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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 2/18/21

Good morning! NATIONAL HOLIDAYS There has been a good deal of talk about making voting in elections more accessible. One of the common suggestions has been a “National Voting Day.” Allowing for a special day for voting certainly would afford those who are restricted by work hours or must deal with the getting kids to school and other activities greater opportunity to participate. Perhaps such a move could also reduce the current heated discussion about voter accessibility and voter suppression. Bradley Mindlin suggests that we consider moving MLK Day and making such a day a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. On the issue of public holidays, Susan Sawasy has taken me to task regarding wanting to rename Presidents Day as Washington and Lincoln day. She points out there are other great presidents who also deserve honor. Certainly that’s true, but choices need to be made… More importantly, Susan suggests perhaps we will one day have a “Failed Presidents Day.” She thinks it should be a national day of garage cleaning, scrubbing of grout and a national opportunity to check the air in all our tires…!” GIVING TO THE HOMELESS Regarding the question of giving money to the homeless elicited many experiences. One such is Susan’s citing of her church handing out blankets one year. She describes four singular reactions:

  • One woman started crying; that was difficult to see

  • One woman just thanked me

  • One man handed it back; that was uncomfortable

  • Another man reached past it, grabbed my arm and demanded money instead. That was flat out frightening.

I think it important to note that the reactions of the homeless are a diverse and sometimes frightening as the reactions of the rest of us.


And then there’s Ken Millman, who upon offering up food to a homeless person at a freeway on-ramp was told, “sorry, but I only accept cash…!”


BRITISH DRAMA MAKES ME SMILE


By now you’ve heard about how I believe British shows are smarter than American shows. They are. Check out Broadchurch, Sherlock, Happy Valley, Line of Duty, or any of a number of them. I just finished The Stranger, which isn’t as good as the others but I still recommend it as a guilty pleasure (the plot defies credulity). Two great lines I had to share First, when one police officer wants to console another:


“Hug?”

The response: “Let’s not get all American.”


Then there is the guy who says something I always say when trying to get at simple facts and “de-jargonize” the conversation, “Talk to me like a five year old.” So true. I’m always perplexed that people can’t convey simple concepts to non-experts using simple phrases. Just talk to me like I’m a reasonably intelligent five year-old!


AMERICA’S MOST HATED OFFICE JARGON


Statista offers up certain office phrases that are disliked. Here are the top ten offenders in a poll of office workers:

  • Synergy

  • Teamwork

  • Touch base

  • Raising the bar

  • Think outside the box

  • Work harder

  • Best practice

  • Paradigm shift

  • The next time you feel the need to reach out…

  • Empower

These phrases and others certainly lower the bar of our discourse…


SONGS OF LOVE


This is Steve Fishman’s list of all-time greats, which he sent to me on Valentines Day (I love you too, Steve):

  • A Thousand Years, by Christina Perri

  • I Will Always Love You, by Whitney Houston

  • Perfect, by Ed Sheeran

  • Just the Way You are, by Bruno Mars

  • Love Song, by Sara Bareilles

  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours), by Stevie Wonder

  • Shelter, by Ray LaMontagne

  • Sunday Morning, by Maroon 5

  • Brown Eyed Girl, by Van Morrison

Steve (who is one of the great romantics) was listening carefully in the 70s, then apparently went to sleep until the past decade. A few notes: If you’re going to have Brown Eyed Girl, you need its first-cousin, Green-Eyed Lady, by Sugarloaf. And where, oh where, are the classic Barry White tunes? MMMMM…baby…. All the best, Glenn

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