Tag Archive: Arnold Schwarzenegger


“Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” – Legendary Basketball Coach John Wooden

Almost DailyBrett has been reflecting on a deep conversation with my physician.

Philosophically, my doc pointed to the onset of one’s seventh decade as the beginning of the “Dying Years.”

The “Dying Years”?

Does the author of Almost DailyBrett really want to ponder this inevitable subject? Not really.

Having said that, consider the following:

There was a time when everyone in my immediate circle seemed to be graduating from college.

And then everyone was getting married or going to weddings in hopes of getting married and lucky … not necessarily in that order.

Weddings, receptions and honeymoons eventually led to babies, toddlers, kids and PTA meetings.

Next up were the wave of divorces, and once promising loves gone wrong.

Along the way, there were surgeries and medical procedures, providing far too many of us with the war wounds of life.

Some deal better than others when it comes to mid-life crises. There are those who purchase sports cars, but they don’t all have to be red. My little chariot is green.

And finally … friends and family start meeting the Grim Reaper. The years go by and more than a few have bought the ranch. Those 60-and-above are now in the “Dying Years.”

Death is a subject that no one wants to assess — let alone discuss — even though the end of life is part of life, and thus inevitable. There will come a day in which my ashes will start their eternal swimming and swirling in the Willamette.

Almost DailyBrett contends those in The Dying Years have a responsibility and yes, even a choice about how they approach and enhance these vital final chapters of life.

Every Day Is A Gift; Every Day Is An Opportunity

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” — Apple Founder Steve Jobs

“Don’t cry. Don’t raise your eye. It’s only teenage wasteland.” – Pete Townshend, Baba O’Riley

If life is short and finite for everyone, isn’t there a personal responsibility to do the best we can with each remaining day of our lives?

How many have lamented about far too many people – young and old — wasting their lives, mindlessly spending hour-after-hour, day-after-day playing video games, watching “original content,” drinking PBR Talls – while the dishes pile up in the sink?

As the Germans say, “Life is too short to drink cheap beer.”

How about those who receive all of their news and information through their smart phones, Comedy Central and video games? According to Theologians, Jesus spent his 33 years on the planet and lived within a 150-mile radius of his Bethlehem birth place. His reasonable explanation, if asked: global transportation really did not exist in a 33 AD flat-earth world.

What is the excuse for those in the 21st Century who confine their lives to a 150-mile radius, when global transportation is ubiquitous? If you want to stroll The Ginza, walk the cobble stones of Red Square, traverse the once-forbidden arches of the Brandenburg Gate or shop gaze along 5th Avenue … you can and you should. The world is out there, Carpe Diem!

There will always be overachievers, such as Condoleezza Rice, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Phil Knight and Elon Musk, and then there will be the teenage wasteland crowd, which matriculates to adults running out the clock until that inevitable last day arrives.

In effect these people who are wasting their lives – more than 30 percent of working age males are voluntarily not working in today’s America – are already in their dying years.

Don’t we have a responsibility to leave the world in better shape than we found it? Naturally, we don’t individually have the means to end Third World famine in Africa and elsewhere, but we can serve our communities, countries and the planet … making them all better for our presence.

We also have a choice about how we approach these Dying Years. If we are conscious of our diets and exercise, we may be able to extend our active years into our 70s and maybe 80s. If we make the choice for a gluttonous sedentary existence, we hasten the demise of the quality of our lives, restricting our opportunities, until that day arrives.

The Dying Years is quite frankly not an easy subject for Almost DailyBrett, let alone anyone else. Nonetheless it’s a topic better addressed earlier than later, when we still can take responsibility and make the right choices.

Can’t tell you how many times, a commentator has referred to a passing as “an untimely death.”

When will The Dying Years, let alone death ever be timely?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baba_O%27Riley

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/prostate-cancer-a-piece-of-cake-compared-to-valley-fever/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/six-decades/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/running-out-the-clock/

 

 

 

Always wanted a tree house.

Not a literal house in a mighty tree, but an Oregon home with a forest deck surrounded by Douglas firs, wandering deer and playful squirrels.

