Friday, May 25, 2012

Caught off guard........

I just had such a creepy realization....I was just looking at THIS YAHOO ARTICLE of bars that look out over incredible views of marvelous cities and was wondering if they'd included a fabulous restaurant/ bar in Athens where Mr. Z and I had dinner and watched the Acropolis on the hill in the not-too-far distance turning colors with different lighting.  I know, it sounds like a disgusting tacky lava lamp treatment, but it's not, it's an absolutely gorgeous sight.   It wasn't listed there in the article among the various bars sporting amazing views.

Suddenly, I thought to myself of the other really fantastic view from up high that I'd had the pleasure of looking at while I had a cocktail in the World Trade Center's restaurant, Windows on the World.   "Where is that?  How could they not include THAT?"

And then I remembered.

And then I remembered how creepy it was that evening looking down on that view that was so high up and vast that one felt like it was a scenic wallpaper instead of windows...and how I'd mentioned to the General Manager,  who'd sat with me and my cousin because she knew him, that the painting above the piano bar of a flaming globe was off putting as one sat so high up, being reminded of fire.  He said he'd heard that many times and the painting was being replaced with something else.  That was in 1979.


Ed Bonderenka said...

There's a hill looking at the Acropolis that I climbed and spent hours on photographing the changing colors.
I'd worn cutoffs and a tank top not realizing how chilly it would get at night.
But I felt it was worth it.
Boy I looked forward to getting those photos back from the film lab.
Not the pictures of someone's wedding.
I hope they enjoyed them.

Z said...

Oh, Ed! You got the wrong pix back from the developer? Is that what you're saying?
I'm so glad you got to see that beauty of the colors on the Acropolis, too...very cool that we share that :-)
(how was the wedding?!!)

Kid said...

Nice to Remember on Memorial Day Weekend.

I don't know Z, the stuff just comes to me....

Kid said...

Z, I know you're not a huge guitar fan, but come over and check out Vid # 2. Years in the making. No, Decades in the making.

Z said...

Kid, very amazing photo of the clouds and towers, thanks.

I didn't even put together Memorial Day with this post when I wrote it; it all just happened and I wrote and published it. THanks, I'm leaving this one up instead of doing another post for Saturday. You're right, it IS one important remembrance for Memorial Day.
I always think of our soldiers for Memorial Day, but this works; those people who died deserve to be remembered, and we must always remember what Islamists have the 'heart' to do to others.

I'll be mentioning the military this weekend, too...

beakerkin said...

I remembered Windows of the World
and the view as only one who is as one with NYC can. NYC is in my DNA even when I am treking deep in the Guyanese jungle wondering about which place has the best pastrami.

Silverfiddle said...

Wow. What an ending. Nice tribute, Z.

net observer said...

Guys, this is totally off topic. But I didn't know where else to put it. Take care!

"Th-Th-That's All, Folks..."

I suspect this is good news to some people, possibly sad news for others, and more than likely a total non-issue for the vast majority =) But this is my last thread on Z's blog -- for good.

For the record, no one has told me to leave and I am not mad at anybody. Nor am I happy about leaving. Bottom line, it has become increasingly clear to me that my contributions/positions on Z's blog are being misinterpreted in a really bad way. Maybe this is my fault. If so, I deeply regret it and accept full responsibility.

Regardless, I would like to take this opportunity to explain myself, one last time.

I don't wanna bore you guys, but here's a peek into my history:

Back in the early 90s, I made a significant shift as a young man. I began to read Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele. Before that, I was collecting tapes of Louis Farrakhan -- dozens of them. Sowell, Walter Williams, et al radically changed my view of America, the GOP, conservatism, and ultimately, the world.

I eventually joined the GOP, attended a lot of "Black Republican" functions/fund-raisers; I loved it. I was thrilled to be in the company of scores of fellow African-Americans who, like me, despised the typical black liberal victim-hood mindset. By '94, I contributed an extensive column to a new national black conservative magazine. By '97, I was helping to produce an online black conservative radio show. We were interviewing people like Alan Keyes, JC Watts, etc. I knew/met a few very famous GOP-ers/conservatives during this time, black and white, LONG before they became so famous.

