Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stop Buying Cacti...

I was a student, for a while, at The University of Arizona at Tucson. It was in 1970, a glorious time to be in college. Girls, music, pot and the absolute unrelenting beauty of the Arizona desert. And the two sunset possibilty in Tucson...one as the sun disappeared behind Gates Pass...and the other as it slipped under the horizon after you raced along Speedway Blvd. to get up and over that very same Gates Pass to watch the sunset all over again. Truly magical.

But the magic and glory of Arizona seems to be gone. What we have now is Jan Brewer and John McCain...let alone the rest of the population with their guns and xenophobia.

I say, to hell with 'em. Boycotts work. Look what happened in South Africa...and to the Edsel.

Forget about Arizona. Cross it off the map. Give it back to the Indians. Don't go.

The Grand Canyon and the Saguaro Cacti are amazing. So is the desert in spring. But aside from that let em' wallow in their own narrow sense of what the United States is all about.

Having just returned from Europe I can tell you one thing. It's no fun to be stopped and asked for your "papers."

Now it's the Mexicans. It used to be the Irish and the Italians and the Jews...let's not forget the Jews.

And fortunately, you don't have to go through Arizona to get to California or Nevada.
Or any of the other states of the Union where the Constitution still seems to mean something.

Screw em'. Boycott em'. Let em' have their Grand Canyon and their Sedona and their

Imagine the American flag with 49 stars...or maybe we could replace Arizona with Puerto Rico. The Puerto Ricans are a warm and welcoming people. They would be an addition to the Union...they're almost a state anyway...bring em' on!

Buenos dias amigos...habla Liberty!!!???

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ah, Ute...!

As Joe Pesce says in "My Cousin Vinny"..."deez Utes..."

The Judge says, "Utes?"

Pesce repeats, "Utes..."

And again, the judge, "Utes?"

Finally, Pesce, overarticulating, "Youths..."


I met with a lovely young woman who is studying at La Sorbonne. She's from the States and studying about food criticsm.

We went back and forth about food and wine and culture and when I asked her what she wanted to do with her life she hesitated. I told her to take the money out of the equation and then she answered right away, "I want to be a food writer."

I told her to jump in...to "go for it."

I quoted W.H. Murray who in turn quotes Goethe. The quote is from The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951. There the text goes:

'But when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money--booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!'


So...dear reader...GO FOR IT!

Carpe diem because tempus, in fact does, fugit!!

Have a manifesting day!

You're welcome...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kick Me!

You know how, when you were a kid, sometimes a "friend" would put a sign on your shirt in the guise of a loving pat on the back? And then, after you'd been kicked in the butt one too many times, you figured out that you had a notice on your back giving the world free rein to whack you?

And then you lamented the fact that 1) someone who called themself your "friend" would do that to you but 2) and almost more importantly, you wished that a true friend would have told you about the note...given you a so-called "heads up."

Well...we're not listening...we the USA that is.

Here in Europe we are seen as a bunch of fools, previously led by the likes of George Bush and Dick Cheney but now being dragged around by none other than Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

The photographs and articles depict us as buffoons. How else to explain the fact that we take our cues from such as Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity. People are laughing at us.

And the Tea Party. "OMG", as the young people say.

The Tea Partiers are really pissed off...often with good cause...sometimes misguidedly. And the Oracles of the extreme right are pouring fuel on the embers.

Any minute there is going to be an explosion.

Our friends in Europe see us for what we are...a bunch of spoiled teenagers crying out for what we want with no real regard for the sensibilities of others. The rest of the world are adults and we're kids. Big, bullying kids taking and taking because we can and just messing things up.

The Europeans get it. Co-exist peacefully. Recycle. Be energy efficient. Respect others. Mind your own business.

We don't get it. We point the finger outwards and say that it's everyone else's fault...not ours. Like kids.

And we're the ones with the target on our backs.

Our friends are talking.

The problem is that we are making so much noise we can't hear them.

