Saturday, January 28, 2017

Yearning To Breathe Free

"If you don't know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he's just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It's one world, pal. We're all neighbors."

Friday, January 27, 2017

לעולם לא עוד

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe."

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Dawning Of A New Error

"At moments like this I envy those who have found a safe haven in which to bestow their hearts; or perhaps I envy them for having a heart to bestow. I often feel that I myself am without one, and possess in its stead merely a heart shaped stone."

Photography by Lee Greenfeld © 2017
Quote from The Handmaid's Tale, 1985

Friday, January 20, 2017

Streams Of Whiskey

Allen Mandeville
Rest in Peace

Many years back I was tending bar and sipping a nice top-shelf bourbon as my shift was about to end; Allen had been there since open, and was drinking cheap well whiskey. I didn't notice him leave — which wasn't a big deal as he was all paid up and I'd see him the next day — but when I took a sip of my drink I realized that he had swapped his swill out with my good stuff! Doing that took a monster pair of balls, and as such didn't even make me that mad. I laughed, spit it out, and poured another drink. (It really might've been a mistake, but I like to think he did it on purpose.) In recent years I enjoyed visiting him when he was behind the bar at Montero's (where he started working not long after the swapping incident); I always got the warmest of greetings, and he always had a great story at hand.

Sadly, Allen passed away suddenly this past Monday night from an apparent heart attack. He was a real neighborhood legend, a warm gentle man with a daunting wealth of knowledge about a myriad of subjects. He will be sorely missed by so very many.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A True Revolution Of Values

"On the one hand, we are called to play the good samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."

Excerpted from the Beyond Vietnam address, 1967