“The country called USA! USA!” & “Would you buy a used sedan or station wagon from the guy?”
HMPRESENTLY: Big, Powerful Muscle Stuff…
What’s it called, your inner voice? Your internal monologue? It’s that ongoing discussion with yourself, the inner voice in your mind.
Like when I first get up in the morning, my inner voice often asks me…What do you think? And, usually, my inner voice responds to itself, with its own question… About what?
What do I think, about what?
If the news has been particularly concerning or annoying, the words — about what? — are more strident, in my mind. It’s like they’re in bold type, and all caps, and maybe underscored like this — ABOUT WHAT??
And then, throughout the day, I’m hearing all sorts of observations, thoughts, questions, and so on, about all sorts of things. It’s one heck of a conversation I’m having, fairly often, with my inner voice.
Just the other day, I was saying to myself… We’re not who we think we are… us and our nation. Muscle trucks! We’re not all driving around in them. We may be, instead, getting behind the wheel of a hybrid or an EV vehicle.
Displaying giant American flags on big, powerful pickup trucks, and shouting “USA! USA!” doesn’t necessarily denote the nation’s strength.
There’s more to strength than that. That’s what my inner voice was letting me know. Wisdom, goodness, compassion and empathy denote strength, too, don’t you think?
Maybe so. But this is tough, you know. Such words. Such qualities. Can they stand up to the muscle stuff? Or do they, instead, give rise to derision? Do wise, good, compassionate people get labeled ‘snowflakes’, or something?
And then, my inner voice wondered… What about Mahatma Gandhi, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, John Lewis, Nelson Mandela, Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, and others?
The morning after Christmas Day, I saw this headline in the Los Angeles Times…“
Some Asian Americans and immigrants wore masks readily. In a brutal election year, it made them heroes, targets, profits.
According to the article:
James Wang was among the Asian immigrants who donned a mask when the coronavirus still seemed a distant problem. As the pandemic worsened in the US, he watched his native Taiwan beat back the virus without shutting down its economy. While many Americans eventually grew accustomed to covering their faces, others refused to mask up, playing down the threat of the virus and even calling it a hoax.
On massive billboards advertising his law practice, Wang updated his photo to include a mask over his face — and received emails critical of the move from a few people who accused him of fear-mongering… For Asian immigrants in the San Gabriel Valley and elsewhere, the pandemic has become a moment of reckoning, exposing the weaknesses of their adopted country.
I was still thinking about Mr. Wang — among Asian immigrants in communities east of Los Angeles — as my inner voice kept shouting to me, the word, ‘snowflakes’… in bold, all cap letters and underlined, and with two question marks.
Like this — SNOWFLAKES??
And I was thinking about that “moment of reckoning,” noted in the article, that exposed the weaknesses of the immigrants’ “adopted country.” The country called America! The USA! USA!
HMPRESENTLY: That Car Dealer Smile
Several years of President Trump’s persona on parade, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s puzzled. Yes… his base stays attracted to him. But why?
I’ve written about his scowling demeaner. His lashing-out tendencies. Even when he smiles… what do you think?
His infrequent smile looks a bit off, a bit forced. It’s not a very jubilant smile.
Nothing against car dealers, but that picture takes me back, several decades, to when I got my first job with an automotive trade magazine. That’s the sort of smile I got when I asked a Los Angeles car dealer if he was interested in advertising in our publication.
The guy had a smile like President Trump’s, but I wasn’t getting good vibes.
That may have been the first time I started thinking about peoples’ persona, which helped a lot when I got into the perception business… public relations. I had to factor things like corporate executives’ forced, rather evil, maybe insincere smiles — and other tendencies — into my decisions. Could I put them in front of the media?
Even though he’s held the highest office in the land for the past four years, I just don’t know. That persona of his? I think I would have gone back to the drawing board. I would have taken a pass on this guy… who would become POTUS 45.
Looking at that picture, what do you think? If he was trying to sell you something… like a border wall? Three days and two nights in the Lincoln bedroom… with continental breakfast, included? Aged Trump steaks, from his private reserve?
Looking at that face, with that smile, would you go for any of those choices?
Would you buy a used sedan or station wagon from the guy?