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Easily Win Friends and Influence People
There's something very American about turn-of-the century rags-to-riches stories. We picture in our minds chimney cleaners(usually children) who, by some stroke of luck or good fortune, are finally able to turn their lives around and attain a semblance of affluence. These stories were popularized by newspapers, pamphlets and the new medium, movies. Perhaps these stories were an attempt to placate the growing number of factory workers: Some day they would win the lottery and finally enjoy the good life. Factory work was long, exhaustive and often dangerous-an idyllic lifestyle was the perfect antidote.
Dale Carnegie: American Prototype
We can thank Dale Carnegie for his bestseller, "How to Win Friends and Influence People." Carnegie lived a hardscrabble experience himself, waking up at 4:00 am to milk the cows on the family farm and simultaneously attend classes. That schedule would really put a damper on most social activities. Anyways, Carnegie was finally able to cobble together several public-speaking books and courses, the most famous which is, "How to Win Friends and Influence People." He went on to found the Dale Carnegie Institute and the rest is, as they say, history.:
New Age of Incivility
The time has come for a new publication: How Not to Win Friends and Influence People. It seems that a New Age of Incivility has descended upon this generation. The blame for this malady rests on the shoulders of the Mass Media: Reality shows and sitcoms feature topics that would make St. Peter blush and the dialogues are no better. As a result, it is no longer possible to watch an evening program with the entire family. We forget that television and movies serve to socialize and instruct the masses on what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior. The movies and tv shows of the '50s featured characters that were usually morally upright, God-fearing citizens. Back then television was not the embarrassment that it is today-I propose that it is socially impossible to watch in mixed company in the present. Is mass media attempting to corrupt the people?
Last Hope: Neil Diamond
In times such as these we need to look to someone has been everywhere and done it all: Neil Diamond. He's been sadder, happier and more with it than you and I will ever be. The man is bullet-proof-he cannot be kept down. Long after other Stars have thrown in the towel Neil is still going strong, hoping from continent to continent with his frilly vests and flashy guitars. A little thing like the Great Depression 2.0 is not about to keep him down. Why Neil Diamond? I must confess that I gravitate toward Neil because I am still intent on improving my limited vocal range and Neil's bassy voice is a good match for me. That is to say, I can sing his songs without sounding terribly out of key. The songs that are on the playlist: Solitary Man, September Morn, Love on the Rocks, If You Know What I Mean, Hello Again and Heartlight.