2013 Mazda3 GX Hatchback Best deal in Ontario
Why every company should write a book
Everyone should write a book. Your story is a gift.
Blog, blog, blog, blah, blah, blah. How to rise out of Blogosphere oblivion.
A novel by David Hughes
The only witness to Sheriff Mike Cougar’s secret is the dead Chrystine Goodall, wife of Syntex Corporation’s CEO. Her murder rips the veneer off of a terrorizing truth that explodes into every corporate office across America. A serial killer is assassinating CEOs in a desperate attempt to stop the carnage of corporate downsizing.
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“Live” from the Consulting Fields. How to write the definitive business Fieldbook in real-time
Only to you. It’s your choice
Big or small, it’s your choice. And all the sex research in the world isn’t going to change your choice. Ever since Masters and Johnson got the sex research thing rolling back in 1957 at Indiana University, it seems as if there’s been more research on sex than any other subject. It’s as if our appetite to know more about sex is as insatiable as our appetite for sex. It certainly feeds an endless stream of books, magazines and blogs. Think where Cosmopolitan would be if we didn’t need to know more. And, of course, we all read Playboy “because of the articles.”
Here are two recent articles and a book you might want to read if you’re still searching for answers in your sex life. Or not.
Small breasts are making a comeback. What?
This from a gay fashion guru – no kidding. First of all, the whole fashion gig is as fake as breast implants and secondly, what’s a gay guy know about what heterosexual men like in breasts? Read the article if you’re more interested in humor than knowledge. Simon Doonan, a fashion something-or-other wrote in Slate that small breasts were “making a comeback” – as if he’s talking about a fashion trend. He points to the growing trend in restaurants, some called breastaurants, that make Hooters look like a high school gym class. The article points to examples like “Seattle-based Chicka Latte, where the waitresses are dressed as firefighters, cheerleaders and racecar drivers, and The Tilted Kilt, which has more than fifty—count ‘em!—locations nationwide plus one in Canada.” Doonan posits that “the era of meg boobs” is waning and suggests Rooney Mara’s small baring (or is it baring small?) in The Girl With The Dragoon Tattoo is indicative of a trend. I think he’s been predicting fashion trends too long and it’s gone to his head because his groin certainly knows nothing about what’s on a man’s menu for boobs. The one thing he does say that has merit is his citing of a recent New York Times story about the recall of thousands of dodgy, leaky implants. French health authorities have advised 30,000 women to explant those suspect implants ASAP. Maybe the trend is less about frivolous fashion and more about smart health?
Are tattoos a sign of sexual proclivity?
Here’s an article on some more sex research. Does a tattoo on a woman’s lower back effect a man’s attitude and behavior? Fun research even if it doesn’t tell you anything you don’t already know. French researchers (leave it to the French) studied human mating habits on a beach in the south of France using attractive women in bikinis. The men agreed that the women were all attractive with or without a tattoo, but (there were no big butts) they believed that the woman with the tattoo on her lower back was more likely to say yes to a date, and more likely to have sex on that date.
The lead researcher, Nicolas Guéguen, told Pacific Standard magazine that “the study raises further questions, because previous research has shown that adults who get tattoos and piercings tend to be more sexually active than adults who don’t.” He notes, “this raises a chicken-and-egg question. Does a tattoo really signal greater openness to sex, or do tattooed women simply get solicited more often, increasing the odds of them becoming sexually active? Or are men just idiots who buy into media stereotypes about ‘tramp stamps?’” Either way ladies, if your looking to score more often, go get that tattoo. Now, if Dennis Rodman approaches you, well, that’s your problem.
Master of your domain? Read this book or Fifty Shades of Grey – again
“His hunger feeds me. We meet, and live that hunger—his, mine, ours—and afterwards, we are ashes. We are the good Zen bonfire: we have left no traces. We have burnt ourselves completely.”
