An Idle Word: A column
by BILL CUNNINGHAM
This is the column I meant to write for my initial foray into the world of online journalism. However, remembering the venerated admonition about not discussing religion in public forums, I of course changed course and wrote about the current mini-controversy over opening prayers at city council meetings which I understand may be expanding since the chief critic has now learned the commissioners court does so as well.
Not only that but as I recall, the Texas legislature opens each day’s session as well with a guest clergyman from around the state, a practice that will certainly continue if our present governor succeeds with his latest solution to addressing the critical needs of Texas’ seceding from the United States.
Like any Texas governor, our “Coif-in-Chief” is not adverse to quoting and thus linking himself to the greatest Texan of them all Sam Houston. Someone ought to point out to him that the hero of San Jacinto had the guts to face being evicting from office because of his opposition to the secessionist-fever that swept the state into the Confederacy. Well at least he’s made himself the star of “Faux News” this week.
Just think, if we secede, we can take on own “Axis of Evil” — say Vermont, California and Iowa — and appoint our own ambassadors to embarrass us globally. The mind boggles. The column digresses. The center will not hold.
So to return to the topic at hand, I yielded to Citizen Rollins (Brad not Henry) to return to journalistic commentary in an on-line format for the simplest of reasons — to hone my own “social networking” skills, a buzz word in my chosen profession of public information and relations.
My state-of-the-art IBM Electric is now preserved as a museum piece much like the old manual typewriter in the window of Serum’s Varsity Shop, my once-impressive Rolodex has yellowed and my fax machine seems to receive nothing but daily vacation getaway offers.
And like many who grew up enjoying the feel of paper in my hand as I drank my morning coffee, I am Googling and Facebooking to gather information. And, of course, distributing my own propaganda in a ready to publish format.
Thus blogging seemed to be the natural course to follow in remaining on the cutting (well maybe the sawing) edge of communications dissemination. And as noted last week, I do enjoy the opportunity of a freewheeling chance to share my views.
I’m not going overboard on new technology. At the risk of sounding like Andy Rooney I refuse to “twitter”, which sounds too much like what Cosmo Topper’s scatterbrained socialite wife did on the old TV sitcom based on Thorne Smith’s novels about the wraiths of George and Marian Kirby and their brandy-swilling St. Bernard, Neal.
Growing up in the era when George Orwell’s “1984″ was considered an ominous foretelling of a future when the government was able to spy on our every thought and movement, it’s ironic that so many people freely disseminate the personal details of their lives a quarter of a century later.
Walk down the aisle of any grocery store and you can who’s having domestic difficulties as shoppers loudly carry on loud cell phone discussions with their spouses. Want to know who’s unhappy with their job? Go to Facebook. As Al Capp said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Perhaps, an opportunity awaits an entrepreneur to start a “Rent Your Own Paparazzi” service to follow you around and snap embarrassing photos.
Of course, just to be on the safe side and honor George’s warning, we did have a late-blooming Orwellian craze in this country until recently.
Anyway that’s how I became a blogger — which is also easier on the knees than being a jogger — and returning to what reader Diana Finlay Hendricks refers to my “random stream of consciousness” and appreciate the initial comments from her and others on my initial “Idle Mind.”
As a final note to Diana, my former editor at The Chautauguan, did you notice that that the Country Music Association Award for song of the year this year went to an actual country song, “In Color.” I already had added it to my IPod playlist of the 300 best country songs of all time and was shocked to hear that it won the award.
It was a moment that ranks right up there with Charlie Rich opening the envelope to announce John Denver as Country Music Performer of the Year and promptly setting it on fire with his cigarette lighter.
BILL CUNNINGHAM is a San Marcos public relations and policy consultant. He is a former chair of the Texas State University System board of regents and San Marcos city council member.Email | Print