I remember the seedy thrill the day my buddy took me into his garage to pull out his dad’s stash of Playboy magazines. It was the 60s and we were but eleven year old boys. Yet I knew that day that I had become a voyeur into something that was at once both titillating and dreadfully wrong.
Though the thrill factor dulled as I aged, I do recall other events that triggered the same eerie mix of raw emotions within me. It wasn’t until after the smell of burnt timbers left the interior of our car minutes after passing a tenant building engulfed in flames that my excitement turned to shame. My mother let out a gasp of horror as she slowly passed over the rail road track and our family all witnessed this old building lit ablaze. From the back seat, now thirteen, I was still awed by the sight of it. Moments later I realized that what had titillated me was the same monster that had destroyed those poor renters who shockingly watched their life’s possessions turn to ashes.
Quite removed from the magical aura of first emotions, as a young man I still once again felt a confusing haze when witnessing the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was unsettling watching Mikhail Gorbachev being consumed like a noble grasshopper enshrined in swarming ants as the Putin mob emerged from the fall. The collapse of this nemesis empire emoted feelings of both grotesque forewarnings and of patriotic sentimentalities. And my voyeuristic curiosities were once again amazed as I witnessed how the wealthy of even an extremely socialistic society would circle the wagons to protect their own.
And now I can’t help but watch in awe as America follows the Soviets down the Afghani trail and our financial thugs manage to pull the strings of the “Federal Reserve” (as if calling it Federal whitewashes its role as the elite mob’s hit man). Once again, I find myself in my buddy’s garage, at once both titillated by what crudeness is possible of mankind while at the same time drenched in the filth of America’s financial porn.
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