Monday, November 28, 2011

Sons Of Anarchy

I have been M.I.A. recently. The same busy routine has been getting the better of me, along with the skyrocketing caseload at my office and trying to get all our ducks in a row for a pending Holiday Party.

Still, every once in a while, Sue and I carve out a little down time just to 'veg' a bit, which usually entails watching a Netflix DVD or a Laserdisc. While shopping for some holiday decorations a few weeks ago in a thrift store, I came across a Box DVD set of "Sons of Anarchy - The Complete 3rd Season" and picked it up for $4.99. Based on the liner notes it seemed interesting.

Sue and I have watched all 12 episodes over the past 10 days and it is pretty engrossing. Considering that we have no back story from the first 2 seasons, we had to piece together some of the character development.

The show follows a biker gang called the 'Sons of Anarchy' and all the doings in and around the Northern California town of Charming where they hang out. It is sort of like "The Sopranos" with Harley-Davidsons, with a lot of intertwined plot development and interpersonal issues between the biker club members.

At the end of the third season, there is a surprise ending of sorts that I didn't see coming. Not to give it all away, but the ending involves the execution of a Federal ATF agent, and let me tell you, it was an 'execution' and it was 'bloody'. (as in Tech-9 to the back of the head at close range, squeeze the trigger and don't ease up till the clip is empty bloody). Actually, the entire series is very graphic, usually producing one or two corpses per episode.

But this execution was a bit more bizarre because, in the end, you really wanted this ATF Agent to get her head blown off. She was a real scum bag. This brings me to the point of this web-log entry.

I was raised on Mom, Apple Pie and the American way. As a child I still recall watching "G-Men vs Al Capone" and I pretty much grew up with the theme songs to 'Dragnet' and 'Adam-12' running through my head. The government and law enforcement were to be respected and obeyed. That isn't the case anymore.

In most of today’s shows, law enforcement is riddled with doubt, second guessing and bureaucracy. Every law enforcement professional now has to have emotional issues. The real leap came while I watched 'The Sons of Anarchy'. In this show, the Federal Government Agents are the inept, evil, bad guys and you actually cheer for the biker gang, which sells drugs, deals in prostitution and gun running.

I can't help but wonder if this is indicative of the underlying mood of the country. There isn't a lot of faith in the infrastructure that we have put in place to govern us. Now the Sons of Anarchy shows us that brotherhood and faith in our club, our tribe or our family is more important than what the government tells us is correct.

Interesting times,.......and I already have Seasons 1 & 2 cued up on my Netflix que.

Ride on SAMCRO.................

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Recollections Of An Old Gizer


In front of our house, 10/31/2009

Last night was Halloween. In the neighborhood where we live, this is a big event. We had between 2,000 and 3,000 children pass by our house last night, all looking for free goodies.

That isn’t a misprint, we really do have that many. Last night, instead of handing out candy, we took a break, darkened the house and laid low this year. We needed the break, and buying candy for 2,000+ children usually runs us around $150.

The reason for the mass Trick or Treater invasion is varied. Our neighborhood has at most 150 Trick or Treat age children in it. So where do the other 1,850+ children come from? They are driven or trucked in from outlaying areas.

Back in my days of youth, this used to be a neighborhood thing, where we got to hang out with our friends after dark and get treats and play under the street lights. Things have changed a bit in the past 45 years and now it is more institutionalized.

We live in an old, restored neighborhood in downtown Phoenix. A place with curved streets, old growth vegetation, tall palm trees and every house looks different because they were all built in the 1930s before tract housing became the norm.

So lesser advantaged children from outlaying areas are trucked in by their families to Trick or Treat in a ‘safe’, ‘affluent’ neighborhood where they give out lots of candy. This is tag-team Halloween, where entire families of six or seven (including a toddler in a stroller) go to each house, each family member asks for candy, and then they dump their booty into the pickup truck that is following them, driven by their father or grandfather. They repeat the cycle for each block. After 10 blocks or so, they head home.

As I rode my Segway to work this morning, through the now deserted streets, there were thousands of candy wrappers, Circle-K cups, bottles of water and beer cans strewn everywhere.

I miss my youth, when it was just about the fun and the treats. Now it is more like collecting free food for the family until Thanksgiving rolls around.

Next up is what we used to call Christmas, but is now referred to, in the politically correct terminology, as “The Holiday Season”. It used to be about going to church and learning stories of faith and redemption. Now it is about propping up the economy and buying gifts for people through mass marketing.

Like I said, I miss my youth.