Ashlee Simpson’s Nose Job

My last piece was about making snap judgments about other people, based on superficial, external data or on preconceived notions. I know I do it, and the worse I’m feeling about myself on a particular day, the more judgmental I am of others. We often go through life making subconscious assessments of people that guide our interactions. Of course, intuition helps us prevent dangerous situations, so we can’t entirely disregard that, but I’m talking about something far more subtle, not an innate sense of legitimate self-protection but a learned or inherited prejudice or dislike of “those people.”

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Whom do you consider a freak?

Have you seen Tod Browning’s classic film Freaks from 1932? It’s the story of a traveling circus and its “freak” performers and their code of ethics as they support each other in a world that gawks at and denigrates them. It shows real circus people with extreme physical deformities, causing the movie to be banned for some time in Great Britain and probably elsewhere, although I thought it was a beautiful portrayal of empathy and of care-taking of those on the margins of society.

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The Spacious “State Meal”

SPACIOUS is a state of mind. That’s our vision. I’m a big believer that every individual matters enormously, so if even one person had his or her life enlarged by our venture, by the possibilities we hold up, by the ideas we espouse, by the events we create, by the actions we recommend, then we’d be a success.

If a whole bunch of people were thus inspired, well all the better. For what are bunches of people other than conglomerations of individuals?

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Not Elvis

I see him most days as I zip around the neighborhood. He’s been an Elvis look-alike, dress-alike for years, a clearly cultivated persona. This is not bloated Elvis, or flamboyant Elvis or even dying-on-the-toilet Elvis (was that a myth?). And he’s not even Army Elvis or daddy Elvis or “I’m with Priscilla” Elvis. This is generic Elvis. Elvis at his core without any of the drama going on.

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