A place to set off for morning runs, savor upscale coffee, little green chariot drives, day-trade, write blogs, soak-off remaining stress of a four-decade career in the hot tub, and smell the roses with my wunderbare Frau, Jeanne.

And let’s not forget the 30-yard-line seats 15 rows behind the opponent’s bench. As they say: “It never rains at Autzen Stadium” … until it does.

The residence serves as a jumping-off point to periodically see the world and to savor special places. For Jeanne and yours truly we have checked out Germany, Italy, Spain and the Bahamas …

What’s next? Can hardly wait to find out.

Sometimes, the author of Almost DailyBrett when trapped in mind-numbing, never-ending, bumper-to-bumper traffic would day-dream about even having the time to read a novel, let along taking a multi-week trip to some place Fantabulous.

That dream will soon be coming true. The day-to-day grind will mercifully come to an end, and the joie de vivre is just beginning. It’s time to do what I want to do.

A Great Career … and then some

Yes, there are two paths you can go by; But in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on
– Jimmy Page, Robert Plant

The old saying in Sacramento to this day is: “When in doubt, declare victory!”

A recent documentary about Arnold Schwarzenegger examined his unbelievable success story from his days as a child of a typical Austrian policeman to his spectacular rise as the greatest body-builder of all time, a movie star, Philanthropist and most amazingly, governor of the largest state in the union.

When asked about his recent dalliance, he readily admitted his failures. He reminded us that humans cannot fly, so the farthest we can fall … is to the ground.

Fortunately, my career has been more ups than downs. Please allow me to humbly declare victory.

The author of Almost DailyBrett began his career as a cub reporter covering the 1978 California tax revolt earthquake. Four years later, he was serving as the press director of the Deukmejian Campaign Committee in a Golden State gubernatorial campaign that we twice almost lost, but persevered and won.

Never dreamed that a gubernatorial commission with my name and the words, “Press Secretary” would sit beside my desk. And yet there it is in black and white with a beautiful gold seal.

As the director of communications for the Semiconductor Industry Association, your author was given a crash course in the wonders and magic of digital technology. He visited capitals around the world (e.g., Tokyo, Washington D.C., London, Brussels, Stockholm … ), while assisting an ultimately successful, all-out effort to open up the Japan market.

Could not ever envision being a corporate guy, and yet your author served for 10 years as a director of corporate public relations for a publicly traded semiconductor company. Next up was nearly four years of agency life serving clients’ 16-hours apart from Ireland to Taiwan … sometimes on the same day.

The three-decade career spanned politics/government, non-profit, corporate and agency, but still there was something missing: Giving Back.

Time to start a second career in academia.

Almost DailyBrett always wanted to seek an advanced degree and to teach. Mission accomplished. My most cherished moments are when my thankful former students tell me about their great new jobs and the excitement in their lives.

Now it’s my turn to the change the road I’m on.

Mortality Is Everywhere

Losing my best man and best friend forever John Newhouse hit your author very hard.

He was only 62-years-young, way too young to buy the proverbial ranch.

Someday, I will hopefully be able to buy him the first microbrew in heaven … just not now … Please!

With Jeanne last August, we discussed life over a dry Riesling on the veranda of the  11th Century Castle Hotel Auf Schönburg on a cliff overlooking the Rhine. We reflected on the fact that a tour of duty is four years in military terms. Why can’t it be the same in academic life terms?

We made the decision then-and-there to come home to the tree house in the forest.

Today, your author looks out the window of our Oregon house at a fall masterpiece with the leaves on the ground and the rain making its autumnal return.

Seven months later, the forest will bloom again and the sun will be warm.

And we will be finally at home and at peace in our Eugene tree house.

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/craftingdelivering-the-eulogy/

 

“I cannot imagine ever voting for him (Donald Trump).” – Conservative Washington Post columnist, Charles Krauthammer

“What I think about Hillary Clinton is — I imagine to be a bright woman without the courage of her convictions because I’m not sure what they are.” — Comedian and Late-Night Host Jon Stewart

“(Trump’s attack against an Hispanic judge) The textbook definition of a racist comment.” – House Speaker Paul Ryan

“All I’m saying is that the idea that there’s one set of rules for us (The Clintons) and another set for everybody else is true.” – Former President William Jefferson Clinton

Choosing between Hillary and The Donald is akin to either burning at the stake or drowning (not to be confused with “Berning” at the stake).hillarytrump

Is this “choice” posed to the American people the absolute best the most powerful country on earth can do at this critical point in the nation’s history?

