Posts Tagged ‘influence


Weather-Talk and the Conversation Onion

Conversation is like an great big Vidalia Onion with inedible outer layers and peeled-back inner ones that become more poignant and sweet the deeper you peel all the way into that center little oval that is often much too dense to consume and is, instead, tossed out with the peeled-off skin and replaced with honey and butter and the best way to cook a true Vidalia is to wrap it in tin foil and put it in the microwave and the honey-butter boils together and saturates the edible parts of the onion and you can then take it out and its so dank you can cut it with a fork like a well-prepared prime rib and then eat the petals one by one, slowly inserting into the mouth and closing also with the eyes as if a smooth-faced actress of a Parfait commercial.

As if looking on oneself from just beyond, as if in a dream, looking down at the back of the head from five feet and fourty-five degrees up and through the back of the head, a conversation, whether with an old friend at an impromptu reunion or a stranger on the sidewalk or in a Southwest airplane seat, has definite layers that are defined according to  commonalities that may exist between the converse-e and oneself.  The top, outermost layer, as with the onion, is the weather.  The temperature, the sun, the rain and wind: it’s what we all share everyday and it’s what we can start with and talk about in the form of ‘how are you’ and ‘it’s a beautiful day to be alive’ or a ‘how bout that rain, be careful out there’, ‘is it cold enough for ya?’

We go on and on in short bursts with gas station clerks and then we leave, but therein there is a soft connection as there was a sharing of each of our respective days and for a moment there was an “our day” and in that moment there is contact and that is beautiful as it, the contact, is what is most important to most of us.  In a small or big way or in another way, we need and strive for weather-talk connectiveness, whether genealogically or subconsciously, each of which is beyond our control, and also on purpose.  We strive to connect to the world around us and, at some point in every day, to feel included in the conversation, even if only a little bit.

Behind The Weather is, if you live in a big to medium sized city, The Traffic. Shortly there-deeper, as the walls of inhibition begin to fall, there lies the subjects of Mutual Friends, Mutual Experiences, Work, The Kids and, behind implications of sworn secrecy, What’s Really Going On and Hopes and Dreams and, falling in where they fit in, jokes, jokes, jokes, we’ve got jokes and laughs and silent moments of nourished comfort because someone else understands and here, within the deepest part of my onion right next to the core, “I am not alone.”

But such levels of deep connection are rare and all too often are very, very brief.  Usually, like in my family’s Prime Rib Vidalia Petals recipe,  the core of us, while in conversation, is far too dense for consumption and certainly far too private and vulnerable and valuable for sharing.  Most of the time, it’s easier to add honey and butter and heat the rest of ourselves up in the microwave and serve ourself hot and succulently sweet and we prefer this from our friends and from strangers and most of the time (93.9%), this is truly the best way to connect with those with whom we share OUR LIVES with in each day and it’s the way we should remember yesterday, with honey and butter in lieu of the core, which is far too precious to be treated as hors d’ouevres in open spaces, but, in and out of different degrees of invitation, all within the perpetual inter-depth communicational intentions upon connection, this is how we live forever today.

The We of us is a great matrix-esque network of variable conversations that move in and out of each individual with whom we encounter as if there was a pulsating slightly opaque and glowing neon sphere that starts at the base of a man’s chest and spreads out a little bit in every gas station ‘Hey how ya doin, is it hot enough for ya’ and in the response of the other man or woman’s onion-sphere stretches just a little bit and the two spheres overlap for a minute and maybe information is passed or perhaps just a smile and a brief nod with the eyes and then they leave and their respective spheres of influence draw back to within the chest to their core, which is, even if only a little bit, nourished and a bit stronger and, to a certain extent, each are more wise, as if a piece of the others’ perspective was traded just now and it will surely be traded again with another stranger, friend, family member or loved one and we, each of us, are great and wonderful and stupid and wise because, within each of us, there is everyone.

Within every conversation, there is a transaction of life.

Do More Now.




