Heritage of Convenience

A lot has changed during the two weeks since I posted my view of the Confederate flag being used by Southern state  governments in a way that suggests the people of that state are honoring some type of mythological concept of heritage . If you are among the 12 people who read this blog, I don’t need to catch you up.

South Carolina did the right thing. Other states should follow. And, members of the U.S. House of Representatives should also.

From the Washington Post story, “As S.C. prepares to lower battle flag, Boehner calls for Confederate review,” comes this quote that is extraordinary in its irony or ignorance, or both.

Southern Republicans said that their Democratic colleagues did not understand that they were trying to pay tribute to fallen Confederate soldiers who were not plantation owners. “The majority of people that actually died in the Civil War on the Confederate side didn’t own slaves. These were people that were fighting for their states, and, you know, I don’t think they even had any thoughts about slavery,” said Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-Ga.). He rejected the position of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a leader in the civil rights movement, who called the flag a symbol of oppression. “Does he understand where I’m coming from?” Westmoreland said. “Well, if I believe it comes from heritage, does he understand where I’m coming from?”

Perhaps I am cursed by a lifetime of reading books about history, many of them regarding the context and battles of the Civil War.

Continue reading Heritage of Convenience

Funny of Die Thinks Old People (in Their 70s) Are a Riot

Funny or Die and the music festival Bonnaroo “teamed up” to take four “old people” in their 70s to Bonnaroo so the other 80,000 attendees could see how cute four old people can be when interacting with festival goers and hearing new-fangled music.


In addition to being blatantly ageist bigotry, the premise seems to fall apart when you consider that Funny or Die’s criteria for being an “old person” is being born before 1946. By that definition, here are some other cute old people they could have wheel-chaired around the festival include:

Eric Clapton
Bette Midler
Neil Young
Bob Seger
Carly Simon
Pete Townson
John Fogerty
Diana Ross
Roger Dalton
Jeff Beck
Mick Jagger
Keith Richards
Paul McCartney (last year’s headliner)
Ringo Starr
Joni Mitchell
Aretha Franklin
Carole King
Bob Dylan
Paul Simon
Art Garfunkel

This list could go on and on.

(Note: On the other hand, their criteria makes someone like me, born well into the 1950s, feel young.)

Owning a Tablesaw Doesn’t Make You a Carpenter

The current Hammock Idea Email uses several analogies that remind us of something we should all know by now, but keep trying to convince ourselves isn’t true: that “tools” are only as good as the people who use them. Don’t just “get” tools. Learn how to use them.

What “desktop publishing” was to the 1990s, “content marketing” or “social media marketing” can be to today. As with the desktop publishing myth, a company can purchase all of the software and mine all the data, only to discover that it is the talent, experience, creativity, skills and intelligence of the people using those tools that will determine the success or failure of an organization’s marketing.

(I encourage you to read the rest: “Great marketing isn’t the result of the tools you use. Great marketing is the result of who’s using the tools.“)