Can Hillary seriously be compared in the same vein to Democratic forerunners Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy?

We all know the answer to that question.

Ditto for weighing out-of-control Donald Trump against Honest Abraham Lincoln, Progressive Teddy Roosevelt, Commander-in-Chief Dwight Eisenhower and The Gipper, Ronald Reagan. All of these presidents were the epitome of political discipline. That is very last word that applies to Trump.

There is a nationwide pile-on against The Donald for a litany of good reasons, which could lead to the ultimate Schadenfreude moment: We are so happy The Donald is so sad … and humbled.oligarchy

The most likely net side-effect: The Clintons are back in the White House. There will be the predictable celebration of the first woman president. Keep in mind, we will not be electing the American equivalent of Kanzerlin Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher or Fed Chief Janet Yellen, but yet another member of the Clintonian Oligarchy.

Maybe we should simply elect the right person for the right time (e.g., Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, Ronald Reagan in 1980) or is that too much to ask?

Is there a third way?

Is there a third option?

Throwing Away My Vote?

“I’m sorry this happened (Trump nomination), but we’ll see where it ends up. I’m not making any final decision yet, but at this point I just can’t do it (endorse The Donald).” – Ohio Governor John Kasichkasich

Last month, yours truly cast his first State of Washington primary ballot for Kasich. Even though Ohio’s chief executive easily fits my definition of a Ronald Reagan-vintage Republican, everyone knew that Kasich could not win. Did the author of Almost DailyBrett throw his vote away?

By voting for Kasich, your author opted for a good guy and better yet did not jump on the Trump bandwagon as it heads towards the electoral cliff. Proud to NOT vote for Trump and akin to Charles Krauthammer, can’t imagine ever checking the box for Trump even though he is the party nominee.

The list of prominent Republicans not yet (or never) endorsing The Donald is deep and prominent: Former President George H.W. Bush, Former President George W. Bush, Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina among others.

Even more important to your author as a former Golden State press secretary is that all three living California Republican Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pete Wilson and of course my former boss, George Deukmejian, are not endorsing Donald Trump … and hopefully never will.

Bull Moose in 2016?

Former President Teddy Roosevelt was less than enamored with his successor Howard Taft in 1912 and ran as “progressive” third-party “Bull Moose” campaign for president, splitting the Republican Party and electing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to the White House.teddyroosevelt

As an eternal optimist Almost DailyBrett must ask: Is there a common sense, free-enterprise, strong-fiscal discipline and hawkish on national defense type who can run “Bull Moose” this year?

Whattyathink Mitt Romney? How about it, John Kasich? Do you really want to be speaker, Paul Ryan?

Yes, Almost DailyBrett understands that running a “Bull Moose” candidate this year (former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson does not fit the bill) will most likely result in Bill Clinton measuring the new drapes for the Lincoln Bedroom, but one can be spared from having to decide between Hillary and The Donald.

University of Virginia Professor of Political Science Larry Sabato pointed to 1964 (e.g., Goldwater) as the year the Republicans “went off the rails” followed by a similar exercise in political masochism by the Democrats in 1972 (e.g., McGovern). Now it is the GOP’s turn again. The more-than-likely Republican train wreck will not be pretty, but it may be cleansing.

It will be onward to 2020. Hopefully, we will not be looking up to the heavens for a third choice, a third way once again.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/in-the-matter-of-paul-ryan/2016/06/09/e2d7734a-2e71-11e6-9de3-6e6e7a14000c_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/06/07/ryan-says-trumps-attacks-on-judge-fit-the-textbook-definition-of-a-racist-comment/?tid=a_inl

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/06/15/time-for-panic-or-for-nevertrump/?wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/06/16/good-for-kasich-now-will-he-help-dump-trump/?wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Way

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/13/this-new-poll-utah-poll-is-amazingly-bad-for-donald-trump/

http://www.eonline.com/news/671706/arnold-schwarzenegger-reacts-to-donald-trump-s-run-for-president-some-candidates-will-make-a-lot-of-noise

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/donald-trump-vice-president-224488

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Party_(United_States,_1912)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/november-is-fast-becoming-what-the-gop-fears-a-referendum-on-trump/2016/06/18/f942ddd2-34dd-11e6-8758-d58e76e11b12_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/05/12/jon-stewart-perfectly-diagnosed-the-problem-with-hillary-clintons-candidacy/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a young cub reporter, I cut my teeth on Proposition 13.