In the last few months at my new job working as the sole “sales guy” for an international painting company I’ve had the privilege of spending a lot of time with several Brits who’ve been over in a regular rotation.  Mostly driven by simple Golden Rule humanity and nudged with a smidge of self-motivated corporate politicalness, I’ve taken it upon myself to guide them through the staple pieces of what it is I know to be American culture. At lunch, we eat Five Guys. At dinner, we drink Bud and eat bloody red steak and gravy-filled mashed potatoes. Last week me and this old chap went to a Monday Night Football game. While the game was terrible as the Jags lost greatly in a slow, boring fashion, it being his first “real football” game, The Brit had a huge time and so did I.  My fun, if nothing else, was in respect to the enjoyment I found in accompanying the introduction of positive experience to others – kind of like watching a toddler blow bubbles as their face, full of excitement, re-introduces the significance of the given act to you.  It was a real blast explaining the game of football and thinking on the otherwise obvious little intricacies of the game and on the way people treat one another or how and why we cheer or boo one team or the other and once you start to see bubbles you notice all of them in their wondrous enormity.
But it was what he mentioned a few days later as we sipped down a Thai Red Curry that has caused me to re-evaluate the importance of that big-little word which is this post’s title. He said, and I paraphrase in an italicized english accent, ‘I really appreciate the way everyone stood at attention during the singing of the national anthem. Even the little kids who were sitting next to us behaved and sang. They knew every word. In the U.K., if we were at a futball match and the national anthem were played, as much as thirty percent of the crowd wouldn’t have even stood from their seat. As a former serviceman, I really appreciated that.’

Even now, that really gets to me.  Why wouldn’t a citizen take pride enough in their country to honor its flag and stand by its side even when the goin gets tough?  Why not cry for My Country Tiss of Thee?  Why not be the first in line to kick some Iraqi-Nazi-Communist butt?

Patriotism, per Wiki, was first used in the Elizibethan era as a term for “fellow countrymen”.   Since then, it has been stretched and molded to become a punchline to draft servicemen.  Still, it is the glue that binds nations and states of minds to prejudices and labor unions and it may be most apparent at Barbecue engulfed tailgate parking lots outside college football games.

(And I’ve come to enjoy watching the fans at the football games almost as much as the game itself – the colors and the fashion show; the songs and the elaborate pageantry and the flags and mascots and all the hoopla; the worship of entertainers and contempt of the striped-shirted whistleblowers, but only if not in your favor; the expert conversations of monday morning quarterbacks and how separation makes way to cohesion as the painted-face little girls and boys smile-down comfort-burgers as big as their heads and how these collaborations around ideas bring us together on cool orange and brown leaved days)

But Why Patriotism?

Understanding that there are many possible explanations, I assert that Patriotism, in all of it’s many forms, is the manner by which we connect with the world through eachother.  It is like a great big hug and there is much warmth therein that keeps us through the cold times and we are drawn in as if a kid who stares at the bubbles that blow in the wind and hover for awhile and until they inevitably pop.  The adult in is thus discouraged in the midst of this earthshattering, lifechanging exposion.  Yet the kid in us knows that it was just a bubble, and he’ll just dip and lightly whoooo’s the wand again, certain that this one will be different, because wait till next year, we will rise, we will make things right this time, because we will never fail to begin.

Begin again and don’t ever lose the wonder and faith of the kid within,

Do More Now.


Blarketing 1

An interesting aspect I notice in the reading of this blog and in watching the Shirky TED Talk is the value of information in relation to the incentives therein.

A Logic Expiriment: If it is more favorable to trust information provided by an unbiased / unmotivated informant, then is a quality depiction of a given event provided by a blogger a more accurate depiction of the given event versus an account reported by a “real” Journalist from Fox or CNN or Al Jazeera?

Obviously, there is merit to the things proffesional journalist say and write.   Otherwise our collective interest would not fuel the hand of their affiliated advertisers to pay them comfortable salaries and reward them with fat purses for worthwhile articles and 11:00 News stories. 

But the skeptic in me must ask, “What makes an article worthwhile?” 

Well, firstly, as do most things, it depends on the perspective of the observer and, from the perspective of those who command the news that reaches a multitude of observers, what do most observers want to know about?  But, that’s really not it either.  It’s not like we are in the age of the Mad Men-esque advertising pioneers.  You know, back in the good ole days when there were only two or three black and white channels.  Now, things have changed and so have the relevant questions.

Today, faced with a multitude of media platforms in the form of T.V channels, websites, Google-Pedia and Yahooites, blogs, newspapers, magazines, radio, satelite and, God forbid, books, the advertising puppeteers who think they control the world must be quite a bit more specific. 

‘What are the most-likely-to-spend-money-on-our-stuff constituents of media land interested in hearing about’ and ‘how much of it can we give them until they get tired of it and stop accidentaly watching our commercials?’ 

Pardon the irony, but I, as most bloggers have no documented sources to back up these opinions portrayed.  I’m not getting paid for this and there’s nothing that would stop me from telling you via this portal a complete load of crap and pass it off as truth.

But, on the other hand, why would I (we)?

…TBC, how do we Blarket, and later, Why?

Do More Now.


Everyday Aphorisms: Firehydrants

Actually, Men are not so much more well evolved than dogs.  Aren’t we all just continually looking for a new fire hydrant to pee on?

My Previous Vocabulary.

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