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Showing posts from August, 2020

About-To-Be-Fuller House

Kellyanne Conway is leaving the Trump White House. Her devoted husband and arch nemesis George Conway is leaving The Lincoln Project. Both cite family – particularly their four children who are in middle and high school, about to embark on a new scholastic year from inside the pandemic – as the reason. If your Spidey sense is tingling, don’t worry, this is not a political rant. I’m not weighing in on either side, Kellyanne or George. As most people know, SHE is a high-stakes, high-powered political operative who rode The Donald all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue; and HE is an attorney and outspoken critic of the President. It sounds like the premise of a rom-com starring Reese Witherspoon and it-doesn’t-matter-who-else because Reese wins in the end; but it’s the real life family drama that has been playing out before our fascinated eyes since Donald’s win in 2016. Kellyanne has been the everpresent political assassin and front person for the White House, kind of like the teenage hit-g…

Fast cars and little women.

You folks may not know this, but I used to be something of an advertising guy. I was blessed to have a boss and an environment where I could define my position by my strengths rather than a recruitment ad. And I did: I got to play in business development, marketing strategy, even a little copywriting and creative direction. I once sang in front of a prospective client during a pitch; we didn’t get that account. And I taught Contemporary Advertising for a few years at the college level. What I’m saying is, I am probably in the top-third of people who are qualified to have an actual opinion about advertising. I mean an opinion deeper than which GEICO commercial is the best. (It’s the Hump Day one, by the way.)So when I saw this article a while ago I wanted to talk about it but then I thought, “Nah, it’s kind of inside baseball. There are real things going on in the world that need reflection and exploration, things like Trader Joe’s and…well, that’s it really.” But then for some reason …

Nobody puts Baby in a walker.

I wouldn’t call it the time of my life, but Dirty Dancing was definitely part of my youth.OK, well, I was 24 when it came out in 1987. But looking back, it feels like a part of my formative years. Probably all those summers spent in the Catskills growing up…. Wait a minute, that wasn’t me! I’ve never been to the Borscht Belt in my life. But I have seen that movie a dozen times or more. It starts to feel like real life.Lionsgate announced they have greenlighted a Dirty Dancing sequel starring Jennifer Grey to be released more than 33 years after the original. Several much-loved characters have elected not to join the project, namely Patrick Swayze, who’s dead; Jerry Orbach, who’s dead; and Grey’s original nose – not dead, but long forgotten.I started this as a love letter to the movie, I swear I did, but I have a hard time not making jokes about dead people and nose jobs. It’s a condition, I’m working through it. Before I switch gears and get to the non-snarky stuff, do yourself a favo…

Cruel summer

I like ice cream.To be fair, ice cream doesn’t like me. I am lactose intolerant and I for sure don’t need the calories or cholesterol, but mmmm mmmm, I like an evening with Ben and Jerry way more than a date with Jack Daniel. And that’s saying something.Like most Americans I have fond childhood memories of playing outside with my friends in the summertime: no cell phones, only a simple mandate to be home before it got completely dark. They were simpler times. My parents knew my friends’ parents. The neighborhood was itself an organism, a study in symbiosis. When someone’s mom wasn’t around, another mom filled in. It was simple and elegant.One of the best memories from this idyllic time was the far-off sound of the ice cream truck. Good Humor, Mr. Softee, didn’t really matter. You could hear it from a couple blocks away, just time enough to get money for you and all your friends from the closest house. I always preferred Good Humor to Mr. Softee. I got a chocolate eclair bar, or someti…

Dinner with Amelia

A fable:Weeks ago, a spider set up shop in my office/basement/bunker. It was a very Charlotte-looking spider with long, almost daddy longlegs-ish legs and a petite little body. It built a nearly invisible, wispy web tethered on three sides by a goofy stuffed animal hanging on the wall, my floor lamp and a pile of stuff I don’t look at very often sitting on top of a rolling set of plastic drawers.I had an instinct to kill it but then I remembered two things:One, they eat other insects and are generally supposed to be human-friendly; andTwo, on rare occasions they have been known to spin words into their webs.I made a mental note to watch for said words, and – in the event the words she spun were “Some Pig” or an equally offensive comment about my weight – kill her immediately.Days passed, maybe weeks, and my friend proved to be a completely benign roommate. She rarely moved and I occasionally wondered if she were dead or, like me, just contemplative about her life choices. Then one day…

Eat my Schwartz

I suppose short validation is better than none.Leave it to comedy icon Harry Shearer to tell people, “Gittelman’s right, this is bullshit.” Shearer, best known as one-third of Spinal Tapand an alarming number of the voices on The Simpsons, has come out of the closet and said what, apparently, you’re not supposed to say anymore, which is: You know it’s called acting for a reason, right?Those faithful to the blog know this was a point I raised when Mike Henry decided to stop voicing Cleveland on Family Guy and The Simpsons simultaneously announced they would no longer have white actors playing non-white characters. Non-white animated characters. I mean, to be fair, the title characters aren’t even white, they are yellow.On the plus side, Shearer states the obvious: “I have a very simple belief about acting. The job of the actor is to play someone who they are not.” This is about as smarmy as Shearer is in daily life; he has a reputation for being something of a douche, according to almo…

Karen II: The Revenge

I’ve written (a little) and talked (a lot) about the evolving vision I have for this blog. I like the idea of reaching people, inspiring conversation. I don’t have a platform I’m peddling or a position I’m defending or advancing. I like to think I’m an independent thinker and I believe the world would be better if there were more of us. And I tend to flinch away from the hot stove of partisan politics, not because I am without opinion but rather because I believe my words and thoughts will disappear in the ugliness of dissension and reach precisely no one: Those who agree with me will gain nothing, and those who don’t will stop reading. Lose-lose.But today’s post veers directly into the oncoming headlights of politics, not to take a side necessarily but to examine the interesting phenomenon of communication and the different ways we move people in one direction or another, push and pull, sometimes using shorthand of our own design.Sorry, Mom. You might want to skip this one.***Some of…