The political class and Punditocracy were steadfastly aligned against California’s tax-revolt initiative in 1978.

The electorate would not vote in their self-interest (e.g., their homes) and “devastate” the state’s infrastructure (i.e., schools, libraries and fire stations). Surely, not.

Surely, yes.presspass

We were told the sun would not rise on Wednesday, June 7, if Proposition 13 was approved the day before.

El Sol did indeed rise over the east hills of the Golden State that very morning. The birds were chirping. The bees were buzzing. Love was in the air. And Sacramento subvened its $4 billion surplus to the state’s 58 counties.

Homes were saved. Libraries remained open. Fire houses were not closed. Life moved on … as it always does. Fiscal Armageddon did not occur.

The author of Almost DailyBrett learned a valuable lesson: The voters are not as unaware as the political elites believe.

They will vote in the interest of their homes, families, wallets and purses.

As Jean Baptist-Colbert, French Minister of Finances under Louis XIV, said:

“The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.”

There was plenty of hissing to go around in the late spring of 1978.

The Initiative, The Referendum, The Recall

long

The name Hiram Warren Johnson would probably stump everyone except the most avid player of political Trivial Pursuit.

The progressive Republican Governor of California from 1911-1917, who also served as the running mate for Teddy Roosevelt in 1912, will go down in history as the man who introduced to the Golden State and the world: the initiative, the referendum and the recall.

These three political equivalents of nuclear weapons would remain in virtual hibernation until the days of the Great Inflation in the 1970s, which plagued the subsequent administrations of Nixon, Ford and Carter. With annualized inflation running between 15-18 percent per year, county assessors (e.g., Alexander Pope in Los Angeles) were sending property tax bills that were around 30 percent higher every two years.

You don’t have to be a math wizard to realize that 15 percent compounded annualized inflation-driven property-tax increases were threatening the ability of literally millions to pay their property tax bills. And what did the virtual one-party state Legislature do about it?

Nothing.

It was only a matter of time for two former gadflies, Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann, to become heroes and villains at the same time with one vehicle, the initiative, namely Proposition 13.

Anxiety, Apprehension, Anger

“Despite a torrent of horror stories from teachers’ unions, politicians, newspapers and corporate lobbyists in Sacramento about the potentially devastating effects of Proposition 13, more than 60 percent of the voters took a gamble and approved the ballot measure.” – Stephen Moore, Cato Institutenewsweekprop13

The author of Almost DailyBrett vividly remembers that Californians were disgusted with politicians and everything Sacramento in 1978. They voted for Proposition 13 to send an unmistakable message to the political class: We are not as unaware and ignorant as you think we are.

Exactly 25 years later, another generation of Californians brought to the forefront another of Hiram Johnson’s reforms, the recall. The target in 2003 was Governor Gray Davis, who magically transformed a $14 billion “surplus” into a $38 billion deficit.

The net result was the election of charming media-celebrity, body-builder-turned-movie-star-turned Gubernator, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Fast forwarding to today, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer used three “A”s to describe the political mood of the electorate. He could have easily added another “A” with a Teutonic twist: Angst.

Just as the California electorate was volatile and unpredictable in 1978 and 2003 and willing to take matters into their own collective hands, the same seems to hold true this year on a national scale.timejarvis

To date, Almost DailyBrett has been totally wrong on which parties delegate race would conclude first, and how a celebrity candidacy would end once the electoral calendar moved from the Silly Season to the Serious Season.

There are plenty of polls and Electoral College projections, but in the end analysis the two respective parties are nominating candidates with unprecedented nearly 60 percent unfavorable ratings at a time when the nation’s right track/wrong track barometer is two-to-one in the wrong direction.

