Commercialize

Commercialize: (v) to manage or exploit in a way designed to make a profit.

The Erickson Bread Company is coming out with a new product.

It doesn’t seem unique–it’s a tasty wheat bread fortified with vitamins that has the softness and flavor of white bread.

Everyone at the company and in the board room is ecstatic. They feel they have a good loaf which could quickly be considered great if it were advertised correctly.

A debate rages.

In order to present their creation to the public, they feel they need to find the best way to commercialize it–and by commercialize they mean the most favorable and common vehicle to convey typical life being joyously invaded by the new Erickson bread.

It is concluded that it would be ridiculous to show a family sitting around the dinner table enjoying one another’s company, commenting on the bread.

Old-fashioned.

Out of step with the times.

They also rejected the notion of a man wearing a hard hat, seemingly oblivious to the lunch he’s about to eat until he bites into the sandwich and smiles at the tasty bread.

Too much emphasis on a male figure–and who really wears hard hats anymore?

So it is decided that the best way to commercialize the bread is to have an energetic young mother standing at the kitchen counter making sandwiches for her young son and little daughter, who are completely preoccupied staring at computer screen and phone individually. The mother asks them to taste the bread. Without looking up, they nibble a corner–and suddenly their eyes look away from the screens and move to their mother, still with dead stares, and say, “Umm. That’s not bad.”

The commercial ends with the announcer saying: “Erickson’s new wheat bread–claimed by children who are obsessed by the Internet as ‘Umm. Not bad.'”

Commercialize: a decision to give in to the situation of our time, representing ideas in a fashion which may only be applicable for a few months.

Unfortunately, not everything we do in life can be commercialized.

Amen.

 

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Comment

Comment: (n) a verbal or written remark expressing an opinion or reaction.

Having abandoned journalism, many forms of etiquette, courtesy and basic grammar, the Internet continues to pass along ideas from people who refuse to accept the fact that others have a creative bend and require consideration.

Somewhere in the past two decades we have lost the true definition of commenting. Let me begin by telling you what it is not.

A comment is not you offering an opinion. In other words, if someone writes an article stating that the President of the United States is a great historical figure filled with virtue, a comment would be on the writer’s approach, delivery, information and process in drawing conclusions. A comment is not jotting down, “Idiot, moron, and son-of-a-bitch” with multiple exclamation points. (A single exclamation point is supposed to express great passion. When I see two, I perceive stupidity.)

Commenting is letting folks know how what they had to share, think, or even a meal you prepared was received. It is not replacing their input with your dogma–feeling as if this resolves the issue for all time.

Often my children recommend a movie to me. If I watch it, I offer the following comment:

“I can see why you liked it. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for this movie on the night I watched it, but I did not garner the usual impact or inspiration that I normally enjoy from a flick. It is certainly the kind that I normally do pursue, but this particular one left me cold. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand what the writer and director were trying to communicate.”

This is commenting–a blend of honesty and humility allowing the person who has shared to leave the house without fear of being gunned down by a maniac.

I welcome comments.

I make errors.

But I do not give you permission to ravage my material simply because it busted out the walls of your mental one-room sublet.

 

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Comeuppance

Comeuppance: (n) a punishment or fate that someone deserves.

Sometimes I’m convinced that there are no history books. Matter of fact, I’ve gone on the Internet to make sure they still sell them.

Sure enough, there they are.

So my second supposition is that they just must not be very popular.

Because it does not take too long when perusing a history book, to realize that if you’re going to cheat, lie, steal, abuse or kill, you’re going to get your comeuppance.

You may do it for a while, with authority, seemingly uncontested.

But there is always someone, or sometimes it’s a whole clump of people, who will rise up and stop the foolishness before the human race ends up in the ground with its bones being eventually studied by some other species in ten thousand years.

You just can’t pursue evil and succeed.

That’s enough reason right there to at least consider the option of good.

Yet all of our entertainment, our politics, and even our religions are so power-hungry that they present the illusion that evil might just have a bad enough day to have a good day, and beat the crap out of righteousness.

It doesn’t seem to bother people that it’s never happened.

After all, Adolph Hitler, who thought his Third Reich was going to last a thousand years, fell a bit short. Thirteen years were all he got.

Oh, yes–he destroyed a lot of people along the way and maybe he should have been stopped earlier, but you will notice, he’s not around to take interviews on the subject.

It’s something I need to remind myself of from time to time. I can go ahead and tell that little white lie, and maybe even think I got by with it.

But after a while, the feeling of self-confidence about being nasty catches up with me.

And I do get my comeuppance.

Even worse than that, I end up looking like a fool to have pursued such a retarded, unfulfilling and doomed process.

 

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Come-on

Come-on: (n) a gesture or remark that is intended to attract someone sexually.

Is it just sexually?

When I consider the Internet, I realize there are “come-ons” at every turn.

Of course, some of them can be sexual exploitation, but there is also a great deal of flattery that is thrown around in an attempt to gain a dollar bill.

The problem with every come-on is flattery.