That little ditty is from a new book, Unmastered, A Book On Desire, Most Difficult To Tell, by Katherine Angel, a British academic. Before you rush out and buy it, read Parul Sehgal’s article in Slate titled, Afterwards, We Are Ashes. Why is it so difficult to write about desire? Angel asks the same questions we always ask about desire: “Why do I like what I like? Am I wrong to like what I like? and Why is it so hard to ask these questions anyway?” As Sehgal says, the author “takes on sexual entitlement, the pornographic gaze, to spank or not to spank—and her targets are first her own pieties, then your pieties, and then the narrow discourse around desire. She goes from “the world’s hunger for the bodies of women and girls seemed so outsized that to acknowledge her own hunger seemed fatal …” to “her acknowledgement of pleasure as a source of intelligence and healing …” I think Sehgal captures it with the statement that “Unmastered is a smart rejoinder to the idea that pleasure has nothing to teach us.” And I’m not sure the book has much to teach us either. But I am sure it’s better than Fifty Shades of Grey.
The clean water Illuminati conspiracy has gone viral
Who gives a shit? Just rich celebrities? How about you?
Do we really give a shit about the rest of the world? The evidence is in and the decision is clear: No! 780 million people – more than double the population of the US and Canada – do not have clean drinking water. And Matt Damon, Richard Branson, Olivia Wilde and Bono are not going to stand for it. Or sit on a toilet until we do something about it. It’s a shit strike! These celebs, and many more, have taken on this serious world problem suffered by 1-in-9 humans and are turning it into a joke that is no joke, and it’s gone viral.
Watch this 1:50 second video – it makes a point, actually two points: the idiocy gap between our don’t-give-a-shit society and the stupidity of the Illuminati conspiracy that so many idiots in our society do give a shit about. No wonder our world is in such a shitty condition – most of us don’t know shit from reality. But a few celebs do, so visit strikewithme.org and find out how you can become a celebrity.
Don’t let Bono call you a “wanker” – give more than a shit. Give $25
For $25 you can save a life. And have one of the better conversation starters at the water cooler or dinner party. Even hold a press conference like Matt Damon (see video clip below). One donation of $25 will provide one person in Africa with clean drinking water for the rest of their life (the average female in Africa has to walk 6 km a day to get clean water). Donate now! If you give a shit.
Watch more of Damon’s campaign and his funny press conference. It’s just 3:10. And then donate – whether you give a shit or not.
The Bible spoke of the “Ten Plagues.” This might be the Twelfth
”On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn — both men and animals —and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.”
Do we need divine intervention? God knows the insanity has to stop!
- The Ten Plagues: According to the Book of Exodus, there were ten calamities that the Israel’s God inflicted upon Egypt to persuade the Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. The Pharaoh capitulated after the tenth plague, triggering the Exodus of the Jewish people. The plagues demonstrated the power of Israel’s god against the power of Egypt’s various gods. The Plagues are also mentioned in the Quran (7,133–136) so this is a multi-religious panacea that just might be available to most of the world.
- The Eleventh Plague: This was a bad novel published in 2000. It died a natural death causing harm only to the publisher who forked out a multimillion dollar advance.
- The Twelfth Plaque: This is the one we need to be concerned about. It is not a biblical myth and it has been growing like a cancer for decades while our governments and corporations have whistled past the graveyard on the way to the their personal banks. And “we the people,” having been ignorant of it, have ignored it.
- The Twelfth Plague is perpetrated by genetically modified pesticides, plants and seeds, at great profits to the Pharaohs and great cost to “we the slaves.”
The bees are dying – are we next?
Bees may be the canaries in Mother Nature’s mine shaft. Just as miners used to throw canaries down mine shafts to see if it was safe (if they didn’t return, the humans stayed out), maybe Mother Nature is using bees to foretell the presence of deadly toxins spread across our planet. We know that Mother Nature and the eco-system will survive to eternity – or at least until the next big bang – but there is no guarantee that the human species will survive, despite all our technological wizardry. In fact, our clever-by-half, arrogant dependency on technology may well be the cause of our extinction, not the savior. Of course, the bees will go first.
At stake is the work the honeybees do. While a few crops, such as corn and wheat, are pollinated by the wind, bees help pollinate more than 90 commercially grown field crops, citrus and other fruit crops, vegetables and nut crops. Without these insects, crop yields would fall dramatically and would cease to exist. Agronomists estimate Americans owe one in three bites of food to bees. Bees keep busy pollinating more than $15 billion worth of US crops. Unfortunately, that is a drop in the bucket compared to the money made in the chemical pesticide business. That’s where the bees are caught between a rock and a hard place. The class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids came on the market in the 1990s as a “less toxic” – to humans – form of pest control. They were widely adopted and are used on about 100 million acres of crops today. Since then beekeepers have been reporting a mysterious collapse of honeybee and bumblebee populations.
