Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kissing, No thanks

As I was driving into work I turned on my car radio and found myself in the middle of an interview with Hans Michael Klein on BBC News. If the name is not familiar it is because he is the Chair of the Knigge Society in Germany. The society is devoted to etiquette or correct behavior. I became curious and also found an article on MailOnline. The Knigge Society feels there is too much cheek kissing in the workplace. Mr. Klein indicated that he has gotten many complaints about all this kissing to excess. In calling for a halt, he said; “This is valid immediately. There should be no more kissing, at least not in the office.” I am glad he allowed for exceptions. It is easy to slip into national stereotyping on this, but I am resisting even though in the BBC interview Mr. Klein blamed this new trend on the Italians and Latin Americans. Of course, this news puts the economic crisis and war in Afghanistan in proper perspective. Let’s face it – this is a more manageable issue. If I understood Mr. Klein, this could all be handled by people maintaining the 60cm “Socially defined distance zone.” Even if I personally tend to drop to 30 or 40cm in my social distance, I can still understand what he is promoting. A final comment by Mr. Klein in the MailOnline article was that “This was not the German way and it was an affectation of the ‘Shickmicki’ set – or the ‘in-crowd’.” So, now you have a bonus that you can use the next time you are in the middle of cocktail chatter. Just attribute something to the “Shickmicki set” and you will impress all your friends.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Coming Back

So I started thinking about my comeback posting on “Worldwide Sy.” I know, I know, I’ve been away for quite a while. Maybe it was inspired by this headline on TMZ: Vanilli - Plotting COMEBACK with Famous DJ.” The Vanilli (real name – Fab Morvan) is of course half of Milli Vanilli, and the famous DJ is one named The Alchemist, apparently Eminem’s favorite. Now, it hasn’t been 21 years for me, just 11 months. But I am returning, although not to lip-syncing.

So, why now? Of course, it is always speculation when you try to answer this kind of question. It could be anything from greater insight into my mother’s impact on my life to the debt ceiling crisis. Being surrounded by shrinks, anything I give as a reason will be questioned. The most obvious is my impending retirement from my job as CEO of JF&CS after almost 18 years. Looking to a new stage provides, aside from fear, the opportunity to do things you like. I really have enjoyed doing this blog. A new stage also promotes an increase in narcissism, and blog entries can certainly encourage that pursuit. But the blog, for me, has been an opportunity to share new perceptions, quirks I’ve noticed in the world, and experiences and insight that hold a kind of crispness and newness. Now that I won’t be working numerous hours a week, I will have the time to write, and maybe notice more things.

There have been many famous comebacks. Bill Clinton wasn't really away for that long, but still is the contemporary example of the "Comeback Kid." Of course, there are also a host of others who did take a long time; Elvis Presley, Brian Wilson, Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen. Leonard Cohen was away from the spotlight for 15 years, but made a spectacular return. He is my model, so you should expect an album, DVD, and world tour.

It will be good to get back. In the immortal words of Leonard Cohen, "It's time that we began to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again."