Not only are we politically gridlocked at home, we are seen as nation in decline overseas. And heaven forbid – how will an exogenous event striking the homeland upset the scant political equilibrium that does exist?

If you were serving as the head of communications or press secretary for either of the two candidates with nearly 100 percent name identification (not necessarily a good thing), sleep is going to be a precious commodity between now and November.

Strap on your seat belts for a rough ride. And don’t forget the electorate. The voters are not as dumb as everyone in Washington D.C., and Midtown Manhattan thinks they are.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/donald-hillary-and-the-bernie-factor/2016/05/19/cc594044-1de6-11e6-9c81-4be1c14fb8c8_story.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/taxing-the-fab-four-exiling-the-stones/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/golden-state-handcuffs/

http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=j000140

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1984.html

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/proposition-13-then-now-forever

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/04/04/tax-tree/

 

 

 

 

 

Muscle Beach Venice

arnold3

When I graduated from college, I was the proverbial 131-pound weakling.

You can only imagine my astonishment, when I was asked to join a power-lifting team.

What?

The bully on the beach didn’t even bother to kick sand on me.

And now I was being asked to train-and-compete in the squat, bench-press and dead-lift.

The reason I was asked to join the power-lifting club in Glendale, California was they needed someone to compete in the midget-weight division (e.g., 132.25 pounds to 148.75 pounds).

Mumsy later would state I did not know what it was like to wake up hungry in the middle of the night. I proved her wrong, reminding her how I could not weigh 149-pounds or more when I stepped on the scales before a power-lifting contest … so I starved myself immediately before a meet.

My initial goal was to bench-press 200 pounds or “two-ooo-ooo” as my weight-lifting friends called it. I finally made it and threw a party.

It was the age of AH-Nold and “Pumping Iron.” Some of my male friends thought it was strange that I had an AH-Nold calendar. I was interested in different exercises that came with every month (e.g., curls, flies, lat pulls…).

After toiling as a cub reporter for the Whittier Daily News (yep Richard Nixon’s home town), I would train each evening for about 90-minutes. I found out that I was mentally tired, but not physically tired. I was no longer the proverbial 131-pound weakling.

Eventually I started winning against my fellow midget-weight competitors. I still have a few medals and faded photos from those Glory Days.

I can still remember people taking pictures of me in my weight-lifting suit (why would anyone take a picture of me?) at the Venice Beach Weight Pen. There were gorgeous creatures, roller skating nearby in skimpy gravity-defying two-piece bikinis, and yet people seemed to be more interested in the power lifters.

venice

And then all the cameras turned.

It was AH-Nold holding hands with his sexual trophy du jour, and for some reason the photographers at the pen wanted the former multi-time Mr. Olympia to take off his shirt. He just couldn’t do that…until he did.

My power-lifting competition usually originated from the poles of the California criminal-justice system. They were either cops or cons. Both had plenty of time to train and were naturals for the Southern California squat, bench press and dead-lift competitions.

At Knott’s Berry Farm, a poor-man’s Disneyland, in Orange County, I weighed in at 146-pounds. My ex-con competition weighed in at the exact same weight. That day, I recorded my personal bests: 305-pounds in the squat; 245-pounds in the bench press and 400-pounds in the dead lift.

The last lift was a religious experience, praying to Darwin that I would not drop the weight and thus losing the lift before the judge told me to bring it down to the surface. I looked up and the three-judges were thumbs-up for my lift. My teammates jumped on me.

My competition had not even started his three dead lifts. He finished at 646-pounds, crushing my personal record 400-pound lift by a mere 246-pounds.

Hmmm…he weighs exactly the same weight as me. He trains the same as me. He may be stronger, but 246-pounds stronger in one lift? Wonder if he had a little pharmaceutical assistance?

Do you think so?

It was time to cease my competition in power lifting.

It is now 30-years later. I still train with weights at least three-days per week.

In between, I run about two-days per week. I walk at least two miles on my non-cross training days.

Longevity is super on the maternal side of my family. Bad tickers are prevalent on the paternal side of my family.

My resistance-training routines now consist of lower-weights and more reps, increasing the aerobic benefits. For example, I do three-sets of eight free-weight 135-pound bench presses to exercise my pectorals. My curls and triceps exercises are three sets of 15 with enough weight to offer resistance without rocking and rolling (e.g., cheating).