The Pharaohs are the real plague
It took ten plagues to get the Pharaohs of Egypt to relinquish power and it could easily take more to get these modern day Pharaohs to give up their power and gold for the lives of a few million bees. Even if they are intelligent enough to know, in the end, the bees’ death could be their death, they can’t deny their innate drive is to be the richest person in the cemetery, regardless of how many bees, birds or people they take with them.
A few facts about the birds and the bees
There is a good article in the Top Information Posts, a digital news aggregator, that provides “undisputed evidence” that a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, are destroying our planet’s bee population, and if left unchecked it could destroy our world’s ability to grow enough food to feed its population. Even Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) couldn’t have imagined that this would be how we would prove his theory of how population growth would be checked by food shortage. The article also tells how Russia is severely pissed off at the US – again – about how the EPA is ignoring the facts about pesticides and chemicals and how they are killing the birds and the bees. It’s all supported by most European nations and a lot of studies and reports. Check these facts:
- Syngenta, along with bio-tech giants Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and DuPont, now control nearly 100% of the global market for genetically modified pesticides, plants and seeds. And monopolies don’t answer to anyone other than shareholders.
- Syngenta, in 2012, was criminally charged in Germany for concealing the fact that its genetically modified corn killed cattle.
- Syngenta settled a class-action lawsuit in the US for $105 million after it was discovered they had contaminated the drinking supply of some 52 million Americans in more than 2,000 water districts with its “gender-bending” herbicide Atrazine.
- Over 90% of the wild bee population in the US has already died and up to 80% of domestic bees have died.
- The Russian Natural Resources and Environment Federation (MRNE) calls this the greatest agricultural apocalypse in human history. The EPA disagrees and quiet, conservative, insecure Canada is silent, of course.
- In March 2013, the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) warned our planet is in danger. “As part of a study on impacts from the world’s most widely used class of insecticides, nicotine-like chemicals called neonicotinoids, ABC has called for a ban on their use as seed treatments and for the suspension of all applications pending an independent review of the products’ effects on bees, birds, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife.
- “A single corn kernel coated with a neonicotinoid can kill a songbird … Even a tiny grain of wheat or canola treated with the oldest neonicotinoid — called imidacloprid — can fatally poison a bird. And as little as 1/10th of a neonicotinoid-coated corn seed per day during egg-laying season is all that is needed to affect reproduction.”
- The new report concludes that neonicotinoid contamination levels in both surface and ground water in the United States and around the world are already beyond the threshold found to kill many aquatic invertebrates.
- The US House of Representatives quietly passed a last-minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 last week – including a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks. The rider, known as the Farmer Assurance Provision, has been derided by opponents of biotech as the “Monsanto Protection Act,” as it would strip federal courts of the authority to immediately halt the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) seed crop, regardless of any consumer health concerns.
Cynthia Palmer, co-author of the ABC report said, “It is clear that these chemicals have the potential to affect entire food chains with their propensity for runoff and groundwater infiltration, and their cumulatively irreversible damage in invertebrates raise significant environmental concerns.”
The EC is taking action to purge the continent from continued contamination of these genetically bred “seed monstrosities” but the US is not. In the land of “life, liberty and happiness,” the so-called leaders of America, prefer liberty and happiness (instant gratification) to life and are making every effort to protect pesticide-producer profits over the catastrophic damage being done to the environment. The Guardian News Service stated in a May 2, 2013 article, US rejects EU claim of insecticide as prime reason for bee colony collapse: “The European Union voted this week for a two-year ban on a class of pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, that has been associated with the bees’ collapse. The US government report, in contrast, found multiple causes for the collapse of the honeybees.” That’s nothing but a smoke-screen to cover the real reason, which is to protect the bio-tech giants. More details can be viewed in the report entitled, “How did Barack Obama become Monsanto’s man in Washington?”
Next time a bee buzzes in for a sting make sure you tell them you don’t work for Monsanto, DuPont or Syngenta. And if you do work for them, grab an epi-pen and run. Better still, do something useful. Sign a petition to protect the bees and birds. Last year, 1.2 million signatures forced US authorities to start formal discussions on pesticides and 2.6 million signatures influenced European countries to enact new laws. Sign the petition and share this story with anybody who depends on bees to deliver them 1/3 of their food – almost everybody!
