Monthly Archives: April 2012

American Eye Dull

Creativity in television is dead! Our cable is littered with reality tv, much of it borrowed or purloined from the British. One would think that the creative teams from Discovery and the likes would come up with an original jewel that would set the United States apart.

As an inventor and someone who believes creativity and ingenuity should be rewarded and praised, I am embarrassed and repulsed by The Shark Tank, an ABC Americanized rip-off of Britain’s BBC show, The Dragon’s Den. While the Den wasn’t always understanding or willing to listen to the inventor’s vision as he or she saw it, our US aberration is everything an invention show shouldn’t be. The pompous know-it-all panel of judges are eager to insult, berate, and demean creative, educated, lucid, innovators and visionaries –just what made our country the great leader that it once used to be. Rather than ridicule and attempt to beat these people down to make them look bad, wouldn’t it be refreshing and uplifting to actually produce an invention show that inspires and rewards real honest and novel ingenuity? What a novel thought–to actually encourage a novel and different idea.

That’s where I come in. As one who is a self-appointed trend watcher and an observer of media in our culture, I have seen a huge reduction in any smart content and thoughtful viewing. Let’s consider these for next season:

Shooting Stars- We are bombarded by local and national media with frivolous and pointless observations about people we really shouldn’t care about or have any connection. In reality, the celebrity that seems to dominate our news craves the spotlight and receives press for the most minor and pointless of achievements. In this new exciting show, we encourage B class actors to play the role of the target. Similar to Top Shot, but we use celebrities as moving targets. Why tire them out dancing?

Hoarding With The Stars- See the glamour and glitz of the crowded overflowing filth encrusted homes of your idols. See your favorite star possessed by his or her possessions. It’s real wholesome reality television for the entire family.

Celebrity Death Cab – By combining our inexplicable obsession for 2 dimensional celebrities who have nothing of substance to say, our love affair with the contemplation of the inevitable progression of death, and mind boggling but whimsically cute trivia, comes a truly addictive show. Each week, a “celeb” or someone claiming to be one, like someone with an obsession for fame and fortune, takes a ride in our modified cab of death as they are bombarded with rounds of questions. If knowledge should prevail, his or her favorite charity benefits and if the contestant should prove unworthy, the Death Cab wins.

Long live fresh and wholesome programming ideas to entertain and educate our public, but especially today’s youth. Enough said.

Exclusive Interview With Davis Phinney

Davis Phinney knows how to inspire an audience! I have had the privilege of seeing and hearing him speak on his dealing with early onset Parkinson’s disease several times. Davis is an Olympic Bronze Medal winner in cycling. He has achieved more wins – 328 victories in all – than any other US Cyclist.

The insight of Davis’ perspective is truly inspiring and a great way to begin Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. I hope that you enjoy this interview and will share it with others facing Parkinson’s.

I want to thank Davis and everyone at The Davis Phinney Foundation for allowing me this opportunity. What a great way to begin Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. I encourage you to learn more about Davis’ Foundation and the upcoming Victory Summit in Richmond, Virginia on May 19th, 2012.

1. How has PD changed the way you view life?

PD has had a significant effect on me – on my view of life and my place in it. I am much less likely to take things for granted than I used to be, and I’m much more ‘present’ for, and appreciative of, positive aspects to any given day.

2. What has PD taught you that you didn’t know before your symptoms?

It has taught me much about living with disability and disease that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned – and that has led to greater awareness, understanding and empathy – which I view as very positive and grounding.

3. What is your advice to newly diagnosed PD patients?

My advice would be to immediately check out the Every Victory Counts (EVC) manual! being newly diagnosed with this disease, one faces an uncertain frontier, and there may not be a full spectrum of resources or the right resources immediately at hand. We work hard to keep the information in the EVC manual relevant and highly applicable – and based on highly positive feedback from the Parkinson’s tribe – we’re filling a void.  So EVC is a good starting point as well as accessing the local Parkinson’s community for resources, support and connections available in the immediate community.

4. What do you do on a daily basis to fight your Parkinson’s disease?

I start each day with a smile in the mirror an affirmation stating my intention that this is going to be a good day.  I make it a priority to eat well (but not obsessively), take pictures, engage people in conversation and relish in the little victories; a good cup of coffee, a laugh out loud moment, an inspired sunset, etc.

In an active way I engage myself physically whether it’s through yoga, hiking, walking or cycling around town.  Getting outside and breathing and moving is a big key for me, but I feel some form of daily exercise, while good for anyone, is crucial for those of us living with Parkinson’s.

5. How do you think sports and teamwork helped prepare you for dealing with Parkinson’s?

Great question. The way I relate my athletic background in dealing with Parkinson’s is to give myself goals that are not unlike what I did when I was competing, but instead of focusing on winning bike races my focus is on enhancing my daily quality of life.  That’s the goal; to make today better – and in so doing, I setup tomorrow for success and the day after and so on. With PD, it helps tremendously to be self-sensitive, to have self-awareness, to ask the question: ‘how’s this medicine affecting me?’ for example. Athletes are usually instilled with this awareness, so that’s a plus.

As regards teamwork, we are not living with this disease singularly. There are (hopefully) caregivers around us (spouse, family, therapists, doctors), whom you are reliant on. By doing what you can to help yourself, you set a good example for the team and are in a better position to ‘marshal your forces’! Creating a good team is vital to managing this disease.

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