Posts Tagged ‘James Green’

Letter From Claverack 09 15 2017 Thoughts from a train…

September 15, 2017

It’s early on Friday morning and I am cruising down to the city today to have lunch with James Green, my former CEO from Sabela Media.  It’s sale to 24/7 is what resulted in my moving to New York and ultimately in my being on this train, on my way to see him.


When I woke this morning, the cottage was being pelted by heavy rain and by the time I reached the train station the sun had broken through and there is the promise of a lovely day in front of me.

I will probably not linger in the city as I will be back again next Monday and Wednesday and today have a lot of cleaning up to do.

Cleaning up is what my friends on Saba are doing, my sister and brother-in-law in Florida, people in Georgia and South Caroline and the Keys and Cuba; everywhere touched by the wrath of Irma, following hard on the heels of Harvey, thinking of that just after texting my friend in Houston who missed Harvey and has now returned.

Figuring out what to do about the pudgy, pugnacious, paranoid, peculiar, peevish, perturbed, peculiar, pesky, piggish, perverse, pompous, potbellied, preposterous little dictator Kim Jong-Un in North Korea is becoming ever more problematic.  While I slept, he shot another missile across Japan, after the U.N. passed more sanctions against him.

Distressing, horrible and disturbing is that another bomb went off in the London subway, eighteen have been injured. Thankfully none of them seriously.  Something went wrong and it apparently didn’t fully detonate.  Thank God.

Our Tweeter in Chief, lectured the Brits and used the incident to appeal for a broader travel ban and tighter internet controls.  I didn’t see any condolences; might have missed them.  I hope they were sent.

They weren’t sent after the earthquake in Mexico that killed a hundred; that has resulted in increasing the stress in our already stressed relations with that country.  It’s a pretty deep and treacherous arroyo.

Out is space, the Cassini spacecraft has burned up in the rings of Saturn after discovering six new moons and many other discoveries, including subsurface oceans on Enceladus.  Mysteries to be solved, discovered by a mission that some scientists have worked on for nearly three decades.  At the end, they hugged, applauded and cried.

Earlier today I posted this quote on Facebook:

“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.”
― Edgar D. Mitchell about looking at the earth from the moon…

And that’s what I want to say to Kim Jong-Un and the rest of the politicians.  Look at that you sons of bitches!  Look at that!



Letter From New York 02 01 2016 Working to be Tickety Boo…

February 2, 2016

Nick Stuart  Tickety boo  James Green  Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders  Marco Rubio  Jeb Bush  Zika Virus  Brazil Olympics WHO  Apple  Google  Alphabet  Yahoo  Melissa Mayer  IS Boko Haram  Assad  American Airlines  United 

When I drove into the drive of the cottage, behind me was a brilliant rose gold sunset illuminating the western sky.  After spending the afternoon running a variety of errands, I was grateful to be home.

My very English friend, Nick Stuart, if he is concerned about either my physical or mental well being, will text me a message that says, “Everything tickety boo?”

And tonight, not everything is tickety boo. 

I have been headachy and achy since about noon today and so, once the errands were accomplished, I slid home and lit a fire, changed into comfortable clothes, also warm, and began to rest. 

I don’t want to get sick.  I have class on Wednesday; my friend James Green is Skyping in to discuss digital advertising.  It is not possible to get sick; the show must go on! 

The show that is going on right now, as I write, is the Iowa caucuses and the let the games begin.  The first “showdown” is happening.  Hillary and Bernie are neck and neck.  Trump has a lead over everyone.  Marco Rubio is desperately hoping he will come in third in Iowa.

I am worn to a frazzle by all this.  This campaign will go down in history, I hope, as the longest election campaign in the country’s history.  I can’t imagine anything longer than this.  Shouldn’t the elections be next Tuesday so we can get this all over with?  We have something like another 280 days of all of them slugging it out.

As the caucuses begin, Jeb Bush is on his way to New Hampshire where he hopes to do better.  Once  the wind was in his sails and now he finds himself becalmed.  The son of a President, the brother of another, he seemed anointed.  Not so much now…

While we are bemoaning the campaign cycle [or at least I am], the Zika virus has become worse than originally thought.  Brazil is harder hit than first thought.  The World Health Organization has declared an emergency.  And the world will be traveling to Brazil this year for the Olympics.  Bring lots of mosquito repellant and use birth control while there and afterwards until you’re sure you don’t have it…

For three years now Apple has been the most valuable company in the world.  Today Google became more valuable.  Alphabet, the holding company for Google and its other enterprises, rose sharply as there has been a renaissance in its advertising.  Ah, heavy is the head that wears the crown…

Yahoo, which once wore that crown, is now shedding 15% of its workforce.  Ms. Mayer has not turned the corner.

