Monthly Archives: July 2004

Powerpoint destroys relationships

The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century :: Joey deVilla’s Weblog :: The Breakup Style of PowerPoint

The underlying idea of using email to deliver unpleasant news isn’t all that novel. You’ve probably had to phone someone to cancel plans and were relieved to get their voice mail or answering machine rather than the actual person, and you may have even heard of situations where people have broken up over the phone. Breaking up in writing was common enough for the term “Dear John Letter” to be coined. In these situations, the bearer of bad news is trying to weasel out of having to deal with the reaction.

Listing the reasons for a breakup, whether the breakup is taking place in person, by postal mail, over the phone or email, isn’t new, either. What is new is listing the reasons in point form.

I think that the “Dear Jane” emails that those people received were inspired by elements of office culture: PowerPoint, project post-mortems and annual performance reviews. Of the people who told me that they were dumped via email, all of their boyfriends worked white-collar jobs in which they either sat through or made PowerPoint presentations.

Having been dumped several times by people who never had the common decency to confront me in person, then refuse to answer mail or phone calls, I totaly agree. But I think the problems go deeper. We live in a disposable culture, where people and relationships become disposable as well. Rather than working things out, and growing and learning from the experience, people “move on” without growing or learning at all. Those of us who get left behind sometimes take the initiative to enter therapy or treatment and come to understandings about ourselves, grow, learn, and change. But those who choose to simply walk away from problems with other people never change, never grow, and never bother to learn anything about themselves or other people. They prefer to remain as they are, and then wonder why they have the same problems relating to other people.

Yes, sometimes things can’t be resolved, that’s true. And sometimes they just aren’t worth it. But deep, meaningful relationships that have lasted for a long time are well worth saving, and to leave those behind over disagreements that could be worked out with time is just sad, and, in the end, gains nothing for those who are willing to let them go. Our culture suffers greatly from its shallowness, and those who practice the shallowness may never know the real depths of friendship, love, and passion.

Race matters to Bush campaign

Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer | Arizona Daily Star �

President Bush’s re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Star refused to provide the information.

Cheney is scheduled to appear at a rally this afternoon at the Pima County Fairgrounds.

A rally organizer for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign asked Teri Hayt, the Star’s managing editor, to disclose the journalist’s race on Friday. After Hayt refused, the organizer called back and said the journalist probably would be allowed to photograph the vice president.

“It was such an outrageous request, I was personally insulted,” Hayt said later.

Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the president’s re-election campaign, said the information was needed for security purposes.

“All the information requested of staff, volunteers and participants for the event has been done so to ensure the safety of all those involved, including the vice president of the United States,” he said.

Diaz repeated that answer when asked if it is the practice of the White House to ask for racial information or if the photographer, Mamta Popat, was singled out because of her name. He referred those questions to the U.S. Secret Service, which did not respond to a call from the Star Friday afternoon.

Republicans with brains

Yahoo! News – Some Republicans Defect to Kerry’s Camp

Ohio resident Bob Stewart says of President Bush: “He’s been a world-class polarizer. I don’t know if I can stomach four more years with him as president. He misled us into the war in Iraq and has mismanaged everything since.”

A raging Democrat? No, Stewart is a Republican, one of an unknown number of such voters who plan to back John Kerry, out of despair over the war in Iraq and disappointment over budget deficits and social policies.

Stewart, 44, an insurance agent from Anderson Township near Cincinnati, voted for Bush in 2000 and is a registered Republican.

“I just have a gut feeling that Kerry can be trusted to make the right courageous decisions and will make a good president. He showed that with his heroism in Vietnam,” he says.

Bush is “supposed to be a conservative and yet he’s run up the biggest federal deficit in history. One thing that really turned me (away from Bush) as a lifelong Catholic … was to see Bush go to the Vatican and try to get the pope to come down hard on Kerry for his stand on abortion. That is absolutely appalling.”

n Michigan, Dan Martin has run for local office as a Republican. He says his biggest disappointment is that Bush’s reputation as a “compassionate, conservative” governor of Texas hasn’t proven true in the White House.

“The foreign policy is a mess. The offensive in Iraq is reckless and built on bad decision making. On the domestic front I understand that terrorism has struck and he’s occupied but any real progress on a domestic agenda has ground to a halt,” added Martin, 32, a customer service manager at a health maintenance organization who lives in Rochester Hills.

In Tennessee, Brian Boland, a young music company manager shopping at a market near Nashville, said: “I’ve always voted Republican and my folks will just kill me if they find out I’m switching to Kerry this year … but I am just frustrated with the way Bush has mishandled everything. All the untruths.”

