Biting the Candy That Feeds You

So, this morning I walked into my office building, and two nice ladies who work for the company that runs the place stood near the elevators, handing out candy from several large buckets. Loving all things Halloween I was utterly charmed, and I thanked them as I chose a small package of Whoppers. The elevator doors opened, and a coworker and I entered. As the doors began closing a woman took her sweet-ass time getting on the elevator, infuriatingly causing the doors to re-open.

After the doors closed, she turned to my coworker (who obviously doesn’t know her), and the following exchange took place:

Her (Looking at the candy bars in her hand.): Pssh! They’re handing out candy!?!

Him: (Friendly, but uninterested.) Heh, yeah.

Her: Really… Halloween used to be just for kids!

Him: Mm-hm.

Her: (Derisively) Now adults need to get candy!

Him: (Silence)

Her: (Dismissive sigh.) It’s the Baby Boomers, you know? They’re spoiled rotten.

Him: Huh.


Her: Well, at LEAST I got a couple of candy bars.

Ladies and gentlemen! For your edification and amusement… THE REASON THE TEA PARTY EXISTS! “I am entitled to perks and hand-outs, but no one else is. I deserve them, because I am good and virtuous; others do not, because they are lazy, indulged, and evil.”

First of all, and as I sneered to my coworker when Ms. Picky got off the elevator, “She doesn’t think Halloween should be celebrated by adults, and yet she’ll help herself to some free candy. Jesus, screw you lady!”

Secondly, as a social critic, I always try to keep two things in mind before I let fly about a perceived social transgression.

1. Is it worth getting upset about (i.e., is it causing harm, or am I simply attempting to elevate my status by being nasty)? This is why I don’t snipe about gluts of genre fiction, or music I may dislike, but which others seem to enjoy because, for instance, they are children or teenagers, or simply haven’t spent the years I have exploring music’s many nooks and crannies. I honestly do not give a crap if people listen to Taylor Swift. Tom Waits still exists.

2. At base, de gustibus non est disputandum. You may be smart. You may have exquisite taste. You may be right to criticize a piece of work that fails on its own merits. But, my friend, ultimately, you change nothing by being a jerk. Especially a hypocritical jerk. Do you want to educate people, or do you want to alienate them away from the things you love? Yes, yes, I know many folks get off on being jackasses, and believe that sharing a good thing somehow diminishes it. Such individuals are as useful to the artists and things they claim to support as a case of hemorrhoids.

Seriously, fuck that woman, and anyone else who thinks Halloween is only for kids.

Pyramid Scheme

I remember hearing somewhere that the scion of a local grand (i.e., filthy rich) family was a failure because he was the first who failed to exponentially increase the family fortune—that is to say he didn’t make them multi-billionaires after they’d spent a century as mere multi-millionaires. I don’t know how true that is, but it illustrates a particular peeve of mine. Nowadays, it’s not acceptable to merely survive in the business world. Hell, it’s become unacceptable to merely do pretty well or even great. No, the requirement now is to continuously succeed beyond the wildest dreams of the upper echelons. Maybe YOU think you’re just building a pyramid, but they’ve decided it should have been a flying pyramid space station all along. Then, shortly after the launch, they’ll wonder why you’re just standing there, proudly watching the pyramid soar into orbit, because, buddy, didn’t you KNOW what they really wanted was a giant pyramid robot space station on Mars?

Get to work, chum! We can’t have you lollygagging!

A Lunchtime Stroll, October 11, 2010

While I have an abiding interest in Chicago’s architecture, it dawned on me that I had yet to enter a number of my favorite buildings. So, I’m undertaking what I’ve decided to call the Lobby Project. I’ll see how far I can get into certain buildings—odds are I won’t make it past the lobby. And that’s fine. Some of them are bee-yoo-tee-ful. Take, for example, the Art Deco Carbide and Carbon building. Look at that damn mailbox! The guard at the Jewelers Building not only wouldn’t let me past the lobby area, he got up from his little chair and told me I couldn’t take any pictures. Which seemed perfectly idiotic. Maybe it’s an ambassadorship, or maybe someone owns the rights to the lovely golden interior ornamentation. Still, ridiculous. Maybe I’ll go in there over the next few months and take a picture here and a picture there.

Otherwise, plenty of shots of 1880s–1920s era buildings. They kind of get lost in the glass and steel canyons, but they’re there. They’re there.

These unseasonably bright fall days are washing out most of my photos. Fie.