On certain days, my workouts are torture because I am not strong…and yet with the aid of classic rock on my iPod, I make it through. I feel physically and mentally better as a result. It is an awesome natural high.

Mick Jagger amazes me. He is 69-years old and will hit 70 on July 26. He dances and prances two-hours a night in his all-black outfit, and reportedly has a 28-inch waist.

jagger

I don’t doubt these reports.

I want to be that svelte, that nimble and have that stamina when I hit that age.

Deep down inside, I accept being follicly challenged (something about balding men having more testosterone). I live with being the average height for an American male or somewhat vertically challenged.

Damn it all, I will not be horizontally challenged. I am determined to maintain my tight tummy and ectomorphic/mesomorphic profile.

Through the religious observance of cross-training using both resistance and aerobic techniques, I will achieve my goal of having a fit-and-trim corpse.

 

 

 

http://www.musclebeach.net/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle_Beach

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schwarzenegger

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumping_Iron

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/187001/endomorph

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/178685/ectomorph

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/376778/mesomorph

“Flip-flops are for fa..ots. Flip-flops are for fa..ots.” – Rutgers assistant Eric Murdock quoting fired Rutgers’ Coach Mike Rice screaming at 10-11 year-old basketball campers.

“I have not been honest with myself, my family, my constituents, my friends and supporters, and the media … to be clear, the picture was of me, and I sent it” – former New York Representative Anthony Weiner finally acknowledging – after repeated public denials — that he tweeted his genitalia to target females across the fruited plain.

It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter (Frances Quinn Hunter), and, hopefully, one day, when she understands, she will forgive me,” – John Edwards admitting that he fathered a love child with staffer Rielle Hunter.

rice

Coach Rice’s career is over at 44. Put a fork in him; he’s done.

Congressman Weiner’s dreams of becoming New York City’s mayor were thrown into the junk heap at 46.

Future president Edwards’ Potomac Fever dreams of being the leader of the free world permanently ended at 56.

The most recent viral public relations train wreck is bully boy coach Rice. He has been duly convicted in the courtroom of public opinion under the glare of the nation’s largest media market and buried under a video avalanche for assaulting his players, throwing balls at their heads and uttering ugly slurs about their sexuality.

For Rice, who was coaching at a major university entering into the prestigious Big-10 Conference, he is now the butt of a Saturday Night Live skit and the unflattering subject of an ESPN Outside the Lines report. These are the least of his problems.

Contemplating the damaging videos of an out-of-control Rice, one must ponder whether he ever asked himself if he was going too far. Now he is facing the certainty that his career is over at 44-years young. Conceivably, he has another three or four decades to live…and yet he is done.

Who will ever hire Mike Rice? The video will always follow him. It is permanent. It is eternal. He is toast.

The thoughts that must be going through his head right now are hard to imagine. All he had to do is deport himself. His behavior made Bobby Knight seem like a choir boy…even after the legendary coach threw the chair and was terminated by Indiana University. Maybe, other coaches and mentors will learn from Rice’s boorish mistakes.

A question that comes to mind pertains to the always-present, always-on digital media. Some complain that it threatens our privacy, but at the same time it can be seen as a great equalizer. The bully was exposed though grainy video and sensitive long-distance microphones. Maybe technology may be an answer to bullying, oppression and those who through whatever means try to dominate the weak.

The ultimate answer to this kind of misconduct lies with the individual. All of these public relations debacles could have easily been avoided with the exercise of personal deportment, compassion and accountability. Video cameras, directional microphones, self-publishing outlets and marauding media are everywhere. The ever-present, instantaneous and global media are in the “on” position at all times.

john_edwards2_240

Deal with it or perish.

What are some solutions in terms of protecting individual reputations and personal brands?

Act and behave with integrity even when you think that no one is looking as someone with a digital device very well may be doing just that. There is a time and place for “tough love,” but understand there is a definitive line between constructive criticism and destructive activity.

Assume the camera is on, the microphone is poised, the drones are flying; life will never be the same again.

