Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The True Meaning of Success

A bright intelligent professional of my acquaintance regrets not being a success. I suspect that to this person, success involves a sizable suburban house with a white picket fence, one or two European cars, a photogenic family, foreign travel and career recognition.
I plead guilty to hankering after some recognition for the work I do. I labor obscurely on an economic weekly dealing primarily with unemployment and poverty.
My dream was to be managing editor of The New York Times. I couldn't even get an op-ed piece published by the Gray Lady. Then again, last I heard the Nobel committee had bypassed me for the Peace Prize yet again.
But let's be clear. My dream of being the NYT managing editor wasn't because in that lofty position I would be able to afford Armani suits costing way more than I spend for food in a month.
Rather, I thought I would be able to steer the finest journalism in the world to even greater heights, performing a public service, unmasking wrongdoing, pointing out tragedies that are going unaddressed, holding the feet of government, business and so-called charities to the fire. Admittedly, Jill Abramson did that very nicely without me.
Similarly, I am proud of my progeny not for the money they make, but for the essentially principled lives they lead. They are successful in this.
This, I submit is the true meaning of success: living a life with a purpose that in some way, no matter how little noticed, attempts to serve the betterment of humanity.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

RCC doesn't mean what it used to now that Francis and the Jesuits have gone off the deep end

I was briefly and mildly attracted to an Argentine pope, a citizen of my parents’ homeland, who seemed more open-minded than most. Alas, I am now confirmed as a former Catholic. The RC clergy and their followers—we’ll soon find out what RC really means—have gone off their collective rockers.

First, of course, following the now-canonized “saint” pope who was a former CIA agent and pedophile protector, Karol Wojtyla (aka John Paul II), was the election of a Nazi to the papacy.

And, yes, Papa Nazinger (aka Benedict XVI) was a Nazi. It has been shown beyond doubt that other boys his age in his village did not join the Hitler Youth and nothing happened to them. Also, consider his 2006 speech at Auschwitz and weep. The most charitable way to read Joseph Ratzinger’s acquiescence to joining the goosestepping and seig heiling club is that he was amorally ambitious enough to join whatever would get him ahead. Not much of recommendation for a moral leader of Christianity.

Second, came the canonization of two popes, which we are now told is to be followed by a rush to put a halo on Giovanni Montini (aka Paul VI). Because what Christianity needs, in an age in which the corruption of its clergy is an unmitigated scandal for which they show no shame, is the model of a “papal saint.”

There are so many of us ordinary folks who, like popes, are faced with the challenge of what to do when we learn that the Mafia has been laundering money through our bank or hundreds of priests, with the knowing collusion of their bishops, have raped children. Oh, wait! They did nothing.

Third, even in my own recondite American corner of Catholicism, the pope’s order, the Jesuits, have completely sold out. I pick up their magazine, called America, once a literate New York Times/New Yorker version of a Catholic magazine and find featured a spread on poverty by none other than budgetcutter and chief flim-flam man in the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan? The man who wants to cut, or at a minimum freeze, social spending? The man whose “anti-poverty” plan amounts to lumping all programs together to yield imaginary single mothers getting their master's in education so they can teach?

Clearly, it’s not the RCC I knew. Rather, RCC now stands for Republican Cocksucking Church. Nothing against Republicans, if you like your politics stupid; and nothing against cocksucking, if that is what you like ... only, just perhaps not when it involves children, please?