Prepare Two Envelopes

With apologies to Mark Evanier, from whom I’ve ‘jacked the original idea from, in order to either prove a point, or tell a story, which may or may not be apocryphal.

It seems that in the entertainment industry, in which I may or may not be involved, depending on who reads this, there is a high turnover rate. At the highest levels, in fact. So much so, that Executive Vice Presidents in charge of oh, let’s say Television, would have a job one day, and it would vanish the next. In today’s society, with networking and golden parachutes, the individual in question would be ok, however, he would observe the change of guard, and even shake the hands of his eventual replacement.

This individual in question, let’s call him Tom, gets fired from his cushy job at the network, and at his going away party, meets his eventual replacement, Dick. (aside: punctuation counts.) Tom and Dick share a drink or two or three, and then finally, Dick asks Tom if he has any advice.

Tom simply says, “I’ve prepared two envelopes in my upper right hand desk drawer. When you get your first crisis that you can’t handle on your own, open the first envelope, and when you get to the second, open that one.” With that, Tom walks away, never to be seen again. At least, at that network.

Dick starts his job the next day, thinking nothing of it, and for another six months, everything is fine. Until one day, Unresolvable Crisis #1 occurs. Dick reaches into his desk drawer, and pulls out the appropriately labeled envelope, and opens it. The paper inside simply reads, “Blame the previous guy.”

Which Dick does, allowing him to fight again another day. This time, three months go by, at which point, Dick again faces the no win situation, and opens envelope #2. This time, the paper inside reads, “Prepare Two Envelopes.”

What does this story have to do with anything relevant to something that you may be concerned about? It’s simple. If you’re an American, you’re voting in the election coming up shortly. At least, I hope you are. If you choose not to, then you have only yourself to blame, when the wrong guy gets in office, and that’s my point. No matter who wins, no matter who you vote for, or whatever party you affiliate with, Republican, Democrat or Independent, the winning candidate will already have used Envelope #1 to get elected.

Knowing that, what should we conclude? In baseball, you usually get three strikes. Football gives you four downs. In basketball, you can break the rules six times before you foul out. Hockey sits you down for only two minutes before you get back into the game. However, the ejection process of the Presidential game takes four years minus how ever long to his first unsolvable crisis.

Now, I’m not one to predict the future, and I’m also not one to tell you how to vote. What I will do, is tell you another story, this one science fiction, about a world that knew it was doomed to extinction, but didn’t know why. What they did was, and I find this truly unique, solve the time travel problem. Of course, I didn’t realize we had one, however, before they became extinct, they figured that time traveling to the future would allow them to find out how they wound their way down to oblivion, then return to their present, and avoid and/or fix the problem.

Now, I’m a lover of irony, so, the end of this story is thus: The fact that they had discovered time travel, is what led to the end in the first place. We don’t have any such luxuries this election. There is no undo. Command-Z won’t cut it. That’s Ctrl-Z for the Mac deprived.

So, to review: There is one envelope in the upper right hand desk drawer in the oval office, and inside, it reads, “Prepare two Envelopes.” All that we have left to determine, is, who is going to read it, and why.

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

Standard Disclaimer.

New Disclaimer: I originally wrote this for the 2008 election. Turns out it’s still relevant less than 3 weeks to go before this one. Who knew?!? 😉


This is your Two Minute Warning

Happy New Year.

I’m going to have to give up the computer shortly, and I may not get it back before it turns midnight.

Most would write an #YearInReview post, however, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I’m not most.

Adjust your expectations accordingly, and as always, please, retweet.


Having Already Tried Different…

As Seth Godin suggests, I have to say, my failure rate was smaller, however, I still failed. I guess having high expectations isn’t always the answer. The Law!!! enforces itself at the strangest times. All roads don’t necessarily lead to Rome, or any other city for that matter. Some of them are dead ends. However, you can’t know that, unless there’s a signpost stating such. “At the signpost up ahead, your next stop, The Twilight Zone!!!” As Rod Serling used to narrate.

Remembering that if things were different, they wouldn’t be the same, and that I’m unique, just like everybody else, I submit to you the following: I’ve been put on a path by whomever you believe is a divine entity, and I firmly believe I’ve been put there to do great things. It’s just that sometimes, you get knocked down, therefore, you should get back up again.

But what if you can’t?

Well, that’s a problem.

Not really, simply ask for help. The key is in knowing who to ask, when, and for what kind of help. An offer of help is different. If you receive an offer of help, make sure there are no conditions. And make sure they’re offering to help you, and not in reality, themselves.

I’m pretty sure if I ruminate some more, all of this will make sense, however, there’re no guarantees. Sometimes, one must bloviate all the bad writing, in order to create genius, however, most of the time, it’s simply bloviation. And the dictionary still doesn’t have this word in it, even though, does.

Where were we? As always, I’m in Redondo Beach. It may or may not matter where you are. Where are you going? My acting coach used to ask that whenever someone rushed him. The question itself has several implications, which I could spell out for you, if you’d like. The sense I always took was, “Your career in the industry is already there. You won’t get there any faster.” Now of course, the industry in this case is, the business, however, your industry may vary.

So, in conclusion, you haven’t been put on the wrong path. You may however be spinning in place. Don’t get dizzy, as two things will happen, maybe more if I were into lists, however, you’ll lose your balance, AND it may take you longer to get where you’re going. Stay the course. Move ahead. Try to detect it. It’s not too late.

Wow, Devo flashback. Oh, that’s right, we’re in the 80’s again, as everything happens in 30 year cycles.

Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Half a Century…

Or, for the right handed people, 50 years. Five decades. Of course, the new decade doesn’t start ’til 2011, but don’t let that throw you if you have no problem with math, which nobody said there’d be any of….

The 60’s were strange. People were attempting to get over the ‘repression’ of the 50’s, and for my money, which I don’t really have too much of, I think they wen’t too far in the other direction….

The 70’s brought teen angst to the forefront, as embodied in well, any issue of Spider-Man. Of course, I don’t read Marvel Comics anymore, so, you’ll have to take their word for it.

The 80’s were, well, the 80’s. We’re actually going through them again, as I believe trends tend to cycle every 30 years. I could make predictions based on this, however, I’ll leave those to the psychics that like to get things wrong by prognosticating.

The 90’s where supposed to be the era where everything that was predicted in the 60’s was supposed to take place. To some extent that’s true, however, The Law!!! kicked in, and it took place in ways we could never have imagined….

Now, some would say that we have no name for this last almost decade not completed for another year yet, however, I like the term I picked in the middle of around 2000, the Aughts. A lot of strange and unusual things took place, and the biggest happened in 2001, when we were supposed to have a base on the moon, according to some movies and tv shows. But I digress….

I mastered some ideas in the aughts. Maybe you aught to as well 🙂

So, the ‘teens will start next year, at which point, I’ll be here to write about it. I hope you will be here to read it. If not, that’s ok. Others will probably have a different viewpoint that you’ll like more. But that’s ok.

Now, for those that haven’t figured it out yet, this is the obligatory birthday post. For those that already knew, thank you for your well wishes, and you know who you are. I’m not soliciting anything here, although, you may get that impression. I’m simply stating that as a result, I’ve seen a lot of things take place in my lifetime, and I may not have enough time to espouse on them all.

Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Please, Retweet.

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