Garden

As I walked with my best girlfriend (whose wanderlust made this re-connection possible) through my former ‘front yard’ of Boston Public Gardens (explaining what she was seeing and my history laid against the backdrop) the memories of a decade of pink confetti falling from your 100 plus year old cherry trees fell through my mind as if I were inside a snow globe, in this moment of transcendence the scar tissue ruptured.  Not a helicopter heading for Mass General but most clearly a surveillance one broke the rapture, and then another helicopter two minutes later – I was undone.  Our hearts are resilient, our psyche’s mend, but still scar tissue reminds us that to love sometimes means that we will also be hurt, and that when our beloved is hurt it scars us as well.

I came home to you dear Boston for the purpose of sharing you with someone who needs your love as I once did and in incremental steps from Brookline to the Back Bay, to Longwood and the Fenway to Cape Ann and back to Cambridge to Beacon Hill – you did exactly what I hoped you would, you embraced, and nurtured and sustained with the deep refreshment of your very existence. Thank you my beloved, but you had one more gift – for me, thank you. You reminded me that home is not where you live, or where you were born, it’s not the objects which surround you no, truly, ‘home’ is where the heart is.  We carry ‘home’ around with us and breathe it in like an asana and Boston you have been my home longer than you know.  On this trip, at every intersection of my old life with my current one, you seemed to anoint me with blessings. Against your refined beauty you also brought me (utterly incongruent) Croatian messages, making it clear that my new lover whose spine curves along the Adriatic languidly awaits, ready to embrace me.

I will always love you, my darling Boston, I will miss you but you will always be my hearts’ home.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via livelikeadog@gmail.com through PayPal, and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Mary’s Hem – or, we see what we cultivate within us

I would like to think that we are really blank canvases awaiting the brushstrokes of experience and creativity to ‘colour’ us. That each of us has an artists’ eye for beauty that is part nature, part nurture.  The expansion of our natural appreciation develops broadly or narrowly depending upon a hundred million variables and how we process these data points to ultimately manifest our greatest selves. There’s little doubt that our unique filters, acquired through experience and intellectual pursuits, allow us to see things that others fail to – and likewise we will never see what they do.  Does it have to be this way?

Mostar

Herzeg Day Tours image, Mostar bridge

Against the backdrop of a Facebook conversation about a photograph of the old bridge Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) a Swedish artist acquaintance of mine introduced me to two individuals – one a woman living in Sweden originally from Bosnia, and the other a Slovene man from Trieste (Italy); this is one of the greatest joys of social media (I would be unlikely to meet these individuals in any other way)!

In visiting the man’s profile and (of course) his albums this morning I was struck by his photograph of a fresco in an church in Muggia, Italy – and I guarantee what I saw isn’t what you see.

Madonna

Stefan Turk Muggia Italy

What I saw was based not upon the life experience of being brought up as a Roman Catholic, or subsequently being a nominally practicing Episcopalian (since age 19) with profound leanings toward Buddhism.  No, what I saw in the gold adorned hems of Mary’s robe was calligraphy – and not just any calligraphy, I saw the word “God” in the gold embellishment of a Renaissance artist who was unlikely to be Muslim. I saw convergence and at-one-ment, there is only one God and He (or She) has 99 names. So much so did I see Islamic calligraphy that I sent the image at left to a very dear girlfriend of mine in Istanbul to ask her what she saw!  I know some of you might read this (not having any previous encounter with my rather Unitarian views based upon Eastern philosophy) and think I am either a blasphemer or a heretic  (or both), I am neither. But I see convergence in nearly everything, the common which unites us rather than the differences which serve (radicals and extremists) to divide us. I see God’s hand in everything, all the time.

The ‘nurture’ aspect of my filter (in this case) comes from a long held fascination with Persian miniature paintings, illuminated manuscripts spanning examples of Books of Hours, Vedic texts as well as from the Qu’ran. Each of these (and those of many more traditions) created by a single artisan for the Glory of God, often times by candle light and using tiny brushes made of single hairs from a camel, a boar or a sable in combination with gold leaf and precious minerals.

More specifically, in the case of the hem of Mary’s robe in Muggia, was the infinite pleasure and expansion of my curiousity found at the Alfred M. Sackler Museum (part of Harvard University DSCN9996Art Museums) in multiple visits between October 1999 and January 2000 to Letters in Gold: Ottoman Calligraphy from the Sakip Sabanci Collection – (okay, and yes, having just looked up the book on Amazon (who knew?) to share with you I have now moved my copy from off the floor to my desk!!!)

We look at the Virgin Mary just as we also understand Guanyin (also known as Kuan Yin) short for Guanshiyin, which means “Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World” to be models of virtue and compassion.  Even though my filter has created a sacred connection between this particular example of religious art of Christianity and the calligraphy art of Islam, it feels somehow a blessing to see one – one I needed to share with you today.

