Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What In The Word?

After spending nearly two years working on my book The Oy Way, I took an overdue hiatus from writing, publishing and selling my effort. Now is a long overdue time to resume writing.

I have not avoided all of the steps in the writing process; in fact I have been engrossed in step one, i.e., collecting data to be used in this blog, the Ho-Ho-Kus Cogitator, and the Huffington Post. The material for my memoirs is buried in my head and within forty-two years of journals. Some chapters in the memoir have already been published in other print and online media, including what you will find here.

The “word” has been regularly massacred not only by recent arrivals to America who are trying to adjust to a new culture and a strange language, but also by would-be print and broadcast professionals, including a rookie news anchor on the NBC television station in Bismark, North Dakota.

He didn’t realize that his microphone was on when he uttered “F__cking sh_t” only fifteen seconds into his first broadcast. It was also his last broadcast there, and I wonder where you go after you have lost a job in North Dakota. Wasilla, Alaska?

You Language Is Bad
In a recent verbal battle between journalist Bob Woodward and Gene Sperling, White House Economic Advisor, Sperling, wrote,  “Bob, I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad.”  Ah, the sad language used by those with a minimum command of our native English language.

What Do You Mean                                                                                                                                   We” White Man                                                                                                                                        Doug Gottlieb CBS analyst covering NCAA Basketball was on a panel with four African American men, when he uttered; “I don’t know why you guys ask me. I’m just here to bring diversity to this set, give kind of the white man’s perspective.
Sew What If a News Person                                                                                                                          Doesn’t No the Difference                                                                                                                                 The San Jose Mercury News covers the San Francisco Bay Area’s sports teams including the Golden State Warriors and their star Stephen Curry.                                                                                     
Their Warriors writer waxed eloquently about Curry’s work and wrote, “the best part is watching someone reap what he sewed.” I sent the writer an email, closing with, “Buy four now and wish that you, ewe, hew and you continue to write interesting articles so I can help my Spanish-born wife with her use of the English language.” The next day I received a sincere “Thank you” email in return.
Geographically Challenged                                                                                                                                The publication of a detailed map of North Korea came just weeks after Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt toured that country in January. On April 30th, Schmidt was a guest on the Charlie Rose show on PBS, and said, “North Korea is a pretty city.”
With a net worth estimated at $8.5 billion, Schmidt should consider taking a course in world geography.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Thirty-Five Miles Away,                                                                                       Yet Many Worlds Apart

I taught for more than twenty-five years at San Jose State University (SJSU) and have lived a bit longer here in Santa Cruz, home of the University of California-Santa Cruz (UCSC). Each university’s alumni publication encourages graduates to submit a short, updated biography on what they consider to be the most important, recent achievements in their lives.

SJSU is ensconced in the heart of San Jose and filled with students who are trying to get ahead in their working life, while UCSC has always been an ultra, liberal arts establishment. The relevant accomplishments students are proud of at each school in some areas, are quite contrasting.

James, 1980 UCSC  graduate, touts that he began taking feminizing hormones under doctor’s care and has chosen the name Ise Alexandra.”

There’s also a web site you can go to where you’ll find that Ise is pronounced “Eez,” and Eez is looking for someone to “step forward and sponsor surgery for a cost of over $20,000.”

Marie, a 1980 SJSU graduate, proudly proclaims, “She was named executive vice president of the world’s largest public relations firm.”

Allison, a 1990 UCSC graduate, was appointed a United States Magistrate Judge. “She lives with her wife and teenaged triplets in the Sacramento area.”

Shelly, a 1990 graduate in journalism and a 200i MPA grad at SJSU, is a lecturer at SJSU’s Department of Health Science.

To each, his or her own path, and the path of most resistance can be found in The Oy Way.