Is there no hope for Port Hope?
One hour east of Toronto is an idyllic little town that could be on the cover on any history book. Lovingly nestled along a river that hosts salmon runs and crazy boat races, Port Hope is a delightful amalgam of historic buildings and modern shops, quaint B&Bs and jazzy jazz festivals. If it had more Italian restaurants – has one good one – and a few vineyards, it could pass as Canada’s Tuscany. It’s that bucolic. But – and this is a big ass but – on its water’s edge sits a rather large, misunderstood, butt-sized, historic site. A uranium processing plant which has been there since 1934 and is now owned by the world’s largest producer of uranium, Cameco.
A temporary problem
Sure it’s a big eye sore and it’s been there for eighty years but today Cameco is a modern, safe employer of hundreds of local people – from scientists and engineers to forklift drivers and security guards. Over the last decade or so Cameco has been a good corporate citizen, but before that, well … that’s a different story. Cameco’s predecessor, Eldorado Mines, which was bought decades ago by the Canadian Government, spent many years polluting the rolling terrain of Port Hope with toxic waste. It was such dastardly, reckless behavior that the federal government is now spending $260 million dollars and ten years to clean up the mess. The same mess that the government and the citizens of Port Hope allowed to be perpetrated in the first place. “Irresponsible” doesn’t begin to cover it. “Criminal” does.
What the hell is this?
Port Hope, founded in 1797, will weather the uranium dip in its rustic history, except no one can believe what Port Hope is thinking of next. Well, not all of them – that many people couldn’t be so stupid – but their town council just might be on the verge of leading the town from bad to worse. Out of the six councillors and mayor, only one, Councillor Greg Burns, has “seen the future” and declared himself opposed to a recently proposed, garbage-burning industrial project.
“Poor” Port Hope
If this project was proposed in some other community it would probably go through the proper process and get accepted or rejected on its merits and no one would be any worse off. But in Port Hope, it’s a very different story. Poor Port Hope has suffered from a bad rap and negative image for decades, as “home to nuclear,” all because of past corporate and government negligence and some intermittent, irresponsible uprisings by the citizens. Over the past 5-6 years, Port Hope has had an ongoing street fight between its protesting citizens and municipal decision-makers on numerous projects (“slightly enriched uranium,” historic nuclear waste, policing, train whistles), and now, here-we-go-again, a garbage-burning incinerator.
Either way Port Hope loses
The problem is that no matter what the decision, Port Hope loses. Not just because they might make the wrong decision but because the street fight, media noise and word-of-mouth will create a misconstrued, negative perception that will hang over the town’s most important industry – tourism. And that perception cannot be easily or quickly undone because Port Hope, like any small town, cannot mount adequate resources to “untell” a bad story. Therefore, they must stop the story before it begins.
- Port Hope cannot afford to have this fight out in the open, in the streets.
- Port Hope cannot afford to take another hit to its reputation.
- Port Hope cannot afford to damage its brand any further. And the $100,000 already spent to “design” a new one won’t come close to preventing it.
- In fact, Port Hope’s brand will take years –a decade or more – to recover. Brands fail all the time due to bad, uninformed decisions. Remember the likes of Edsel, Studebaker, Miller beer, Max Factor, and recently JC Penney (see earlier blog: Brands are like penny stock – priceless or worthless, in a blink).
There’s another cost
Most small towns struggle to attract industry and it is an important part of keeping property taxes reasonable and the job market improving. But there is a cost. And the 20th century, which is filled with environmental and health disasters, has taught us that the hard way. These costs are not the easy-to-calculate costs of providing services and maintaining infrastructure, rather they are the tough-to-calculate, not-so-obvious, long-term societal costs: Environmental costs, healthcare costs, loss of tourism and agricultural costs, to name a few. We instinctively, and empirically, know about these unmeasured, diabolical costs and yet, we keep allowing our communities to ride the old, economic stairs to more materialism (and “promised” lower taxes). And because we don’t know for certain these other costs, we ignore the long-term consequences. Are the decision-makers in small towns like Port Hope that short-sighted, that intellectually underdeveloped, that they ignore the common sense obvious for the short-term fix?
