General: January 2005 Archives

I have been haunted all week by this Dustbury entry and by the entry by Susanna Cornett over at Cut on the Bias to which Charles G. Hill links. Here's part of what Susanna wrote:

Sometimes I think about what my life would be if I had made other choices - gone to a different college, married young, become a police officer or stayed with journalism. Perhaps it's an artifact of turning 44 this year, well and truly at middle age and past the place where some paths can be chosen. I've discovered that living life the best way you know how brings regrets and sadness and mourning the loss of things you were never quite sure you wanted, or don't even know now if you want them. It is the narrowing of possibilities that hurts, the knowledge that if you did decide you wanted a certain path, it is already irrevocably closed to you, slipping away behind you when you were looking for something else.

I have those regrets, and I've spent some time and tears mourning the things that never were and now never can be no matter how much I might wish for them. ...

I think, in the end, the issue is not what I have chosen until now. It's uncertainty about what to choose for the future, whether the sense of inevitability is less a truth than just that I can't see over the sides of the rut I'm in. I begin to see that my problem is not so much that choices have closed, but rather a failure to actually choose at all. Is it the flexibility to take advantage of new opportunities? Or is it a mercurial nature easily drawn aside from one path to pursue another, and another, and another, a jane of all trades but master of none? Is it the road less traveled, or the path of least resistance?

For his part, Charles writes:

Going through some old notes I found the following list. My mother-in-law was a winner of the President's Community Volunteer Award a couple of years ago (the last one on the list, alphabetically), and this was the list of tips given by the Points of Light Foundation to the winners for dealing with the media:

  • Be honest.
  • Be yourself.
  • Answer the question that you wish they'd ask.
  • Keep answers concise and paint a vivid picture (use anecdotes, positive language, and comparisons).
  • You are in control, so make your point.
  • If you disagree with something the reporter says, speak up immediately.
  • Prepare three 25-word sentences that convey your overall message.
  • Remember who YOU are representing.
  • Don't say anything that you wouldn't want to see in print or played over and over again in a soundbite.
  • There is no such thing as "off the record".
  • You don't have to have all the answers.

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I discovered, through a perusal of my referrer logs, that someone has set up a domain with a rude name referring to an influential and controversial local business/political institution. Rather than putting up their own content, the proprietor of said site has simply put a frame around my site. If you go to that site, you will see my home page, but with the site's name on the window title.

There is a fix for this, and I will implement it in the next day or two, God willing.

While I have my disagreements with the institution in question -- particularly with its leadership -- I think the use of the word "sucks" is childish and does not improve the tone of public debate.

To the proprietor of the site: Stop framing my site. If you want to criticize that institution, do so in your own words. Feel free to link to and comment on articles that I've written on the subject. But don't try to associate my site with your childish domain name.

UPDATE: I think I've got it fixed. Any effort to frame my site will display a disclaimer, rather than the site itself. And referrals from the offending site are blocked as well.

Reader Ron Warnick thinks the pot is calling the kettle black:

You've called Brad Carson by the name Little Boy Brad, you call the city council minority the Cockroach Caucus, and you call the Tulsa World the Tulsa "Whirled." Yet you say that someone using the word "sucks" is immature?

Physician, heal thyself.

Yes, my epithets (you forgot "Chamber Pots") are meant to put their targets in a negative light, which is also the point behind sitenames using the word "sucks". Saying that something "sucks" is the sort of thing I'd expect to hear from a 10-year-old with a limited vocabulary -- an inarticulate expression of displeasure and frustration. Coming up with "Cockroach Caucus" and "Whirled" involved some degree of creativity and imagination, if I do say so myself. ("Little Boy Brad" wasn't as creative, but he deserved some derisive title in payment for the sleazy smear campaign he ran against Tom Coburn.)

I have a suspicion that the owner of the offending site isn't in fact a critic of the institution, but is attempting, by connecting it with a harshly negative and irresponsible name, to make this site look bad. I can do that all by myself, thank you very much.

I was listening to a nutrition talk show as I woke up this morning. The host was saying that in Third World countries they don't have a word for "menopause". This is because in these more primitive lands, their diet contains more of some nutrient of which we in the West, with our overprocessed foods, are deprived, a nutrient which staves off the Change of Life.

I may be wrong, but if Third World languages lack a word for menopause, I'll bet it's because women tend to die from poor sanitation, malaria (because we won't let them use DDT), malnutrition, war, natural disasters, and overcrowded buses careening off of poorly engineered roads long before they have a chance to experience a hot flash.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the General category from January 2005.

General: December 2004 is the previous archive.

General: February 2005 is the next archive.

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