Myself with Britney and beer

John Taylor: January 22, 20080 Comments

It's time for a rant. A few years back, I wrote an op-ed for the Fresno Bee complaining about how the phrase "you're welcome" -- when a good deed brings thanks -- had been replaced with "no problem."


The other day I got a marketing letter from a financial adviser named Ken Fisher that began: "One sentence about myself."  If I can't trust his literacy, how could I give him my cash?  Wall Street Journal editorial writer Collin Levy agreed in a Jan. 14 op-ed with the headline, "Me, Myself and I." 


Levy quoted sportswriter Red Smith as saying: "Myself is the foxhole of ignorance, where cowards take refuge, because they were taught that me is vulgar and I is egotistical."


Myself is flooding the air and e-waves as political candidates play grammatical dodge ball in the Web 2.0 era, where misspellings are forgiven in the au naturel of urgency.


Which brings me, naturally, to Britney Spears. The Associated Press is preparing an obituary on the very much alive 26 year old, a reporting tactic usually reserved for more aged notables near death's door. Quoting a former publicist for Michael Jackson, the AP said: "There's much more pressure to get the news out right now. You distribute or you die."


Bizarre behavior and life on the edge have jiggled the predictability scales of death. Says LA Times obituary editor Jon Thurber: "Who in the '60s would have thought that Keith Richards would have outlasted John Denver?"


This rant might suggest the need to chill, with a drink. And the exact content of alcoholic drinks might become more clear very soon. After more than 30 years of self-doubt and tribulation, federal bureaucrats have proposed mandatory nutrition and alcohol-content labeling.


The Washington Post says the $160 billion booze industry is getting red-cheeked over cost, placement, size of labels and other disclosures. The Post quotes Jeff Becker of the Beer Institute trade group: "This is about marketing advantages to sell their product. If the public believes having a beer is the same as having a martini, we are in big trouble."


Myself and Britney would agree.