The resounding answer is “yes!” Not just in Port Hope but in towns and cities everywhere. We are stuck in the 20th century economic model and our short-term addictive need that makes materialism the real “god delusion.” We have, since the industrial revolution, worshiped at the altar money and material and now, almost 300 years later, there is only a sliver of insight that we’ve been doing it wrong and that we’d better start measuring the”other costs,” before it’s too late. Today, in little ol’Port Hope, there is an opportunity to do what is right before it is too late: Say “No” to a proposed project that promises to cause a firefight that will damage one industry (tourism) for the sake of another, as well as create division and dissension among the citizens. Rise above the historically myopic, economic rationale that brings in industrial projects based on the flawed, 20th century cost-benefit equation and stop the fight before it begins. Rethink the potential, disastrous “side effects.”
Port Hope has a problem
Port Hope is stuck in the same old-school, politics as other communities, a broken system that still operates under the myth and misrepresentation of democracy. Politicians seldom, if ever, serve the majority of the people. They are not elected by a majority. The Mayor of Port Hope was voted in by about 20% of the eligible voters (43% of the 48% who voted). In fact, politicians usually serve a minority, especially minority interests that are directly opposed to the interests of “we the people.” They serve special interests, monied interests and the civil servants who ostensibly work for them – a false assumption perpetrated for centuries. In Ted Kennedy’s memoir, he stated that 95% of the legislative content (laws) were written by Congressional staff, not elected representatives. The civil servant is the politician’s doppelganger, the behind-the-scenes ghostly figure who feeds elected officials reams and reams of data, reports, recommendations and complex gobbledygook, on which the besieged and ignorant (not well informed) politicians make decisions. One of the biggest impediments to democracy is the phalanx of civil servants, the people in the hallways and backrooms who steer the decision-making. They are the power. They manage the sewer pipes that intake the taxpayers money, connect it to special interest groups and feed the overwhelmed, under unqualified politicians. If you look closely at the careers of the career civil servants who “retire” near the top, you will see that many land in some cushy appointments or on cushy boards with their cushy taxpayer’s pension. And if you follow the money and appointments, they link those people to the businesses that economically benefited from the political decisions made on their watch. Nowhere is this more evident than in small towns where there is a dearth of competent politicians who are desperately dependent on one or two well-informed, well-connected, seldom-questioned civil servants.
Port Hope has a choice: Garbage ash or cow dung?
There are more reasons than can be covered here as to why Port Hope should “Say No” to this incinerator project, but there are a few that are more than enough to simply stop the application and proposal for this project in its tracks. Because the community should not go through another debilitating fight between citizens and politicians over a toxic industry in their pastoral little town. If they do, the word will get out. The scandal-chasing Toronto media will feed on an out-of-town, political food-fight because they’re tired of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s criminal escapades. Here are four reasons to stop the stupidity in Port Hope, now:
- “News” (forget whether it ever happens) of a possible garbage-burning, ash-spewing incinerator will kill a large segment of Port Hope’s tourism business, which, along with retail, directly accounts for almost 25% of the community’s jobs. Did Port Hope not learn from the fight with the irresponsible group, Families Against Radiation Exposure (FARE)?
- Port Hope’s tourism is already suffering from the perception of “home to nuclear waste,” so if garbage waste is added, tourism and real estate will be in the dumpster for decades.
- Port Hope is at the center of a large and prosperous agriculture industry and a garbage incinerator that can burn up to 600,000 tonnes of garbage annually will spread a lot worse than healthy manure on the green fields of Northumberland County.
- Port Hope recently spent $100,000 to try and develop a new “brand image” for the community to help off-set the damage done by the perception of nuclear waste. A tough enough assignment itself. But if they add the perception of “home to a garbage incinerator” the $100,000 will be a spit-in-the-ocean against a tsunami of negative image.
It’s a choice
To fight or not to fight? Your choice, your future
It’s the fight that matters, not the outcome. It’s the war that does the damage, and no peace treaty can ever repair it. Stop the process now, before it’s too late.
It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to lose it. If you think about that, you will do things differently. – Warren Buffet
This is no joke. A sustainable vibrator is coming soon …
Only the Swedes could pull off the branding coup of the year in the sex toy market. Funny, clever and explosive, this is equal to a premature ejaculation turning into a long-term relationship. It started out as an April Fool’s joke and after fooling everyone, the company is now working on designing an actual vibrator branded as “GÄSM” – your eco-friendly vibrator made from 100% recycled materials. It just might make customers a little more relaxed knowing they are helping the environment while helping themselves.
