Posts Tagged ‘expression’

One of the more favorable things I am grateful for in my life has been the amount of inventive and creatively talented people I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by.

Thomas Crenshaw is one such individual who a few days ago put together this little tribute video for one of his (and mine) favorite TV Shows. The video is fun, compelling and burning up the replays on youtube right now.


Thomas Crenshaw

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I’ve written no less than 25 partial posts that are sitting as drafts in my dashboard, which I mean to publish someday, since they seem very relevant to the time period right now. But I found this video and it just spoke to my heart. Whether it’s because I love France, Ingenuity, Innovation and “Off the Beaten Path” ideas or otherwise I don’t know.


Maybe it will inspire me to finish the rest of my oh – so important posts… 🙂

Addendum: Yet another great inspiration.

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  1. Steve Jobs steps down
  2. Twitter feeds from Apple Employees about Steve’s departure.
  3. kenchangKen Chang  ‘ Just watched Tim Cook’s 2010 Auburn University Commencement Speech… and then I saw this… bit.ly/p2us3J (Will Ferrell, Harvard, 2003)
  4. Conan O’Brien’s  2011 Dartmouth Commencement Address

[21:31]”…No specific job or career goal defines me. And it should not define you.”

[20:52]”..It is our failure to become our perceived ideal, that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It’s not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right. Your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention.”

[21:52]  “In 2000 I told graduates to not be afraid to fail. And I still believe that. But today I tell you that weather you fear it or not disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.”

[23:20] “Work Hard. Be Kind and amazing things will happen.”

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Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood won four Emmy awards, and Rogers received one for lifetime achievement.

During the 1997 Daytime Emmys, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Rogers. The following is an excerpt from Esquire‘s coverage of the gala, written by Tom Junod:

Mister Rogers went onstage to accept the award — and there, in front of all the soap opera stars and talk show sinceratrons, in front of all the jutting man-tanned jaws and jutting saltwater bosoms, he made his small bow and said into the microphone, “All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Ten seconds of silence.”And then he lifted his wrist, looked at the audience, looked at his watch, and said, “I’ll watch the time.” There was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn’t kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch, but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked. And so they did. One second, two seconds, seven seconds — and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier. And Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said softly “May God be with you,” to all his vanquished children.[13][21]https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Fred_Rogers#Personal_life

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The role of the auto-correct function on my iPhone is so AWESOME when it works as I intend to communicate. But when it so totally fails, (which is %50 of the time, it usually just makes me sound stupid. But in this case it makes my message completely indecipherable.


What I meant to state: “Jetting with JetBlue”  (Note: I like flying with Jet Blue, who’s marketing campaign states that with Jet Blue, you’re “Jetting” not just flying.)

What the auto-correct spit out that I did not notice until posted:

“Jetting with keynote.”

I suppose it’s all relative, I wonder if the auto-correct turned off would be more or less frustrating. At least maybe what I did send out would be better understood.

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If you’ve drinken the Kool-Aid or Google-Aid as it would be renamed if Google had a product for it; Guess what? They don’t invent or innovate  everything.

I was surprised and little stunned to see such a blatant follower move by Google search today as they debuted the  image on their search page… a la “bing.”

But to steal a stolen phrase from an article by Cameron Moll. “Good Designers Copy, Great Designers Steal.” Where did he get that? Picasso. Who reportedly said. “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

Google becoming a not so fast follower?

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Today I grabbed something to go from the Marriott cafeteria, which is very “green” to the point of having real plates and silverware. In fact I hear that you’re charged more for anything in a plastic container.

I noticed that the containers I had selected stated they were made from plants. Curious as to how they were made I went to the website on the cup and this banner was the first thing I saw.

I highlighted the part that made me chuckle.


This is exactly what I hate about the Green movement.


I actually think that telling everybody about actually negates some of your efforts to actually do the right thing.  Plus it makes you look like a schmuck.

