Tag Archives: Iowa

Never miss a promotional opportunity…

This is precious.

Raygun — which calls itself “The Greatest Store in the Universe” — is a grass-rooted shop in Des Moines’ East Village (mostly T-shirts lauding or laughing at all things Iowa). They sell shoes, too. Their customer service and marketing is consistently exceptional. And they never miss an opportunity to exploit any [wholly unplanned] promotional opportunity.

Tisha B’Av: National day of Jewish mourning

Today is, essentially, a national day of mourning for the Jewish people. It’s the ninth day of Av on the Jewish calendar — “Tisha B’Av.”

Some Jews will fast, more will simply pause to remember the many tragedies suffered through two millennia. Today’s “headliners” are the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem — both are believed to have fallen on this day — but there are, as even a casual reader of history should know, so many more.

Because the Jewish people survived, Jews have an ability — some would describe it as a mandate — to remember, and to mourn. Tomorrow, the joy of life returns, for as we’re told in Ecclesiastes (and reminded through the music of  Pete Seeger

There is a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance … to every thing there is a season, and time to every purpose under heaven.

In Iowa, where there are few Jews and [outside the kosher NE Iowa meatpacking town of Postville] only a tiny number of “observant” Jews, marketing-maven Michael Libbie today takes a break in his daily “Insight on Business” internet-TV program to explain Tisha B’Av to his non-Jewish neighbors. Catch it if you can — it’ll be on for about half-an-hour starting at 1 pm ET (follow this link at 1 pm —http://www.webcastonelive.com/watch-live-now/ — The program will start after a 30-second Remax commercial).

Here’s a preview:

Love gone bad: Endless, joyless foreplay links newspapers and her people

A touching contemporary tribute to the life of a newspapman showed up Monday, via Romenesko.

Mimi Johnson describes her husband Steve Buttry‘s other love — the newspaper business — and the truth in the advice of one of his first editors:

Son, you can love this business with everything you’ve got. Just don’t forget that it is never, ever, going to love you back.

“The people who run newspapers and those who work for them are engaged in useless foreplay,” Johnson writes. “They cling tightly, trying again and again to make the way they’ve always done it still work, but the passion is gone.”

I highly recommend this extraordinary, frank, human look at “the business” and what it’s become. Click here to read it all, and leave Mimi Johnson a comment.

Thursday Edition 2/4/10

REPORTING FROM IOWA: In Des Moines for the Midwest Newspaper Summit, I joined a tour of the Des Moines Register newsroom last night, imagining what that space — viewed in a quiet post-deadline hour — might have been like in the pre-Gannett days when the Register was one of America’s greatest newspapers.

JUSTICE THOMAS ON CORPORATE SPEECH: In a five minute audio, Clarence Thomas explains his vote against extending the free speech rights of corporations.

JON STEWART PLUGS FOX: On the O’Reilly Show.