Steve Thompson, global head of marketing for Lelo said this about the original April Fool’s idea. “The best way we thought we could do that (April Fool’s joke) was to faux launch a product that they wouldn’t imagine and they’d never seen before.” It worked. It was forest green and made from recycled wood pulp and car tires and powered by a “hand-cranking” Allen wrench. Like Ikea products – not quite the same – it was to be sold as separate pieces and you had to put them together. They even used IKEA-like font and packaging.
The internal sales staff, the press and a lot of customers were fooled – and disappointed. So much so that the company is now hoping to launch the real ”GÄSM” in the next six months – to orgasmic-like, sustainable success.
While waiting to be eco-friendly, shop for other Lelo pleasure products
The Swedish company says they don’t sell sex toys; they sell “pleasure objects.” Their “massagers” and “stimulators” are in sex toy stores, sure, but they’re also at Brookstone, where “massager” usually means something you use on your back. They make a vibrator (the Inez) that retails for $15,000, I think it’s gold-plated.
There is more just a click away.
As you bitch about life think about the life of some beautiful bitches
Ever stop and think what all those off-hand, negative, dog-references we use really mean?
- “It’s a dog’s life.”
- “Life’s a bitch.”
- “He’s a dog.”
- “She’s a bitch.”
- “I’m havin’ a bitch of a time.”
- “The dog days of August.”
They are all negative – pejoratives – but not as bad a a real dog’s life, for millions of dogs. There are over sixty million dogs in Canada and the Unites States and most have a decent home. But millions live in old cars, old sheds, back alleys, garbage dumps and shit-holes around the world. Photographer Martin Usborne from London captured these incredible silent messengers (more at his website). Look closely and you will hear what they are saying.
We are not talking about the dog curled up with you by the fireplace, these are the lonely dogs, the ones left for hours in a car, left outside in the cold, left without enough food – or no food. Or beaten. Or dumped a hundred miles from home. That’s the real meaning of a “dog’s life” and “life’s a bitch.” Think about it. Better still, do something!
The humane societies are overwhelmed and can barely make a dent in the suffering so go to the International Humane Society website and follow your heart. And then put a couple of bucks where your heart is. They will tell you about “puppy mills” and what you can do to help. Here’s what they say, “As Mother’s Day approaches we remember the mother dogs who are suffering in puppy mills. They spend their lives in cramped wire cages, often with little human contact and barely enough food and water to stay alive as they churn out puppies for sale at pet stores and on the Internet … tens of thousands of animals languish in appalling conditions, waiting for help to come … take action to help shut down this terrible industry. Start by signing our pledge to end the cycle of cruelty.” So do it doggonit! Don’t be a bitch or a bastard, help these dogs who are the ones actually living a dog’s life.
We’re in it together
Two minutes of your life can save a dog’s life. Click and donate now! And then go home and tell your dog, cat, hamster (or the neighbor’s) what you did. Trust me, the animals know better than humans that we are all in this together.
And just in case you’re not moved to action, watch this two minute video about 125 dogs rescued from a Quebec puppy mill. Then click and donate.
“Like” and “looks” matter, “talent” is incidental
Democracy is just in alpha testing for the rich and famous
The political experiment called democracy, that began in Greece some 2,500 years ago, is still in the alpha testing stage, and even if Plato’s “philosopher-kings” got fairly elected back then, today, we know there are no philosophers or intellectual kings that get fairly elected. Unless, of course, they’re good looking and likable and born in an incubator of one of the rich and famous rat packs. Intellect, experience and character don’t matter, the only requisites to run for high office are any three of the following:
- Good looks
- Family name
- Bags of money
- Master puppeteers
Getting elected is about charisma and money and money. Oh, and with the help of family connections and name recognition – Trudeau, Kennedy, Bush.
Somewhere in the recesses of our intellect is an adumbrated understanding that leadership requires unique talent and that liking someone who looks good has nothing to do with that. And yet, in politics, when it comes to picking winners, we are no better at it than when we’re betting at the horse track. We pick losers because they look good. Now that’s okay if we see life as a horse race and government as a barn full of self-interested, horse’s asses – there’s a metaphor for politics – but if we expect our best interests to be reasonably represented then we have to start electing some true thoroughbreds. And to do that we must disconnect our amygdala and tap a little deeper into our cerebral cortex? Until we do, our superficiality and stupidity will just keep picking superficial losers.
