Dewey has written some 40 books of fiction and nonfiction, as
well as contributed scores of stories to magazines and other periodicals.
He has also had some 30 plays staged in Europe and the United
States. Dewey was editor of the ASME-award winning magazine Attenzione
and was editorial director of the East-West Network, overseeing
a dozen in-flight magazines and the PBS organ Dial. Don's
latest book, Franchisement:
The Alan Gibb Story, is now available.
In case you haven't
noticed, there's been a movement afoot for some time to turn us
all into cats. No, not those abominable furry things on the screen
inspired by Andrew Lloyd Webber and T.S. Eliot, but the orange
Leo, white Snowy, and raven Satan we have at home clawing at the
bedspread. Genuine cats, no singing, just kicking up a lot of
dust from their litter boxes and jumping up on counters if they
get impatient for their food. And as any pet owner can attest,
ordering real cats to do something isn't always easy. Pointing
a finger at a ball, a roach, or a mouse in the corner for the
animal to go after it, for instance, produces only one reaction
from Leo, Snowy, or Satan: staring at your finger.
logic goes, this is beyond reproach. Cranial synapses are what
they are for every species. Which is where the problem arises
because humans are supposed to go after the ball, the roach, or
the mouse. And yet with gloomy frequency of late we have been
staring at the finger.
obvious example is the case of whistle blowers. Under pressures
of a perverse political kind, we are told to ignore some grimy
situation exposed to the light in favor of ferreting out the identity
of the reporter who dared shed the light. This can be reassuring
on numerous levels: It slights the importance of the skullduggery
that has been revealed, it identifies the revelation with the
poisonously biased snooper, and it argues that we have enough
things to worry about without feeling further defrauded, victimized,
and angry. Do we really need the reminder that anger is good only
for noise, threatening to make us go scampering under the couch?
opinion polls are another finger. Not only do they tell us who
we are and what we believe, but, archiving wisdom from a five-minute
robot call, project the same information about lovers, enemies,
and those happy to be in neither category, whatever their age,
ethnic group, or annual salary. There are no balls, roaches, or
mice in public opinion polls because that would require not mere
percentages but energy, effort, and calculation, and robot calls
are not programmed for those things. The one and only necessity
is previously manicured fingernails.
biggest finger of all, of course, is the mass media. In its aim
of investigation, instruction, and enlightenment, it pays full
attention to what's going on around the woodwork. In an ideal
predator world it should send us bounding over after the prey.
Fortunately for a cat state of mind, though, there have been various
obstacles enabling us to ignore such a focus on the message rather
than on the messenger. Some of these impediments have been positive,
for example when the Fox network informs its cave dwellers that
former real estate hustler choked Adolf Hitler to death thereby
ending World War II. So too with "false news," the allegation
vaunted by experts on one of those words but not the second one.
There are occasions, in other words, when the messenger truly
deserves attention over the media message, reminiscent of when
King Kong insinuated that the Empire State Building's elevators
didn't climb up to its radio tower fast enough to his taste. Some
narcissistic displays just have to be acknowledged for what they
those exceptions aside, the media has flexed its knuckle muscles
more and more only for digital vanity. One cause is volume. The
addition of the so-called social media atop newspapers, magazines,
radio, television and other traditional exposition vehicles leaves
few seconds in a given day when a festering sore isn't spotted
in the body politic for communal appreciation.
this with a corroding society in which a respect for law is confined
to binge fantasies during a marathon of Dick Wolf productions,
institutional inspectors-general are primarily tasked with measuring
the lint in their belly buttons, and judges are regularly overturned
by legal firebrands the likes of Clarence Thomas, and you can
see why even the most outrageous scandals have minimal impact
before being superseded by the yet more appalling.
also excused ourselves for our feline responses because of the
language we have often used to back up all our pointing; it simply
has not carried much conviction. We should have become aware of
this many years ago when the loathsome proactive crept into the
vernacular. Like 110 percent, it was a nonsense burp that reputedly
intensified commitment to an idea or action but that actually
made its user an ass for not understanding his own language since
pro means only being in favor of something, not actually engaged
in it. Maybe that's why the word has been particularly popular
with politicians and corporations pledging to honor community
needs. It is surely why our most appropriate reply when we hear
it is meow.
by Donald Dewey:
Playing It Safe
Not to Live By
to the Rescue
Playing It Safe
Them Entertain Us
a Kindergarten Life
of Humour in the Cinema
THE ALAN GIBB STORY by DON DEWEY
becoming the world's most respected life, death, and everything
in between coach, Alan Gibb shared that common frustration over
the failure of astrology, numerology, and similar religions
to direct all aspects of human behavior. They might have all
been sacred systems for establishing a personal identity, but
there was a rusty screw at their core. Even when the revolutionary
tenets of Franchisement occurred to him, he knew they might
remain stillborn without the attacks, arrests, and tragedies
customarily accompanying an original vision. Happily for Gibb
and the tens of thousands of his fellow believers, he was assaulted
in physical, mental, and dietary ways and hauled in as a fraud,
thug, and stalker even as he pressed forward on his crusade
to share Franchisement with the hordes crying for it as a national
pastime superior to baseball. More happily, the tragedies struck
others, not him, enabling him to enjoy the millions Franchisement
brought through the Internet, the telephone, and pay-on-demand
cable. As he noted repeatedly, the delivery vehicle was unimportant
as long as a customer thought he wanted what he was getting.
"If you listen to people, the world is divided between
the Yankees and the Red Sox," he liked to chuckle fondly.
"Tell that to those with a crush on the Minnesota Twins.
A vision that isn't comprehensive sees only its own nose."
OTHERS ARE SAYING:
there are many similar books too numerous to count, but this
book is sui generis." --- Benjamin Acocella, S.J., President
of the Council for Mental Observances.
book changed my life when it most needed changing." ---
Sidney Willinger, Leisure Sciences Department, University of
love is a 13-letter word." --- Jennifer Pryor, Harvard
School of Theoretical Business.
demonstrates how life is more than steak knives and storm windows."
--- Joel Sternheim, Informercials Institute.
Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .7
FICTION / Humorous / General
FICTION / Satire
FICTION / Sports
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