Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wild Things

If there was one book I loved reading to our children when they were young it was “Where the Wild Things Are.” Maurice Sendak’s vividly dark, surreal tale of the rambunctious, undisciplined Max in his wolf suit let me entertain Dan and Ellie with my best growls and snorts. Naturally, I was saddened by Sendak’s death last week, but I was comforted by the prospect of reading “Where the Wild Things Are” to Finley during our Mother’s Day weekend visit. Alas, as Gilda was putting Finley to bed last night, I heard her reading the book to the little fellow, and having quite a good time of it gnashing her teeth and making wild things sounds. This morning I asked Finley if he wanted me to read it to him. He responded like Max with a firm, “No.” Ah, well, maybe next time we see him.

Perhaps one reason I enjoyed Sendak is we shared a first name. In his early years Sendak’s moniker was Murray. Why he later preferred Maurice, I cannot tell you. Maybe he thought it had more of an artistic flair. His most famous character, Max, was the name of my father’s youngest sibling, killed in the Holocaust. I almost was named Max in his memory (my mother chose Murray, instead). The son of my father’s only surviving sibling was named Max. 

Sendak, for those not aware of it, was homosexual. He had a 50 year relationship with the late Dr. Eugene Glynn. It’s another example that LGBT couples are just as likely to have loving, lasting relationships as do straight people. Sadly ironic that Sendak passed away the same week North Carolina voters chose to join some 30 other states in declaring marriage is to be solely between a man and a woman. 

Here’s an interesting statistic—North Carolina, according to the most recent data, has an above average divorce rate, as do many of the anti-LGBT states. So much for those Bible-belters holding marriage as a sacred state. New York’s divorce rate, by contrast, is below average.  

One of the best commentaries on the whole affair comes courtesy of a friend of daughter-in-law Allison. She posted a Facebook message of the following chalk sign, “If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.”

Speaking of Facebook, some Wall Streeters expressed annoyance at Jeffrey Zuckerberg for wearing his signature hoodie sweatshirt, and not a suit and tie, at an investors’ presentation prior to the company’s initial public  stock offering (IPO) slated for next Friday. “I think he has to realize he’s bringing investors in as a new constituency right now, and I think he’s got to show them the respect that they deserve because he’s asking them for their money,” Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Securities, told Bloomberg TV.

Excuse me! We all know that in IPOs the little guy, the individual investor, rarely has access to new stock issues. So if Wall Street doesn’t care for Zuckerberg’s attire, let them stay away. I’m sure there are plenty of Joe Publics out there who would like nothing better than to latch onto Zuckerberg’s hoodie laces and snatch up some Facebook stock at its offering price. 

I’m simply amazed at the gall, the chutzpah, of anyone on Wall Street thinking they deserve “respect” these days. 

Which brings me to my final point of the day. Much has been written and spoken about Mitt Romney’s insensitivity to a younger, fellow high school student who had bleached his hair blond. Let others decide whether Romney bullied the lad while snipping his locks. The insensitivity has seemingly lasted nearly a half century as Romney only half-heartedly apologized for his high school hi-jinks. 

Equally if not more telling was another high school incident that has come to light—his walking a nearly blind teacher into a closed glass door and laughing hysterically about it. 

Two weeks ago the Torah portion read in synagogues included the admonition “Thous shalt not ... put a stumbling block before the blind.” I wonder just how caring and considerate Romney is to those less fortunate than him. We've already seen during the primary season Romney’s inability to relate to the common man, his silver spoon upbringing exposing a leaden tongue and duller brain. Now we are finding out this behavior pattern is in his DNA and goes back at least to his high school days.