New Jersey

The Mind Scrambler

Posted on June 30, 2007. Filed under: New Jersey, News, The Sopranos |

THERE has always been a part of me that dislikes amusement parks. Despite the festive atmosphere of the average park, I always find the noise, the dirt, the bad (but expensive) food, the filthy restrooms, the sweltering parking lots, the interminable lines, the predictable rides, and the toothless, often savage-looking faces of some of the ride operators disgusting. Then there is the behavior of some of the guests. I remember once walking with my young son in a park and looking on in horror as a man removed his ribbed wife-beater undershirt in front of us. Tattoos covered every inch of this man’s body, which was, incidentally, covered with wall-to-wall hair. My son thought the man was the character “Grover” from Sesame Street. “No,” I said. “You’re just in New Jersey and this is how one group of your fellow citizens dress and decorate their bodies. You are never to emulate this man. I would prefer that you forget that you ever saw him.” When his cell phone chimed out the latest 50 Cent single, he spoke into with a mouth full of gold teeth. And I forgot to mention the games of chance. These stupid games are, of course, insulting to anyone with an average level of intelligence. The prizes, such as they are, are inevitably of the lowest quality. But since almost no one ever wins it hardly matters. The whole experience is like participating in a confidence game, and bearing witness to a freak show, which is, of course, part of the history of amusement parks to begin with. So much for a wholesome day with the wife and kids.

What made me think of this? The recent death of a young woman at Playland, an amusement park in Rye, New York. The ride was called “The Mind Scrambler.”

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Bitching about New Jersey

Posted on March 2, 2007. Filed under: New Jersey, Politics |

New Jersey politicians are always a little less polished than those of New York. New York’s pols are slicker. They have more A-list name recognition. New Jersey….well….we get McGreevey….Whitman.  Now we have Corzine.  Didn’t he shut down the state government for a while for some reason? Who knows?  We’d be better served by Yogi Berra.  At least we don’t get actors for politicians like they do in California. That would be really embarrassing.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( Comments Off on Bitching about New Jersey )

  • Quotes of the Day

    "Writing editorials is like wetting your pants in a blue serge suit. It feels good, but nobody really notices."

    --Jack Germond

    "Famous men and women, by the act of putting themselves on display, whether as politicians, actors, writers, painters, musicians, restaurateurs, or whatever, invite public appraisal. They are all, impressively or pathetically, acting on the presumption that their ideas, their fantasies, their music, their bodies are more original than those of, say, a plumber or a certified public accountant. They are all exercising the impulse, as Mencken put it, ‘to flap their wings in public.’ This is so obvious to the critic–and, I believe, to the ordinary reader or spectator–that it seems hardly worth saying. But resentment of the practice of criticism itself is strong among professional artists (and all Presidents of the United States). There is a psychological type among them that hates critics on principle as parasites or failed performers. This is very natural but surely very childish and, in any country claiming to be civilized, actually anti-social. The existence of critics, good, bad, or indifferent, is a firm clause in the social contract between the governors and the governed in any nation that is not a dictatorship. Public figures should accept with good grace the public response to their invitations to be admired and resist the temptation to retort, except in the face of flagrant malice."

    --Alistair Cooke

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...