Oil prices continue to slump and there is a slowdown in manufacturing both in China and the US.  Worrisome.  Pundits are wondering if we are in for another recession.  Say it not so…

IS is working its wrath upon the world.  Boko Haram, which has declared its loyalty to IS, killed 70 in a suicide bombing attack in Nigeria.  Not to mention the trouble in Syria; 3500 have fled into Turkey as Assad’s forces advance.  The Taliban have killed twenty in Kabul. 

And my oh my… Free snacks have returned to American and Untied.  Is this an alternative universe?  Free snacks on planes?  Have I been transported back to the 1990’s?  No, don’t think so. Not until they make the seats bigger.  I’m not big and the seats are a challenge to me.  To get a good seat in economy one must upgrade to Economy Plus, which I usually do.

My fire is burning happily.  I am happy and feeling better, more “tickety boo.”  The flood lights illuminate the creek and I am more ready than ever to crawl into my great queen sized bed and pull the covers up to my neck, watch a little video and head off to sleep.  I need it.

The show must go on!

Letter From New York 01 22 16 While waiting for Jonas…

January 22, 2016

Winter Storm Jonas  DC  Claverack  James Green  Magnetic Media  Jerry May  Stock Markets  European Refugee Crisis  Alexander Litvinenko  Putin  Film Academy Diversity Crisis  X Files

I slipped out of the city today on the 11:20 and headed north.  It was chill in the city, feeling colder than the temperature. Once I reached the cottage I decided to remain in for the rest of the day.  A fire is burning and jazz is playing on Pandora.  I will probably turn in early, watch some video, read a book, have a rest…

The eyes of the East coast are all turned on Winter Storm Jonas, which threatens havoc to the coastal cities.  Washington, DC might get as much as two feet of snow and the Mayor there is calling it potentially life threatening.  And it well could be; DC is not particularly adept at dealing with severe winter weather.

Just now I looked at the weather forecast for Claverack and it looks like the storm might miss us.  Precipitation forecast is only 10%. The storm will batter the coastal areas and leave us relatively unscathed.  But that could, of course, change.  I’ll let you know tomorrow.

Thursday I had lunch with an old boss, James Green, who is now CEO of Magnetic Media and they are doing very well, thank you.  It was good and comforting to spend a couple of hours with him.  He is a warm and generous soul.

Dinner was with my long time friend, Jerry May, a chance to catch up, hear about the heart valve replacement he had had last year and to cherish each other’s friendship.  I am hoping his plane gets out of JFK tonight for Seattle, where he lives.

All the major financial indices were up today after a brutal week that challenged anyone faint of heart.

My well seasoned wood is burning wonderfully.  The music is lovely and I am glad to be home, snuggled in the warmth of the cottage.  There feels no reason to stir from here tonight. 

It has been a week to recover from…

Paul’s Memorial Service took more from me than I thought it would though being there gave back to me and I am so glad to have been part of it. 

The world remains a brutal place.

Dozens have drowned in attempting to flee Syria, continuing the flow toward Europe even though the seas are dangerous this time of year.  In ancient days, no ships sailed during this part of the year.  The dozens included more than a dozen children.

It has been ten years since Alexander Litvinenko died as a result of drinking polonium laced tea in London.  Once a Russian operative he became a fierce critic of Putin.  One of the things he accused Putin was that Tsar Vladimir was a pedophile. 

And there are creepy, creepy photos of Putin on a stroll in 2006 calling a five year old boy over to him, pulling up his shirt and kissing his stomach. Seems really inappropriate.  Litvinenko said that Putin had the films of him and underage boys destroyed when he gained power.

And it is those accusations think some that made Litvinenko a marked man.  A British judge said today that “probably” Putin ordered the removal of Litvinenko.  And polonium poisoning is not a pretty way to go.  The poor man lingered in horrific pain for three weeks.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is embroiled in a controversy about the lack of diversity in its nominations.  It’s the second year there have been no people of color in them. 

The Academy says that it is going to work to broaden its membership.  As it should.  It is primarily male, white and the average age is 63.  Less than 2% are African American and less than 2% are Latino.  There are about 6,000 members. 