Once all the dust settles and the processes are established by law or whatever, nobody will care. You’ll have to find something else to promote yourself with, that you don’t really care about until everyone says you have to.

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I’ve recently been acutely awakened to the fact that our modes of communication have a very bad side effect as illustrated in this comment by my good friend Rachel.

“If it can’t be understood in a 30 second sound byte America doesn’t get it.”

I am indeed guilty of such brevity in many ways. Every twitter feed, status and mini-post I make can be recalled as only a small sound byte in the full orchestral movement that is my life.

This actually limits my freedom. My freedom of speech in a way. It limits my ability to fully address all issues that have a sense of gravity in life, because nothing that is important is without debate and complexity. The “brevity bias” as I will call it, is sensational and appeals to a visceral reaction. It doesn’t allow for all the facts to be brought to the table. It is not patient, it is not humble, and it is not forgiving. The brevity bias is not forgiving because  it breaks each statement into it’s one full and complete statement without giving ear to context which is everything when understanding statements of power. It suppresses our ability to truly communicate and be understand only giving clues to the audience giving them control to interpret based on their own context.  It also limits my topics. Wanting to be fully understood and understand other points of view, I avoid topics of controversy knowing that and sound byte of info is not enough to give respect to important topics. So if I do know find an outlet that allows me this freedom, I in fact bind myself via my modes of communication.

I fully admit that these forms of communication have a place in our arsenal of communication, but they must augment it as a piece in the puzzle rather than drive it. For someone who spends a lot of time in the social media world this can be difficult to find the right place for it. Recently in his address to the 2010 graduating class of the University of Iowa Tom Brokaw made this statement. “It will do us little good to wire the world if we short circuit our souls. And you should not surrender the essence of the human experience to 146 characters on Twitter or a Facebook page however cleverly designed it may appear to be. No text message will ever replace the first kiss. No keyboard will ever take the place of someone you love nor will it spell out for you just what love is. That irreplaceable condition of the human experience.”

My hope is that we’ll find the patience to think before we act based on a well informed position  so we can act with civility, rather than viscerally.

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This was no doubt the best film of the whole series, with a central message no one can argue with.

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I’ve played about a handful of musical instruments in my lifetime but none to such skill that I felt I could fully express myself in the language of music.

I do remember days of chore sitting at a piano keyboard or snapping the spit valve of my trumpet, dreaming I commanding the attention of thousands on a rock stage.

So when I see people who stayed true to their skills but felt all types of music my heart sort of leaps up to applaud them for having the discipline to gain that power of expression.  Once you’ve gained it you can do whatever you want with it. Play rock songs on a violin, awesome.

Check this duo out: Pianafiddle

Power to ya!

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One of the things that surprised me as I grew up and entered the professional work world was that yes indeed you could wear nice clothes, stand up tall, polish your shoes, claim to be well educated,  be a power player and still drop a casual cuss word without anyone batting an eye.

Let me be the first to say, I’m not past it myself at all! I have a few choice phrases that I use on a regular basis. Mostly in a cathartic way. I use all the obvious excuses having been taught by the best of the best.  Pappy, is a retired Gunnery Sgt from the Marine Corps. I think it kind of goes with the job description.  "Oh fuuuuuuudge!"But, I imagine my upbringing was pretty typical as depicted  in the movie ” A Christmas Story.” Ralphy gets grounded and has to eat soap for dropping the F-bomb, even though his old man probably said that word at the rate of 30 times per minute while fixing the furnace.

For a while now, I’ve subscribed to the philosophy that cursing casually is actually a defamation of the power of cursing itself. In fact I feel like a curse is somewhat sacred. If you use it every other word it loses it’s meaning. It becomes trite and loses it’s power for when you really need a quick release of the confusion, hurt and pain you feel. Because sometimes dropping a curse actually feels appropriate and really good. So moderation in all things, right?

This is of course a great justification and a little bit of self stimulation of my own intelligence.

