Sunday, March 15, 2009
Happy Terrence Patrick Day
Perhaps you have more than a soft spot but an actual web location for keeping up with your high school chums. Perhaps the spot is so soft that the dialog extends well past when our kids are in and out of high school. I have enjoyed the benefits of such a jury pool of peers over the past 11 years on email. Our discourse can also be expressed as sex, politics and religion only or all subjects taboo unless it's to acknowledge a passing birthday or cryptic allegorical reference to inbred jargonisms, non sequiturs, and in-jokes.
The discussions are testbeds for our own mental incubations. They are deliciously off-the-cuff but deliberative enough to weather the ribbing we'll get for indulging in over-reaches of faith or flaws in our sense-making. They are certainly more communally-based than any of the so-called mental social media outlets. Name the last time that a comment to a blog post led to an earnest debate or brokering of views? David Brooks is a heckuva columnist. But that doesn't make the pile-on to his latest op-ed post any more transparent or conducive to meaningful dissemination.
The occasion for praising our collective anti-social media of choice is the Saint Paddy's birthday greeting of Terrence P. Canade. In addition to getting and giving like the rest of us Bolishuckers, Canuck, as his name bestows, is the reigning king of reasonable. But he is also the group's top-ranking emissary, having logged more miles than the rest of us combined to attend reunions, weddings, and other excuses for get-togethers from Boston to Seattle.
The other aspect of Canuck worthy of public acclaim are the oratorical gifts that extend from his legal arguments to his Bolishuck dispatches. Here are a few from the past year:
* From the email thread Feeling his Oath: The story that is absorbing me lately: Paris 1919. We simply did not learn enough about how the resolution of WWI among a group of imperial prevailing powers created a world which continues to affect us today. We tend to think of our current middle eastern nations as ancient with a long history of controlling our access to energy. We are less than 100 years removed from creating many of those states and from enabling them to transform themselves from forgotten lands to the focus of world attention.
* From the email thread The Stretch: The themes of Underworld resonated with me - think about everything as future garbage, how will you decide what material possessions to maintain? Thereafter, I decided to part with baseball cards which did not trigger an immediate personal emotional response. Just look at them, you know. After, I realized that the notion that I was maintaining memorabilia for others - my progeny, historians, future civilizations - was deluded. If it does not matter to you here and now, there is little sense keeping it (a sense that I believe you share based upon your memorabilia sales efforts).
* From the email thread That Was a Bad Day at the Movies: When Jennifer Connelly pleads - please please please, Mr. Blint - that Klaatu has yet to speak with the world leaders, she takes Klaatu to John Cleese for whom the movie lays no foundation. As she enters Cleese's office, Connelly points to a Nobel prize - for what? who cares? - to establish Cleese. Cleese apparently is some kind of mathematician, but what has that to do with Klaatu's purpose? What are we supposed to change and how might all powerful Klaatu help us do that? Jesus, who apparently spoke only in parables, was clearer. Klaatu claims that we did not listen. I claim that he did not say.
I could go on letting Canuck go on. That's not to suggest that Canuck in any way grandstands or indulges his mastery of persuasion. His economy of expression is part of that persuasion.
To close, to those of us in possession of an increasing abundance of birthdays let me say that the leading prevention of future regret is to praise those we can still bask in the birthday presence of we're we're all here.
I raise my swollen cup of hen brew to you, Canuck.
- Marc Solomon
- attentionSpin is a consulting practice formed in 1990 to create, automate and apply a universal scoring system (“The Biggest Picture”) to brands, celebrities, events and policy issues in the public eye. In the Biggest Picture, attentionSpin applies the principles of market research to the process of media analytics to score the volume and nature of media coverage. The explanatory power of this research model: 1. Allows practitioners to understand the requirements for managing the quality of attention they receive 2. Shows influencers the level of authority they hold in forums where companies, office-seekers, celebrities and experts sell their visions, opinions and skills 3. Creates meaningful standards for measuring the success and failure of campaigns and their connection to marketable assets.