List of Previous Titles

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Family

This could be me with all my wonderful "children."

I have just completed reading Mario Puzo's "The Family," a wonderfully written story about Pope Alexander VI, also known as Rodrigo Borgia, and his relationship with all his children. (That's right, you read that correctly.)

I think it wouldn't matter what your religious beliefs were, you could become totally mesmerized in this story and the times in which it was written.

It was during one of those current moments, between getting into bed and falling asleep when your mind wanders that I thought about this unconventional pope, and how much he enjoyed his personal family, and it occurred to me that after all these years I have not once been disappointed by any one member of my children. I think that is an absolutely brilliant thing to be able to say.

I am father to three offspring. From my marriage to Violeta, (the singer), there was born to us two daughters. This was during a time when, as parents our maximum life expectancy was quite short. Mine was set at a maximum of age 47. It was also a very peculiar time because most families hoped that you had boys, so that if  by some strange stroke of fate you lived to become an old person, you could hope that your son(s) would take care of you.

I do not recall even once wishing one of my daughters was a boy. In terms of each of my daughters distinguishing themselves, they have both done an excellent job of making the most of their lives. They are fully accomplished professionals in their fields, and that allows me to look upon what they have achieved to date with great pride. As icing on the cake, I have three grandchildren, and one great grandchild. Very impressive indeed!

The bad news is that Violeta died at the age of 42, much, much too soon. However, her own legacy is well documented and distinguished, and is partly recorded on a CD called "My Shining Hour."

At the age of 50, when I thought I was out of the business of new fathering, along came my newest addition in the form of a son. Times had changed for the better because I was over the cutoff point of age 47, so you could say that together with Lorna, we celebrated by making a new start. Becoming a father at that age is probably not recommended because no one has any idea how life will turn out. However, in my case it literally has been a new life experience for me. With a boy, anything can happen, but my son has turned out to have his head well fastened on to his shoulders. It also helps that he is handsome and that he has grown very tall. There are people here in Spain who think he has something to add to fashion modelling, and he is planning on an outdoor sporting career.

Parents are pre-destined to disappoint their children as there are so very many ways in which we do this. We cannot have enough time to spend with them and earn a living for us all. We can never do things fast enough for them, nor can we ever have enough money to suit their every need, nor perhaps should we. And then, sometimes we make mistakes that we wish we didn't, and sometimes our children get hurt by those mistakes.

I am so happy that I can say that the way things have turned out we are all well balanced and we are on solid ground, and that we are a solid family.  We all seem to be in a place that makes us happy and content, and that feels really good for me to be able to say. Yes, we are lucky, but love and good decision making has brought us to this point.

You know what? Life is gooooooooooood!

Picture of a slightly over weight happy guy!

Copyright (c) 2013  Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The untimely death of Trayvon Martin

This is a picture of a young man, Trayvon Martin, who by all things that are right, should be alive and well today.

One night in 2012, Trayvon was walking home, and 70 yards from his door he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a man who was dedicated to protecting the residents, including Trayvon, of the neighbourhood. Zimmerman was found Not  Guilty under Florida State's "Stand your Ground Law."

I believe that both the Neighbourhood Watch idea, and the "Stand Your Ground" law are fundamentally good. This law is designed to assist you in a case of a fight or flight situation, where you choose to fight. The problem with it is that it requires at least one independent witness to say who the aggressor was. In the case before us, only two people were involved, and one is dead.

Only Zimmerman can tell us a version of what happened, but the reason so many people are angry is that he just isn't believed, nor does his story ring true, but no-one is able to prove otherwise.

However, there are some facts upon which we can rely: the Neighbourhood Watch program, as the name implies, is someting that allows the ordinary citizen to use our eyes and ears only, to assist law enforcement. It does not give the citizen any special powers at all. So, if a person is detected in the process of committing a crime and the citizen phsyically detains that person, the citizen may be charged with assault and false arrest.

Trayvon was returning to the home in which he was staying when Zimmerman intercepted him. Had Zimmerman simply observed Trayvon without approaching him or saying anything to him, Trayvon would have been alive today and we would have nothing to talk about.

That, in my opinion, is the key.

Consider what happened to me, a black man, in a community in Spain.

I had an invitation to meet with a woman at her home in the community of Quesada. I arrived and was in the process of looking for her house when I was confronted by two men, and suddenly ten more men arrived, surrounding me. One man, took me by the upper left arm in a very tight grip.

They asked, sarcastically, if they could help me. I said I was an invited guest of the occupant of house number 28B, "Who are you?" "I just told you, I'm an invited guest, but I don't mind adding that I'm a reporter, and I'm very uncomfortable to be jacked up by you guys who seem like a lynch mob. What's more, this idiot who is holding my arm is assaulting me. Take your bloody hands off me!"

Everybody took a major step backwards. The unspoken question was, "What have we done?"

Whenever people come together and form some sort of private grouping, the stranger is always unwelcome. In that neighbourhood, which was all-white and mostly British, I, as a black man was seen as a very unwelcome intruder and the attitude was to give me a very rough heave-ho. But, I was a reporter with a legitimate reason for being there, and they, the neighbourhood watch group had interferred and asaulted me. I could have brought the entire group to court, but instead I sat them down and gave them a stern lecture.

In my own country I was the person who had successfully introduced Neighbourhood Watch, and with strict guidelines, there never has been an incident that has caused complaint or death to someone.

George Zimmerman is the son of a magistrate, and apparently had an ambition to one day become a judgeun. He considered that he was a good guy. It is not normal for a person to go on patrol around the neighbourhood. Residents simply go about their normal everyday business, but simply keeping a heightened awareness of activities around them. In this regard Zimmerman, acting as a patrolman, was a zealot.

