That crusty, cynical something

Harvey Radin…
5 min readMar 5, 2023


I wasn’t too familiar with ‘virtue signaling,’ until, just recently, when I happened to read something about it, in a Fortune article.

It’s folks expressing themselves in a very good or moral sort of way. We can sure use some of that, these days, except, maybe, when it’s a bit over the top?

On social media sites, folks seem to be morally expressing themselves through words and emojis. They’re proud to be on some company’s team, for example, or in pictures, to be standing side by side with some highly respected persons. Cheering, high-fiving emojis, in folks’ posts, in a way, seem like virtue-signaling explanation points.

In the Fortune article about a popular business-focused, online site, there’s a leader at a company, who in a post about the death of a colleague, was suggesting the colleague “died doing what he loved… networking and promoting our brand.”

Having been in the PR profession, I should be taking virtue signaling in stride, but there’s a crusty, cynical something, hidden somewhere in me, that’s been yearning to be heard.

That’s why, after I stepped back from PR, I began giving that crusty, cynical something a little free rein, writing several hundred guest articles and columns that have been published in media.

One article, published this past February, is about a Colorado congressional representative… and religion… that too. Politicians, politics and religion sure can get one’s crustiness and cynicism percolating…

HMPRESENTLY: ‘Scrubbing’ a Religion’s Public Image

Posted on March 1, 2023 by Harvey Radin

“Christianity has a brand problem. If it were a corporation, brand managers would be scrambling to scrub public image — maybe by greenwashing, or with corporate diversity trainings, or by renaming their product…” according to an article in the online news site, Raw Story.

Scrubbing the public image of the world’s biggest religion, with some 2.4 billion followers… that’s a third of the Earth’s population… what a task that must be!

So that’s why those ‘He Gets Us’ ads have been on TV… even during the Super Bowl, for God’s sake! The ‘He’ in the ads, being Jesus.

Scrubbing isn’t cheap. From what I’ve been reading, some big Christian donors are putting up a hundred million dollars to cover brand-burnishing costs.

From what I gather, reading the article in Raw Story and articles in other media as well, it’s the religious right that may be playing a big role in the biggest religion’s brand predicament.

Go figure this whole right-wing thing… actually, an extreme right thing, it seems.

Like various other extreme things, whether we’re talking about extreme right or extreme left politics, or extreme religious dogma, let’s face it, extreme can be mean! And costly!

And occasionally amusing.

Like something I just heard about a rather extreme political being, far-right Congressional Representative Lauren Boebert… about the restaurant she once owned, Shooters Grill, in the community of Rifle, Colorado.

That’s ‘subtle’… Shooters Grill… in Rifle… that featured pistol-packing wait staff, which might have discouraged restaurant patrons from complaining about cuisine… or almost anything, for that matter?

Well, anyway, the Huffington Post just reported Shooters Grill “being turned into a Mexican eatery,” and for some reason, that just seems amusing to me, having heard all sorts of things about the Colorado congresswoman.

A hundred million dollars for polishing Christianity’s brand… that’s kind of amusing, too, in a way.

It’s good to know that he (Jesus) gets us… that’s particularly reassuring, in this day and age. But a hundred million dollars?

From what I’ve heard, I’m not sure if Jesus would get that…

If Jesus would be feeling sanguine?


HMPRESENTLY: Railing Boebert… Googlers’ Mocking Memes

Posted on February 15, 2023 by Harvey Radin

Just when I’m thinking things are crazy, here in California, there’s news about Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert railing “against ‘wokeness’ when Lift Every Voice and Sing was sung at last Sunday’s Super Bowl.

What’s not to like about lifting every voice?

But, according to a Business Insider story, Rep. Boebert was raging, because “the hymn, known as the Black national anthem, was sung alongside ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’”

She suggested the hymn “is divisive,” and “the NFL” is “trying to divide the country.”

But, when you think about it, doesn’t the NFL bring thousands of fans together at stadiums? They sit together. Snacks and drinks, purchased during games, they pass down rows of seats to each other. They’re sometimes mingling together, before games begin, doing that tailgating thing… grilling burgers, hotdogs and steaks, out in stadium parking lots.

Maybe Rep. Boebert hasn’t experienced that sort of togetherness, at games?

Also in Business Insider, there was news about Google, which has a major presence in California, and elsewhere, including Colorado.

There seems to be a kerfuffle, with Google employees “mocking the firm’s “Bard AI chatbot announcement, calling it ‘rushed’ and ‘botched’ in memes.”

I had to Google ‘chatbot’ and ‘memes.’

I sort of know what ‘memes’ means, but ‘chatbot?’ I had to Google that, and while I was at it, ‘kerfluffle,’ too.

In one of the memes, it seems, there was something about Bard having “at least one incorrect answer to something,” which, considering AI’s role in the Bard chatbot, might have had something to do with the Google employees’ mocking memes?

Who knows, for sure? Unless you really know high tech, and tech lingo, and all.

Even political lingo, like ‘wokeness’… Oh sheesh, do I have to Google that one… again?

And ‘sheesh,’ too?


HMPRESENTLY: The Greatest Movement?

Posted on June 15, 2022 by Harvey Radin

As Donald Trump was suggesting, recently, on Truth Social, his new social media platform… that January 6th “represented the greatest movement in the history of our country,” I was thinking of an actor’s alimentary canal, as referenced in an old James Bond movie.

Someone had swallowed something of great value, to prevent others from laying their hands on it, as I recall, and, playing on the word “elementary,” Sean Connery, as James Bond, facetiously told another one of the characters in the film — a certain Dr. Leiter — that recovering the concealed item was “alimentary.”

What the person in the movie had swallowed would, at some point, emerge from the very bottom of the person’s digestive tract.

Other than, perhaps, being a bit messy, getting at the concealed item would be relatively easy.

Thinking back to that decades-old movie, Donald Trump’s “greatest movement” took on an entirely different meaning, one I’m pretty sure the 45th president had not intended.

In the field of psychology, that’s ‘word association’… associating “greatest movement,” for example, with an alimentary canal movement.

My journalism teachers at school had much to say about word association, and word choice as well, sometimes tripping people up.

So… which movement was it, at the U.S. Capitol, last January 6th?



Harvey Radin…

Image tweaker, guest articles and commentary writer… @hmpresently