16 10 2006

Guess we don’t know until the public opinion definers tell us. . .
I once used magazine names like “Country Home” and America” to make a point about the futility — absurdity! — of defining home education in one-size-fits-all legalese. See this description by Stuart Elliott analyzing efforts to brand these feel-good names into the collective consciousness.


And Thinking Parents can ponder this and also this. .

Now, again from Stuart Elliott, comes an analogy that fits “home education” like a glove.

And check out the nuance between “conservative” and “traditional” – you gotta love the Power of Story play throughout:

“In the marketing area, everyone has something to tackle and with us it’s the word ‘traditional,’ ” says Michael Brownstein, who is the senior vice president and publishing director at the New York office of Meredith for Traditional Home and a batch of other magazines like Country Home, Family Circle and Midwest Living.

“If the advertiser is not opening the cover, they think of ‘traditional’ as conservative,” Mr. Brownstein says, which is a turn-off for many marketers, “who do not want to be conservative; they want to be style-forward.”

. . .Traditional Home has addressed the problem in a couple of previous campaigns. One carried the theme “I am traditional,” showing images of young, chic readers of the magazine. Another carried the theme “Traditional, yes; predictable, no.”

And for several years, the spines of issues of Traditional Home have borne these words:

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“Volatile emotions in a chaotic season…”

16 10 2006

…lead to mayhem?

I grew up in Gainesville FL and bleed orange and blue. Florida Gators, baby. Saturday night was a bummer, being ranked #2 and losing a tough one to Auburn. But college football is my weekend TV indulgence, a diversion on autumn Saturdays. I don’t even go to the games anymore. So my frustrations didn’t make me want to stomp someone’s face in, or break his kneecap.

Can’t say the same for everyone in my fair state this week:

“Let’s not get caught up in blame-laying, though. Let’s agree any player in either uniform who kicked or punched is at fault, and not extend the blame to either school.”

This blanket editorial “official excuse note” does lay plenty of glib blame on individual human and social-demographic factors, including growing up in the same neighborhoods, jealousy, disappointment, the inclination to do a bit of preening, tweaking downtrodden little brothers, lame-duck coaches fighting to save their own hides
— “an intersection of volatile emotions in a chaotic season.”

I saw the writer say the same thing on cable news this morning, using the same phrasing.

Don’t give up on the future of a UM-FIU football series just because a bunch of players happened to go ballistic on one weird October night in 2006.

The hopeful promise of a good, long, natural rivalry should set the policy on that, not the actions of a few who chose the first meeting as their stage to play buffoons.

You’ve got to be believe Saturday night was an aberration.

That, or be very depressed.

Isn’t this backward? Shouldn’t we blame the *institution* and demand that Read the rest of this entry »