God

God in Islamic calligraphy by Sultan Balubaid

ottoman-calligraphy--1-2

God in Ottoman calligraphy from yurdan.com

Stefan Turk's photograph Mary's hem, Muggia Italy

Stefan Turk’s photograph Mary’s hem, Muggia Italy

 

With so much of our world fragmented, focused upon dissention and disparity there is a refuge to be found in my heart,  joy in the tiny elements of our existence that is resonant with love, things that make me feel profound gratitude for bearing witness to sublime, for this is the unique filter I have been graced to possess in the hope of using it for amplification that benefits all of us.

Love isn’t love until you give it away. Let’s do something more than put forth swaths of pink and red and white, let’s celebrate love in seeing more clearly the pure white light of God’s love all around us.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ via livelikeadog@gmail.com through PayPal.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Dorian Gray, President Obama – it’s still corruption

Our inboxes – a fascinating place where society and culture converge

Wow, you’re absurdly beautiful and fascinating 🙂 And, at least it seems, rather open-minded. A perfect combination. Would love to find out more 🙂 And I read your profile, even the questions / answers. My grandpa is from Croatia! 

J.

So, I visit his profile and he lives in Boston (where I made my home for a decade) and respond:

Dec 11, 2013 – 2:07pm

I am BLUSHING – true! Jack (is this your real name is?) there is not a woman (of any age) that doesn’t wish to read that she is BOTH absurdly beautiful and fascinating – but when it comes from a man that is 21, and looks like a movie star from the 1950s? um, how do I EVEN respond? Dear God what did I do today to deserve such manna from heaven? Perhaps as you complete your profile and we’ll have more in common than the fact that I lived in Boston for a decade and your grandfather comes from where I hope to make the next chapter of my life – swimming in the Adriatic on a nearly daily basis! You are a wonder – thank you for your gift, here, this comes to thank you in the only way I know how, a nod to your heritage and the city where you live: http://wp.me/p3A6uH-E9
Teresa

Dec 11, 2013 – 2:10pm

Wow, thanks for your amazing message 🙂 I’m really glad you like it 😛 Would love to take you out next time I’m in Croatia, or before then, even! 🙂 

J.

It should be noted I am not a cougar, and the conversation continues via IM chat– condensed and modestly edited

(2:10:42pm)jb017:would love to take you out next time I’m in Croatia

(2:11:48pm)MyLifeIsLove:You can’t even imagine how much I am blushing right now! Oh, thank you for your message Jack

(2:12:07pm)jb017:Really? 🙂

(2:12:08pm)MyLifeIsLove:really, OMG yes

(2:12:16pm)jb017:You’re so beautiful! I can’t stop looking at your photos

(2:12:21pm)MyLifeIsLove:really blushing like a 16 year old

(2:12:23pm)jb017:Have you ever been with someone younger like myself? 😛

(2:12:25pm)MyLifeIsLove:LOL, sigh

(2:12:37pm)jb017:🙂

(2:12:39pm)MyLifeIsLove:not “that” much younger

(2:12:50pm)jb017:Haha 🙂 But you look like you’re 20!

(2:13:11pm)MyLifeIsLove:LOL, no suntanning, seaweed on my face at least weekly since I was 12, very little alcohol consumed

I am sure you are all reading this and assuming that I, the older woman by 30 years, would be the one being an unduly corrupting influence on the moral fiber of this much younger man and, you would be wrong! I stumbled into Fifty Shades of Grey because I failed to read his Q&A prior to the rapid migration from ‘nice note to IM chat’ and I should know better! Anyway…

(2:13:46pm)jb017:nice 🙂 how young was he? 😛 And are you really the best kisser ever? I love great kissers.

(2:15:12pm)MyLifeIsLove:I will be 53 in Feb so Christian would have been 25 or 26 at the time

(2:15:29pm)MyLifeIsLove:I am going to write a sentence, and then you are going to read it, then close your eyes, okay?

