Category Archives: The Annals of Protest

The Speech

Leaders lead from the podium. Those who say otherwise do not understand how leadership works. Regardless of your political stripes, few dispute that somewhere along the path of the last eight years George W. Bush stopped leading the country, primarily because he failed at the podium of public opinion.

President Obama has been something of national Rorschach inkblot test. People see in him what they want. His (fabulous) inauguration speech today was no different. Many will see in it what they want.

Here are my picks of favorite quotes. What do they say about me, and what does all this say about us?

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The End Of Cynicism?

Is this the end of cynicism? Obama’s soaring victory speech in Chicago last night was an oratorical flourish of positivism, such as has been missing in public discourses in America for years.

But what does this victory mean to the future tone of discourse in America? Is this the end of cynicism, the tone of voice which has become the best way to identify one as an American? Now that the revolution is over how will we speak, casually and formally, without the ability to mock, snark or deride the archetypes built since the 1960’s?

Certainly the old rebellion is over, so what will replace its messenger, which has been the sound of sarcasm in our voice?

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Don’t jump to conclusions…

It’s human nature; we find the quickest way to apply a map to a simple fact and extrapolate from it grand conclusions. The biologists say it’s evolutionary. It’s hard wired in us, they say, and it’s part of what makes us greater than the apes.

“We are in an ontological pickle” a friend told me recently, and she was right.

To deal with this I suggest a “Rule of Three”, but be careful that you don’t eat the pickle along the way…

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Old media brands are the answer to the “cesspool”? Naw…

Buzzing around the web has been the story that Google CEO Eric Schmidt called the internet a “Cesspool”. Cnet reported that “the Internet is a “cesspool” where false information thrives…Schmidt gave the magazine publishers hope for their future. Brands, he said, are the way to rise above the cesspool”

Really? Old media is the answer?

Looking to the mainstream media brands as a model of fair and accurate reporting is like looking for a pacifist at a prizefight. Here’s why…

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A few provocative questions for the Presidential debate

A lot of people have lists of questions they want asked at tonight’s (or any) Presidential debate. Most center on the current economic crisis.

I’d like to add five questions that I’m not sure are in many people’s list…

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They’re not the pirates, we are

John Renesch runs a thoughtful blog over at The Global Dialogue Center.

His recent post was called “Wall Street Skull and Crossbones”. I took issue with his emotional characterization of bankers as pirates.

He wrote: “Their sole purpose is to make a profit, and to do so with the least amount of capital as possible.”

John: You say that like it’s a bad thing…

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