In other words, I was really into this conservative thing.

By '98/'99, I became a lot less active in the party, but my core principles remained in tact and I continued to indulge in lengthy political discussions with my friends who were often political junkies.

But that wasn't enough. I was insatiable. Ergo, I began to seek out conservative-leaning comments sections on the Web. I found David Horowitz's Frontpage Magazine. In the beginning, I thoroughly enjoyed the virtual company of people like "Abdul". I also had less-than-comfortable-but-interesting conversations with admitted white racialists like "Alan".

I also had extremely intriguing and very complex chats with people like " your midst". I absolutely loved how the Web allowed for such unique, one-on-one, anonymous dialogue. It was the perfect format for people who really wanted to dig deep into the issues, honestly and candidly, particularly on so-called racial issues. The anonymity made it easier for people to be honest. Sometimes that created problems, and other times it allowed for better substance and understanding.

net observer said...

During this same period, I began to realize that I wasn't really a "conservative", but more of a libertarian. (Back then, libertarian meant "Reason Magazine"-esque) To put it succinctly, I loved individual liberty and free markets, but I was never big on social issues. I wasn't religious. I was in fact (and still am) an atheist.

As the years went by, I met other FPM regulars: Priscilla, Impertinent, and of course, Z. And there were others, like MIKE, r.i.p (I loved that brother!)

I regret that I also met a guy named "uptownsteve". He and I had some distinctively ugly and seemingly endless, profanity-laced exchanges. In his mind, I was a black right-wing ideologue (i.e., a boot-licking Uncle Tom). And in my mind, he was a stupid, emotionalistic, and unfortunately very typical "arrogance-meets-self-pity" black liberal. I think those fights may have helped to create an image of me as a "conservative" -- even though I really wasn't.

In any event, more years went by. 9/11, Iraq, and eventually, McCain versus Obama. During this time, I was still generally of the opinion that the GOP was essentially the same party I joined in the early 90s. I later found out that I was dead wrong.

I will never forget the first time I saw Sarah Palin. I thought, "Whoa! What a babe!" I began to hear about her record as an Alaska governor. I was impressed. I remember thinking, "McCain! Dude! You came out the blocks swingin' this time!"

I was well on my way to casting my vote for John McCain until I began to watch Palin's interviews. At first, it felt like a little red flag and not a huge deal. But eventually the straw definitely broke the camel's back, not so much because of Palin's performances, but the extreme mania that surrounded her. I didn't get it.

At least I could understand the mania that surrounded Obama. (i.e., possibly the first black president, inspiring speaker, etc) But with Palin, no. And I will probably never understand why so many millions of self-described conservatives find her so impressive.

But back then, it really shocked me. The glowing reactions over her eventually became proof-positive that the GOP/conservative movement was no longer what I thought it was. I finally had to admit that this movement had left me in the dust. Ergo, I could not in good conscience support the '08 GOP ticket or the conservative movement in general. For what it's worth, I would love to see the GOP return to my 90's "glory days", but that seems like a fantasy at this point.

To those who may be wondering, "Net, if you believe in free markets and individual liberty, why don't you have a problem with Obama?" Good question. The fact of the matter is, I do. I just don't think I have a legitimate choice at this point. I suppose it's all a matter of perspective. To be honest, the GOP could still get my vote right now. Just tell Romney to pick Christie as his running mate and have them switch places.

net observer said...

Back to my "commentaries chronology": I pretty much stopped writing after Obama's election, but I then re-booted about a year or so ago. I honestly don't know why I stopped or started back. But as for this last run, Z's blog has been almost exclusively my home base.

Ladies and Gents, I will be the first to admit that my commentary of late is often a reaction to other commentaries that make absolutely no sense to me. So I concede that maybe I have come across as belligerent at times (even though that was never my intent).

But more importantly, and for the record, whenever I partake in political or social debate or discussion, I am not trying to start a fight -- period. I am ONLY trying to force a more fleshed-out conversation among conservatives at a time when I think it is CRITICAL, necessary and potentially very beneficial.