Some have the chance to recover from public relations disasters (e.g. Michael Phelps had his London; Tiger has his Augusta; AH-Nold has yet another tough guy movie) even though their reputations will never be the same.

Still others have no outlet for a comeback; Rice, Weiner, Edwards and Lance Armstrong are part of this exclusive club. They will literally have decades to contemplate what went wrong and know they will never have a total and complete opportunity to vindicate themselves.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9130237

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Weiner_sexting_scandal

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/edwards-scandal-timeline-john-edwards-rielle-hunter-affair/story?id=9621755#.UWB3vMriVJQ

http://msn.foxsports.com/collegebasketball/story/mike-rice-rutgers-player-abuse-scandal-spoofed-saturday-night-live-melissa-mccarthy-040613

If I had a dollar for every time a colleague came up to me and suggested that I perform some public relations magic that overcomes a well-chronicled FUBAR, I would be a very rich hombre.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the implied compliment. It is just in certain cases there comes a point when a debacle has passed the point of PR no return. The party in question cannot be saved by effective use of strategic communications. Instead, the situation requires an outright miracle…and PR pros cannot walk on water or change water into wine (even though some egos will claim they have these powers in the name of billable hours).

Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is one of these cases. Even prison inmates have a caste system, and child molesters are the low-of-the-low. Even though this sounds cruel, his life is over. He cannot be saved with an infinite amount of spin or even divine intervention.

A less egregious case (alleged child molestation is hard to surpass when it comes to despicability) is former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner. What was he thinking when he decided to tweet his junk to coeds across the fruited plain? Do you think any self-respecting public relations pro would want to develop an Anthony Weiner comeback campaign? Hmmm…Let’s start with an appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor”…that will garner some media attention. Maybe Jon Stewart and “60 Minutes” will be interested as well?

OJChase

There are literally dozens of other instances in which the public relations atrocity is beyond the pale. The individual or individuals simply cannot be rescued, and in most cases they do not deserve to be saved. Mike Tyson bit off the ear of Evander Holyfield; OJ Simpson dodged the law once, but failed the second time and remains in the slam; Dominic Strauss-Kahn may have been acquitted, but the image of him charging buck naked at a hotel chamber maid is frankly too much to even imagine. Texas Governor Rick Perry’s nationally televised brain fart, not remembering the third federal department he wants to abolish (that would be the Department of Energy, guvnah), cannot be spun into a positive. Pass the chicken salad.

Having acknowledged that certain people do not deserve to be saved (my list above is way too short, but you get the idea), there are some cases in which time can serve as a healer. For those of you mature enough to remember, Richard Nixon gave his “last press conference” in 1962, was elected president six years later and then resigned in disgrace six years after that. His career was the ultimate Dow Joneser from a public relations standpoint.

Nixon

How many wrote off golf superstar Tiger Woods after his 19th hole activities with a bevy of beauties was revealed? He lost his personal PR campaign to save his marriage, but the focus has returned to his golf game and his place among the best players ever to play in the sport’s grand slam tournaments.

Kim Kardashian’s 72-day “marriage” to basketball stud Kris Humphries (seemed like 10 minutes) will only contribute to her attention-society persona and her handlers will figure out even more intriguing ways to cater to the those obsessed with le affaire of the Thirty-Mile Zone.

Today, we all read about the failure of the congressional super committee to tame the nation’s $15 trillion deficit. The market responded by selling off to the tune of 248 points, but one suspects this stalemate was already baked into the numbers. Now it is time for the blame game between the talking heads of both parties.

One of the key methodologies of crisis communications is to immediately point to the future, making today’s bad news, old news. “Yes, yes, the super committee was hopelessly deadlocked, but we still have a whopping deficit…so what should we do about it?” Keep in mind that those that trade in information (e.g. editors, reporters, correspondents, bloggers, analysts, commentators) always want to know what comes next (e.g. what will the market do tomorrow, next week, next month, next year). Once one presidential election is in the books, the question is who will win four years later? Hmmm…you just won the world title, can you repeat?…

As a society our memories are relatively short. Richard Nixon had a future after losing to Pat Brown in 1962. Tiger Woods has another tournament to play. Mizz Kardashian has another party to make an appearance and what will she not be wearing? There is even a future for AH-Nold Schwarzenegger and his over-eager Schlange, just not in politics. Will POTUS convene another deficit reduction committee? Wasn’t his jobs bill expected to be funded by “savings” identified by the congressional deficit-reduction committee? Sorry for the digression.

sandusky

And then there is Jerry Sandusky. Everyone deserves a fair trial. He will have an attorney, and his day in court. For him, there is most likely a prison cell and the people who already live in the same penitentiary, and they don’t like those who molest children. There will be no one to give him PR advice, because quite frankly (if proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be guilty) he does not deserve PR counsel…let alone miracle workers.

