Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thank you, Tiger

In a letter-to-the-editor in the December 5th Sacramento Bee newspaper, one writer complained that the “once-prestigious Sacramento Bee turned itself into a tabloid.” Another letter writer felt that “With all of the crap going on in this world today…” the Tiger Woods story should not be front-page news.

To the contrary, the Tiger Woods story is a perfect front-page story that is representative of much that has gone wrong in America over the last decade. Whether we are talking about large banks, insurance companies, philandering senators, representatives and governors, fast-talking mortgage brokers, or just one billionaire golfer, it is clear that, in today’s America, image is more important than substance; fast talk is more important than a steady walk. Our backroom deals and bedroom liaisons of selfishness are, more often than not, hidden by our commercialized fa├žade of public benevolence. What are damaged (irreparably?) are our contracts, vows and commitments to customers, spouses, constituents and fans.

Tiger Woods is the poster child for the two faces of American business, sports, and social fabric today. And we have all the crap going on in the world today to show for this two-faced dichotomy. Health care reform will destroy America, or, lack of health care reform will destroy America. Pick your side and never come together to solve real health care problems. Banks and insurance companies are too big to fail, or, banks and insurance companies should be allowed to fail. Pick your side and never come together to solve our country’s real financial, employment and housing problems. Republicans are the problem, or, Democrats are the problem. Pick your side and never come together to fix all our common problems in America today. Tiger Woods’s public face and his private actions finally caught up with him, just as has happened to so many of our politicians, corporations and financial institutions over the last decade.

We, the few who value (or at least profess to value) the quality and congruity of our business, social and family relationships, must be naive to think we could ever be in the majority when it comes to shaping the future of America. Regardless of my social standing, your position in the corporate world, her education level, his religion or our political views, can we ever come together for the betterment of our communities, health care, businesses, jobs, infrastructure, and America’s future? I doubt it.

Thank you, Tiger, for so clearly showing us what America has (or has not) become.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What little things annoy you?

While we wait with bated breath for American Idol to begin a new season, perhaps I can share and solicit some common annoyances. They may simply be pet peeves of mine or yours. Here are three of mine.

Letters to the editor that use the words 'me thinks' in them. I stop reading when I stumble over those words. Does anybody (who is under the age of 95) really use those words other than to try and sound...I don't know what the word is...haughty or condescending?

Another pet peeve of mine is talking heads, professors, car salesmen, or anyone really, who wears a bow tie. Can you really take anything someone says seriously who wears a bow tie? Me thinks not! Maybe George Will said something profound on Meet the Press, but I'll never know, because his bow tie was distracting me from hearing his profundity.

I don't know why this annoys me, but I notice it does. People who stand in the kitchen to eat breakfast or lunch when there is a perfectly good dining table and chairs, or kitchen counter with bar stools to sit at. It makes me feel like we're in a hurry to get somewhere and we really need to wolf down this bowl of oatmeal or sandwich so we can get to doing whatever it is we need so desperately to do.

Go ahead. Send in your pet peeve annoyances. Limit your peeves to three annoyances. I could go on and on.