Feb 052016
 
Trump

by Jerome Grapel……. Oh no, not him again. Is this all there is to talk about in the world’s only Stupid Power? Whatever happened to Brittany Spears? If only Michael Jackson were still alive. Can’t we go back to those good old days when the title of this essay only pertained to card games? Please, Post Consumer Man, do you have to do this? I’m sorry — I tried my best and held out for a long time. But with the recent appearance of perhaps [continue reading…]

 February 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:58 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #152 17 Responses »
Jan 222016
 
Why War is Bad

by Jerome Grapel……. (This essay was written at a time when the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was making its way into the world’s consciousness. More than a decade later, the horrifying chaos now prevailing in the region is sickening proof of the colossal blunder the American invasion was.) (5/04) As I write this essay, the second Bush Oil War has become the fiasco it always deserved to be. The latest piece of firewood thrown onto the flames of this madness is the graphic international diffusion [continue reading…]

 January 22, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #150 13 Responses »
Jan 082016
 
Omnipotent Acoustical Ugliness

by Jerome Grapel……. I recently published an essay called “Music Revisited” where I included an excerpt from Milan Kundera’s renowned novel, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”. In it, he spoke of an “omnipotent acoustical ugliness” that is conquering the world. Right on cue, a recent incident in my life engendered this further expansion into the subject. Contemporary life is played out in front of an uproarious avalanche of noise almost all of us have become numb to. I say “almost” because I know of one [continue reading…]

 January 8, 2016  Posted by at 1:07 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #148 7 Responses »
Dec 252015
 
Christmas

by Jerome Grapel……. (This essay was written in the late 90’s) I’ve been writing this series of essays long enough to have passed through a number of Christmas seasons. It is only now, after the accrued confidence garnered in elaborating this mounting slush of chicken soup philosophy, that I feel strong enough to take on this despotic colossus that has become such a powerful force in our culture. Given what I’ve written in these pages over the last few years, it should come as no [continue reading…]

 December 25, 2015  Posted by at 12:40 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #146 2 Responses »
Dec 182015
 
A Letter From Post Consumer Man

by Jerome Grapel……. (Some of you might remember a controversy that swirled through our culture shortly after the 9/11 tragedy. It went something like this: a Moslem owned some property in close proximity to Ground Zero and wanted to develop it with an Islamic cultural center. This immediately sent the usual American demagogs into a spittily rage of rejection, claiming it would besmirch the hallowed ground where the attacks had taken place. At the time, I wrote a letter to the editor that could be [continue reading…]

 December 18, 2015  Posted by at 12:40 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #145 2 Responses »
Dec 112015
 
Music Revisited

by Jerome Grapel……. (One of the great thinkers of the 20th century is the immortal Czech writer Milan Kundera. I was recently thumbing through his signature novel, a masterpiece called “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, when I came upon a few passages I had underlined when reading it for the first time. I suppose I had done so because they so validated my own world view. When a consecrated genius like Kundera explains himself in a mirror-like fashion to oneself, it becomes an uplifting experience. [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:49 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #144 No Responses »
Nov 272015
 
Domestic Violence & the NFL

by Jerome Grapel……. Masculine gender violence has become a high profile issue in our society, made even more salient by the rash of such behavior originating in the culture of professional football. That such behavior seems to exceed the average in this environment is not that surprising. I’ve had the opportunity to be an athletic participant at a large university. Although each sport is a segregated activity, all the athletes play under the umbrella of a single institution and a particular Athletic Director. This creates [continue reading…]

 November 27, 2015  Posted by at 12:36 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #142 9 Responses »
Nov 132015
 
"Podemos": A Year Later

by Jerome Grapel……. (6/15, Spain) (“Podemos” is a new political party that has made its debut in Spanish politics about a year and a half ago. I consider it one of the first credible challenges to the current form of capitalism that has bullied its way to world dominance. Optimism would be too strong a word for its future, but, as of now, they are still in the game and seem to be gaining ground. This essay is an expression of hope for its growth [continue reading…]

 November 13, 2015  Posted by at 12:42 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #140 5 Responses »
Oct 302015
 
Consumerism vs Islam

by Jerome Grapel……. I recently saw an interview with the philosopher Sam Harris. Harris has made his mark in the world defending the atheist position against the tidal wave of religious acceptance that is the status quo for most of the world. Being that I am not a “believer”, and being that such a mind set almost always goes unrepresented and extremely under estimated in the American narrative, I’ve always been fond of Harris’s work. It is usually precise, empirical, and easily digestible. But he [continue reading…]

