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Hallowe'en and Elections, Part II

A costume tip for the hip and trendy.

by Dear Jon
October 26, 2004

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Dear Jon,

What should I go as for Halloween? I want something that's hip and trendy but not overdone or obvious. What do you suggest?

Dear We,’
Make yourself look like Donald Trump.

How can we tell when you know what you are talking about?

Skeptical Fan
Dear Skep,
If you have to ask, you are obviously a new fan. Start reading from the first sort, and then peruse my encyclopedia. That should get you up to speed. 

President Bush goes with his gut. Is that how you give advice? If not, why not?

This Is on the Test
Dear This,
You know what I have noticed? The closer we get to the election, the less anyone seems to have a sense of humor. That is okay by me. I have almost no sense of humor for what the Neoconservative Regime has done to the United States. Head, heart, gut, butt, knee or toe, whatever part Bush is using is taking the country to the wrong place. My advice is to vote for anyone else who appears on the ballot.
How do I give advice? I ask my Vice-Advice Columnist, reachable by telephone at an undisclosed location. And then I ask one of my Dad’s buddies. I find that since they agree most of the time, I have to do very little thinking for myself. Then I get the answer ready and I bounce it off a larger group. Most everyone goes for it, until my African American Acquaintance suggests that I should give the exact opposite advice. We affectionately call him the “Well-spoken Token” but the fact is he is always a nuisance and gets on my nerves. Lucky for me he travels a lot. I don’t like to leave home much because other countries are full of foreigners.
Ha ha ha, how droll of me. Seriously, for advice columns I say the first thing that enters my head. Most of the time it is funny. Is making a decision based on what pops into my head the same as “leading from the gut?” Maybe. Is saying or doing the first thing that pops into my head the process I desire for executive decisions from the President of the United States? No way. Neither is the process I described above.

Dear Jon,

If one hypothetically wishes to respond to the comments of an advice columnist, is it most appropriate to do so directly? Or is it better to frame the response as a letter to the editor?


Just Curious
Dear Just,
I am so glad that you wrote your response to the editor. Your point of view speaks for itself and did not require anything additional from me.  Another place to engage your issues is on the forums, where I lurk a lot and often speak up. Finally, you can write an article yourself touting the merits of whatever it is you believe. Maybe it gets published, maybe not. It would be great for some one to throw in an article describing the inherent value of a two-party system. That would change the pace around here a little bit; we all need fresh air.
By the way, I do not make comments. I give advice. It is in the nature of the business to tell people hard truths they do not want to hear. I take it from the recent spate of letters that some people did not want to hear the hard truth that the United States is failing politically under a two-party monopoly. My reply to all of them: Tough cookies. Opinions about my advice (i.e. to choose to vote for a third party rather than complaining about the candidates offered up by the two-party monopoly: this is a choice that is in your power) does not change my advice.

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