Four Words 2016

Most overused word: Amazing. Still. To describe anything. Everything. If you are lacking in adjectives. There’s probably an app. Use it.

Most politically charged word. Xenophobic. To describe Trump. Trumpistas. Brexits. Nationalists. Polite for racist. Antonym. Globalist. Polite for multi-cultural overcorrection-ist.

Scariest word. Upgrade. As Calvin Trillin says, it strikes horror in us luddites. New software which wreaks havoc with our phones, computers, lives. It’s only a good word when you are supposed to be flying coach. Then it’s amazing.

At least they are words. And not emojis. Or emoticons.

Where’s the Parade?!

paradeI’m ready for the Macy’s Parade. Where is everybody? Bleachers are empty and waiting for the Balloons on Central Park West. According to the Economistthis could be retail’s last Yuletide stand. Online shopping taking over the UK. Gifts delivered within a day. Soon in the USA.

Disruptors Rule

Confluence of the death of a Supreme who upheld Citizens United. Big Donor Bucks drove the political landscape. Then. There came Trump. Shattered the status quo. Major goal was to self-fund and debunk traditional nomination game. Took on the establishment. Even if he doesn’t go all the way. He has succeeded in disrupting. Lots of lobbyists scratching their heads.

And Bernie. He has brought Hillary to the far left. Turned out youth in droves. Small donations vs. the Fat Cats. Again. Disrupting. Well done.

Quantitative Resistance

Quantitative easing no longer works. Central Banks and The Fed have run out of pills for an arcane anemic global economy. Interest rates are at 0%. Sub-zero is not a fix to stimulate. Neither Cialis nor Viagra. It’s back to basics. Bump and grind. But, how and what? Robots replacing assembly lines. Retail on life support. Replacement therapy necessary.

Nationalism v. Socialism

Donald v. Bernie. Or someone in between? In Europe, Democratic Socialism is giving way to Nationalism in the wake of economic disparities. Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece v. Germany, Netherlands, France. Layer the refugee crisis onto that and xenophobia is on the rise. As immigration and ISIS take over the headlines in the U.S., will isolationism or income inequality win?

Voters will answer in tonight’s Iowa caucuses. The first test. Are we migrating toward polar extremes on either side or stick middle course? Cruz is just nuts.

Topsy Turvy

President Obama trashes Trump during State of the Union. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley also trashes Trump during her Republican Response.

Ted Cruz criticizes Trump for having New York values. Jeb Bush makes fun of Rubio’s Cuban high heeled boots. Trump says Cruz is a Cuban-Canadian.

Bernie Sanders, a 74-year old Socialist from Vermont who sounds like Larry David is beating Hillary with Democrat youth. Hillary is sending out Chelsea as her new attack dog. Bill Cosby took hubby off the table.

Oil is below $30 a barrel. PowerBall is over $1 billion.

E Trades

Emotional trade-offs. Ian McEwan’s The Children Act is packed full of them. An English family law judge struggles with making the best of lousy situations. She is a detached woman, necessary for her work yet it spills over into her marriage. A study of rigid religious and social constructs so easily shattered. One simple word or gesture can change everything. The novel is ultimately unsettling.

Ebola trades. Science vs. psychology. Quarantines overly constrain. Self-monitoring causes strange side effects like having a hankering to get on a cruise ship, airplane, or subway train. The major issue is resources. Hospital staff, law enforcement to track down potential contacts, proper facilities. Exponentially expensive. In the meantime, stay away from those e-bowling shoes.


Mad Grads. Make up your minds, seniors at Smith. One of few remaining all-female colleges. Do you want to see women succeed? Break the glass ceiling? Become leaders on the global stage? Christine Lagarde would have been the perfect speaker at your graduation because she has accomplished all you pretend to desire. You could have learned so much from hearing her perspective. Would you rather a man lead the IMF, banks, businesses? Plus, there’s that free speech thing. They don’t teach that at Smith? You have a great Economics Department. Its professors all disagree with your protests. Good for them!

5/15: I so agreed with Tim Egan’s column, “The Commencement Bigots”. My comment was a NYTimes pick. As an alum of Mount Holyoke, the first and still all-women’s college, I was all the more disappointed in Smith students’ protest of Christine Lagarde, the first woman managing director of the IMF, as this year’s speaker. Women’s Liberal Arts Colleges were founded on the principles of open-mindedness and respect for all opinions. In all walks of life. Not exclusively but most especially those of highly accomplished women.

Taking a few days to recover from MadMen7 episode this week. Bad Betty is back. She was a bit nicer mother when she was fat. Don’s continued connection to Megan is confounding. Ménage à trois notwithstanding. His career strategy seems feckless. And where is Weiner going with the nipple-slashing cray cray storyline? Is it that the Ad World will ultimately turn everyone truly Mad?

Over at Thrones, Tyrion’s soliloquy rises to Shakespearean superlative. Dinklage tour de force. And the rest of it. Talk about madness. Delicious.


L Tryptophan lingering. It’s December? People are already putting up trees. Lights lining houses. Wreaths on doors. Hanukkah is over. Christmas shopping? Everyone is abuzz about Bezos’ drone delivery idea. NYTimes‘ Dowd says it’s faster to go to the store. I disagree. But, that’s always been me. A woman loathe to shop. Maybe it comes from years of working in Dad’s retail.

Here’s the thing. Called local bookstore for a particular title. Woman said computer down, call back. Did. Didn’t have it, could get it in 4 days. Amazon 2 days, cheaper. Same with clothes. Go to Brooks Brothers et al.  Lousy selection of inventory. Out of your size. Go online. Get your size, color, style. Hits your door in a week. Don’t like it? Free shipping back. No surly sales people, mall rats.

Bye bye bricks and mortar. Who needs headaches and overhead?