Saturday, December 13, 2008

Can Bill Clinton Save the Planet?

CNN just posted a story with the following headline: Bill Clinton Broadens Plans to Save Planet.  I pictured the planet flying off its axis and going dangerously close to the sun when William Jefferson Clinton flies to the rescue and pushes the planet back into its regular orbit.  With this in mind, I clicked on the story and it basically said that Clinton's organization partnered with the State of Arkansas to fight climate change.  I was so infuriated that CNN had mislead me that I wrote the following comment:

"Bill Clinton broadens plans to save planet?!? What a ridiculous headline. Bill Clinton cannot save the planet. Bill Clinton can't even save 1/10,000 of the planet. To have any plans to save the planet is outrageous. And then, to broaden those plans? Unconscionable. Here is an appropriate headline for you, CNN:

"Bill Clinton partners with Arkansas to fight climate change"

It's not perfect and I'm sure there are better options, but at least it is somewhat reasonable. Maybe people like sensational headlines, but your headlines should seem at least partially plausible.

Understand, this is not a partisan bashing of Bill Clinton and his "plans"; it is a non-partisan bashing of bad headlines, bad journalism, and bad taste. Shape up or I will broaden my plans to destroy the sun…where will you be then?"

On another note, how arrogant are we to think that any of us can save the planet?  The planet has been around for a looooongggg time.  It has suffered some pretty serious disasters and somehow always manages to bounce back.  I think it can handle some humans driving in SUVs.  And, if it can't, the planet will simply get rid of said humans and their SUVs.  This doesn't mean we shouldn't be wise stewards of the planet on which we live - regardless of whether or not we can have an impact on it; just that we should be realistic about our smallness in relation to the planet.

Friday, December 12, 2008

With Every Christmas Card I Write...

I posted this last year on another blog, but I have received requests to post it again.  Since I am a slave to all 2 of my readers, I will post it here...

** I apologize in advance for offending anyone who uses his/her Christmas card as an excuse to brag about how incredibly brilliant, talented, and/or amazing his/her kids are **

You know the Christmas cards I'm talking about, right?  They devote a full paragraph to each of their kids, usually starting out the paragraph with something like, "[kid's name] is our little future President."  Then they proceed to paint the most lovely picture of how each child is extremely talented and has a gifted intellect.  In case you aren't familiar with these kinds of cards, and you would like to write one of your own, I have come up with 10 steps to writing a really conceited Christmas card.  Here they are:

1. Definitely compare your 1 year-old to a genius - past or present.  Among the most popular geniuses are: Einstein, Mozart, Galileo, Shakespeare, etc.

2. By all means, please list every activity in which your child is involved and, of course, excels.

3. In addition to all of the in-your-face "we're-awesome" comments, throw in subtle comments that show how great members of your family are.  Example: "John is still playing a lot of golf - being in the Bishopric hasn't affected his game too much."

4. Project what your child will become in 20-30 years based on his/her present's fun and easy.  Example: 2 year-old Johnny bangs on a little piano, ergo he will be a concert pianist.

5. Write your own ambitions for your children as if they were your children's ambitions.  Example: "Britney( 2 years old) really wants to be a surgeon."

6. Mention a couple of negative things (to show you're humble) in a way that, in the end, show how great you are.  Example: (From Michael Scott; listing his "weaknesses") "I work too hard.  I care too much.  And sometimes I can be too invested in my job."

7. 1 page is not enough.  You should really be pushing 3 or 4.  Don't worry!  People love reading really long Christmas cards.  They don't want an overview...they want the nitty-gritty details.

8. Go very light on information that will help people get to know your kids.  Instead, it is extremely important to list their "accomplishments."

9. Tell us about what "people" say about your child without mentioning who these "people" are.  Example: "People say Elizabeth looks like a model."

10. Remember, the world revolves around you.  Assume that everyone on your Christmas card list is just as interested in every detail of your life as you are.  Always write from that perspective.

Good luck!  I look forward to hearing from you!