Tag Archives: opinion

No one is disposable

If you are treating someone as if they are disposable, stop it. If you are being treated as if you are disposable, stop it. No human being is disposable. What’s more, a healthy relationship of any kind is impossible.

If anyone treats someone else as if they are disposable,  they don’t just wound the other person, they wound themselves! What makes this true? The pattern of treating others as if they are disposable makes it impossible for other person to be close to you.  This pattern of behavior is what I call a distance-maker. Something a person does that keeps others as at a distance.

I’m 65. I’ve been on my own since December 1969 when my mother had me put in reform school and disowned me, having me declared an “emancipated minor” meaning that I was the sole person responsible for keeping me alive. My father, the greatest gift my life has given me, died in August 1969.  I was disowned by my mother and never allowed back into the family again. I know what it is to be treated as if I was disposable. I have a nephew, Joe. A beautiful a human being. A really good man.  The narrative of his life is his to tell. That said, I think it is a safe bet he knows what it is to be treated as if he was disposable being, just as deep  as I do.

For those stuck in this pattern, the questions are not, why am I  bad person? Or, why am I  mean ? You’re not bad or mean. The behavior is mean, but a behavior does not define the all of you. Perhaps the more salient question you might want to ask is this.  How did I come to believe (how was I taught) that intimacy between people was dangerous for me?

Two more thoughts. First, it is more likely than not that those treating others as if they are disposable don’t realize that’s what they’re doing.  Second, it is likely those caught in this behavior’s web fat the moment have been treated as if they’re disposable somewhere back down the line. They deserve compassion too.

Beware the sappatized word

It can be a lot of work getting here to this blank page. It was climbing a mountain of anxiety under the power of thought, and, okay, strength. I’m not comfortable with the word courage. I mean, yes, perhaps in a pure sense it applies, but for me the word courage has a boastful connotation, and I am not comfortable with that. So I respectfully reject it.

We fuck words up, stain them with the one-two punch of judgment and connotation. Sometimes we inject them so many times with some inexplicable insidous honey-like ethereal substance, we sappitize them. Sappy, holy shit! Like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Sappiness makes me want to flee.

I’ll give you an example of a word that’s been sappitized. Darling. Darling is a beautiful word. It derives, in part, from the word, dear, defined in the New Oxford English Dictionary as, “regarded with deep affection; cherished by someone: a dear friend.” Come to think of it, in some ways dear too has been sappitized. Let me put it this way, if a woman said to me, “Kiss me, dear,” I was born knowing tongues are not involved. I think full-contact kissing is impossible in response to, “Kiss me, dear.”

I am wrong.

Just now — in the writing moment — I realized I was dead wrong.

I have experienced being deeply in love. Our beings were in as perfect alignment as two beings could be. If she had said, “Kiss me dear,” perhaps during one of those sweet-gentle holding each other moments, I would’ve kissed her in a heartbeat — with all my heart and soul.

Stunning what emerges when you write.

Memo to Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich

Lord knows I like columnists Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich very much. But humble up for God sakes and get over yourselves. Obama isn’t in office three months yet and already you two are taking prepubescent runs at him. Please note, I write about these two columnists because I really do respect them. Believe me, I’m not going to write anything like this about the likes of Bill “Lufa” O’Reilly, Sean “Brylcream” Hannity or that skeevy little twit, Glenn Beck, because those three were apparently put on earth to drool poison, dribble dishonesty and sweat hatred.

Dowd and Rich are without question class acts who despite being so, could use a dose of humility, and a nudge once in awhile to get themselves right sized, as it were.

In today’s NY Times Dowd is whining that we “less smooth jazz and more martial brass,” comparing Obama’s extraordinary calm to smooth jazz. Maureen, if you want martial brass, start a band. Most Americans are grateful for a calm non-panicking president. Relax. And, by the way, we could all use a little more jazz in life.

