Wednesday, April 28, 2010
First let’s get something out of the way: Yes, Pof5 engages me; you could even say I’m hooked, because I want to know what happens next, and I even — I admit it — analyze it when I’m not watching, i.e., “Charlie should’ve moved them to Seattle”; “Why does Bailey have to go to college 2,000 miles away?” “Julia was so out of line talking about Justin to his mom”.
So while there’s no question that I enjoy the program, there’s a disturbing undercurrent running through it: Do viewers get that the way the characters operate in their relationships is a model of how not to do relationships? I’m not referring only to the incessant cheating; I can deal with that. It’s that every couple seems to have two modes: Deliriously in love, or quarreling, the latter always seeming to stem from an innocent remark from which offense was taken, along the lines of:
Character A: You need to act responsibly here…
Character B: Responsibly? Excuse me! What do you know about responsibility?!
Character A: Look, all I’m saying is that maybe it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you’d…
Character B: Oh! Like you’re so perfect! I suppose you expect me to…!
It’s disturbing to think that young viewers may think that the above is a normal relationship pattern. Not to mention that the emphasis in Charlie and Kirsten’s almost-wedding seemed to be on one thing: forsaking all others. Not joining their lives, compromising, working as a team, putting each other’s happiness first…but forsaking all others, as if marriage is nothing but a relationship version of traffic law, i.e., just don’t exceed the speed limit, and you’ll be fine.
All in all, simplistic, served up as realistic. I know: It’s “just” TV; we can’t expect it to reflect real life. Yet we can’t ignore that it does feed into viewers’ — especially young viewers’ — concepts of what to expect from real life. I’d like to think that my kids will dig deeper and shoot higher than do the Salingers.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
1. A To or cc field with inches of addresses says, “Not serious; not businesslike”. When you send these out, you’re failing to protect your friends’ and others’ privacy. Learn to bcc.
2. Subject lines containing “Fwd” are spam magnets. Delete “Fwd” both in the Subject line and in the body of the mail.
3. Learn to compose a decent Subject line. Examples of the lame and the annoying: “Important! Please forward!”; “Hi”; “ " (that’s an empty Subject line; the first two examples might as well be empty, as they give no useful information whatsoever).
4. Trim off all excess “froms”. We don’t need to read them, and it’s annoying to have to scroll all the way down to Antarctica to read a mail.
5. Read through what you’re about to send. Ask yourself what impression it gives. Oversize lettering and multiple colors screams, “Written by a fourth grader!” Consider selecting the entire letter (Ctrl + A), going to your Format menu, selecting Rich Text, and adjusting the font(s) and color(s) (Format menu > Font). If you’re really ambitious and have the time, fix the double spaces and dial back those exclamation points. Correct spelling wouldn’t hurt either. And finally…
6. I don’t need to be told to forward mail any more than I need to be told to tell people my opinion on an issue or my impression of a product; it’s implicit. And can we lose the expression “Hit Forward” and “Hit Reply”? First of all, none of us should be hitting anything. We press keys on our keyboards, i.e., “Press Enter”; “Press Escape”. We click buttons using our mouses, i.e., “Click OK”; “Click this link”. And we simply forward mail…after performing all of the above steps.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
- Any religion that needs the government to support and subsidize it doesn't deserve to survive. It's not the state's business to carry out the churches' ministries!
- Any religion that must depend upon the state to do what it cannot do [i.e., force the citizenry to observe the commandments] is not worthy of existence...even Christianity.
- When the state and the church would become entwined, it is the latter that will be the loser.
- We can't uphold the...commandments by majority rule!
As far as I'm concerned, that says it all as far as church and state. Would that more clerics and religious leaders were as courageous as Rev. Meneilly, who a friend calls "an icon in the 'burbs"*.
*Johnson County, KS, where his church is located. Think Ultimate Suburbia, and you're there.