Hope we shut up before it's too late.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring in Provence

I must admit...it really doesn't get much better than this. I am in Provence surrounded by beauty...flowers, Provencale architecture, spring in full...really a feast of sight and aroma.

I love it here and never want to leave. If only my family were here then I would have achieved perfection.

And there is the remote possibility that the Volcanic Ash Cloud will prevent my departure next weekend.

All I have to say about that is this:

I can think of a lot of places in which it would be much worse to be stranded...

But while I'm here...ahhh...Provence. It is absolutely everything that people say...physically gorgeous...warm...gentle...sweet...a truly idyllic place. Beige walls, red tile roofs, blue shutters, Wisteria...ahhhhhhhhhhh.

Lucky me...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm Too Famous For My Pants...

Ok, I admit it...I'm very important.

I am at the MIPTV/Doc Television Festival in Cannes, France. I am staying in Antibes. I am eating chevre and baguette and drinking French wine and I have a rental car in a country bedeviled by a transportation strike. I'm living large and...


I love France, and don't get me wrong, being here is a delight on many levels...but it ain't what it's cracked up to be.

A slice of pizza costs 10 Euros...about 14 bucks.

Gas is 1.5 Euros a liter or about $5.00 a gallon.

Tolls are outrageous and hotel rooms cost a small fortune.

People in Cannes can be nice, especially the Cannois...but unfortunately there are very few natives here. They have been replaced by poseurs dripping in wealth and finery and completely unaware of how truly ridiculous they appear. Too much plastic surgery and implants and clothing that a mannnequin wouldn't wear. And don't get me going about the friggin' shoes...

The weather has been marginal but that's nobody's fault, except the greedy and unconcious industrialists from Russia and China who have been systematically contributing to global warming and the change in our weather patterns. I would blame the volcano on them but I know that's a stretch..maybe...

So...celebrity? No.

Exhausted businessman in need of a foot massage? Without question!

But a bad day in Cannes is better than a good day in Gary, Indiana so I ain't complainin'...well maybe a little bit. I really wanted the snails but didn't have a second mortgage to give up.

Boo hoo...poor me. I guess I'll just have the cake...


I'm Too Famous For My Pants...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another Really Big Shoe...

And once again I am forced to ask...what is it about women's shoes?

But I ask as a man who obviously has women's feet.

Why do you ask? Because they are killing me, that's why!

Last year, here in Cannes, I laughed to myself at the celebrities and near-celebrities walking to the red carpet in flip-flops and changing into Stiletto heels minutes before they arrived at paparazzi central. What a sham, I thought.

Boy do I get it now...

I have been walking around the Palais here for days at the MIPTV Festival, an international marketplace of television content buyers and producers. I am marketing our program, "Behind The Seeds with Spencer Christian", a show about the passionate uncompromising realization of dreams in the face of daunting odds.

I am walking and walking and then walking some more. To exacerbate the problem I am parking my rental car about a 3 mile roundtrip from the Palais and therefore start and end my day with a healthy constitutional.

And, as my lovely (and very funny) wife would say, "my dogs are barkin' "

I have tried soft soled tie shoes. No good. A blister.

I have tried tassle loafers. No good. Reasonably chic (for an aged preppy) but too slippery therefore I am forced to walk like a Geisha.

All I have left are sneakers (sorry, "tennis"...sorry, again, "running shoes")

They would look ridiculous with dress slacks (complete with crease)and a necktie.

Ergo...I am left to hobble and careen and generally meander about like a circus stiltwalker.

I have a new found respect for women in business suits and sneakers. They get it.

Walk to work floating on cottony air and wear the instruments of torture in the office.

I would do that but then I'd have to carry the damned sneakers along with the laptop, the water bottle, the coat for later and the crap that one collects at these conferences. And the "office" in this case is a 6 floor 10 acre affair with no watercooler at which to kvetch.

I'll take the blisters thank you...