Monthly Archives: January 2009

Condense Your Love Into Six Words

High school English classes have familiarized us with the oft-cited quote, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”  But when it comes to communicating degrees of emotional intensity and experience in relationships – it can be tough to limit your words.  We can all admit to watching at least a few episodes of Donahue, Geraldo, or Jerry Springer, right? The ENTIRE premise of shows such as these is to encourage people to vent, up to 43mn (+ commercial time), on the disgruntled state of their relationships!  Anytime people probe into potentially emotional subjects (they look more like emotional minefields on those shows), brevity – not to mention wit –  is nowhere near the studio!!

So we can all agree that it’s a challenge to express your relationship in a mere six words.  What could you express about your own love/marriage/relationship in just six words? Think of it as a relationship ‘brand’ that you’re advertising. Would you emphasize…perfection, as in “pure goodness to the last drop” ? Endurance, as in “still going after all these years”? Malcontent, as in “sucks the life out of me”? Or with a hackneyed phrase, such as “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”?

This new book review, Love Boiled Down to Just Six Words, in USA Today amused me to no end with its infinite possibilities for relationship branding, using sincerity and humor! I’ve included it to encourage you, the reader, to contribute your condensed love stories in the comments area below!  And in the spirit of encouraging you to share, I’ll go first:

  • “True love doesn’t depend on drama.”

(And I’ll also share the one my husband wrote about how we first met – an unusual, but extremely memorable gift that he brought to my office: “A couch brought me true love.”)

Happy writing!!

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Dedicated to My “Audience of One”

One of the major news channels estimated that 2 million people were expected to attend today’s inauguration and another few dozen million people would watch it on TV around the country. For a variety of reasons people have been building anticipation around today’s events, and most of the nation appears to have been caught up in the tractor beam of ‘change’ propaganda.

Most of the nation, but not all.

Against the pull of this inaugural hyper-focus, I’d like to express appreciation to my new “Audience of One”, Paul Gothier, who discovered and commented on our humble blog in spite of the inaugural media deluge!

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Dedicating this post to our new “Audience of One” is in itself a tribute to Comedy Central’s first-ever late night talk show, Night After Night with Allan Havey, that ran from 1989-1992 on The Comedy Channel (now known as Comedy Central).  From the fan site (linked above):

“To cover the history of Night After Night, we have to go back in time. Back to a time before Cartoon Network. Back before the premieres of E.R. and Friends. Back to when MTV still showed music videos. Back to 1989. Back to when Viacom created a small network devoted to comedy. This was the Comedy Channel.”

“Night After Night was on for 3 hours, since all the hosts did VJ duty, introducing video clips from the latest comedy film out in theaters, or some classic comedy routine from Monty Python. But, there was something about Allan. He had the late shift. His set was the most intimate one on the network. When guests started getting booked on the show, the intimacy remained. His studio audience consisted of one person, who soon became known as the ‘Audience (or Audient) of One.’ “

Allan Havey and his sidekick, Nick Bakay, have since moved on to other projects – Allan Havey was cast in Hancock with Will Smith, and Nick Bakay went on to work as sidekick on The Dennis Miller Show.

But a clip from this pioneering show, with it’s intimate setting and unorthodox, informal, ‘VJ-like’ interviewing style is another hidden gem of comedy that I’d like to share with you!

Dedicated to our “Audience of One”, Paul Gothier, this “Night After Night with Allan Havey” interview features Joel Hodgson in 1991, discussing his new soon-to-be-cult-show-hit Mystery Science Theater 3000. Enjoy!

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Comedy Nostalgia

A great friend once told me that being in your thirties was way better than your twenties, because you -simultaneously- come into self-awareness AND you start to really enjoy yourself!

Now that I’m in my thirties, I totally agree with that perspective and one thing I’ve really started enjoying is launching into various retrospectives – re-visiting music I liked in high school, finding my original Muppets Show lunchbox, sifting through my mother’s collection of Pat Boone 45s, re-watching original Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels shows.  I know I’m not alone in this enjoyment; VH1 has certainly turned more than one person into a Saturday afternoon couch potato with their “I love the 70s/80s/90s” retrospectives.