Why are men their own worst PR enemies?

Why is it only a matter of time before the blood gushes out of our collective brains flowing due south and getting far-too-many of us into some really deep doo-doo?

Are we really just slaves to our Schlanges (pronounced shlongers as in the one-eyed shlonger)?

boa

Do any of us really understand the word, “Accountability?”

As we live in a society of quicker-and-quicker news cycles, what was the story that blew Donald Trump and his annoying hair-do, personality and penchant for the “F-word” off the pages (as if there are still pages)? The shooting of Osama bin Laden and the feeding of his remains to Indian Ocean sharks.

And as welcome as the Navy-Seal-Osama-bin-Laden story was to the world that news cycle passed so much faster than what most of us in the strategic communications choreography would have originally thought; it was short, very short.

What ended the universal attention of the Osama bin Laden commando raid was two Schlange-induced stories in rapid succession, the au-naturel rape attempt of New York Sofitel chamber-maid by former IMF-chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn; and the love child revelation by former California Governator AH-nold Schwarzenegger, and the related divorce proceedings by Maria Shriver.

Were we really that surprised? To some extent, yes; and to some extent, no.

What was surprising was that Mssr Dominique, one of the most powerful men on the planet, staying in a $3,000 per night suite, couldn’t have just followed the lead of so many of his countrymen and rented a discreet happy ending?  If so, he would have simply tucked his Schlange back into his pants, settled into his first class seat on Air France, continued to try to bail out Greece while setting his sights on Nicolas Sarkozy.

In AH-Nold’s case you ask why someone so fortunate to be married to filet mignon, would take such a huge gamble with skirt steak in the form of domestic help that lives in a monopoly house on a God-awful Bakersfield cul-de-sac?

The females of the species, who has been shaking their collective heads for years and years, are just thinking this is more of the same. This time it is Dominique and AH-Nold. Before it was Eliot. It was Hugh Grant. It was Tiger. It was Bill and Monica. It was Al and the masseuse. It was John Edwards and Rielle. It was Larry Craig and the bathroom stall. It was Brett Favre and his sexted Schlange. It was… (Add your favorite notorious Schlange story here).

Which brings up the next question: Do we really subscribe to the so-called biological imperative that men must spread our seed far-and-wide, across hill-and-dale, from sea-to-shining sea, across the fruited plain to fertilize as many eggs as we possibly can? To borrow an oft-repeated contention in another context, are we simply born this way?

If we subscribe to this notion then we have to come to the next logical conclusion, and that is that men are victims of our biology. We really cannot control what we do. Could this contention that my Schlange made me do it be the 21st Century version of the “Twinkie” defense? Are men simply helpless in subservience to our Schlanges?

What about that organ in between our ears as opposed to the one in between our legs? What about accountability? What about integrity? What about discipline? Didn’t Vince Lombardi say that there is something in good men that yearns for discipline?

And you wonder why the PR profession is being taken over by women? Are they perfect? Ask virtually any woman if she is perfect, and a litany of real or perceived faults will in most cases come flowing out…and that is refreshing.

Alas, for men our misadventures on behalf of our beloved Schlanges will inevitably keep marching on. One related PR debacle will follow another. Eighty-five year-old Hugh Hefner will marry (his third) 25-year-old former Playmate Crystal Harris on June 18. Hugh spared men from having to wonder what Crystal will look like on her wedding night. Now we can simply join with women in wondering what the dress will look like.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/19/dominique-strauss-kahn-resigns-imf

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-17/arnold-schwarzeneggers-love-child-bombshell-why-maria-shriver-left/#

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20454258,00.html

 

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