Be(k)nighted

4

September 27, 2019-

Reflecting on the tendency of many, to place blind trust in a celebrity, or other person of renown:

You, so blameless, in the eyes of the like-minded,

cast aspersions on the character of others,

at odds with yourself,

who, themselves are viewed as blameless,

in the eyes of those of similar mindset.

They, in turn, cast aspersions on you,

and the cats chase each others’ tails.

The resulting hole,

hole in the ground,

rabbit hole,

gets deeper,

murkier,

until none

but those with

the keenest of vision,

can see any glimmer

of light.

Meanwhile,

you gaslight,

obfuscate,

blame cast

and enlist

legions of  legalists,

talking heads

and eager apologists.

You are on the Right,

or on the Left.

It makes no difference

since you see yourself

as above it all.

How far you have,

to fall.

 

 

Status

7

January 16, 2019-

I am looking at a photo of a well-known person, who is pregnant for the third time.  It’s said that there are many who are “urgently concerned” about her health, given ” a state of morbid obesity”.  That is good of these people, as it could very well be a health risk-for mother and child.   I regard her very dearly, and pray for the successful births of her child and for those of two other women I know.

A skilled and intelligent woman, of whom I have long had a high opinion, is running for President, in next year’s election.  At this stage of the game, it is hard to see how things will turn out.  Yet, already, those who are fearful that she might meet with success are questioning her intelligence, because “no one that pretty could possibly be smart enough to be leader of the Free World.”  Of course!  Such individuals give away their game, without so much as a shred of evidence in their favour.  Suffice it say, this woman has more leadership ability in her right thumb than a dozen pundits have, in their twelve collective bodies.

Status changes, often on a daily basis, in both real time and on social media.  The key to making that change go in a positive direction is consistency, in both fairness of judgment and steadiness in values. Open-mindedness gets in there, somewhere.  Being wishy-washy, does not.

Thus, the two women mentioned above could easily return to society’s good graces, and leave pariah status in the dust, just by remaining who they are, in their innermost hearts.  I find it sad that, in this day and age, social fickleness still seems to reign, if not supreme, then at a rather meagerly-challenged level.

Strength First, Beauty Second

2

December 28, 2016, Prescott-

Just a few thoughts about the near-simultaneous passings of George Michael and mother & daughter, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher:  While I am among the first to notice a lovely woman, my interest in people, regardless of gender, age or body type, very quickly heads towards their story.  What moves someone?  What has he or she endured?  Where have they been in life?  In what is he or she interested? What has she or he achieved?  What are their goals and dreams?

We seem to have entered a Black Hole, of sorts, in which a sitting president and his family can be characterized as a bunch of sub-humans, by a public figure who is connected to the President-elect.  It is presumed, but by no means verified, that said President-elect privately upbraided said friend. A few days later, a celebrity responded to the news of another celebrity’s passing, by wistfully commenting on how beautiful he thought she was, when both were younger.  That’s all well and good, but judging a book by its cover tells one nothing.  The fact is, Carrie Fisher’s story, which she later chronicled, herself, is one for the ages. George Michael’s story, as physically appealing as he was, to many women and gay men,is both inspirational, and a cautionary tale, for anyone.  Ogling is now, thankfully, considered bad form.  My advice:  Notice, make a mental note, and either get to know the person or leave her/him alone.

Those are my brief thoughts about one way that we can all get along for the better.  May all who passed, in this most jarring year, rest in eternal peace.

The Road to 65, Mile 235: Back to California, Day 5, Part 1- Santa Monica to Malibu

5

July 21, 2015, Ojai-   My first shot, up Pacific Coast Highway, was rather fast- with only the usual five-minute slowdown around LAX to add some vintage Los Angeles to the mix.  Actually, because of advance planning, I haven’t encountered gridlock in the City of Angels, regardless of the route.  I-5, I-405 and I-10 have all been no worse, and usually better, than Phoenix, Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston or New York.  I take that back:  Once, and only once, I spent an hour on the 91, from Anaheim to Riverside.

My first stop on this varied and fascinating day was at a Peet’s Coffee, in Santa Monica.  Main Street has dirt-cheap parking lots, and my spirits guided me to the one across from Peet’s, even before I spotted the coffee shop itself.  Good thing, this, as I arrived right at the appointed time to meet with a long-time Word Press friend.  Kate has been an inspiration to me, since 2012, when I first read her account of a road trip across the South.  Since then, she has focused on many aspects of life, not the least of which being establishing a home, with husband, Brian, and their adorable dog, Frank.

Our conversation lasted about an hour, running the gamut from “How I Met My Wife” to various aspects of our respective journeys- and, of course, Frank- her second-favourite being.  Life intervenes, though, and at noon, she was off to work and I, to Malibu.

At the Los Angeles area’s northernmost beach-meets-canyon wonderland, I was greeted by a sanguine presence.  Mr. Gull, of course, was at the Sport-Fishing Pier, calmly awaiting dropped bait and other delights.

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I wandered around the beach area, near the pier, for about forty minutes, just enjoying the sights and sounds of families, young adults, and the sea itself, at play.

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I’m not sure how I would do in a sea kayak, or on a boogie board.  Those days passed, with yours truly being only a marginal swimmer.

The City of Malibu has gone to great lengths to add flora to its roadsides, both along the highway and on its canyon feeder roads.  Some, like this palm, are native.

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Others, like bougainvillea, just make everything cheerful.

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No visit to this area, however short, is complete without a drive in the Santa Monica Mountains. I spent about an hour, here and there, spotting one actress known on television, standing in a driveway, apparently waiting for her ride and looking at me like I was a celebrity.   At another overlook, while I was sitting in my car, eating a muffin, another young lady, whom I recognized as a child star from the ’90’s, zipped into the lot and jumped out of her car, getting back into it, on the passenger side and sitting with the door open, gazing out at the luscious canyon. (Out of respect for these folks’ privacy, I do not identify them in my posts, nor do I approach them for conversation, especially when it’s just the two of us in an isolated area.)

Here are some shots of the exquisite mountains and canyons, which gaze down on the eternal sea.

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One could wander for days on end, along Mulholland, and its feeder roads, often without seeing a soul, even in these havens for the people of the entertainment community, and their looky-Lous.  I had a few other spots to catch, though, before the day was done.  One that I had considered, Neptune’s Net, a cafe on the Ventura County side of Malibu, found me there at 3 P.M., not my idea of meal time.  So, it was on to Point Mugu, and Ojai, which will be the foci of the next post.