Jan 2 2012

#247 Less is More (2)

From Clare in Hertfordshire, England

“What is the single most important thing for a company? Is it the building? Is it the stock? Is it the turnover? It’s the people, investment in people. My proudest moment here wasn’t when I increased profits by 17%, or cut expenditure without losing a single member of staff. No. It was a young Greek guy, first job in the country, hardly spoke a word of English, but he came to me and he went ‘Mr. Brent, will you be the Godfather to my child?’ Didn’t happen in the end. We had to let him go, he was rubbish.
He was rubbish!”

~ David Brent  (The Office)


Oct 27 2011

#180 “Love Me…”

From “Go Girl” in Memphis, Tennessee

First off, in reference to the note in the corner of this picture, I feel that I must tell “Go Girl” that I truly do love this illustration. It is like no other picture that I have received, and it certainly shows a rarely seen side of the wolf: the cute and vulnerable side.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this picture takes me back to the days when local newscasts would feature pets that were housed at the neighborhood animal shelter and would plead their case for adoption. Maybe it’s the oversized, almost pitiful eyes or the somewhat tentative stance. Maybe it’s the name, “Cody,” which seems so much like one that I can hear rolling off the tongue of Paul Barys as he tenderly strokes Cody’s fur as he sits shivering atop the WRCB news desk. It might even be the overt sentiment expressed in the statement, “He loves you all” or the tattoo that seems to say “LOVE ME.”

But no matter what it is, there is a message of vulnerability and love expressed here that is nothing if it not touching. We all yearn for acceptance. We all seek to belong. And at the end of the day its wonderful to know that someone is taking care of us.

But the question is… Who will take care of the wolf? Who will protect it? Who will speak on its behalf when others speak out against it?

Will you?


Oct 24 2011

#177 “To Serve Man”

From Heidi in Texas

If you’ve never seen the episode of The Twilight Zone entitled “To Serve Man” which was based on the short story of the same name by Damon Knight, please allow me to recommend it to you. It’s one of the greatest episodes in the history of the series and was one of the only episodes in which the fourth wall was broken down and an actor spoke directly to the viewing audience. Besides this, though, the story is cleverly constructed and is just twisted enough to walk that fine line between being disturbing and entertaining.

Here’s the gist of what happens: (1) Aliens come to Earth (2) The aliens are really swell guys and they say that their whole purpose in visiting earth is “to serve man.” (3) The aliens even bring a really neat book on how to serve man, but it’s written in an alien language and no one can translate it. (4) People start moving to the alien planet by the truckload (or spaceship load) in order to become the gods they think they will be treated like when they arrive (5) As all of this is happening, the book finally gets translated, and lo and behold…. It’s a cookbook! Ahhhhhhhhhhh! “To Serve Man.” Get it?

Zing! What a twist!

As cheesy as all of this sounds, the episode delivers a fairly overt admonition for us to keep our pride in check and to use our brains instead of stroking our own egos. Also, at the end of the episode when the actor breaks down the 4th wall, he says, “We’re all of us on the menu… All of us.” The message in this statement is clear: Regardless of how advanced or how intellectual we may become, we’re still a part of the food chain, and when push comes to shove, we may very well be at the mercy of creatures that are more powerful than we are.

Am I a misanthrope who hopes that Mother Nature and her army of animals will repay us for the evil crimes that we have committed against her? Certainly not. But I also don’t think we should become too cocky. Take the illustration above, for example. While the exact circumstances are a bit unclear, one thing that we know definitively know is that a complete role reversal has taken place, and man is now being served in much different way than he is used to.

In the end the choice is yours: Serve others… or be served, yourself.


Jul 27 2011

#88 “Catchphrase!”

 

From Laura in Little Rock, Arkansas

“Stay cool, Bro…”  What a fantastic phrase. There is so much positivity contained within it. So much energy as well as an overt admonition to simply relax and take it easy. Also, there’s an implied sense of brotherhood. Ladies and gentlemen, I tell you: this phrase has it all: encouragement, love, support, and of course, a slight sense of nastalgia for the very recent past. This is one of those phrases that never really “went away,” but also, it seems that we probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that someone was “bringing it back.”

After pondering this wonderful wolf illustration and its eloquent catchphrase for a short while, my mind began to wander to some of the more popular phrases from pop culture that I remember from my youth. Then, another idea came upon me, and simply put, I have decided to bestow upon you a pop culture catchphrase game. Grab a friend or participate all by yourself; the choice is yours.

Here are the rules:
1. Examine the list of catchphrases below and then try to identify the character and the movie/television show that are most associated with the quote. Write down your answers separately; don’t shout them out. Also, make sure that you don’t sneak a peek at the answer key located below the phrases.
2. One point is awarded for the characer. Another point is awarded for the movie/show. Therefore, each quote is worth 2 points.
3. After all 25 phrases have been examined, the game is over. Check the answer key below and tally your scores.
4. The player with the most points is the winner and must treat the other players to ice cream immediately.

Catchphrases:
1. “Bam!”
2. “De plane! De plane!”
3. “Dynomite!”
4. “Hey! Hey! Hey!”
5. “I love it when a plan comes together.”
6. “Live long and prosper”
7. “Don’t have a cow, man.”
8. “No soup for you!”
9. “The tribe has spoken”
10. “The truth is out there.”
11. “You’re fired!”
12. “You eeeeeeediot!”
13. “Who loves you, baby?”
14. “Oh my God! They killed Kenny!”
15. “How you doin’?”
16. “Homey don’t play that!”
17. “Here’s Johnny!”
18. “Baby, you’re the greatest!”
19. “Space: The final frontier…”
20. “That’s hot…”
21. “Yabba dabba do!”
22. “Watchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”
23. “You got it, dude!”
24. “Did I do that?”
25. “Good Grief!”

 

Answer Key:
1. Emeril Legasse, “Emeril Live”
2. Tattoo, “Fantasy Island”
3. J.J., “Good Times”
4. Fat Albert, “Fat Albert”
5. Hannibal, “The A-Team”
6. Spock, “Star Trek”
7. Bart Simpson, “The Simpsons”
8. The Soup Nazi, “Seinfeld”
9. Jeff Probst, “Survivor”
10. Fox Mulder, “The X-Files”
11. Donald Trump, “The Apprentice”
12. Ren, “Ren and Stimpy”
13. Kojac, “Kojac”
14. Kyle/Stan, “Southpark”
15. Joey, “Friends”
16. Homey the Clown, “In living Color”
17. Ed McMahon, “The Tonight Show”
18. Ralph Kramden, “The Honeymooners”
19. Capt. Kirk, “Star Trek”
20. Paris Hilton, “The Simple Life”
21. Fred Flintstone, “The Flintstones”
22. Arnold/Gary Coleman, “Diff’rent Strokes”
23. Michelle, “Full House”
24. Steve Urkel, “Family Matters”
25. Charlie Brown, “Peanuts”