(2:15:57pm)jb017:ok

(2:18:57pm)MyLifeIsLove:It’s dusk over Boston harbor, returning from the North Shore under motor sail at 5 knots, the Champagne sits sweating in rivulets, a glass in each of their hands, he leans down and takes her face on one hand, thumb against her mouth, takes her glass from her, sets it down next to his, and cuts the engine, his other hand is in her hair, and he sweeps her to his chest and tips his head to meet her mouth – parted, breathless waiting for his mouth to meet hers, the air between their mouths is as if coloured with the phosphorus that skips along the bowsprit, he wants to consume her, but she holds him in this tension to breath his scent to fall under the spell of the moment, there is nothing but the sound of their shared heartbeat and breaths. Now, you can close your eyes Jack

(2:20:09pm)jb017:wow…

(2:23:22pm)jb017:wow…so amazing, i would love that…

(2:24:43pm)MyLifeIsLove:if you learn to think like this, then you can kiss like that

(2:28:21pm)jb017:I’ve been imagining your kiss

(2:31:05pm)jb017:you’re a dream come true

(2:32:02pm)MyLifeIsLove:Jack you have to cut me a break

I was not trying to seduce this man, but recognise that understanding all the potential of what a kiss can be, even when it isn’t yet a kiss, is vastly different than ‘what follows’.

(2:32:07pm)jb017:🙂 My only fear is that I’m too kinky for you 😛

(2:33:00pm)MyLifeIsLove:LOL, how can you know “enough” at 21 to be to know enough to be kinky??

(2:33:50pm)jb017:Hahaha 🙂 I do

(3:18:54pm)jb017:I’m here, baby 🙂 been looking at your photos and having naughty thoughts 😛 love your legs, sexiest legs ever

(3:19:58pm)MyLifeIsLove:this I doubt but thank you

(3:20:08pm)jb017:Would love them around me 🙂

(3:20:15pm)MyLifeIsLove:whoa, you cut to the chase, blushing, again

(3:20:36pm)jb017:Sorry 🙂 Couldn’t help it

(3:21:05pm)MyLifeIsLove:I suppose I really am flattered (on some level) but “in my world”

(3:21:22pm)jb017:Haha 🙂

(3:21:28pm)MyLifeIsLove:(or rather my idealised world) one gets the entwined limbs at least after dinner

(3:28:27pm)MyLifeIsLove:omg, I just got to your wingspan image in the pool, good God how long are your arms?

(3:29:12pm)jb017:very long 😉 very nice fingers

(3:29:17pm)MyLifeIsLove:beautiful btw, that dimple of yours is killer!

(3:29:46pm)jb017:thanks 😉

(3:30:54pm)jb017:gosh, I’d love to put you in doggie position, spread your ass and lick your asshole, deep and long, tongue all in 😉 there, i said it 🙂 sorry if i shocked you

(3:32:03pm)MyLifeIsLove: you are correct you do know more than I do how can you be 21 and KNOW THIS STUFF? and know that you like this?

(3:32:25pm)jb017::P, yeah 🙂

Right now, you are wondering what this has to do with the President of the United States – I would like to know who put him in the doggie position or if he really thinks that he is going to put the whole world in the same and ‘take us from behind’.  Right now, I am reminded of the 17th century Darien Company debacle in Scotland – but it’s worse, much, much worse.

The Darien Scheme, as it came to be known, tied up about 25% of the money circulating in Scotland on a speculative colonization investment in Panama which was beset by everything that could go wrong and did; subsequently bankrupting the Scottish aristocracy who, in turn, sold their country cheap to England to eliminate their debt in the form of the signing of the Treaty of Union which successfully eliminated Scottish sovereignty for 300 years. In reverse, this is about to happen to every country in Europe and the Pan-Pacific Rim; pay attention here people!

The President of the United States (I am so angry I can’t even type his name) and a team of bureaucrats under confidential NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and God only knows who outside of the government (or how much our President has clearly been bought and paid for) have drafted the most comprehensively evil piece of international trade legislation ever written – it’s called The Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement and in Europe the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) and everyone, everywhere should watch this video to understand the power it would give multi-national corporations over the sovereignty of nations and the citizens of our world, it is truly terrifying! I have never considered myself an extremist or a protestor; if you had told me a Imageyear ago I would actually agree with Julian Assange about anything I would have told you that you were insane, but thank God for Wikileaks and Anonymous and all those ‘rabble-rousers’ bent upon transparency and toppling corruption!  I’d like to know what happened to the man who gave us “The Audacity of Hope” because right now, between the juvenile behavior of taking a selfie and openly flirting (in front of the world and his wife) at Nelson Mandela’s funeral and the after-party images with George Bush, we seem to be bearing witness to the corruption of Dorian Gray under the tutelage of Lord Henry Wotton – only none of us know who Wotton is as it comes to Barack Obama (and that is even scarier).

Libertines have always held a kind of morbid fascination for writers, and right now the morally bankrupt of our society at the highest level have EVERYTHING in common with John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester, Vicomte de Valmont of Pierre ImageChoderlos de Laclos’ 18th century masterpiece Les Liaisons dangereuses, and a young man whose conversation with me you read above I just met on OKCupid (21, over 6’2”, dimpled and simply ridiculously handsome) and sadly who, steeped in the consummation of (vast) sexual experience, seems will sacrifice the sublime pleasure of sensuality and tenderness and possibility of ever realizing true love makes me think of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde’s 19th century protagonist – where Dorian wistfully expresses, as the portrait capturing his perfect youth is complete, his willingness to sell his soul to ensure that the portrait would assume the corruption realised as he pursues heightened levels of debauchery yet remains ever youthful and perfect.

