I was just sending a note to writer extraordinaire Randi Mayem Singer, whose many credits include Mrs. Doubtfire, when I glitched and realized the value of being careful with punctuation. Moving that comma one name over, it reads -- "Randi Mayem, Singer."
While the world would no doubt be anxiously awaiting some new CD from her of holiday songs (From My Hearth to Yours, no doubt), I don't know if that's the profession she'd want to be pushing at this hectic point in her career...
It's possible that some of you reading this now have gotten here because of a link at the bottom of my NRA piece today that says, "To read a slightly-different version of this article, visit Elisberg Industries."
First and most importantly, welcome and thanks for coming. We put out some cheese dip, and there are soft drinks in the fridge. You can buy Elisberg Industries t-shirts, caps and mugs at the gift shop.
Second, know that "slighly-different" is just that. It's slight. While it would be fine to read the whole article again, just know that the difference comes because the Huffington Post editors were a little uncomfortable with a comparison made in the original text about Wayne LaPierre. I fully stand by the description, since I don't make the comparison to him personally, but to how the manifesto he wrote comes across. But I certainly understand the editors' concerns, even if I don't agree at all with them. To their credit, they put the article on the front page.
But if you don't want to re-read everything, the changed paragraph is the fourth from the top, that begins, "What Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association and its chief spokesman, wrote was..."
The article is two stops below. Just scroll down a bit...
If you tell a friend about the Elisberg Industries website at any time during the month of February, you will get a free year (!) added to your subscription.
Okay, yes, we know it's free anyway, but the offer still stands.
I was browsing my account on LinkedIn last night. On my homepage, it lists whenever one of your "connections" gets endorsed for a particular ability of yours. Tonight, I saw the following --
"Jenny Birchfield-Eick's skills and expertise were endorsed by Prince Hashel Al Mubarak Al Kubaisi. HRH Heir Apparent (Crown Prince) of Al Odaid Emirate (Kingdom) in Central Gulf (Arabian/Persian(Oil)Gulf) Region
All I could think was that, boy, I am running around in the wrong circles.
Regardless of what you thought what was said, the happiest people in the country were the writers of Saturday Night Live, who got their opening sketch this week.
They're already talking to the prop guy about getting a sweat pump and water bottles.
For better or worse, people respond to visuals. The Reagan press office told that to Leslie Stahl. After doing a hard-hitting piece about the Reagan Administration, she thought they were going to yell at her -- instead they said they loved it. She said their reaction was something like, "Your piece was filled with images of the President standing in from of Mount Rushmore, and American flags and smiling children. That's all people will remember, not what you were saying." And her reaction was, "I realized they were right."
SNL joy aside, as for the substance I thought it began well (not that I agreed with what he was saying -- it was pretty typical, empty Rubio stuff that sounds good if you're not paying attention, and gets a "hunh?" if you are -- but it was presented well). But then, I thought after about three minutes it started to go off the rails, got strident, rambled all over the place, and came off to me like a campaign speech, not a State of the Union rebuttal on the GOP vision.
It also had at its core the typical GOP mantra. Best example -- telling the story of his father and mother using Medicare and "I will not change any of the services my mother gets" but for all you others, that's going to change. Which is stand Republican operating procedure these days: I got mine, screw you. (Same thing with, "I used federal aid to get my schooling. Now, let's change it.")
I suspect the Republican base liked the speech, but that really shouldn't be what a State of the Union opposition response should be best used for. A wasted opportunity.
It's Travel Day. Off to O'Hare Airport. Back in Los Angeles after the State of the Union Address. Hopefully the gaggle of postings this morning will carry you through. If not, just imagine Muzak playing in your head for a while. The Girl from Ipanema should suffice. Just play it over and over for the next few hours...
The following headline is currently the #2 Most Popular story on the Huffington Post.
My immediate thought was -- well, yeah, okay, but which one?
To be clear, I actually think Taylor Swift is respectably talented, and she's particularly an extremely good showman with a sharp ear on her culture. And I also think she's a fairly good actress. But I keep getting the impression that if she ever got married, her career risked being over.
Fortunately for her, she's still young.
Aspiring writers, take note. Quips aside (sort of), ultimately this all reinforces the Writers Dictum -- write what you know.
Happy Lincoln's Birthday -- from the Land of Lincoln.
Well, that it is if we were celebrating Lincoln's birthday. For all those who insist on waiting for Presidents Day, hold on to your generic gift.
(For that matter, I can't find if it's "Presidents Day" or "Presidents' Day." Or for that matter, if you prefer to single each one out for individual celebration, "President's Day.")
By the way, as long as they decided to cram two holidays together from the 12th to the 22nd, I've always felt it was a bit of an oversight, or perhaps unfair to leave out Valentine's Day on the 14th. They could maybe call it Holiday Day. But I suspect the chocolate lobby is too strong.
I have fond memories when a little kid of taking a trip with my Grandma Rose to Springfield. Among other things, we went to New Salem, which was a reconstruction of Lincoln's village, and I remember that I enjoyed wandering around the old houses and shops, but thinking the whole place had a funny, uncomfortable, musty aroma, and so eventually I got antsy. I much preferred touring the Lincoln house in Springfield.
Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will resign from the papacy on February 28. I just want to make clear to the world that, although my birthday is on February 28, there is no connection.
While some may presume the Pope's plan was to allow for a smooth transference of authority to me on that day, this is not the case. Despite what some may presume, for we living in a conspiracy-minded world, I will not become Pope on my birthday. I cannot comment about after my birthday, because I am not skilled enough in predictions of the future. So much can changed between now and then, whenever "then" is.
Further I will not say whether the Vatican contacted me or not. I believe that they prefer all communication about papal succession to be private. .
I wish Pope Benedict XVI improved health and that he can live a long life. And I hope he's able to enjoy it. It must be cool to have a retirement when you can sit around with others reminiscing, trying to one-up the other and say, "Me? I used to be Pope."
So, Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast. Hurricane Katrina crushed the Gulf Coast. Today's pounding storm could deliver 10-14 inches of snow on New York -- and up to three feet in Boston, with 500,000 people currently out of power.
Imagine how bad this all would be if Climate Change was real.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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