I live in a fantasy world, and it’s all my wife’s fault.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

In my world, there are no power outages leaving us in sweltering heat, no grouting in the shower that needs to be replaced, no weeds to pull, no raccoons pooping on our deck, no anxiety from the daily mess of life, the stress from which would make a Navy Seal feel like “Flat Stanley.”

In my world, I’m married to a beautiful blonde who still looks exactly like the college picture of her I carry in my wallet. In my world, whenever she walks into the room, no matter what’s happening that day, all I see is the two of us sharing a palm tree at the edge of a turquoise ocean.

I live in a fantasy work and it’s all her fault – and only one of countless reasons that I always have and always will love her.

“Hey, good morning. ..Where are you?” I hear her coming down the stairs.

Jeez, she’s up early. I’ve got to hurry up and post this.

“Happy anniversary, honey!” she tells me, cruising into the kitchen where I’m typing frantically at the table.

“Hey. You too!” And then I realize, pressing the WordPress “Publish” button in the nick of time, looking up to see her smiling at me… It’s all true. I really am married to a beautiful blonde.



“Go Further With Ford.” Is Ford grammatically correct?

Monday, July 16, 2012

I don’t think so. Far be it for me to be critical of someone else’s grammar, but here I go anyway.

Lately, Ford has been running commercials and ads that use the slogan, “Go Further With Ford.” Here’s a link to one of their television ads and screenshot of the final frame.

The point of the ad is that Ford cars are better made and more efficient, more stingy in the use of gasoline with the result that you can drive them farther (my word) on a gallon of gas and longer, and therefore farther – There, I said it again. – over the life of the car.

According to “Grammar Girl,” “The quick and dirty tip is to use ‘farther’ for physical distance and ‘further’ for metaphorical, or figurative, distance. It’s easy to remember because ‘farther’ has the word ‘far’ in it, and ‘far’ obviously relates to physical distance.” I don’t know who Grammar Girl is, but her cartoon image seems pleasant enough and I agree with her.

I think Ford blew it, that their slogan should be “Go Farther,” and that I deserve a new Ford Fiesta, red with all the cool stuff, for pointing it out and saving them any further embarrassment. What do you think?

P.S. December 5, 2012. Since I wrote this piece, I’ve heard from Ford. Be sure to read, “‘Go Further With Ford.’ Is Ford grammatically correct? Part 2, The Response.”


A little self-deprecating humor.

Friday, June 29, 2012

No article. Just the cartoon.

Think I’m kidding? See the WordFeeder’s political blog, www.NextContestant.us.

Breaking the Pattern. (Isn’t it about time?)

Monday, June 25, 2012

It’s gotten to the point that a dysfunctional Congress (the President included) has become our most important problem – more important even than the economy because, unless and until Congress becomes functional, it’s not going to deal effectively with any of the critical economic, fiscal and social issues we’re facing.

We’re all about patterns. Some of them are dictated by work. Others are just the way we do things, the sequences of events and habits that express and define who we are. To no small extent, we are and become what we do.

The problem with patterns is that they’re hard to break, even when it’s blatantly clear that the patterns aren’t helping us and may even be detrimental. It’s just too easy to keep doing things the same ways we always have.

Complaining about Washington, about the “Washington” that is our federal government, is a tradition that reality, as of late, is turning into a bad joke. Our Congress does next to nothing and what it does do, it does poorly. Way too much politics, not enough careful study and collaborative making of creative, effective legislation. Money, specifically the costs of getting elected, has made matters worse, has subverted the whole idea of elected representation, of “one person, one vote.”

Note to President Obama: Take a lesson from Johnny Carson’s playbook.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fifty-four minutes? Really?? In President Obama’s defense, maybe he was auditioning for a teaching position at the community college by giving a lecture in failed public policy.

Johnny Carson, the legendary late night comedian, was a genius at saving bad jokes, often turning duds into his monologue’s funniest moments. One of his techniques was to start explaining the joke, pretending, hope against hope that, if only the audience understood what he was trying to say, they’d realize his comic genius. Sometimes he’d pull down the overhead mike and rap on it to make sure it was working. In fact, it was the faux explanation that was the real joke. What he knew, and leveraged to the hilt, was that, if you had to explain it, it probably wasn’t that funny in the first place.


Negative Advertising: Changing voters’ minds.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yesterday, I wrote an article entitled, “Negative Advertising: An essential means of voter education.” This piece looks at the flip side of negative advertising. From the campaign’s point of view, it’s as essential to winning as money. In fact, funding negative advertising may just be the primary reason the candidate needs money.

Yesterday’s piece was more academic. This one, on the other hand, reads more like a come-from-behind thriller, without all the shooting and car chases of course, or the street-savvy call girl with a heart who risks everything for the hero she knows will never love her. (Can you tell I prefer to write fiction?) Like the ads say for the “Monster Trucks” show, “Twenty dollars will buy you a whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge!”

Negative Advertising: An essential means of voter education.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hi. This is the first of two articles that I’m writing about “negative advertising,” a concept that I believe has been given a bad rap by the media and, most importantly, by the form of it that many well-funded candidates and their political action committees have chosen. This first piece is about its definition and essential role. (As usual, I’m going to write like I know what I’m talking about, leaving it to your comments to help me get it right.)

“Negative advertising” is when one candidate or organization supporting a candidate runs ads that point out shortcomings of the other candidate. The media treats negative advertising like it’s a bad thing. It’s not.