Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shrinklet: The Great Gatsby and the Seven Deadly Sins

NaNoWriMo has taught me a lot. After just two days of writing and 14 days of procrastinating,  I've decided that the novel just isn't my medium...  I'm more of a shrinklet kind of girl.   So, to celebrate all this self knowledge, the Institute for Really Bad Poetry brings you this bitsy bite of literary analysis that's almost in iambic pentameter to show you the wonderful link between F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic The Great Gatsby and Catholic Church's Seven Deadly Sins.  Have at it all you high school essay writers.  And remember to give credit where credit is due (or the internet plagiarism police will catch you).

Gastby's love for Daisy
(A silly little bubble)
Is almost pure and unrequited
But leads to a mess of trouble

In a big misunderstanding
Gatsby gives his life
A Nouveau riche takes the bullet
For a bully who screwed someone's wife -- and his wife who takes the gal's life.
(wrath and lust)

Bully Tom and his wife frothy Daisy
Have never worked or paid
Nothing for them has consequence
And everything's just a game

These socialites Gatsby worships
Don't have anything useful to do
They lounge in airy rooms all day
Play golf and party too

Daisy lives far above Gatsby's class
So he constructs the ultimate fake
He creates an illusion around himself
But he's really on the take

Gatsby hosts elaborate parties
His dream is a trap that binds him
He's the ultimate dweeb with no real friends
When all he wants is for Daisy to find him

To pay for his transformation
Gatsby does business deals for mobsters
He sells illegal liquor
So the rich can have wine with their lobsters

Gatsby's illusion works too well
And while Tom is off with his mistress
Daisy dallies with Gatsby and makes useless plans
and then comes the real nasty business

When all seven sins are accounted for
Daisy drives Gatsby's car into Tom's mistress
The mistress is dead
The poor spouse loses his head
And comes gunning for Gatsby with vengeance.

Nick, our trusted observer
All alone attends Gatsby's funeral
Daisy and Tom take an long trip
and give consequences the slip
They never take responsibility

So the lesson we learn is as follows
The idle rich have no scruples
So don't be their pupils
and don't screw with other people's spouses.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day 4 of 30

We are at Day 4 of NaNoWriMo (see previous post).  1700 words a day seems daunting but with an army of helpful collaborators we can do it... for 10 people that's only 170 words a day... heck, I write that many words in emails.  If you would like to join the Palo Alto NaNoWriMo project click here for permission.  As soon as I get your request I'll let you in.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No Plot No Problem: A Novel by Dec. 1 in just 1,700 Words a Day

November is taking off with Dia de la Muerte leading the charge and The Festival of the Dead Turkey bringing up the rear. In between the feasts (and before the Christmas rush) we have stumbled upon NaNoWriMo or "National Novel Writing Month: 30 Days of Literary Abandon".

More than 170,000 writers have signed on to produce a novel before December 1, 2010.  Their goal is to write 1,700 words a day.  Their battle cry is "No Plot No Problem".  This pen wielding army of prose-a-tarians have already written more than 2 million words this year alone.

The NaNo organization, kind of like Team in Training, offers full support for this writing marathon, including a Procrastination Station featuring a page called Permission to Suck.

So pen warriors.  Take arms and start typing.  Join the battle and speak your mind in a Mes de la Pluma  if you will.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Public Relations is Dead and Other Thoughts About New Marketing Realities

Mark Twain never exactly said: "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated"; what he probably did say was something like: "This report of my death was an exaggeration". (How great indeed is the need to tweak another man's prose).

While we are on the topic of deaths, real or exaggerated, and in observation of Dia de los Muertos, let's mourn the classic model for technology sector public relations.  This is the model best and most widely implemented by Regis McKenna Inc. and his many devotees.  If it's not exactly dead, it's on serious life support, just waiting for someone to trip over the cord.

If the RMI PR model is dying the cause is most likely complications related to old age.  Certainly technology has changed around us. As Marshall McLuhan observed so long ago: the medium is the message.  As the medium changes, the message changes, and so does the messenger. In the last 30 years the medium of communications has gone from paper publications to tweets in the blink of an eye. 

The "Mad Me" phenomena encapsulates the changes in our world in the glass jar of the 60s and 70s.  We can watch as the world changes around Don Draper (a fictional character within a fictional character) and feel safer as our world changes around us.  Let's have a martini with lunch today and remember the good old days.