George Zimmerman, who natural justice demands should suffer an appropriate penalty for causing the death of Trayvon Martin. Perhaps the jury were correct in not having found him guilty because they would have had to introduce suppositions in place of direct evidence. Juries are not supposed to do that. However, Trayvon Martin had a right to be in that neighbourhood, and he should not have been shot by a guy from the neighbourhood watch.

The irony is that a man who was a wanna-be cop and ultimately, a judge, has unnecessarily
ended the life of a young man, as well as his own future. This is such a sad case that cries out to us all to think before we act.
This story is to be continued.

Stay tuned!

Copyright (c) 2013    Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, July 14, 2013

"So pleased to meet you!"

"It's a pleasure to meet you!"

Meeting people is an essential part of our personal growth. We always offer expressions such as those above, and others in a similar manner, but the truth is that when we are meeting someone we cannot have any real idea of how things will turn out between us. News reports are complete with stories where a meeting that took place did not turn out well, such as murder, manslaughter, fraud, acts of vengance, lawsuits, divorce, etc, etc.

Notes from my own files where I was on the losing side include the following: Once, when I was visiting New York City, I stopped in at a local bar and there I met a lady who was on her own. She told me that she lived alone, having been divorced and was bored just sitting on her own in her home which was just around the corner.

As we talked I noticed in my peripheral vision three men sitting at a table who seemed to be taking an interest in our conversation. I sort of wondered why my lady had not been talking to them when I came in. I suddenly had a thought that I should check to see whether my lady had an Adam's apple. I noticed that I was unable to actually see the spot because of her hair and the manner in which her hands always blocked my view, or that she always lowered her head.

I enjoyed my chat with the lady but I took my leave of her before finding myself in bed with a man in disguise. That I would not have been pleased about at all.

A short while ago I wrote about my visit to an exhibition of pornography in Valencia. There was a black young woman who did a pole dance that started as a strip tease but became a full nude dance. The stage was elevated and as she went through her routine I noticed that she was medium of build with moderately wide shoulders. Her arms were nice and long with perfect piano hands. Her breasts were large but super taught with no sag or movements. Presumably they were assisted by some form of super silicon.

Her belly button was an "innie" and her stomach was absolutely flat and her buttocks were generous and perfectly sculpted. The lady evidently spent her time at the gym in keeping in perfect shape. Her legs were perfectly porportioned and shaped beautifully all the way down to her feet, which were squeezed into her Jimmie Choo's.

I was standing off to the side where the steps were, so when she descended I moved closer and congratulated her. There I was, fully clothed having a short conversation with a totally nude woman. Her hair was  only hers because she had purchased it; her use of facial makeup was minimal and she fabulously beautiful with the most kiss-able lips.

Had I met this woman some place else, and if I didn't already have a happy and contented situation I would have wanted to have grown to know her better. I would also have been very proud to have been seen in her company.

Can you imagine my reaction when the truth was revealed?

Life is like that in so many ways that things are not what they seem. Perhaps we could all use my mantra, which is to accept life's disappointments with more grace.

There are only three things that are absolutely certain in life:  Death, taxes, and disappointments!

Copyright (c) 2013    Eugene Carmichael     

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Time for Gays and Lesbians has come.Finally!

"None of us are free until we are all free."
(Dr. Martin Luther King, jr.)

My definitive description of gays and lesbians is as follows: These are people whose sexual orientation is toward others of their own gender group. They RECEIVE this orientation at the same time that they are given, without requesting, their hair texture and colour, the colour of their skin, their eye colour, the tone of their voice, and all the other aspects of their being over which they have no control.

How do I know this to be true?

As a hetrosexual young man I have had more than my share of having been confronted by men with raging hard-on's who wanted to screw me, or for me to screw them, or suck them, and frankly it would have been far easier to agree than to have had to fight my way out of the situation. Even worse were those one or two charming bastards who very nearly seduced me. They made the proposition seem so reasonable, just as I have done on so many occasions with women, but at the last minute I simply could not go through with it. My sexual orientation does not draw me towards my own gender, nor does it even allow me to experiement in that regard.

People who are gay and lesbian, or even bi-sexual lead parrallel lives to hetro-sexuals in every way, including long-term fully committed lives which hetro-sexuals call marriage. It is no wonder that we are seeing a huge cry for society to allow and to accept this community of people to be themselves and to live their lives in peace. At the end of the day, your neighbours could be a gay or lesbian couple and it would not change your life in any way.

The most contentious issue is that of whether such a couple might damage their children, but experience shows that children are very resilient and adaptable and tend to grow up perfectly well balanced.

It always has amazed me that the people who are the loudest opponents often have a truckload of their own  problems, chief of which is that they are incapable of minding their own bloody business.

As countries go, the sternest test of where they belong on the ladder of enlightment is their attitude towards gays and lesbians. Those countries at the very bottom put their gays & lesbians (G&L's) to death. That reminds me of Hitler. At the top of the ladder are those countries that have come to realise that G&L's are simply normal people in every other way. If there were no outward signs of affection we would not even know. To simply live our own lives and to let other people live theirs, as long as they are not doing anything to hurt others is the best resolution.

Personally, I feel a sense of relief that I do not know anyone who is desperately guarding a secret of this sort, and who cannot live their life freely. Without that type of tension my own life is free. Dr Martin Luther King was  right. "None of us are free until we are all free."


Copyright (c) 2013  Eugene Carmichael