(Which leads to the separate question: Who, in presumably sound mind and body, would EVER decide that “Livin’ On a Prayer” was the #1 song of the 80s???? Did I really lose 2 hours just to watch that???)

So inasmuch as Bon Jovi seems to have remained “#1” (??!!!) in many Gen Xer minds, I’ve rediscovered several comedy skits that may not have received the nostalgic appreciation and value that they deserve and I’d like to share a few of them with you.  Please enjoy these SCTV gems: Taxi Driver starring Woody Allen, Dick Cavett and Bob Hope!

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“Non-Profit Capitalism”

This article, “Non-Profit Capitalism,”  from The Economist describes a unique positioning by “Do Something”, a non-profit group that recuits teenage volunteers.  This non-profit firm engaged in an activity that had been heretofore reserved for ‘for-profit’ entities: they launched an IPO with the ROI described as, “a significant social return on investment.”

Although the article focuses on the financial motivations behind this activity (helps bring in some long-term financing, thereby minimizing the stress of putting on short-term fundraising events), what I found particularly compelling was the cross-over aspect of their strategy –   a clever blend of non-profit benefit dressed in for-profit speak and technique.  By blurring the mental/organizational separation of non-profit and for-profit, they’ve been able to translate their value proposition to much greater exposure (and financial opportunity) in capital markets.  I would like to congratulate their innovative thinking!

But it also leads me to a rhetorical question. Given that an IPO is such an extremely well-used and well-known practice in the for-profit world, to the majority of the non-profit orgs in the world, then – why is the idea of using a for-profit technique so foreign, so taboo, or so alien? Certainly there are millions of executives who have crossed-over between the for-profit and non-profit environments, so why isn’t there more acceptance for blending the best of both worlds’ tools and techniques to the benefit of non-profits?

All in all, I would suggest that non-profit organizations recruit more professionals, executives and MBAs with for-profit experience – and then the financial benefits that Do Something received would become the norm, rather than the ‘unique event’.  Any non-profit service entity would benefit from the (for-profit) hard-line perspective of  financial and results-oriented accountability to one’s donors, because – at the end of the day – non-profits are competing for the financial resources in much the same way as any for-profit business.

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Beer Commercial Caps on Gender Differences

If you haven’t caught it already, this is well worth a minute of your lunch time! Here is an outrageously funny commercial by Heineken that capitalizes on the fundamental differences between the 2 sexes.


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Everyone has a Muse…

Everyone has a Muse, and Erin McKean at the New Oxford English Dictionary is my favorite verbal consultant and inspiration! Her presentation here at Google in 2006, on the subject of “10 Things she wants people to know about Dictionaries” helped remind me how much I love words, dictionaries and thesauri.  If you love this, she can also be found at http://www.verbatimmag.com/

Enjoy!

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Welcome!

Ever feel like you’re losing sleep hours in order to keep up with all the good online digital activity? Is your daily news and gossip checklist in excess of five pages – and growing constantly? Do you have to add more than ten new blog RSS feed subscriptions every week? Do you long for some sort of cumulative remedy that will bring you the best in communication, intelligent humor, marketing and advertising trends – so that you can get on with your life?

Well, then – let me welcome you to this blog! I am your host, Carol, and I started this blog to provide people of like communication-and-humor minds a humble, growing meta-site that will bring you the gems of the international communication, marketing and comedy environments.  As Chaucer said in The Cook’s Tale, “Many a true word is spoken in jest.” I welcome your concerns, comments (best when relevant, of course!) and assistance in building this blog into a service site for the benefit of our group subculture needs.

On a personal note, I am an International Marketing and Communications MBA. I’m passionate about marketing and communication/PR strategy and devoted to expanding multilingual, multicultural experiences in my life. I love philosophical conversations, laughter and canines – and I practice personal and professional integrity. You can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook; some older school blog entries can be found here.

So, I’ll raise my right hand and promise to present YOU with a cumulative summary of communications and comedy ‘good stuff’ – and give YOU some time back to your personal and professional lives.  Just don’t go and spend all the extra time on The Hills episodes, ok?

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