Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's the Curiosity That Kills

i have been noticing lately, that we as a society are all up in one another's business. why is that? what is it about the intimate details of other people's lives that intrigue us so much? and i am not even talking about people we come in contact with on a day-to-day basis. i am also talking about complete strangers and celebrities. what is it about other people that captivate us? why do you come to this site and read what i have to say when i find the time to say it? some of you don't know me.

the boyfriend went out for a smoke the other night and ran into our neighbor who lives across the hall from us. this neighbor said he saw us moving in and even knew our names. i don't recall seeing anyone the day we moved in. and i honestly could not tell you my neighbor's name or what he looks like. 9 times out of 10 traffic jams that are caused due to an accident are backed up by people who are just slowing down for a look. traffic sometimes even backs up on the opposite side of the road where the accident took place just for people to catch a glance. why? what is it about the possibility of seeing people hurt, bloody or even dead that makes us look?

there are people who make entire careers out of providing us with pictures & information on other peoples private lives. you know, that group of photographers referred to as the papparazzi. remember? the ones responsible for princess diana's death. honestly, my day would not be effected one way or the other if i did or did not see a picture of nicole ritchie eating a hamburger. although, i did see her recently at a nyc airport on my way to paris. and let me just say, 'girls gotta eat!' but my point is, i saw her, my brain told me 'that's nicole ritchie' and i went about my business waiting in line to check in for my flight.

and the latest question on everyone's mind...a person's sexuality. michael stipe of rem was once quoted as saying, 'the only person whose business my sexulaity is is the person sitting in my lap.' how true. what difference does it make to someone whether or not a co-worker, neighbor or the person selling you your cell phone sleeps with a member of the same sex? do the straights go around pointing and whispering about fellow breeders? my guess would be no. so, why then if someone is gay and keeping to themselves is it so important that everyone else know? that is one minute detail about that person. people should be more concerned with whether or not a person has a criminal record, likes to torture kittens or has really bad b.o.

i will use clay aiken as my example at this particular moment. the former american idol runner-up has a new album just out. so once again everyone wants to know whether or not clay has helium heels. what business is it of anyones? does who this person sleeps with really affect the sound of his voice? and if he did one day come out of the closet as a gay man, are you actually that ignorant to stop buying his albums? if in fact, his music and voice provides you with some entertainment? being gay didn't hurt elton john's career(although he does in fact just need to go away). and i am sure it wouldn't have hurt george michael's if he had a career and would stay away from public parks in the middle of the night. now many people would argue, 'well, that's the price of fame.' i am sorry, but no it is not. celebrities and people in the public eye are humans just like everyone else. they want to go out and have dinner, see a movie and have sex just like everyone else. their job is to entertain us with movies, tv series, etc. not to provide us with information as to who they are banging and in what position.

a large part of this 'curiosity' problem stems from blogs, websites and the media. for some reason human nature loves to see fellow man fail. or look their worst. or find flaws about that person to bring them down. we as a culture raise ourselves up on the demise of others. is it to make ourselves feel better as a person? if you ask me that's a pretty pathetic substance to raise one's own character on. i think the world would flow as a much better place if people minded their own business and worried about themselves. cause at the end of the day the only person who will take care of you is you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Universal Language of Bad Parenting

for those of you who know not4nothin well know that i do not enjoy anyone who is restricted to a liquid diet for a year, is unable to clean themselves up after taking a dump, cannot dress themselves, is under 4 feet tall or requires an afternoon nap. although it would seem that i am describing my grandparents, i am actually referring to children. the little rugrats who can't fend for themselves and run wild on the streets.

many find it humorous that not4nothin moved into an apartment that is located directly across the street from an elementary school. since moving into the apartment in june it really made no difference to me that a school was located directly across the street. that is, until i returned from my parisian vacation and discovered that school was back in session. now monday thru friday i have the pleasure of walking to the subway on my way to work and pass by all the little kiddies as they wait to enter the school. i find it amusing that a path often appears as my foot hits the sidewalk in order for me to pass. like animals, children can sense evil. i am waiting for the day when i make it to the subway station and discover a 'kick me' sign pinned to my coach briefcase.

at work, i share an office with not one but two very proud parents. so, at least 4 out of 5 days i have the (dis)pleasure of hearing all about little johnny's cartwheel, what little bobby said that was oh so funny and just how wonderful both of them are as overall human beings. is it any wonder i can often be found at my desk with headphones on?! being the half decent person i think i am (many would disagree) i figured taking my summer vacation from work would be perfect once it came to be september and all the little rugrats were back at school. also figured i would come out looking like the nice employee who waited to go last to take vacation so that all of the (parent) co-workers could spend time with their little hethens at disney world, the zoo, etc. and to be quiet honest, another reason for my decision was because while i am walking the streets of paris, i was hoping not to see one single rugrat running around.

to a somewhat small surprise, there were still a few rugrats roaming the streets of paris. now i ask, what would possess a parent to haul along with them a screaming 1-year-old who could care less that they are in the lourve? do you honestly think that screaming child is going to appreciate the fact that they are standing in front of the venus di milo? can they possibly comprehend the beauty of the mona lisa? my mouth just about dropped as i watched 2 rugrats climb onto the base of the statue of 'winged victory.' and for what? all so mom, that's right mom, could snap a picture with her digital. i wondered if it was the museum security's falut for allowing this to happen or the stupidity and inconsideration of the parent?