Rich writes, “A charming visit with Jay Leno won’t fix it”, it being the economy. Thanks for the heads up, Frank. I’m sure the president and the rest of us really were thinking: Wow, he’s on Leno, our economy is saved. Relax, Frank. Maybe many Americans were happy to see him (20 million watched, bro) and maybe just maybe his going on Leno reminds all of us that it is okay to keep on living and enjoying life. That’s a pretty nice message to get when we so many of us are struggling don’t you think? And an even nicer message when it is coming from – wait for it – our president!

Sometimes I wonder if some columnists fear they would go into some kind of inner churning withdrawal if they were to say go a couple of days without criticizing someone and, perish the thought, try on the possibility that maybe they don’t know all the answers themselves.

Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, folks, it is thinking less about yourself. So relax, breathe, turn on Leno and watch like the rest of us. You might actually have a nice time. We did.


Murdoch and Sharpton make Great Bedfellows

Rupert Murdoch’s “apology” for a blatantly racist cartoon in the New York Post has about as much sincerity as Dick Cheney has heart.

Before I get started here, let me say that I have no use for the anti-Semitic attention-whore Al Sharpton. Come to think of it, he and Murdoch have a lot in common. Both are greed-based. Murdoch for money, Sharpton for fame. Come to think of it, they’d make good bedfellows. My apologies for the frightening visual.

Murdoch’s “apology,” includes a phrase that makes it clear Murdoch is lying or is pretty much comatose (my guess is the former).

“I have had conversations with Post editors about the situation and I can assure you — without a doubt — that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation. It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such,” Murdoch said in part of his statement.

How anyone could interpret the image of two cops shooting killing a chimpanzee and not realize it is racist is beyond belief. Murdoch is flat out lying and his apology is driven solely by greed. Many advertisers were, and, I hope, still are, threatening to end their relationship with the Post.

If Murdoch wants to really do something that hints of sincerity, he can fire all those involved in the publication of the cartoon – and then resign.

$hitibank, Prank of America, and Friends

Congresswoman Maxine Waters was one of several public officials yesterday who grilled eight bank executives who came across as so slick and slippery I found myself wondering if we couldn’t drill into them for oil.

At one point Ms. Waters asking if they had raised their interest rates on credit card customers after $350 billion in taxpayer money was pumped into their coffers to keep their quaffed butts afloat. Bank of America’s Ken Lewis along with Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit admitted they had raised rates. Mr. Pandit, in a statement I would have thought funny had it not been so disgusting it overwhelmed me with the desire to dunk his infected self in a vat of hydrogen peroxide, reminded committee members that Citigroup had cancelled its order for a $50 million dollar jet.

If you think this crisis doesn’t reach all of this, consider this, when I got home today there was a notice from Citibank (part of Citigroup) informing me that the interest rate on my credit card was going to increase by more than seven percent!

I called their customer service and was told, by a truly nice woman who clearly wanted to be anywhere on planet earth that didn’t include a customer who wanted to ring the necks of bank executives, that I could refuse to accept the rate increase but when my card came up for renewal, it would not be renewed.

“You mean to tell me that Citibank actually has a policy that says, either accept out rate increase or we don’t want you as a customer anymore?”

Quietly, she said, “Yes. I’m so very sorry, Mr Kahrmann.” And my heart broke for her because I could tell she meant it.

I told her I wanted to cancel my card. I was switched to the card-cancelling department and was informed, by yet another lovely woman who, like the first, clearly wanted to be on an island somewhere, away from justifiably angry customers, that upon further review, Citibank could reduce my interest rate dramatically, way below what my rate had been prior to the increase because I am such a good customer.

You can’t make it up. What is true is this, Citibank said first that if I refused the interest rate increase they would drop me as a customer when my card was up for renewal. And then, when I pushed it to the limit, said, Oh, my bad, we’ll reduce your rate.

These well-heeled sleazeballs should be jailed.