Saturday, October 17, 2009

Casanova Works The Strip (DS)

We had a dream……and in that dream we found ourselves observing the high stakes action at a back room baccarat table in The Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas. The croupier was plumed to perfection as an 18th century Italian dandy - replete with the requisite powdered pony periwig - and the plastic name tag pinned to his left lapel was engraved with the name: CASANOVA - VENICE, ITALY.

A fresh deck of cards had been shuffled and cut, and the distinguished high rollers partaking in this very exclusive game of tomcat baccarat deliberately placed their ample bets on the table. Without delay, Casanova smoothly put the game in to play as he pitched the cards with precision to the roundtable of punting philanderers sitting before him.

Money was clearly no object to the big spending playboys who’d paid dearly for the privilege of being in the presence of the master of amore in the fleeting hopes that the master might throw a few lessons in the art of seduction their way, mano a mano. They gazed upon Casanova with veneration, and like puppies in love, waited with bated breath for him to bestow his tutelage upon them.

Our dream had cleverly dealt us an unexpected fusion of old world sagacity with new world emulation.

Being an observant man, Casanova felt it prudent to properly assess the skill level of the libertines seeking his instruction before doling out any sort of enlightenment. The swingers that were now gaping at him admiringly were overall a lamentable and disappointing array of wannabes, and he felt almost as if he’d be offering the precious gift of manhood to amateurs.

While Casanova knew nothing about men being from Mars or women coming from Venus, he did know that if any of these lotharios had bothered to read his memoirs, they would’ve saved themselves, not only a lot of money given the high price of his game, but loads of humiliation as well.

Casanova decided to begin their initiation with the basics, namely, his ‘ImaRAKE’ technique because the condensed wisdom he’d managed to distill from his life’s work would provide a succinct summarization of what was required to perpetuate the art of managing a successful seduction.

'ImaRAKE' in four easy steps:
Step 1. RESCUE said damsel in distress from her current oppressive lover or unpleasant situation.
Step 2. ALLEVIATE said damsel’s distress, console, comfort, and champion her.
Step 3. KISS her seductively, and move on to passionate consummation.
Step 4. EXIT STRATEGY, which should always include the popular “I’m not worthy" and "You deserve better” for a friendly, yet conclusive parting of the ways.

Of course, had they all practiced his tried and true ‘ImaRAKE’ in four easy steps, they’d still be shamelessly cavorting with an inspirational Muse with Benefits (MWB-see definition below) today.

Upon stressing to his ardent pupils that no man is the exception to the rule, no matter how confident the man, Casanova then proceeded to offer personally tailored insights to each of the cads seated at his table:

David Letterman, Late Night Talk Show Host
Pappagallo! Casanova could only say, “Mai merda dove si mangia”, which means in Americano, “Never sh*t where you eat”.

Eliot Spitzer, Former New York Governor
Ipocrita! The love gov thought he'd been a big winner all night with his lucky number 9, but Casanova dismissed it as dumb luck inasmuch as the love gov should never have paid for something he could’ve gotten for free if he’d only played his cards right. The master admonished him to be more cautious the next time he decided to point his finger at others because there would always be three more fingers pointing right back at him. Casanova also suggested he consider leaving the country for a while. Maybe he could lay low in France because they understand about these things in France. Just ask Roman Polanski.

Bill Clinton, Former U.S. President
Don Giovanni! The world’s greatest lover felt like he was looking in the mirror when his eyes came to rest upon Bill Clinton. He could've chided Bill a little about that blue dress fiasco, but frankly, he just didn’t think he could teach Bill anything Bill didn’t already know. In fact, Bill could probably teach him a thing or two. He suggested they have a private tête-à-tête when his shift was over to compare memoirs.

Mark Sanford, South Carolina Governor
Imbecille! Don’t cry for me Argentina. And soul mate? Casanova was confused. What’s love got to do with it? Then referred him to ‘ImaRAKE’ Step 4.

John Edwards, Former North Carolina Governor
Stupido! Never get caught with the evidence, and that especially includes leaving your DNA behind. Then referred him to ‘ImaRAKE’ Step 4.

Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House
Stronzo! Stronzo! Stronzo! Casanova logically understood the marital strategies of a power hungry social climber, yet he warned the man with the reptilian eyes of a water lizard against letting that power go straight to his engorged head. Not one to judge his fellow rakes too overtly, Casanova couldn’t help but silently wonder if the stepping stone wives really believed that kissing the toad would turn it into a prince.

Larry Craig, Former Idaho Senator.
Signore Craig didn’t stick around long enough for Casanova to speak insightful words to him like the others. When Casanova directed his attention toward him, he simply stood up from the table, took a wide stance, and slipped Casanova a note wrapped within several large bills as a generous gratuity for the master before walking away. The note read “Meet me in the men’s room at midnight”.

