Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Three Completely Unrelated Things

When the year began, I started doing something new, at least for me. I'm now the grandpa of eleven, with two more expected shortly. None live closer than five hours away, and so my face time with each of them is pretty limited.
Every Sunday, I sit down and write ONE of them a short letter and invite them to write back. I send these by MAIL, because no one else is contacting them this way. And who knows? Somebody might want to keep them.
I noticed that one of our sons had been doing some work-related travel, and that he's leaving home again this weekend to watch (along with our other son) an auto race in Texas. As it happened, it was his son's turn for a grandpa letter. I suggested he keep track of his dad's trips and what's different in the places he goes to compared to their family's home in Utah. He's only nine, but he's also pretty smart, so we'll see. Hey, I know there are probably a hundred ways to learn these things, but the country's STILL full of people who think you need a visa to go to New Mexico, and probably think Iowa is part of Hawaii. Let's stay out of the trap that says that the only things we should bother to know are tied to our jobs or our PCs. Not so.

Can you fill in the blanks? "Love. It's what makes a _______ a ________." The terms "house" and "home" work pretty well, but I'm thinking of a new auto company slogan in which both blanks are filled with "Subaru". It seems to fit especially well in a current commercial in which a mom makes note of all the important milestones that have happened in her daughter's life as a passenger in the family Subaru. Of course this has nothing to do with the car itself, but there's just enough poignancy in this micro-drama to at least make the commercial enjoyable. But I wish a dad was included, even if he had no lines.
On the other hand, Mercedes Benz has a bold new theme which makes me want to puke. In a flurry of Teutonic ego, the company shouts that it's out to make "The best or nothing". It almost sounds like a line from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. Yes, I know. He's from Austria, not Germany. And I know selling to luxury car buyers must be different from pitching to customers of whatever class Subaru sees itself in, but if this were a slogan showdown, I'd give the edge to Subaru in a minute.

Finally, who would think that five years after her non-hit with voters that we'd still be hearing about Sarah Palin? She didn't push McCain to glorious victory in 2008. She couldn't hide some stupefying ignorance about the world, revealing herself as totally unqualified as presidential material. She didn't, in fact, even keep her job as Alaska governor once it became obvious that bigger and better deals were available promoting a certain goofy right-wing worldview. As neither an officeholder nor a candidate, there's no pressure on her to be anyone but her cute self as long as people keep showing up to see her. It's a little like Dennis Rodman, whose goofiness was completely tolerable when he was pulling down lots of rebounds in the NBA, but who is now just another eccentric guy with strange hair. Sarah's still quoted, and still on TV, but...WHY?
All I can think of is this. For a certain number of Americans, she fills the role of slightly naughty neighbor who can always be counted on for some hot gossip over the back fence. Our society no longer has such folks, since everyone's now on the job and there are no longer any clotheslines but, hey, we've got Sarah to say out loud what we may be thinking. May I be struck down if I ever start thinking like she does. She can get her millions from other folks. Let's just hope she's paying her taxes legally.



Post a Comment

<< Home