Monday, January 21, 2013

It's All Relative

Everything is relative.  Does that mean that everyone in the world/universe is related by some means. Or does it mean, conditional, connected, in regard to, or proportionate?  Hold on to your brain matter, we are about to take an esoteric trip into some kind of phenomenon.  Frightened, aren’t you.  I have required very little thinking on your part for over three years. I have filled in all the blanks and opened you up to some amazing perspectives on life, love, literature, and cooking.   But now I have expectations.

In Salt Lake City, gas is at about $2.65 per gallon.  On the east coast (NE), it ranges between $3 and $4.  The west coast, (north and south), is pretty much the same.  The cost is relative to where you are located, and how difficult it is to get the oil to you.  So in Dallas it’s in the low $3’s, and Tucson it’s high, not quite $3.  Listing gas prices could take hours and hours. And it’s pretty boring,  but that’s not relative to this blob.  The point is, that even low gas prices are a whole lot higher now than before President Obama took office.  Which is also not the point of this blob. 

When gas prices started to rise, everyone was outraged.  It took a few months and then they started to fluctuate.  Up and down and down and up, but never below high to mid 2’s. The gas companies did this for a reason.  With gas reaching above $4, during some months, when a person had to pay $3.50, then $3.09, the conversation went from “holy cow $4”, to “$3.25, gas is really cheap.”  My point is that people can and will get used to anything. Eventually, we become desensitized, and are willing to accept things that should still be considered outrageous.

Yesterday, I was looking at a list of Broadway shows opening over the next few months.  The price of tickets, just like the price of gas, continues to rise until, what we think is ridiculous, eventually becomes the normal. Seats at “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Matilda,” and the new Tom Hanks show, all start at $175 or more.  That’s per ticket without any refreshments.  Last year, when the tickets jumped to $125 and $140 per seat we couldn’t believe it, And as with gasoline, when we are offered tickets at the half price window for $90, we cannot believe how lucky we are.  It’s all relative.

Not everyone pays that much.  There are group sales and discounts and companies that specialize in offering cheap seats, but alas, the pricing eliminates anyone who is not an insider, does not work for Wall street or a big corporation, or lives on Park Avenue or the upper east side.  This pricing, combined with an absence of original or spectacular,  could kill Broadway – wah, wah, wah. 

The President was inaugurated today.  There was a time when a $50 donation would get you at least standing room.  Now a $45,000 contribution might get you a seat.  Even $10,000 seems ordinary.  My first Inaugural was Carter in 1977. My last was in 2009. I was staff, so my costs were physical rather than financial.  Do I miss the excitement?  Well, I miss the parade –always one of my favorite events.  What I don’t miss are the crowds, the self important bullshit, and the disingenuous political grandstanding.  When you are on the inside, the celebration feels pretty heady.  When you are an outsider, (or from the opposing party), it can be tedious and disappointing.  Peacefull tansition of power (whether it is to a different President or the same Party) is unique and  quite stunning.  It makes you proud to be an American.  But whether or not it makes you happy, is all relative.  We're just sayin'.....Iris

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