Monday, March 16, 2009

Bare-Bones

I watched a wise man stand up before a crowd of folks last Sunday and say, "Every crisis is a birth." If that's the case then, by all means, cigars all around.

Other than the super spectacular implosion of Capitalism, I am completely obsessed with the Bernie Madoff case. I crossed some horrible humanitarian line last week when I noted my own reaction to recent news:

"Oh, wow, two more school shootings. Tsk, tsk, tsk, that's terrible (yawn)," ... "BUT WTF WITH THIS MADDOFF GUY???? I MEAN WHAT KIND OF SICKO DOES THIS??? WHAT CAUSES THIS KIND OF CALCULATED DARKNESS???"

This is a guy who lied to his friends and family (though not all of either, as I'm sure we'll learn) but mostly, he lied to the world and to himself - year after year, month after month, day after day all while robbing everyone blind.

I remember spitting venom for that buttstain of a man, Charles Keating, back during the Lincoln Savings debacle - his victims were senior citizens. But this guy Madoff has pulled off the largest grift the world has ever seen ... thus far. It's so evil, I keep waiting for a Mini-Madoff to appear and then watch pinkys perch upon devilish grins.

So, I'm pondering all these poor souls (alas, literally) who were just looking after their own futures - or the futures of their organizations - and got taken in by Madoff. And I'm watching the headlines as Americans are learning to live with less and I'm thinking about a time in my life when I learned just how little one needs to survive.

Though I'm frugal and extravagant at the same time ("free" is my favorite flavor, I'm fond of saying), I am still shocked at how much stuff I have. Yet, I live in a neighborhood that, up until the brick wall of a mortgage crisis hit, was quickly succumbing to McMansion Measles. Every other early-1950s-style home (approx. 650 sq. feet) was quickly being 'scraped' to be replaced by an oversized home that occasionally sport turrets like were in the middle of g*damn Scotland.

This is my long rambling way of saying that I've started a new blog to document the year I took off packed like a turtle, with whatever I had on my back, and went out into the world, to see what I could see. I learned a lot during that time about paring down and I'm hoping there are lessons I can relearn during this tumultuous birth.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wheeeee! I've been waiting for this travel blog!

You look like Matthew McConaughey from Sahara in that photo. Er, uh, yeah. Good thing.

ClizBiz said...

Yay! I don't know who you are but glad to provide. Since the new blog will involve more time than the usual post (deciphering my handwriting, light editing and photo scanning), I may only get to it once a week. Will post a reminder link here when it is updated.

Xa said...

Perhaps you need to lurk around Nino's 208 in NYC. They're offering free grub to Madoff victims:
Madoff Swindled You? Dinner’s on Nino
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/madoff-swindled-you-dinners-on-nino/

ClizBiz said...

Ooooh, great tip! Hey, it's a start anyway. What is going to happen to those people? Can they rent an apartment together?

Kath said...

YAY!!

Susie said...

Finally! I love these stories - I am so glad you're going to tell them to the world.

Camille Bright-Smith said...

Its interesting to me that this Madoff crap, and all that has come with it, has motivated so much creativity. I am excited to see your new blog and live the dream via your adventures and lessons! How I long for a year off to travel....