 October 30, 2015  Posted by at 12:24 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #138 15 Responses »
Oct 162015
 
All Poped Out

by Jerome Grapel……. (10/15) Quite coincidentally, I was in New York when the Pope made his — wait, I’d like to rephrase. Being that I am a native New Yorker; and being that almost all my extended family still lives there; and being that Pope Francis had never been there, let’s put it like this: quite coincidentally, the Pope was in New York when I made my annual visit to my native land. Although he did not try to procure an audience with me, such [continue reading…]

 October 16, 2015  Posted by at 12:32 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #136 2 Responses »
Oct 022015
 
“CARITAS”

by Jerome Grapel……. (Quite coincidentally, I was in New York when the Pope made his blockbuster visit to the mega city. It didn’t take long before I was totally “Poped out” under the weight of such an onslaught. If there is one thing I can say for sure about Pope Francis, it is this: his public relation skills are better than anyone who has ever held the Papacy. Whether he can, or intends to back this ability up with the substance of his rhetoric, is [continue reading…]

 October 2, 2015  Posted by at 12:42 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #134 5 Responses »
Sep 112015
 
Immigration Revisited

by Jerome Grapel……. (Regardless of everything that has gone down since Donald Trump turned American politics into a pro wrestling show, the one issue that most brought him to prominence is the immigration issue, something he has demagogued right to the top of the Republican primary fandango. In so doing, he has made this essay, written almost a decade ago, quite timely once again.) (5/06) I write this essay just one week after the massive demonstrations by undocumented immigrants in America on May 1st, the [continue reading…]

 September 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:42 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #131 2 Responses »
Sep 042015
 
Stieg Larsson and Lorenzo Silva

by Jerome Grapel……. (This is an essay I wrote about 4 years ago. I had no intention of posting it at this time until I read Martha Huggins’ excellent article on white collar crime in this very publication. Although it lacks the statistical minutia and professional expertise Dr. Huggins always enlightens us with, as a layman’s compliment to her work it might still serve a purpose). (10/11) The 2 people named in the title of this essay have written a good deal of the literary [continue reading…]

 September 4, 2015  Posted by at 12:38 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #130 7 Responses »
Aug 212015
 
2015: Where Are We?

by Jerome Grapel……. (5/15, Spain) For a chicken soup philosopher like myself, one who breathes in all the stimuli around him — the politics, trends, the Beyonces and Lebrons, the Oscars, presidents, divas, movers, shakers, the technological hypnotism that has us so enthralled, the ebbs and flows of who’s in charge, how it’s going down and the whole paella-goulash-punch bowl we live in — woo! It gets complicated, overwhelming, does anyone have an aspirin? This essay, at least from a socio-political aspect, will try to [continue reading…]

 August 21, 2015  Posted by at 12:30 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #128 1 Response »
Aug 072015
 
Animal Rights and Dean Koontz

by Jerome Grapel……. (This essay is the companion to “Animal Rights and ‘60 Minutes’” where I took issue with CBS’s extremely negative attitude towards the civil disobedience of animal rights activists. (They were disrupting research on cranial bullet wounds using cats). Both were written in the early 90’s. More than 20 years later, with the eruption into our consciousness of the death of a famous lion in Zimbabwe at the hands of an American trophy hunter, its relevance regains its vigor.) Dean Koontz writes novels. [continue reading…]

 August 7, 2015  Posted by at 12:26 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #126 2 Responses »
Jul 242015
 
The American Nightmare

  by Jerome Grapel…….. [5/15, Spain.  This essay was the offspring  of a previous essay called “News From America,” where I discussed the Spanish reaction to the racial unrest in Baltimore, Md.] As mentioned in the essay “News From America”, other than giving me an idea as to what the Spaniards are paying attention to, this article had no educational value for me. But it did get me to thinking about our struggle with racism in America and where we’ve gone since the days of [continue reading…]

 July 24, 2015  Posted by at 12:32 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #124 2 Responses »
Jul 032015
 
GUNS

by Jerome Grapel……. Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, amongst many others, as well as the death toll taken on a daily basis within the confines of the world’s most advanced nation (as they tell us here in the good ‘ol US of A) — Guns. We’re talking a lot about guns lately. Perhaps it is a stain on our national legacy to say we’ve finally begun to think seriously about this insane proliferation of firearms only after 20 little children had to succumb to it, snuffed out, [continue reading…]