and how could i forget the chunky rugrat on line for the eiffel tower? a little girl who was one in a group of five children accompanied by 3 adults. yes, 3 adults. what a little bully this rugrat was. not only did she punch the other rugrats she was with but when it came time for the line to move forward, this chunky little rugrat had to crawl forward on the rail holding up the entire line behind her. or i should say, the entire line behind her mother who looked on and thought this was adorable. so, is it my fault that as not4nothin passed the child on line my elbow (accidentally) extended out and knocked chunky rugrat's baseball cap off her head? i don't think anything is ever anyone's fault when they intend to do something. ;)

i used to think that it was predominantly american children who were misbehaved, overweight and constantly preoccupied with tv and video games. but, i was proven wrong. children in any country can get under not4nothin's skin. but, is it the children themselves or the parents who raise them? and don't get me wrong. not4nothin was once a little rugrat. however, there is an extreme difference. if i ever tried to get away with half of the things i see rugrats pull in public i would have been beaten to a pulp. and the beating would not have waited until i got home. my a$$ would have been exposed and red for all the world to see. i spoke when spoken to and the last words usually out of my parents mouths when going to a friend's house was, 'and don't forget your pleases and thank yous.' so, when and where has parenting gone wrong? what was the precise day in which children obtained the upper hand over the adults? did i miss that press release?

i have always been a big fan and believer of darwin's theory of 'survival of the fittest.' my, ditch the dead beat parents and fend for yourselves while you still have a chance of being bearable.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

5 Years & 1 Day

and where are we?

there are still close to 3,000 people dead. military men & women stationed overseas putting their lives on the line each and every day. attacks on u.s. embassies across the world. and the man responsible for most of the things mentioned above still not found. oh, and most of the same administration running the united states directly into the ground.

on september 11, 2001, at exactly 8:59 am i was awoken out of bed by a friend in minneapolis. after a groggy 'hello' came out of my mouth i heard, 'please tell me your father did not have a meeting at the world trade center this morning.' after three seconds passed and i realized who was on the other line and what she was asking me i responded with, 'i don't know. why?' 'a plane has crashed into one of the towers at the world trade center. were you asleep? go turn on your tv.' i stumbled from my bedroom to the living room and did as my friend told me. as the tv turned on and the picture came into focus i witnessed a second plane hit the second tower. 'oh my god.' 'what? what?' 'a second plane hit the other tower. i have to go.'

i frantically tried to remember the number to my father's office. a shaky voice on the other end answered. 'malcom, it's me. is everyone ok? where's my dad?' 'we're ok, but...' and the phone line went dead on the other end.

phone calls started coming into my apartment. friends and family from all over the country asking if i had made contact with my friends and relatives in nyc. i was living in atlanta attending grad school at the time. friends from school began randomly showing up at my doorstep, bringing with them food and asking what they could do. what could any of us do but sit back and watch the latest developments on a 24-inch screen? getting in my car and making the 16-hour drive back home did cross my mind. but what good would that have done? all i could do was sit back and watch my home be attacked on this 24-inch screen. and also wait for the phone to ring and hopefully hear the voices of my loved ones on the other end telling me they were ok.

every time the phone rang silence fell over the 15 or 20 people who occupied my apartment. people sitting on the couch. people sitting on the floor. all focused on one thing. that 24-inch screen with live pictures from lower manhattan. this scene reminded me of the scene that often happens when an italian family loses a family member. (something else i have experienced more than once.) numerous people flooding an area bringing with them food, support and of course, hope.

unfortunately, i had to leave that bubble later that night to go to work. no one will be out drinking and eating tonight. at least that is what i thought as i entered the bar i worked at and saw not a seat was to be had. drink your sorrows away...the good ole-fashioned way.

all of the bar's patrons and my co-workers knew where i called home. and therefore, my somber mood was tolerated and understood, but just for this one evening. being released early and still making a decent amount of $ in tips for the night are all i can remember from that specific shift. and walking into my apartment to a ringing phone. 'it's me. i'm ok.' i didn't know whether to cry or laugh out of the nervous energy i felt upon hearing my father's voice on the other end of that line.

and there it is, my tuesday, september 11, 2001.

fortunately for me, i do not know anyone who lost their life that day. i do though know someone who was in one of the elevators on her way to the top floors when the first plane hit. she is burned over 75% of her body and will never be the same person she once was. and i have a cousin who was pulled into a store front by a complete stranger as the first tower went down and was trapped under the debris of the second tower in that same store front for hours afterwards.

and even though it is 5 years later and my life is considerably different than it was on that day, i can still remember it like it was yesterday. and even though i am considerably different as an individual, i wonder just how different we are as a country.
we are still emotionally recovering. the country is still being attacked around the world. we are still living in fear on a daily basis yet still going on with our lives. and a large hole still stands where the world trade center once stood.

so even though today is september 12, 2006 one can easily close his or her eyes and mistake today for september 12,2001.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Summer Hiatus

have no fear kiddies. noth4nothin is on summer hiatus. currently in on vacation for a week in paris. will be back soon with many opinions and insight. stay tuned...