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Showing posts from October, 2013

Mayor Race in a Vacuum

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This would have been a rootin', tootin' mayoral election in Detroit, if the city wasn't bankrupt. Or under an emergency manager. Or still stinging from Kwame Kilpatrick news coverage.

This could have been a doozy.

Instead, it begs the question, "What if they gave an election and nobody showed up?"

Of course there will be voters. The die hards will show up next Tuesday and choose between, mostly, Mike Duggan and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

But the "they" I am referring to in the above rhetorical query is the media.

They haven't bothered thus far, so it makes one wonder if they'll take an interest at all.

It doesn't help that Duggan leads Napoleon by as much as a 2-1 margin, if you believe pollsters.

This was one election I was looking forward to in Detroit, for a change. The mayor's race hasn't been all that compelling since 1973, when Coleman Young became the city's first black mayor.

But here came Duggan, a white man wi…

They're Only Words, Right?

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Have you heard what you read like?

The great thing about e-mail, texting and other forms of digital communication (like in chat rooms or forums) is that it's quick and convenient.

The not so great thing? It can leave too much open for conjecture.

There is no tone. There is no facial expression. There's no inflection. And that can lead to hurt feelings.

Hence emoticons---those little faces that are there to help the text along, with smileys, frowns, winks, etc.

Facebook is becoming less of a social media site and more of a public forum for debate on everything from sports to politics to what kind of dish detergent to use.

In the heat of the Tigers playoff run, I have engaged in many a discussion on Facebook about baseball and the team, and what is needed going forward, etc. Some of the discussions have gotten a little heated.

But the heat was turned up because some comments, sans emoticons or any other buffers, read pretty cold and terse.

Email can be like that too.

Even the la…

Thanks for Nothing

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Why stop at 8:00 p.m.? Why not just be open the whole damn day?

Pardon me, that was a strange lede, I know.

I'm talking about Thanksgiving Day, by the way.

Macy's announced last week that it was opening its doors at 8:00 on Thanksgiving evening, as the ridiculous "Black Friday" monster gets bigger every year. Dawn openings weren't cutting it, I guess, nor was a midnight blowout. Now, we give you shopping while the turkey hasn't even cooled off.

JCPenney followed suit on Thursday, announcing its own 8pm opening on Thanksgiving.

“Obviously, we were one of the last to open (last year),” said Tony Bartlett, Penney’s executive vice president of stores, referring to last year's (gasp!) 6am opening the day after Turkey Day. But, this year, “We’re all in," Bartlett said.

Well, his employees are all in. OK, they're in---how about that?

I'm sure the cashiers and stock folks are thrilled with the prospects of moving through their holiday meal briskly, s…

Show Me the Money (Please)

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I don't know that I have ever been more frightened in my life, as I was when I had to sell candy bars.

I was 11 years old.

It was a school-related fundraiser, natch, I believe for an after school program I was involved in where my grade school partnered with the YMCA.

They sent a bunch of us munchkins out to sell candy bars---door-to-door. The bars came in cardboard boxes with convenient handles. Yippee.

So I'm 11 and I'm going door-to-door, unescorted, and you could never get away with this now. Can you imagine the dangers in today's world of sending children to strange people's houses?

Of course, those dangers were there in 1974, but I suppose we didn't pay as much attention. Or maybe the world wasn't as mentally bent then as it is now.

Anyhow, I hated the gig. I had a script I was supposed to follow, but I'm sure I strayed from it---like, as soon as the door opened. I'm sure I mumbled something about candy bars and supporting us, and then hoped f…

Back to the Future (For Real)

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A promo for the new "Michael J. Fox" show got right to the point.

"It's time to talk about the elephant in the room," Fox says to the camera, and the shot switches to a literal elephant. "Are we really going to do this?," Fox asks to someone purportedly off camera.

The best thing you can do if you're going to build a show around a TV and movie veteran who has Parkinson's Disease, is to not ignore that the dude has Parkinson's Disease. Anything else is untoward and just plain uncomfortable.

Fox, 52, is back on television as a series star after a 12-year hiatus, since his run on "Spin City" ended. Obviously most of, if not all of that hiatus from being in front of the camera was due to his battle with Parkinson's. But his issues with the disease hasn't kept Fox from doing voice work in many films and commercials.

Now, we get to see Fox as well as hear him, as he plays Mike Henry, a former newsman for NBC who got out of the …

No Hugs, Just Kisses Please

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I believe that the Hershey's Kiss is the closest thing to perfection ever created in the world of candy. Maybe in food, period.

We were grocery shopping last week and my lovely wife grabbed a $9 bag of Hershey's Kisses from the shelf.

"For the candy dish," she announced, to which I literally said, "HA!"

She looked at me, perplexed.

"You know how much I like Hershey's Kisses!" I said. I might have yelled it. The inference was clear to her. I was afraid that I might consume all the Kisses before anyone else had a shot at them.

"Yeah, but even YOU can't eat a $9 bag of Kisses," she said, and I swear there was a smidgen of doubt in her voice at the end of that statement, as there should have been.

Again, I said, "HA!"

The $9 bag of Kisses did look robust---to a normal person. To someone afflicted with an addiction to the Kisses, the bag didn't look so big. In fact, it looked very consumable, sans help from anyone else.