While we (society) give(s) concession to it pretty regularly, the reality is cussing is unsavory and offensive. It clearly is a lack of self-discipline, ability to express yourself, and disrespectful to others.  Regardless of how much we justify it in our lives we all know this to be true. Have you ever known a caring parent to hold their children to a standard less than that? That’s why we all continue to tell our kids to do something we haven’t quite mastered. It’s not because we think being hypocritical is OK, but that we recognize our own weakness in living up to the standard. Still that does not mean the standard should be lowered. Just that our own recognition of our weaknesses ought to be higher and our dedication to overcoming it a little more diligent.

This is a good example of behavior that we all know we’re all susceptible to but that we hold the general public to a certain standard. To let go of the standard would be like saying that we’re less than human.

The interesting thing is that if you discipline yourself enough to develop a way to express yourself without using profanity people notice and really respect you for it, and yet no one really misses it.

The Replacements:

This topic is not fully covered unless we explore the ever so popular replacement words for cussing.

Let me list the ways: Darn, Shoot, Crap, Fetch, Flip, Fudge, Scrub, Holy Smokes, Shnikeys, Gosh, Geez, Son of Gun, Son of a Biscuit,  Oh My Lands and hundred other silly concoctions of sounds.

Replacement Words

Replacement Words

Really what’s the real difference between dropping the F-bomb and the word Fetch, Flip or Fudge? They have the same hard consonant sounds that surround an open vowel.

Effectively they have the same mechanics as to what resonates a personal release of frustration.

Difference in definition– When you look at the meanings of cuss words, especially the worst ones they all are meant to debase subjects that either do or should have a degree of sacredness or personal nature to them. Sexuality, Humanity & Spirituality. In essence to use the words in an angry & flippant manner in which you’re using them is a debasement of the human race and others’ personal values. That is what makes them offensive. That is why they create such an explosive response. My guess is that there is historical base to this as well.

Perceived Difference. –  The replacement words are generally mundane words whose meaning is abstract in a negative context. In many ways they are absurd in the context and therefore are not as offensive.  In some ways the replacement words are  less offensive to others because they are not on the generally understood naughty list. Maybe if the world started to be offended something like “Darn-it-all!” it would carry an extra weight. But then undoubtedly there would be replacement words for replacement words.

I was once told that if you want to quit using profanity altogether you should just say the real word until you go so sick of yourself that you’d stop. I think that’s terrible advice. For many reasons, but mostly because I think that might only work for a select few. Not to mention all the folks you might offend in the mean-time.

The point is the only thing that replacement words do is potentially not offend others on a large scale  Replacement words are still indeed a type of profanity because you are still not expressing what you mean to say. They’re used in the same exact same context and in the same way.

In thesame way that anger is a secondary emotion, profanity is a misuse of our expression. If we use language to convey a message to an audience, and negotiate the social relationship between the speaker and the audience, what are we saying with a string slurs. Not much apparently.

So this then begs the question if you shouldn’t cuss or use and replacement words, then what should we say?  (And of course when I say you, I mean me.)


It’s moments like these when all the over analyzation make you think there’s some over-top-answer. It’s surprisingly simple really.

Say exactly what you mean.

Imagine you’ve bumped your toe on the coffee table. Rather than dropping any number of epithets Why don’t we trying some like this!? OUCH! I’m surprised and hurt that I bump my toe on the coffee table.  It really hurts! I’ve never felt any pain like that… I think I might have a seizure! I also a little embarrassed, Ive been walking for 30 years now and I haven’t quite figured out how to navigate around coffee table.

It actually sounds really silly, but I wonder how it would come off if you actually did it. I’m guessing people around you would know exactly how you feel. They might be able to know how to comfort you or just let you be until you’ve recovered.

Of course you do realize that I really don’t want to publish this blog, because it certainly calls me back to an effort I choose to shelf every once in awhile. Because the reality is among all the other things I’ve got to work on I’ve got to define some priorities hopefully I won’t offend you while I’m figuring that out 🙂



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