Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Let there be backlight

OK. I am at work. Maybe I should be doing something productive for my employer. Oh, that's right, I am my this post is all about work. But not necessarily my work. It's about how PR works. I don't like PR. It tries to be something it isn't. Or is it? PR has been used to shape public opinion since God said let there be light...Oh, wait, just move a little bit to the left so you're not upstaging God,wait just three more seconds so the setting sunlight just catches the highlights in God's hair....that's it! Oh, so as I was saying, I don't like PR, because it is fundamentally based on the premise that I can shade the truth enough in my favor to make me look better than the devil. And that is deceptive, right? But my point is that sometimes we need to use these techniques for good! A little white lie, a shading, a spruce up, hooold it! Great shot! That captures it. Or not. It may be just a matter of intention. In order for you to really get the point of this ramble, I may need to heighten the importance of certain passages, and downplay some of the less meaty content. Intention takes a bad rap. Intention is what it's all about. I need you to get this message so you can notice it's importance. If I am not able to communicate the message beyond the clutter of our debris-field existence, then I will die! We must create nodes of unassailable importance. Island nations of reliable, transparent, effective, obviously important content that can shape the human conversation, that can re-create the forum of ideas AND be at play in the fields of the lord. There is no need for certainty in our post-Heisenberg world because it's all flow and play and engaging with other beings to find A truth, not THE truth. Bring on the O'bamanator! Release the hounds! All hail the Simpsons!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Migration in the alzheimer world

I feel sorry for my neurologist. Most people are scared shitless at the thought of a decline in function, despite the fact that there is no cure for Alz. All the news is not fit to print. It’s basically the same story every time you go to his office...count backward by sevens from 100, do a little worse than last quarter, maybe try to get him to smile, try to make some sort of conversation—I try to joke with him, but it doesn’t usually work. It’s stressful for me, and for him it must be a total drag, as he presides over the inevitable decline that is the hallmark of the disease. I bet he didn’t really want to wind up this backwater office, buried in the bowels of arguably the “greatest medical institution of all time...”. (reverb echo effect), (Johns Hopkins preferred bold type face)...maybe he likes it this way. You can’t blame somebody for not curing an incurable disease. You can make jokes during the exam, but the memory tests always seem to confound one, at some’s a no win game, but at least I can go home and watch the Fall migration, with scores of hawks, the occasional falcon, an eagle or two, plenty of broad wings...I don’t care for rarities, and there is comfort in the same species every year, like returning salmon, or the last visit to a childhood fishing hole...even unseen, the wings and calls of the airborne river of thermal delight lightens my spirits and hints at the next life when I can turn the tables, looking down at the upturned binoculars, laughing to see so many avid eyes searching...for me and my friends. Until then, it’s chin up and pass the field guide.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


My secrets are benign.

And yet, it took a real act of courage for me to disclose to my colleagues at work that I have Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. I did not know what to say. I was afraid that I would be the cause of whispers in the break-room. I was worried that people would treat me differently, that there would be a hush when I walked by. I work in a warm and cordial environment…something that I am proud of, as CEO of a well-respected east-coast advertising agency. As you might expect, the decision to “go public” seemed, at first, like a big hurdle, but when I decided, with the help of my colleagues, to go public with this change in my personal fortunes, a great relief came over me, and I was able to confront the unpleasant prospect of this disease with an ”attitude of gratitude” (yes, it’s corny, but while I am disclosing, I may as well go ahead and own-up to my 24-year membership in Alcoholics Anonymous as well…the mother-lode of corny sayings…)

As many who face this kind of dilemma will attest, most people are interested mostly in themselves (and rightly so—you get sick, you treat your disease, and you walk on). So the real work is to participate in one’s own treatment, advocate for prudent attention to the disease, and use the experience to help others.