If you’re speaking sexually, it’s highly unlikely you’ll garner the attention, and therefore the pleasure of a partner, by highlighting flaws. No, you have to make it
clear that you are Anthony and she is Cleopatra, or if that reference is too old, you have to pretend that she is Kim Kardashian to your Kanye. (Perhaps by the time this is released to the public, that reference may also be erroneous.)

But also, in business there is the notion that money exists separate from talent, and can be extracted by making people with no ability think for a brief moment that they can be something they never will be.

So rather than becoming a nation which makes products, we have become a nation intent on making ourselves, personally, a product.

Each individual wants to be a brand. So we are susceptible to all sorts of build-up and promotion which causes us to think that if we simply punch this button, in no time at all we will have “thousands of hits and millions of followers.”

It’s a come-on.

For instance, who doesn’t want to “make America great again?” But truthfully, who wants to do anything personally to achieve it?

We think it’s all about plans, maneuvers and business dealings and we’ll pick up a fatter check. It’s a come-on. And it seems to work.

There is an old saying: “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end of it is destruction.”

There is also a well-traveled axiom in the business world: If people are interested in what you do, they show up with the money. They don’t ask you for it.

You can take a lot of sadness out of your life by refusing to be tempted by come-ons.

Find your heart, discover your motivation, practice your talent, put it out to the nearest market. See what happens.

 

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Column

Column: (n) a pillar or a page division; essay

The columns of our philosophy holding up our suppositions are divided into columns and rendered off for reading–in a column.

Now there’s a twisted path of reason. Should keep you busy for a while.

When I began writing on the Internet I was very uncomfortable with the term “blog.”

I am of the school of thought that if everyone thinks they can do something then no one can do it, because it is never done well.

Everybody has a blog.

For awhile I referred to my etchings in the great “Cloud” as columns–hearkening back to an era when newspapers actually delivered daily information.

No one liked “column.”

So I tried the word “essay.” Then I sounded like I lived in the nineteenth century, having tea with Charles Dickens and Mark Twain. (Emily Dickinson a no-show…)

It didn’t really make any difference. Once I penned something and placed it on the ethernet, it became a blog.

It’s just difficult to believe that blogs are going to sustain the great American experiment and hold up our faith so that insanity doesn’t crash in on us.

But since no one would ever listen to a case made for the value of pillars and justifications of margins, I think we are in the wild, wild West of authoring articles, sentiments and misspelled paragraphs from our six-guns of inadequacy.

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Colloquialism

Colloquialism: (n) a word or phrase that is not formal, typically one used in ordinary or familiar conversation.

When did “fuck” become a colloquialism?

I apparently was out to dinner, and came back and there it was–all over my answering machine, Internet and television.

Was there a meeting?

Did anyone consider that trivializing such a powerful word was taking away the ability to use it when describing murders, mayhem, evil wars and genocide?

If everything is fucked then nothing is truly fucked, am I right?

If you discover that your hard-boiled egg is really soft-boiled, “fucking” that situation removes the potency to rail against some dictator who murders children.

Some words should not be colloquial. They should be saved up for special occasions when we need to rally with just the right word to rattle the room.

And it’s not just the word “fuck.”

I don’t like it when “sensitivity” is overused. Sensitivity is special. It shouldn’t be used when somebody brings you a second napkin.

And how about love? Yes, the word “love” has become a two-bit whore giving a blow job in an alley, or people explaining that even though they beat their children, they really do “love them.”

What? Did I take a really long nap? Am I Rip-van-Something-or-Other, waking up to the world going insane for no particular reason?

If I say “I love you” I want it to mean something.

If I discuss sensitivity, I want you to sense my heart and deep-rooted commitment.

And if I say “fuck,” I damn well want it to be fucked.

 

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Cohort

Cohort: (n) a group of people banded together

I have a son who’s convinced that I am becoming more conservative as I get older.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Age has done one thing and only one thing for me–it has insisted that I be practical.

It stands over me, often in a threatening pose, barking in my ear that the plans I had made to do something beyond my physical abilities are not filled with initiative, but rather, reek of stupidity.

I become more and more astounded with the simplicity of the statement, “Those that are not against us are for us.”

Therefore, mankind is my cohort, and I, its.

I am looking for reasons to enjoy the people around me instead of tagging them as enemies to be avoided.

Every time I read something, I find one little tiny nugget of valuable common sense. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Bible or the Communist Manifesto–each document has a golden gleam which makes its writing valuable and worthy of human hearing.

But also, each document is chock-full of filler–statements thrown in, sometimes as afterthoughts and often in ignorance.

So when a Republican talks, I listen for sense. Likewise, when a Democrat shares, I probe the speech for reasonability. In the process of doing this, I find myself making more friends and being far less critical.

Recently a friend asked what I thought about a song that was being touted on the Internet. I replied, “They started on the same beat, didn’t miss a lyric and ended in pitch.”

There’s a lot to be said for that. It is a fine beginning for discussion. But often, humans will find one word within the body of the poetry which they consider distasteful, and relegate the entire presentation to being hellish nothingness.

A cohort of critics.

How boring.

How boorish.

How stubborn

How meaningless.

I found out some time ago that the world never gets anything right. Celebration occurs when the effort comes close.

 

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