 July 3, 2015  Posted by at 12:34 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #121 36 Responses »
Apr 242015
 
IRAN “EN CONTRA”

by Jerome Grapel… (4/15) (Note to the reader: On May 1st I leave for my annual 2 month hiatus on an island in the Spanish Mediterranean. As a result, I will not contribute again to this fine publication until I return at the end of June. First and foremost, I must thank Arnaud and Naja for allowing me to vent on a regular basis in their wonderful creation, one that has become the only source of serious news and commentary in Key West. I’m also [continue reading…]

 April 24, 2015  Posted by at 12:50 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #111 15 Responses »
Apr 102015
 
THE LIBERTARIAN ILLUSION

by Jerome Grapel… Although I’ve written before about the “libertarian” concept, a recent discussion I had with a number of such adepts has propelled me into a need to respond more formally. Let’s begin with my theory as to how this trend found its traction on the American socio-political landscape. One of the few people working in our country’s legislative body who I have a genuine respect for is a black congressman from Georgia named John Lewis. We have just celebrated the 50th anniversary of [continue reading…]

 April 10, 2015  Posted by at 1:30 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #109 14 Responses »
Mar 272015
 
Penn State

by Jerome Grapel… With the NCAA basketball tournament — “March Madness” — in full swing, this essay becomes timely. Using the abuse of young boys by an iconic football coach at Penn State University, Jerry Sandusky, as a vehicle, it gives voice to my outrage at the “Big Lie” the collegiate sports industry is. As I write on November 12, 2011, the minimalist quality of this essay’s title is more than enough to convey its subject matter. If you are not aware of the recent [continue reading…]

 March 27, 2015  Posted by at 3:45 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #107 19 Responses »
Mar 132015
 
Why War is Bad

 by Jerome Grapel… (This essay was written at a time when the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was making its way into the world’s consciousness. More than a decade later, the horrifying chaos now prevailing in the region is sickening proof of the colossal blunder the American invasion was.)     As I write this essay, the second Bush Oil War has become the fiasco it always deserved to be. The latest piece of firewood thrown onto the flames of this madness is the graphic international diffusion [continue reading…]

 March 13, 2015  Posted by at 3:05 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #105 46 Responses »
Feb 272015
 
The True Left

 by Jerome Grapel        This is part of a series of essays that were written in Spain last summer, when a totally unknown political entity called “Podemos” (we can) broke onto the political landscape, catching all the “literati” by surprise in the wake of the 2014 European Parliamentary elections. In less than a year, they have begun to outpoll the 2 traditional centrist parties in the country. They are the offspring of Spain’s version of the Occupy Movement, “Los Indignados”. Their leftist politics have [continue reading…]

 February 27, 2015  Posted by at 1:10 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #103 8 Responses »
Feb 132015
 
THE CRUCIFIXION OF BILL De BLASIO

by Jerome Grapel Although I have not lived there for almost 50 years, I was born and raised in New York City and almost all my extended family still lives there. Anyone hearing the way I speak English can attest to the fact I still carry some of this place around with me — and always will. Bill De Blasio is the Mayor of New York City. People like him used to be considered a fairly normal strain of center-left Democrat, but since the appearance [continue reading…]

 February 13, 2015  Posted by at 12:50 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #101 18 Responses »
Jan 302015
 
JANET’s BOOB

by Jerome Grapel….. (With the trauma of Super Bowl weekend now upon us, I dug back in the ar-chives and found this essay pertaining to the infamous Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction”, which relegated the game itself to the smaller type of after thought in its aftermath.) I feel somewhat ambivalent about the now historical halftime incident at this year’s Super Bowl, where a sacred part of Janet Jackson’s anatomy was briefly exposed to the world. I’m not here to say it was the proper forum [continue reading…]

 January 30, 2015  Posted by at 1:30 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #99 2 Responses »
Dec 192014
 
A FEW GOOD MEN

by Jerome Grapel…. For the average contemporary American, the title of this essay would not be metaphorical, but a direct reference to an iconic film made in 1992. Let’s take a phrase association test: “a few good men” – famous movie starring Tom Crews, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore and Kevin Bacon, about a military incident where 2 Marines are accused of — so forth and so on. You’ve seen it, right? As mentioned previously in this ever growing mass of dubious philosophical patter, I have [continue reading…]

 December 19, 2014  Posted by at 12:35 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #93 6 Responses »