I sincerely apologize to anyone I offended during this time or at anytime. That was NEVER my intent. But regardless of who or what is or isn't at fault, I am man enough to recognize when I am at an impasse.

Guys, if my full-throttled attempts to be serious and honest are being interpreted as dishonesty and/or nonsense, I have to face the music: It's time to go.

But despite all this, I have genuinely enjoyed the ride, including the uncomfortable patches. Z, Imp, Pris, Kid, Rita, sue hanes, nicrap, Silverfiddle, etc. All of you guys have made me a better thinker (believe it or not), a better writer (believe it or not), and a better person (believe it or not). And I appreciate you all, very, very much. And I honestly don't mind if you don't feel the same way about me =)

I would like to offer a special thanks to you, Z, for this platform. It's not easy to create and operate a blog that people actually read and comment on everyday. Thanks for sharing it and thanks for giving me so much room.

Thanks to those of you who have at times complimented me as a legitimate and interesting contributor. Heck, I'm human, too. I like compliments =) And thanks to those of you who correct me when I'm wrong, or challenge me with hard and sometimes ugly facts (That one's for you, Imp =))

Lastly, I want to specifically recognize those commenters who seem to understand, at least in part, the true intentions of my criticisms and ostensible pugnacity. You give me an extra layer of hope. (Did you get that, Kid and nicrap? =))

I repeat, I am not happy with this turn of events. If it's all my fault, who else can I blame?

The bottom line is this: Z's blog is/was my last remaining hardcore connection to politics, conservative or otherwise. From this point, I will have no such connection, no deeper insights beyond the news media, nothing like that. No, it's not the end of my world, but this is a very big deal to me. Maybe it was inevitable. But I have to say that so much of who I am philosophically, for better or worse, directly stems from my experiences in the world of conservative thought. I honestly feel as if I am relinquishing of very significant part of myself right now. It's a tangible moment.

What's next for me politically? I suspect nothing whatsoever. I'm kinda done =)

But thanks again, everybody. Take care of yourselves!

Z said...

net...To vote for Obama is so WAAY past anything Sowell or Williams or Steele or anyone remotely Conservative is saying something...

I think you're very aware of what's happening in America and, if you could actually vote for someone we all know will shift this country (if the only bad thing he does is only 2 appointments to the Supreme Court, which will very very probably be a possibility in the next 4 1/2 years), that suprises me based especially on your Conservative background.

I don't want you to go. Not at ALL. I just think you're fighting a war inside you and talking it out here and it was a little painful and upsetting..

I wish you the very, very best and I hope you do come back because I'll miss you. We've been blogger friends for about 12 years!

Z said...

by the way, sound as if you're giving up on conservativism because of this blog and its commenters... am I misreading?

net observer said...

Honestly, it's more like I'm giving up on politics period, Z. I'm sure I will continue to behave like a political junkie, watching C-SPAN interviews, and flipping through the news channels and whatever. But as far as public expression and debates, and really getting involved, and feeling the emotions?

I'm not cut for this job, y'all =)

Z said...

net, I'm not sure I'M cut out for the emotions anymore, either.

I understand. we'll talk again, I know we

Kid said...

Net, C-SPAN ? My God man, my deepest sympathies.

Honestly, I can't even read an article anymore. I skip past everything and watch nothing on TV that even remotely.

And I still get too much.

beakerkin said...

Good Luck Net

I am tired of the current as I don't see Romney as a man of vision.

I miss Steve B or Northern Steve. He was a class act even if he was dead wrong about Montreal bagels.

Does anyone remember Neptune?

Z said...

I vaguely remember Neptune..but I'm not sure.

Steve comments here now and again and I have his email address.

beakerkin said...

Tell crazy steve I spent three years in St Albans and tried the infamous Montreal Bagels and Brooklyn rules.

Right Wing Theocrat said...

Nice photo, didn't know you had been to Athens, I heard a commentator who recently visited Greece, it's really gone downhill. Sad really, how they squandered all that history, their forebears would be heavy with disappointment at the state of things today.

net observer said...

Thx, Beak. And thanks for reminding me of Northern Steve. If I recall, Canada Steve was the true-conservative-except-for-healthcare, right? He was definitely class-act.