Letter From New York 08 12 2016 How lucky was I?

The air is hot and heavy, damp and uncomfortable.  I watch my creek from the comfort of the cottage; it is southern in its weather oppression and is the definition for languid summer days, of which I have had my share this week.  Outside it is now grey and thunder rolls in the distance.

Finishing “The Hotel on Place Vendome,” I am now deeply into a history of the 304 year long reign of the Romanovs, from Michael to Nicholas II, who died with his family in front of a firing squad in 1918 in the Ipatiev House in Yektaringburg.  The founder of his dynasty was called to the throne from the Ipatiev Monastery.

I napped this afternoon and have now a slew of errands to do come morning.  My printer has died, a new one is needed.  Groceries must be shopped for as friends come for dinner tomorrow night, the invitation offered in an effort to bring me out of the summer stupor.

Walking on Cape Cod last weekend, I did not wear the right shoes and have fierce blisters on my heels I am working to heal.  Tuesday morning, I could barely walk and have been wearing flip flops all week.

Flip flops, books, a couple of good martinis, not a bad way to spend a summer week. 

Trump claimed Obama and Hillary Clinton founded ISIS, now he says it was sarcasm but the reality is that Mr. Trump is on the verge of becoming a parody of himself.  It makes me feel hopeful but it is 2016 and anything can yet happen.

The US claims the Head of IS in Afghanistan has been killed and the amount of territory controlled by them in Syria and Iraq is diminishing.  Syria is still a hell hole and when I was complaining to myself about my blisters, I stopped myself:  I could be in Syria.  You have only very first world problems, Mathew. 

Digital Media is being subsumed by old media.  Companies like Disney and Turner and Hearst are putting hundreds of millions, even billions, into new media companies.  As one declines and the other ascends, the ascendants will be owned by the decliners.  Old media is putting its fortunes to work.  Good moves.

Netflix, definitely a new media company, aired a documentary, “Making a Murderer.”  One of the results was that today one of the accused has been ordered freed from prison, largely due to the incompetent actions of his defense attorney.  Brendan Dasey has been ordered released in ninety days. 

Media attention does bring action.

In a new and heartbreaking report, the CDC has released data about LGB students, indicating they are more likely to be bullied and more likely to consider and attempt suicide than their straight peers. 

It is 2016 and still this happens.  I was so lucky when I was their age.  I wasn’t bullied in high school and I still marvel at that.  I considered suicide but that had much more to do with my complicated family life than my sexuality.

A good article about the situation can be found here:

http://www.bustle.com/articles/178365-gay-high-schoolers-experience-rape-bullying-suicide-at-much-higher-rates-heartbreaking-cdc-report-finds

As I sit here, looking out at my creek, I celebrate how lucky I was, particularly in high school but also in college.  This is a global problem, not just an American problem.

How lucky was I?  I have gotten through life mostly not harassed by my sexuality.  Only two times do I remember anything.  Once early on in Minneapolis, a casual and not harsh moment, and once here in Hudson, when two teenagers called my ex-partner and I “fags.”  Now, same sex couples walk down the street in Hudson and no one bothers them. Twice in a lifetime… How lucky am I?

It’s time to wind down and I want to introduce you to Beatrice, my banana plant.  Beatrice came into my life when I briefly dated Raj, a psychotherapist of Indian extraction by way of Trinidad, who insisted I buy a banana plant.  I did and now Beatrice has become huge and may one day well take over my home.

Meet Beatrice:

IMG_1339

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