Friday, January 9, 2009
The choice of Dr. Sanjay Gupta to serve as Surgeon General is inspired. Anyone criticizing President-elect Obama's decision to tap the CNN correspondent into one of our country's highest healthcare posts doesn't understand the nature of the position. Essentially, it is the Surgeon General's duty to educate the public on all public-heath issues, such as obesity, HIV disease, smoking dangers, and other various ailments.
In other words, he dumbs it down so us regular folk can understand why fatty foods kill you.
Gupta already does this in spades on television and as an insightful columnist for TIME magazine. He's perhaps the most prominent public health figure in our culture; a classier, better polished, more-reputable Dr. Phil, though I hate to make the comparison. Gupta's also one of the loudest voices continually stressing the importance of preventative care--staving off disease before it arises. What a novel idea, huh?
And if we need a guy to shame us into changing our eating habits and sedentary lifestyles, I can't think of a better authority figure than the reassuring and telegenic Gupta. Like any good doctor concerned with the health of his patients, Gutpa scolds you but never forgets to smile and stress that it's never too late to change. He's like the coolest guidance counselor you ever had in high school. And that's exactly what this fat and easily-offended country needs; firm but gentle guidance.
While we spend billions of tax-payer dollars overseas to fight an external threat to our security, domestically we're slowly eating ourselves to death. Does anyone else see this absurd disconnect in our leadership, or am I the only one?
Something needs to be done. Why not restrict fast-food ads to prime-time television or ban them completely on Saturday mornings? We don't allow Big Tobacco to advertise on television, yet heart disease kills more people than smoking-related illnesses, and nearly every commercial break at every hour during the day features a McDonald's or Domino's pizza advertisement. Do we really want the health of our nation's precious children to rest in the hands of corporate lobbyists petitioning their government???
I absolutely loved the section in the phenomenal Wall-E aboard the space station (coincidentally named Axiom) where all the humans were grotesquely overweight and relying on robots to do even the most basic of tasks while they remained blissfully motionless in their personal floating orbs. Of course I laughed, but it was a nervous, stilted laugh. Such brilliant prophesizing in a children's film could make anyone scared for our future.
So, if we live in a society influenced more by network television shows and celebrity gossip blogs than the New England Journal of Medicine, then perhaps a guy like Dr. Gupta is just what the doctor ordered.
Charlie Hobart is a Senior Account Manager at Axiom Marketing Communications in Minneapolis, MN. He also writes about politics, pop culture, and American lifestyles on his blog, The Chuck Wagon.
The elusive fail whale wore its big, ugly self... on me. I tried out a blog contest. I tried to offer valuable content to followers and prospect re-tweeters by perusing Google “social media” News for hours… and I got nothing.
Are you doing things wrong?
A recent article by Jenny Cromie revealed to me a number of things I’ve been doing wrong on Twitter. Are you in the same boat? I won’t steal Jenny’s thunder by going through every example she politely conveyed with hysterical lingo. I will, however, offer you some things to consider:
The best kinds of Tweeple
They are natural. They are not awkward and are certainly not desperate. We who boast less than 300 followers tend to get nervous after a couple minutes of no response because we see other handles with numerous @replies. Are we not popular? Truth hurts—yes. Take it very personal and rethink your strategy.
How to Tweet
Be natural. Find things when they occur up-to-the-minute (because Twitter is all about up-to-the-minute) and tweet about them if you think “your” followers might find it appealing. Some people are better tweeters than others because they know the landscape much better than you do. (Don’t for one second take that personal). If I were a natural at the Internet space, I would know better. I’m not, but I'm learning.
Twitter is a communication tool, a very fast one. Choose your Tweets wisely and when you do have the time, tweet. When you don’t, don’t. It’s just that simple.
Have you made mistakes? Tell us about them. Funny, strange, mistakes that turned into something good, etc.