Posted in book review

Lonely Planet California by Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet California (Travel Guide)Lonely Planet California by Lonely Planet

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FORGET La La Land. Horace Greeley, founder and editor of the New-York Tribune, writer, and statesman whose ingenious wit melded with erudition and humanity endeared him to the American public urged the people on the East Coast, especially educated unmarried women in the east – to move to California for its primordial beauty: “Fly, scatter through the country, go to the Great West, anything rather than remain here.” Also, Henry David Thoreau described California as a pristine virgin land where a terrestrial River of Lethe flew the Lethe of the Pacific. The collective literary rhapsody comes to life in this world-famous travel book with its signature vivid colorful pictures and detailed, itemized information on the region in suavely offhand  convivial narrative style that entices you to love California at first sight.

Abundant with its rustic and restive natural beauty unsurpassed by glamour of tinsel cities and its unique melding of multifarious cultures and rich history, California is a sun-kissed prize of the States. Take a hiking in Mt. Shasta, and this awe-inspiring mountain will stir your imagination and makes you believe it a home of a sky-spirit as the native tribe believe. If you are in mood for being in touch with the caress of the blue waves away from the meele and reality just for one day, you can elope with your beloved or with your own weary self to Big Sur. Nested against mysterious-looking redwood forests, the Big Sur Coast has all the elements for being a lovers’ paradise where you can be in your most unguarded self and be a Phoebe Cates or her lover in movie Paradise. On the next day, a visit to Santa Barbara will be quite a cultural feat by visiting the 18th century villas, shops, and churches built by Spanish conquistadors and priests. Or you and your fido friend can do some super-fun splashes or even venture surfing at Huntington Beach on weekends. And of course, there are Disneyland and Universal Studio if you want to meet your favorite characters from childhood and roll with what the best amusement parks can provide to your wildest dream at the best.

This book is a comprehensive overview of the places and history of California in addition to rich remedial information on the rates of currency and estimated expenses expected of traveling the region if you come from a different country. Written by several veteran globe trotters and well-traveled Californians in compilation, reading the book will give you a sensation of listening to your friend’s travelogue or experiencing a jolly tour guide by an amiable cicerone all to yourself for free. Moreover, the book will equip your mind with knowledge of the region, so that when you actually go there, you will appreciate the beauty of the region like never before.

Posted in book review

Equality vs Civility

Re: July 21, 2018 issue of The Los Angeles Times on “Paramount TV President fired over comments” by Ryan Faughnder

The article surfaced on the last Saturday’s edition of the paper in tandem with #MeToo movement that had gone viral in the Cyber Sea of Internet. The incident reported in the article illustrates a current phenomena that became all the rage by a willful destruction of a bete noir character whose strong, offbeat views and opinions irked some of the audience in their circles. The gist of the article relates a grave disregard for the principle of civility and a hackneyed understanding/conception of equality – i.e., what constitutes Equality in its pristine essence – by putting the case on the balancing scale of Lady Justice.

Amy Powell was fired following her inappropriate comments made on the upcoming series of “the First Wives Club,” which is expected to feature a predominantly black cast. During a phone call discussing the project, Powell was allegedly said to make stereotypical comments on blacks, especially black women’s being pugnacious. This incident came to light, thanks to a studio assistant’s eavesdropping of the phone conversation and reporting thereof to the department of Human Resources forthwith. Powell denied the out-of-context allegation and said she would be vindicated.

In fact, the ousting of Powell was followed by a series of bloodcutting of the business tycoons along the lines of their allegedly racially motivated faux-pas unearthed from within. Take Netflix’s firing of its chief communications officer for using a racial slur on two occasions. Also, John Schnatter, the America’s number one pizza chain Papa John’s International Inc Chairman, was forced to step down from the company that he founded and grew with sweat and blood after the acerbic and acrid public accusation of him as a racist all because of his comments on the black footballers’ inappropriate behaviors during the national anthem. The aforementioned companies expressed their concerns over such incidents because what they had said were not in line with their values as companies and therefore were detrimental to esprit de corps of the companies. They said in harmony that the salubrious and comfortable work environments should take priority over individual contributions and experiences consummate their capabilities and other personal assets.

Notwithstanding the above statements made by the companies and their measure of justice to enforce a total domain of equality to create salubrious working ambiance, the gravitas of misappropriation of equality and the absence of civility in our society looms large in the imbroglio of incivility and distortion of liberty at its best. With respect to equality of human condition, of course it is among the greatest and most uncertain ventures of modern mankind. However, we have bastardized its pristine nature and the meaning of the sovereign privilege of mankind by applying to just any and all aspects of our contemporary life ad nauseam. The more equal conditions are, the less explanation there is for the differences that actually exist between us. Equality will simply be recognized as a working principle of a political organization in which you are normal if you are like everybody else, and vice versa. It is the perversion of equality from a sacred sovereign value into a mere social concept, politically influenced, conditioned, and shaped by a great social Leviathan vested with all the power to persecute all abnormal you.

Speaking of the importance of civility, the elimination of the aforesaid individuals contextualizes just how the society in general mistakes incivility for racialism. It’s about a lack of courtesies generated by the informalization of civility in the sense of benevolence and respect for others. It’s the manners that take place of the gaps left by the law. For example, there’s no law against cutting a line or importuning of a panhandler to customers in a coffee shop. And this is where a role of civility comes in. Civility in essence is about strangers being able to live a communal life in society. It’s about being able to disagree without being disagreeable, as Obama once said wisely. And just as this presence of incivility takes a heavy toll on keeping the society in an orderly system, our society should endeavor to educate the citizenry on the subject of public civility instead of prompting the public to eavesdrop their coworkers or colleagues and encouraging them to inform their colleagues on the ground of racialism that may not be objectively true because reality is always another way of looking at the world in multifarious ways.