A Piece of My Mind: After 35 years, Title IX still making waves

I had scattered some literature about the goals of our women’s group around our meeting table. The youngest and newest member of the group picked up a card and read it aloud: “We love Title IX – Fair play on and off the court.”

She looked at me in surprise. “Are we still talking about that? Look at the coverage the women’s basketball and volleyball teams get at Stanford. Isn’t the Title IX thing a battle that has been won?”

No Shoes, Please: Thawing in winter

It was astonishing to watch a delegation of both South and North Korean athletes entering PyeongChang Olympic Stadium together for the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. Notwithstanding worldwide concern over the possibility that President Donald Trump and Dear Leader Kim Jong Un are on the precipice of a nuclear showdown, the Korean Peninsula found a way to communicate and reunite. Amazing.

I’m a sucker for symbolic gestures, though I am aware they often ring hollow. This one, however, didn’t, at least not for me. I thought the South and North Korean athletes looked genuinely happy. Of course, mere participation in the Games is thrilling in and of itself. But as problematic as the North Korean regime has been for decades, and as juvenile and bombastic as the rhetoric between U.S. and North Korean leadership has been of late, I can’t help but think that their jubilation was sincere, and that positive seeds were sown when the host country of the Olympic Games embraced representatives of the Hermit Kingdom as part of the family, indeed, as part of the global community.

A Piece of My Mind: That's entertainment:

My mother loved to entertain. By that, I don’t mean she would sit at the piano and sing torch songs or tap dance around the living room. Hers was the old-fashioned idea of entertaining, where one invited a mix of people to enjoy good food and drink in an attractive setting, and hope to generate lively conversation, a good bit of laughter and some warm memories. The mix would include some old friends who could be counted on to maintain the conversation and the party mood, and some interesting new acquaintances who might become friends (and usually did, after attending my mother’s parties).

These days, when we have friends over, it is almost always a potluck where everyone brings a platter and a bottle to share. 

Haugh About That?: Choose wisely

Joking about all of the things I didn’t seem to do right, my 97-year-old father tilted his head and went silent. It was 2012, the year of his passing, and he was preparing to impart his final words of wisdom.

“Why do you do that?” he grumbled.

Other Voices: Marketing metrics meets its match

Today’s sports world has fallen head over heels for advanced metrics and analytics as the go-to measuring mode of everything from advertising campaigns to zone defense efficiency. The advent of virtual reality, augmented reality, immersive reality, artificial intelligence and other technological wonders is forcing sports marketers to re-evaluate their sales strategies to maximize revenue.

The conundrum that continues to defy the pivot table, algorithm, code line and headset-wearing, ear-budded brainiacs is the bobblehead. How do you measure the emotional attachment to an 8-inch tall piece of polyresin?

The Villaj Idiut: Post-it notes

There has been a lot of talk over the course of the past few months about The Washington Post, primarily because of the release of the movie “The Post,” starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep and directed by Steven Spielberg.

I will admit, I have a soft spot in my heart for the movie during the awards ceremonies because The Washington Post was where I started my journalism career.

No Shoes, Please: Must-see TV in 2020

Before Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump became their parties’ nominees for the presidency in 2016, I wrote a column about how delightful it would be to see a Donald Trump-Oprah Winfrey smackdown. Television personality versus television personality. Lack of government experience versus lack of government experience. Wealthy business person/celebrity versus wealthy business person/celebrity. It would have been a mano a mano contest, but with huge fault lines running along race, gender and, dare I say, character and compassion.

I wasn’t all that serious about it, but over a year later, here we are: Trump will be up for re-election in 2020, and serious people are discussing Winfrey as a viable candidate to run against him. Who’da thunk? We really have become a celebrity culture, through and through.

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