Sunday, March 18, 2007

They Model the Behavior They See That Gets What They Want

Friday, Eric Alterman posted this:

"I was playing foosball with an 8-year-old the other day, and the score miraculously changed while I was answering the phone. We had a talk about cheating and how the reputation of being one can ruin a person's life, and she replied: 'But what about George Bush? Everyone knows he's a liar and a cheater and he has a great life.'"

My eighteen year-old learned a great deal from high school debate and Ann Coulter's books. It isn't about facts and truth, Dad, it's about winning and destroying your opponent in the process. I love it when I can make my opponent cry. This kid lies constantly about things important and unimportant. No amount of discussion or loss of privileges has changed that behavior. Why? "Because I win lots more than I lose."

My kid idolizes Republicans and their spokespeople. Why? "Because they're winners, Dad. They may not have hearts or souls, but they've got everything. They've got it all. I want it all and I want it now."

My wife and I model empathic, responsible, and only moderately materialist behavior. Our behavior has no effect. We are losers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

No More Actors, Please!

As I watched Fred Thompson, Law and Order's former District Attorney and Tennessee's former U.S. Senator, announce that he was considering a run for the Presidency in 2008, a dull ache invaded my abdomen. Ronald Reagan, Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fred Thompson.

In Thinking Points: Communicating Our American Values and Vision, George Lakoff asserts that while issues are important, issues are not the reason voters choose one candidate over another. People choose to vote for someone because they appear to represent their values, appear to connect with them, appear, therefore, trustworthy, appear authentic. Yes, it's all about appearances and trust.

So, tell me why you would even consider trusting the appearance of someone whose profession, whose most outstanding skill, is making people believe they are someone they aren't? Isn't there something fundamentally stupid about that?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Poor Scooter?

Folks who served on the Scooter Libby jury as well as others whose opinions have been broadcast by the media say they feel sorry for Scooter because he was just a fall guy for those higher up in the Bush Administration. What kind of misguided sympathy is that? Do you really think Libby didn't know what was going on, didn't use the same tactics with those under him somewhere along the line? Do you really think he isn't going to profit from this? If you do, you aren't thinking and you aren't paying attention. It's that simple.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Quiznos, Treat Me Right

You've seen the ad; I've seen it far too many times: if you are not completely satisfied with your Quiznos sub, you'll get a free sub.

Why would I want more of what was unsatisfactory to begin with? Give me my money back and let me go somewhere else. Treat me right, maybe I'll give you another chance.