The Pundificator Meets a Former Episcopalian

Bless me readers for I have sinned. It has been nearly six weeks since my last article. By the way that was not too bad for an Episcopalian who has never been near a confessional. We are going to meet a former one who has, but you will have to wait.

It’s not that I quit thinking, just that I quit writing.

Here’s a little of what I have been thinking and a little of why I have not been writing. At least, it will make me feel good about myself and we’ll see how it does for you readers when I check the page view statistics. (Maybe we should change “land of the free and home of the brave” to land of feeling good about ourselves because it would be more accurate.)

The other day, my closest and smartest advisor (C.A.S.A.) (who wishes to remain anonymous) said, “Dad, it’s not your writing that’s the problem, it is what you write about.” OMG, I just busted her as one of my children and now I have busted her again as my daughter. Plus I am triple busted because your closest anything must always be your spouse, as that is the first law of public relations. Recovery might not be possible, in which case, farewell.

The C.A.S.A. and I were discussing the giant challenge of getting noticed online. Yes, I confess I would love to have more readers. Putting up a website, launching a Facebook group and tweeting might have been splendid differentiators in 2005 but they suck in 2015. Everyone does those things and they no longer get you discovered.

Attention getting now requires Olympian competitiveness or outrage. You might have noticed the latter on the campaign trail. There are two-dozen candidates and it seems the most outrageous are doing the best. Kanye West is gearing up for a 2020 run so it is bound to get worse. (Has he always been black or is that something new like Caitlyn Jenner being a girl?) In blogger land, one young lady casually mentioned hookups both good and bad, drunken vomiting in some detail and tossed in a reference to her vibrator but I think that was mostly to piss off her mom.

So, outrage might work for getting noticed just not for me. Besides by today’s standards, I’d be pretty boring. But, for sure, there are more readers to be found if the topic is not outright offensive, as politics now appears to be. Like stepping in a dog shit. Have you ever seen someone try to step in a dog shit?

I am going to listen to the C.A.S.A. and write about some things other than politics. When I do, it will be as the Pundificator.

The Pundificator

My doctor quit the other day. I don’t think there was any message about Obamacare because he seemed about the right age to quit. I had had my physical a few weeks earlier and he did not mention his impending retirement but, in retrospect, I think he was telling me something that he would only have said if he were seeing me for the last time.

“I have never met a more committed problem solver,” said he. While that might sound good, I don’t think it was. I think he was telling me I was a nut. Anyway, I agreed with him because it sounded as if he was right. It sure goes a long way toward explaining my visceral dislike of PR in all its forms. PR has never solved anything about being good or making yourself useful; all it solves is looking good and, if that is done properly, any problem solving can be safely avoided.

Thanks Doc. Good insight. I might be a nut but at least I know it. Besides there is plenty of interesting stuff that needs fixing but isn’t politics and isn’t outrage.

Here’s something that did not need fixing and was a highlight of the summer. Besides, you might be wondering about the former Episcopalian who knows about confessionals.

My 95-year-old mother in law died. That was not the highlight because she was terrific. She was a huge Roger Federer fan and off she went to be cremated in a Nike “Roger That” tee shirt and Lulu Lemon pants, but that wasn’t the highlight either.

The highlight was the last rites administered by Father Ambros, a former Episcopalian from Virginia who converted. Father Ambros was presumably doing all of the last ritesy things he was supposed to do but he was completely aware of the daughters at the bedside and the long-suffering caregivers. He was also quite a showman. Though my mother in law was unable to speak, he knew perfectly well she could hear and somehow he knew she was deeply religious but had quite a sense of humor.

He absolved her of her sins and anointed her, as custom requires then told her she could let go and heaven would be ready for her.

“Unless you do something else bad tomorrow in which case I will have to come back and do this all over again.”

Donald Trump might think he won the summer but he didn’t. Father Ambros did.

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Haven Pell

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Without hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

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2 comments

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  • Great send off Haven…Fr. Ambros was pretty incredible. He has another bon mot…”let it go!” IE, don’t hang on to resentments or ill will…super advice coming from a 33 year old former Episcopalian.

    HSS