On that note, Casanova looked up as Signore Craig moved to leave the room, and it was then he noticed the throng of starving seekers who were gathered by the thousands – the Moby Dicks, the LAB-Rats, the Trolls (see definitions below), the greedy, and more - all lined up along the corridor waiting for their chance to play tomcat baccarat.

And then we woke up and realized that despite modern man’s pretense of civilized evolvement, the primitive instincts are still running the show, and the show apparently must go on … even if the ending is always the same. Perhaps it’s time we finally change the channel. Who’s got the universal remote?

There’s no rest for the wicked. Bernie’s next assignment can be found in our ‘Dream Sequence’ March 16, 2009 posting "The Devil’s In The Details".

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Faux Food

Another summer has ended, and our nation’s school children have returned to their classrooms thanks to the old agrarian calendar. While the school year may continue its primitive revolution around the seasonal till and harvest, few are the children who have personally beheld the phenomenon of fertile farmland, let alone worked in the fields at harvest time.

Although many of our children will probably never participate directly in the hands-on science of crop cultivation, most are taught in science class about a very fundamental part of the earth's ecosystem called the food chain. A grade school science lesson on the food chain teaches us how energy flows from one level of existence to another upon consumption; and since food is energy, every living creature in the food chain gets its energy from the food it eats.

Naturally combining food chain principles with proverbial wisdom never fails to yield the ever popular: “You are what you eat”. Nutritionists have been preaching these timeless words of warning for centuries (and so has the Catholic Church with its Eucharist for that matter; but contrary to parishioner belief, the church isn’t part of the earth’s ecosystem).

The irrefutable science supporting the importance of a balanced ecosystem prompts us to question the motives of Big Food (and the reason behind government farm subsidies) when we consider the methodical alterations being perpetrated upon the natural flow of our food chain.

Foods today are described as processed, fabricated, artificial, and synthetic; and are full of chemical flavorings, artificial color, preservatives, fillers and binders as if this is normal. Even our basic staples like sugar and flour are known to be bleached, processed and refined. And let’s not overlook the customary corn syrup and casein infusions found in most things prepared and pre-packaged for human consumption.

Perhaps the reason we eat three times more than we should is because we’re unable to get the nutrients our bodies need from the foods we're eating and consequently, we never truly feel full or satisfied. Grade school science reminds us that it’s impossible to get life sustaining nutrients from something that is not alive and a natural part of the food chain.

We had a flashback in the rear view mirror that made us gasp in horror right alongside Charleton Heston as we watched a long line of waste disposal trucks pull up behind the Soylent processing plant, and proceed to dump one cargo of corpses after another. After the dead meat was delivered and then cleverly reconstituted into soylent green wafers, we could only gag when the recycle of life was fed to an unsuspecting and hungry population of 2022.

To dismiss “Soylent Green” as just some old 1973 dystopian sci-fi flick that couldn’t possibly have any relevance to our 2009 reality seems logical. Surely everyone knows that only in the movies would people be dumb enough to fall for a corporate gorilla marketing campaign designed to convince them that soylent green was a nutritious processed food made from high-energy plankton, and something they couldn’t live without.

Well, no one ever said that truth in advertising standards actually require anyone to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Far from it, for standard marketing practices make it a point to routinely stretch and manipulate the illusion of truth for maximum profitability. Any detrimental consumer side effects are usually considered negligible when measured against bottom line profit margins.

Case in point offers us a side mirror view at the marketing strategy for a popular brand of sucralose, and how its no calorie sweetener is a better alternative to real sugar. The product slogan rationally asserts “it starts with sugar, it tastes like sugar, but it’s not sugar”. What is never disclosed in plain speak, however, is that this artificial sweetener is basically chlorinated table sugar, and after intensive chemical processing, took what began as natural and made it unnatural.

An appeal to our collective need for sweetness without caloric consequences or accountability makes it a profitable marketing triumph, and the masses have been properly convinced that real sugar is bad and artificial sweeteners are good.

Corporate capitalism shamelessly intent upon increasing profits without a conscience has worked hard behind the scenes to remote control every facet of contemporary life. This clearly includes what we’re being fed, on every level.

Our supermarket shelves and delicatessen counters are being stocked daily with tasty mystery foods - foods consisting of unknowable and unnatural ingredients that are incongruent with the very food chain ecosystem we are an integral part of. We suspect changes in the lucrative business of reconstituting food will not be forthcoming from Big Food any time soon … not until of course it gets outed like Big Tobacco did. Until then, caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.

So will the cumulative effects of consuming nothing but faux food eventually turn us all into mannequins?

What’s the rush? Take some time to weigh in on our ‘In The Rear View Mirror’ September 18, 2009 posting "Wait Weight".