Tag Archives: column

LAWBI #75: Democrats, It’s Time for a Rebrand

Democrat DonkeyWe long ago reached the point at which government became analogous to corporate competition. It’s Coke vs. Pepsi. And if the government shutdown was the Republican Party’s New Coke moment, then the Democrats squandered their opportunity to capitalize on it with HealthCare.gov — a Crystal Pepsi debacle of their own, if you will.

What do corporations do when they’re desperately in need of a boost for their market share, and their big new product has tanked? They rebrand. If you’re not familiar with marketing, a “rebrand” is — to both criminally trivialize and accurately describe it — a reworking of all of the most superficial public elements of a company’s identity, while making the fewest possible changes to the actual way the company’s sausage gets made.

Great at ideas, and terrible at getting things done, the Democratic Party is a perfect candidate for a rebrand. There’s no need to change its fundamental ideology or process; a few key changes to the standard verbiage should put a whole new face on left-wing politics, for a start. Let’s take a look at what can be done to make our liberal leaders a bit more attractive to a wider audience.

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LAWBI #71: Congratulations, You’re Old

So, maybe you’re starting to feel a little bit older.

Maybe you’re starting to sense your forties lying in wait for you, just over the horizon. Hell, maybe you’re just glimpsing your thirties as they begin to come into view and head steadily your way.

Or maybe you’re not feeling “old,” exactly. Maybe you’re just starting to realize that you’re drifting out of the central cultural focus, that the world is courting you, and you in particular, a bit less feverishly than it did a couple of years ago. It happens to different people, at different times, but it happens to everyone — and at some point, that vague suspicion all things youthful aren’t quite fitting you like a tailored outfit anymore coalesces into the realization that you’re … not old, by any stretch, but no longer young.

I can’t tell you when it will happen; I think most of us miss that actual moment. I can tell you, however, the day on which you will realize that it has already happened, and that you did indeed miss the moment when youth withdrew, forever, into your past.

For any pop culture junkie, in any year, that day is the day after the MTV Video Music Awards.

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LAWBI #70: Save Fun-Lan!

I’ve got a lot of great memories that center on Tampa’s Fun-Lan Drive-In.

Watching Independence Day on Independence Day with what seemed like a thousand other liquored-up American yay-hoos of all races, classes and philosophies.

Seeing Alien3 with just enough LSD in my system to make the whole thing seem like a masterful exercise in taut futuristic suspense. (Subsequent viewings have revealed the film to be … well, you know. *Sigh*)

Playing my all-time favorite pinball game, Creature from the Black Lagoon, before the feature or whenever something like Casper got boring.

Taking the woman who would inexplicably agree to spend her life with me somewhere other than a bar on our first “real” date to Walk the Line.

To be fair, none of those titles is exactly ripped from this summer’s list of top-grossing films; I haven’t been to Fun-Lan in more than half a decade. But that doesn’t mean the place isn’t special to me.

(There was also the night of Wild Irish Rose and Into the Mouth of Madness, which, I dunno, but Into the Mouth of Madness makes even less sense to me sober than it did in the throes of post-adolescent alcohol poisoning. Let’s discuss the validity of its Lovecraftian touchstones in the comments online, shall we?)

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LAWBI #68: Petty Hate Machine

Sometimes it seems like Twitter and Tumblr are the opposing poles of my Internet existence.

I follow a lot of writers, comedians and other cynically oriented types on Twitter, so my feed is often overflowing with mini-rants, angry questions directed at politicians/corporations, and bile. On the other hand, my Tumblr dashboard is mostly made up of my friends, and other people whose interesting, funny or otherwise positive posts were “reblogged” by one of my friends. My Tumblr dash is often overflowing with philosophy quotes, supportive messages, clever humor and animals being weird/awesome.

It’s not always like that, though. Sometimes an ugly thing that needs to be talked about bubbles up and over to spatter across my Tumblr dashboard.

Lately, that ugly thing has been misogyny.

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LAWBI #37: I Hate The Morning People

Are you a morning person?

I hate you.

“Oh, I was up before the nightly news changed over to the morning news. I watched the sunrise on the patio while I drank my cruelty-free probiotic organic tea, then I power-walked to Snell Isle and back along the shoreline, earning money for dyslexic war orphans with each step while a pod of frolicking dolphins high-finned one another and kept pace.”


I hope the rest of your day is a shitpile of traffic, secondhand smoke and fatty beef.

It probably won’t be; the rest of your day will probably be a satisfying succession of solved problems, productive coworker interactions and selfless gifts of philanthropy. You have the energy to do such things, because you’re awesome, possessed of boundless energies, a morning person.

You make me want to puke from both ends.

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