At the same market Ron King, a black Vietnam Veteran, said: “I always voted Republican before but I’m against Bush ever since I found out that he doesn’t love this country. His so-called military record is a sham. And the worst part is that he lies so much. He lied about weapons of mass destruction.”

Lloyd Huff, 64, retired director of the Dayton Research Institute in Ohio, says he has “voted for a Republican in every presidential election I can remember” but it will be Kerry this time because “the Bush administration has been the most deceitful, duplicitous, secretive administration this country has ever had.”

“Going to war in Iraq was a horrible, horrible mistake,” he said. He accused Bush of “an arrogant, swaggering cowboy mentality … he has done more than anyone to inflame the Muslim world by his words and actions.”


It’s so good to know there are Republicans with brains. Let’s hope more of them find them.

The best description of blogs ever!

Fafblog! the whole worlds only source for Fafblog.

It was here that me an Gibs were interviewed by Wolf Blitzer so that he might better understand the Heady An Complicated Emergent Phenomenon of Blog Journalism.

WOLF BLITZER: So, Fafnir and Giblets, what IS a blog?
FAFNIR: Blogs are the future Wolf.
GIBLETS: Yes! They are MADE of the future! We extract the future’s pure temporal essence an squeeze it into cables an modems an T3 lines it becomes a blog!
F: A blog… of the future.
WB: How much thought goes into your “web blog” “posts”?
F: Oh we do not think at all when we post! That would defeat the entire purpose!
G: Blogs must be spontaneous intant reactions to the lightning events of the everyday! Giblets fires up a random news article, pounds his head against the keyboard several times, an hits the “publish” button for the purest of pure blog posts!
F: Otherwise you are not truly flowin in the electric consciousness Wolf.


Gotta love fafblog!

Your Silence

Why are you silent
While I speak to the world?
Though none may hear my voice
And my words are poor,
Still, I use my voice.

Why are you silent
When you have tales to tell,
When your words might be
So eloquent and elegant
Compared with mine.

Your smile that lit my life
Your words that made me laugh
Your touch, ah, your touch –
These things I feel and hear and see
No more.

You have left me
You move along in your life
What you think, I do not know
What you feel, I cannot know
But neither does the world.

When I search for you
I do not find you
When I speak to you
You do not answer
But neither does the world.

When you are gone
Some may mourn you
When you are gone
Some may miss you
But the world will not remember.

You leave nothing behind
No family, no heirs to your estate
No tracks to mark your passing
No words, no words, will tell
The tales – that only I will remember.

You speak not my name
You hear not my voice
You answer not my prayers
You refuse to acknowledge me
But the world knows my loss.

But the world cannot know
The world may never know
What it has lost
In your silence.

Evening's thoughts

Mmmm, bit of a buzz tonight, but still coherent and awake. A good time to post some thoughts, I suppose.

The kids are immersed in Comicon, and really enjoying it. Jonathan has fianlly gotten signed up with Palomar college and now just needs to actually get registered for his classes. Greg is mostly sleeping and enjoying his summer break. Tom is working and just being his usual self.

Me, I’m relaxing, taking it easy for the most part. I just haven’t really felt the need to do much of anything lately. Perhaps it’s the dog days of summer. I’ve put on a couple of pounds during the Hawaii trip, and not made a lot of effort to visit the gym much since or diet, really. I don’t seem to find myself compelled to do much of anything, other than keep track of world events and take care of the more basic needs of life.

This time of year, it’s typically too hot to do much in the garden, beyond water, water, water and mulch, mulch, mulch. And the mulching has been slow, although I try to keep up with the watering. House projects seem like too much work to really bother with, beyond basic maintenance. Reading is sporadic, at best. Writing, well, writing is really tough, since it requires thought and effort. I find myself content to visit the opinions of others who express the thoughts I have been thinknig. Perhaps that is enough, for now.

It seems to be the calm before a period of some activity, like I am just supposed to relax and rest for now and save my energies for what is to come. Fall is usually the time of slowing down and preparing for rest, but, I think perhaps this year, fall will be busy and eventful, and wionter, well, perhaps a joyous celebration if things go right, or a time of preparation for things going very wrong if November proves to be an inauspicious month. It seems things hang very much in the balance right now, and it is unclear which way the scales will tip. I suppose we shall see, and then, plans will need to be made, or celebrations will happen.

Let’s all hope there will be much to celebrate, and not much to fear.