The libertine used to be solely concerned with the corruption of youthful, virginal, feminine flesh and then their riotous immorality transcended to include opium dens and debauchery encompassing both sexes in group orgies under Oscar Wilde’s pen – what concerns me, silencemakes me angrier than I have ever been about any politician, is the secrecy in which these documents have been drafted over the course of the last 7 years. I am repulsed by the arrogance that assumes that we, the citizens of the world, will simply bend over an take it doggie fashion while unknown C-level executives of multinational corporations do the same to Barack Obama to migrate even more wealth into the 1%. I don’t care where you live, and as I am blessed to have readers in 67 countries as of this date, but I beg you to cease being silent – contact your legislators at the federal level, join organised (peaceful) civil disobedience demonstrations, sign one of these petitions and get vocal on social media, NOW!

“Earned” media

Infamy at one time was loathsome to acquire.
Ludwig Tieck the Romantic Period German poet wrote:  “He is not dead who departs from life with high and noble fame; but he is dead, even while living, whose brow is branded with infamy.”
Even so, we should be reminded of 18th century William Hazlitt’s words: “There is a heroism in crime as well as in virtue. Vice and infamy have their altars and their religion.”
The perpetuation of those alters for the sake of ill gained revenue is as dangerous as any act of terrorism. The Rolling Stone’s (marketing) choice of placing the image of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover has unleashed a firestorm of commentary and some truly ugly vitriol and justifiable sadness.  ImageEVERY time terrible violence is committed and the media (any outlet) ‘covers’ it ad nauseum we give credibility to the action of violence, to destruction, to pain and suffering. If we want to live in a world devoid of such then we MUST err toward compassion, decency, love, and beauty. We need to fix the issues ON A GLOBAL BASIS which perpetuate mistrust, dissatisfaction, isolation, intolerance, hatred. Admittedly political agendas (and profit margins) do nothing to promote harmony but it would be lovely if all that we celebrate on a personal level manifest as something larger – a rightful claim for our world to be free of ‘bullies’ regardless of their monikers and geographic location. My girlfriend Mia, who recently moved to Boston, posted the following on her Facebook page this morning:

“Those who escape monsters must be careful not to become one.”

After Mia’s comment I sought out the original story, without purchasing the magazine so as not to endorse the Rolling Stone’s use of such a flattering image of ‘Jahar’.  My truth, after its reading; we still only know symptoms, that some of the Cambridge based friends included in the piece acted with remarkable naiveté in attempting to destroy evidence and now have their lives turned upside down as a result, and finally, shattered dreams bare heavy burdens and distort reality. I would offer that most of us have endured our own share of disappointment, anxiety and betrayal. Yet the coping mechanisms of reflection, physical exertion, and prayer or meditation which we take for granted are not warped under the influence of a more dominant (physically and emotionally) force such as Jahar’s brother whose own fractured life seems to have set this horrible scenario moving in the first place. Tajmerlán’s distorted view of his faith and disenfranchisement came on the heels of his parents’ failure to achieve the stability which America once so freely offered it immigrant citizens.  Certainly the story has journalistic merit but a different image (even from another article in the same issue) would have removed the aggrandizement of the act of terrorism.  Alas, that would have been in violation of every marketing principle ever written; it is the conflict of ethics and revenue which fosters my (momentary) return to my freshman journalism class at the State University College of New York at Buffalo. 

We have, at once, come so far from the manual (yes, not even electric!) typewriter which our professor insisted we use and lost so much since 1979. It is not that humanity has not always committed heinous crimes – we have. We have always been equal parts good and evil (yīnyáng, darkness and light) yet it seems to me that in our interest of presenting the full story we run the risk of inadvertently idealizing that which is abhorrent to our goodness – more domestic examples of terrorism such as Charles Manson, Adam Lanza, Timothy McVeigh, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris come to mind (as does 22 States having Stand Your Ground laws which allow other terrors to be realized). But it is the way these stories are told, the sheer volume of information and disinformation, lines blurred by the decisions of editors and publishers which impact what we see, how we might come to think and how we will act. Somehow in giving these (almost always) men their names and faces in our various media outlets continuous ‘play’ we perpetuate their crimes for others surely will continue emulate their actions. It is in a world dominated by but a handful of media conglomerates where the basic ethical principles of journalism find filter and Photoshop to ensure profit where we face our greatest enemy.  

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