So here I am looking back at the year and before I start reading the Best of’s lists, choosing best flicks and great songs, I ponder about this country, and… oh boy….the year that was! I realize I live in a country where its congress investigates social climbing and party crashing in Washington, as well as if chimps are pets to be kept at home (after one was accused of improper behavior), while the economy is still in the slumps, and unemployment rates soar. I live in a place where hordes stare in front of the TV after a father pimped the image of his child pretending he was lost in a balloon in the sky. I see the new york media thrive in unemployment publishing its meaty Daily Gloom for everyone to suck on. New York! who knew!?! after having gone through the worst, where’s the spirit for chrissake? Maybe I am an optimist being realistic, certainly am not a pessimist. But ah….the irony. It’s been a year of Bernie Maddof. And me, a highly qualified, exceptionally talented, and kick ass amazing executive over a year unemployed. I do look forward though and expect the best. And my name is Candide and I live in the best of worlds (grin). Well for the first time in many years I focused on personal relationships, something that was in the back seat. I’m living the most challenging relationship ever, where I get to discuss everything and all things, and that is great and exhausting at times. It is intimidating to unprepared men. It is adult and it is humane. I can easily state that I, we, grew as human beings, and hopefully will have a wonderful continuum….. He lies.
You’ve seen this movie tons of times….a teenage girl growing up in a world filled with suffering, despair, abuse, difficulties, and pain. Her life is a nightmare and she dreams of moving away of her misery, dreams of fame and/or fortune, of beauty and bliss. She gets in trouble, gets out of school, but a class filled with likewise troubled girls and a compassionate teacher is what gives her hope and makes her soul come alive. She raises from the dead. We’ve seen that tons of times, of course. And obviously the performances and two powerhouse producers (Oprah and Tyler Perry) will guarantee a few Oscars to it. But to me the value of the movie is the un-glamouring of glitzy stars, such as Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz, who come up, close and frontal on screen, showing how common faces they are. The unsaid message is clear. Then there’s Monique, a flashy comedian turned into a horrible disgusting and unappealing mother, showing her shapeless hairy body crowned by gigantic pimples on her face. And he morbidly obese main character who you magically empathize with and see no shape or color… Oh it’s powerful alright. Times they are changing.
I have very few female friends. Part mistrust –aaah women– part personality, and in part it just happened this way. At work, I’m usually the only woman in a group of many men, but never on a pedestal, never undermined. And just back from a few hours with my favorite female friends, I feel praised, strong, and compassionate towards my gender (though still despising the small ones that need a guy to feed their soul and have no self-respect whatsoever).
My friend Christine Nazareth is one of these women I deeply admire, an eternal source of inspiration. Like me, Christine left Brazil to live in LA and multi-task in arts & entertainment as a source of joy, was a muse of great men in her 20’s and got pregnant at 45 completely unexpectedly. Pregnancy at this age is a divine intervention btw, a winning lottery ticket, and Christine cashed out big time: Ben is the Perfect Boy. Christine coasted the intelligentsia in the 70’s and 80’s, was mentored by Henry Miller; and we laughed out loud remembering anecdotes of those days…. how he’d walk the entire city of LA in times of no money, how his daughter forgot his remains the day after he was cremated in the restaurant she had dinner, how his blood pressure would go up at the sight of a naked breast. Then from his wonderful quotes, on appropriate for the moment: when you’re miserable, every crocodile is with you, but when you have the guts to be happy, that’s where the threat relies to see who sticks. Anyway we’re starting to write about the female universe, and the silly questions abound: why is it that we are hardwired to think that perfect love is right around the corner?And that we forgive the endless lies in name of hope? Why are we overly dramatic, chatty, and teary? Why do our emotions run in torrents? why do we accept the quasi-misogyny of the BF as if it were normal? was it Photoshop that made every woman get naked or was it time? are we all really a little crazy? Do we really know that much? Oh this is endless….