Who is Justin Trudeau? Is he like Justin Timberlake?
Justin Trudeau is the next lab rat to run in the political experiment called democracy. He’s a good trifecta bet. He’s got looks, likeability, money and name – that’s a superfecta – and he won the recent Liberal Party leadership with 80% of the votes because he was best liked. As one handler said, ““Our going-in assumption, and it’s basically what we built the entire strategy around, was that the more people get to know him, the more they are going to like him.” (Remember one of Mitt Romney’s flaws, enough people didn’t “like” him enough).
The backroom cabal aren’t stupid but they know the majority of the electorate is. Forty-one year old Trudeau has big hair, small experience, good genes, bad resume – he’s just a substitute drama teacher. Yikes! Some drama. My god, his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, had a law degree, a Master’s from Harvard, founded a political newspaper, Cité Libre, and was the Minister of Justice in the federal government before becoming Prime Minister. If he was alive, I think he’d send Justin to serve in Afghanistan or the UN or a YMCA camp – anything to learn a thing or two or three before trying to run a nation. But you can bet there’s a good chance that Canadians will elect this good lookin’, likable, genetically branded guy as the nation’s next Prime Minister. Hey, maybe the Americans will run his namesake, Justin Timberlake? Or Oprah or Ellen? Any of them could win in a landslide (look what too many thought of Sarah-too-empty-Palin). Because we’re still running on our “animal brain” – according to wise men like Friedrich Nietzsche and Charles Darwin – and the likes of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney know that’s how we decide who to vote for. And history has proven it, over and over again.
Over 7.6 million hits in less than a week – no shit!
Today, the power and reach of social media and the viral phenomena is a given and humor – done right – has always been a cornerstone of good creative. So if you’re desperately in search of great creative, well … maybe call Don Draper – just kidding (that’s bad humor). Or find out who created this 38 second commercial.
Well done K-Mart!
And 2.7 of them puked like Don did at Roger’s mother’s funeral
What is it about bad TV that gets good ratings?
Are we so desperate to be entertained that we will watch damn near anything to fill the void between dinner and bed – from Mad Men and Honey Boo Boo to Dancing with the Stars and Modern Family. Maybe we should try dancing – or talking – with our own family and see what happens. It couldn’t be worse than crying or gagging on really bad, contrived television.
Who’s crying now?
In the past, Mad Men has been applauded – for no good reason – for its character development and writing (not by me), but that all went to hell in a Hawaiian hand basket in the season six opener. Character development is about viewers being drawn in, caring, worrying and wondering. And good writing is about lighting up emotions that move from scene to scene, forming an intriguing arch through the show, and across all shows. Not here, not in Hawaii, not in Manhattan, not in Rye, NY. The only arc is a short-circuited, disjointed-jumping from scene to scene, character to character, non-caring to non-caring. And the show’s slow, drawn out scenes with pathetic characters is a bad imitation of Steven Spielberg’s dragged out, overly dramatized directorial style. It’s weak storytelling, lazy writing and confusion masquerading as tension.
Don Draper and all his non-existent creative talent ain’t gonna save this show, no matter how much he smokes, drinks and screws around. Nor will Roger’s psychiatrist. And neither will Peggy riding back as Lady Godiva. This season the show is DOA. Not sure how it’s made it this far? Ratings may be down only slightly for the first show but its previous average audience of 2.6 million will soon become a distant memory. This overblown snowball is on its way to Dante’s Inferno – so read on Don, you’re not going to get to Paradiso.
Don would never had made it in the 1960s
What is surprising about Mad Men is the fact that it has been as “successful” as it has. How someone can create a six-season TV show from the 1960s advertising business by so misrepresenting it is beyond even the absurdity of Hollywood. If you want a little insight into a great era in advertising and some outstanding creative, visit the Golden Age of Advertising site featuring Doyle Dane Bernbach and more. And ignore this TV insult to the brilliance of the real 1960s ad men. You can be sure that David Ogilvy, Bill Bernbach, Mary Wells Lawrence, Harrison Yates, Lou Delamarter were not watching this cheap knock-off. And if they did sneak a peak, they were likely throwing up before Don left Hawaii. At least Ogilvy and Bernbach didn’t have to endure the slime, they’re dead. And so too are the faux ad men of “Bad Mad Men.”