Charlotte Rampling, an actress that was very big in the 1960s and is nominated this year decried the protests as “anti-white racism” during an interview in Paris, where she now lives.  I used to really like her.

The “X Files” are returning in a six part mini-series.  Looking forward to that.  Hopefully better than the films.

It’s dark but not late.  No snow yet. Looking forward to the morning.  I’m going to believe we’ll miss the hit and I will be just fine.

Hope you are just fine too!

Letter From New York 06 26 15 Ruminating on Supreme Court Decisions…

June 26, 2015

It is about 11:30 AM as I begin to write today’s blog. Yesterday, I simply ran out of time and had to let it go though it niggled at me through the night. Yesterday saw Obamacare upheld by the Supreme Court, something that I was unsure would happen. The decision was 6 to 3 to uphold the law.

I was glad the law was upheld. I think it is a flawed law and that we should have something that more resembles universal health care but it is far better than the nothing we had before it. The victory in the Supreme Court has not squelched Republican’s desire to repeal the law, which they might get to do if a Republican is elected President. If they do, I hope they will have something in the wings to replace it. Right now, I don’t think they do.

This morning, as I was sitting doing emails, I received one from the Democratic Party announcing that the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of gay marriage by a vote of 5 to 4. As it was a notice that came from someone other than a news organization, I went online to find that, indeed, it was true. Gay marriage is now the law of the land.

My friend Lionel texted me, crying as he wrote the text, rejoicing and a bit unbelieving. My oldest friend in the world, Sarah Malone, phoned me and we discussed the ruling. She told me that Texas is already trying to wiggle out some way though I haven’t seen that anywhere but it doesn’t surprise me if they were.

I am unbelieving. I did not actually think, until the last few years, that this would ever happen in my lifetime. I grew up and began to deal with the fact I was gay about the time Gay Lib was beginning to form as a movement. I was not active in the movement; I was working on building some sort of career.

In 1983, a senior executive in the company I was working for told me that I would be fired if it were discovered I was gay. In another company in the 80’s, I was under pressure to get married. It was clear that unless I was, I would not progress up management’s ranks. The President and CEO was very conservative. He was generous to a gay employee who contracted AIDS, and seemed to think it was fine in the creative divisions of the company but I was on the business side. It was never articulated directly but there are ways of communicating that do not include direct conversation.

When I was at Discovery in the 1990’s, I commented to the President of the time, Ruth Otte, that Discovery seemed very homophobic. She agreed but nothing changed until the very late 1990’s or early 2000’s, under then CEO Judith McHale.

I never lied but never admitted I was gay. I cleverly skirted the topic. Not necessarily appearing gay, I had female friends who accompanied me when it was expected I would appear with a date. When asked, I acknowledged but never volunteered. That was probably cowardly.

I grew up in a Midwestern Catholic family and it was clear to me that the worse thing a man could be was gay. It may be that as I grew into childhood, my father sensed I was different and that accelerated his emotional withdrawal from me.

When I was in high school, I was very lucky. I was never bullied and called names. No one ever called me “fag” or any derogative. Looking back, I find it amazing. Fragile as I was in high school, I’m not sure I would have survived the bullying that seems to occur so regularly today.

In the late 1990’s, in a long-term relationship, I became more comfortable with my place in the world. When accepting the job at the Internet start-up, Sabela, I made it clear to James Green, the CEO, I was gay. He shrugged his shoulders, smiled and said he already knew.

Telling my friend Jeffrey was difficult but he responded generously, as did most of my friends.

John McCormick, Sarah’s father, and I were having dinner with his grandson, Joe Eros, the night before Joe was entering the military, shortly before the invasion of Iraq. Joe left to celebrate with some friends and I got up to go but John motioned me down and ordered us another round of drinks. John was a deeply conservative Catholic, or so I thought. He told me that night he had know for a long time and that he needed to know that I knew he loved me, regardless of my sexuality.

It was a tremendous blessing. I cried a little on the train back into New York City.

My brother and I came to peace with it. My sister is uncomfortable but we still talk regularly and have a better relationship than ever. When I was telling my family, my mother was in a multi-level health crisis and so we never discussed it. When she uttered homophobic comments, I repudiated them but never told her I was gay.

Less emotional than many today, I acknowledge that we have crossed a milestone but it will not immediately eliminate homophobia. It may even strengthen it in places. Bu it seems more and more are accepting; going into today, a poll indicated that 57% of Americans believed the Supreme Court should rule the way it did.

It has been a huge journey and the journey isn’t over. But it is so much better than it was.