I apologize, Governor Kasich

Northmont Kindergarten Sign

Dear Hon. John Kasich, Governor of Ohio;

I apologize for my sight-sightedness with respect to my opposition to your state education budget cuts and SB5, which sought to limit bargaining rights for teachers. Clearly these were bills designed to give smart-ass bloggers like me an endless supply of content for free.

Please forgive my lack of vision. I look forward to the endless bounty of your labors.

I remain your loyal subject,

Rufus Dogg

Northmont Kindergarten Sign

Jumbo

There is an old joke that goes something like this:

I had a nightmare last night I ate a giant marshmallow. When I woke up, my pillow was gone.

Ok, settle down.

Your nightmare joke is now a reality. Meijers had pallets of these JUMBO marshmallows staged alongside the graham crackers and Hershey chocolate bars. Really, these things were grotesquely huge. I think it might be national S’mores week to coincide with Independence day. Nothing says freedom like… marshmallows?

Happy Fourth of July. How much more American can we get? Oh, about another 100 pounds per person, I would reckon.

Be a patriot and eat up.

God, please save the copy editors

Dear God, if you are listening, it’s me, Rufus.

I know you and I don’t talk much these days but you never say anything. Praying to you feels kinda like ranting into a twitter account. But we really could use your help about now.

In today’s social media-driven world where everyone thinks they are the next Joseph Conrad, John Steinbeck, Kate Chopin or Nate Hawthorne, we could use fewer guardian angels and more copy editors. I’m not sure if I should appeal directly to you or if you have an HR department or something that would be more appropriate, but … well, just let me know.

If you can’t actually send more copy editors, could you at least save the ones down here that all these newspapers and Arianna Huffington are slashing and burning? I don’t need to tell you that once they leave the publishing industries for a job at Waffle House, we’ve pretty much lost them for good. The words — including the apostrophes — can’t take much more of this abuse.

I was going to write a snarky post about this emergency in a couple days, but I couldn’t find the right angel… I mean angle. So, I jotted down this little prayer. The direct route seemed to be the best way.

Ok, gotta go. I’m sure you have more important things to do as well. Just thought I’d ask.

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Football’s “Big Game” ads

On Monday, every blogger will turn into a marketing expert and analyze the ads from The Big Game* fifteen different ways in hopes that you won’t realize they don’t know crap about marketing or advertising. Several of them will actually know what they are talking about, but those people will be so non-confrontational that you probably won’t read them anyway.

Over here at the DogWalkBlog, we’re going to stick with what we know; dogs and dog-related accessories. Our entire criteria on judging the effectiveness of any Big Game ad is whether or not they have a dog in them. Then, we will list them further on down this page and tell you why we think they were cool or lame.

Fair enough?

Good.

*Super Bowl is a trademark of the National Football League (NFL) and DogWalkBlog did not pay any money for the rights to use it. So, we’re saying “The Big Game” (until the NFL clamps down on that one as well)

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Maddow Apostrophe-gate rages on unabated

Despite warnings from the Allied Association of Assorted Punctuation and the Apostrophe Association of America (the real AAA) when her first infraction was discovered on July 26, 2010, Rachel Maddow continues to flagrantly misuse the apostrophe in her on-air titles supporting The Rachel Maddow Show (or as she tries cleverly to disguise as TRMS)

A screen shot of yesterday’s show is below, this time with the ringleader at the desk:

The copyeditor used a single quote when s/he should have used an apostrophe. The part that was being contracted was the 19 from 1992. The infraction was also seen later in the subtitle that appeared under the segment. The entire segment was aired without correction.

Again, we demand an apology from TRMS and assurances that these infractions will cease. If credibility in typography use can not be assured, how can we trust any of the facts, analysis and conclusions being given on the entire show?

Again, Maddow, we’re waiting. And we’re not going to accept a contracted apology.

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Barack Obama does not care about dogs

Dogs did not get a mention in the State of the Union address last night and boy are we miffed! Apparently, President Obama does not care about dogs, even though he has one of his own residing in the White House, a residence that we collectively pay for. Dogs should have gotten at least a mention.

And gun control. And African-Americans. And arts and literature education. And music. None of these things got mentioned either.

So we can conclude that the President of the United States does not care one little bit about dogs. It’s our position and we’re sticking to it, even though it makes us look petty and stupid.

Get a grip, people. The speech was 6,800 some words long. The president can’t cover every topic nor can he gab on for hours trying to cover everything without people grabbing for the remote or another beer.

That is all I have to say about that.

PS This is sarcasm. And media are plural.

Open letter to the people who will eventually buy my house

Dear people who want to buy my house;

Thank you for your interest in taking over the landlord responsibilities of this property I have held for almost thirty years. It has been quite a ride. But before we begin to sully our new-found relationship with talk of money and such, there are a few things you should probably know.

I know that you know I know that you have most likely grown up watching HGTV. You don’t look old enough to have lived in any other age before cable TV dominated the airwaves. If you have not been made aware by now, everything they have ever told you about buying a house is a lie. It has all been made up for the sake of attracting sponsors and advertisers whose only goal was to sell you more crap to improve your home. Oh, it’s ok, I believed the lies for a while too as you will soon discover the do-it-yourself projects I have embarked on throughout the house.

….

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What is creativity and 47 reasons why you ain’t a creative

Right off the bat, I’m gonna level with you and say that I don’t have forty-seven reasons why you are not creative. I don’t even have one. I just needed a funky title that the Google machinery would pick up on. Citing a list of stuff and using “creativity” in the title was a cool way of tricking that uncreative algorithm into thinking there might be something valuable (creative?) in here. There might be. I dunno.

I don’t even know you, so why do you care what I think about you? You might be creative; you may not be. All I can do is give you my narrowly-defined definition of creativity and watch you squeeze through the hole, proving you are.

Everyone wants to be a creative these days. Seth Godin says this is the Age of the Creative. The rest of us are “lizard brains.” Nobody wants to be a lizard brain. That sounds dull, slow, and backwards. Daniel Pink says that anyone who is not creative will not be able to thrive in the new world of employment. Teachers everywhere are encouraging little Johnny to explore his world around him, to be creative; right before she sends him off to detention for talking out of turn using creative language.

I promised you a very narrow definition of creativity. Here it is:

Creativity is creating something original and appropriate within the confines of your craft.

That’s pretty much it. You can’t do what someone has already done — like using all lowercase in an essay — and call it creative. E.E. Cummings already did that. You must make something out of nothing that was not there before. It must be appropriate, i.e., elephant poo on a painting is not creative. Really, it’s just kitsch. And you must be aware of and adept at applying the rules of your craft. Then bend or push the rules with purpose.

Most of what we call “creative” these days tends to be sloth and impatience; folks who are too lazy or in too much of a hurry to hone their craft. Instead, they color sloppily outside the lines and call it creative. Real creativity takes years of hard work and dull practice before it ever sees the light of day.

Have I poked at you hard enough? Do you find yourself disagreeing with me? Are you angry enough at me for not including you in the creative club? I sure hope so! Add your creative comments below. I dare you. Just be original, appropriate and stretch language to express yourself.

Proper grammar is required.

This blog post is part of a blog-off series with a group of bloggers from different professions and world views, each exploring a theme from his/her world view. This was about “answering the big question, “What is creativity?”” To explore how others handled the theme, check them out below. I will add links as they publish.