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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Column: Clothes make the woman, especially in politics

By Shannon K. Johnson

November 10, 2008 | I want to talk about an issue that is pressing on the minds of the country. When the votes were tallied up and the new president elect took the stage, the minds of women across American thought: "what the heck is Michelle Obama wearing?"

Apparently, dress that does a fabulous impression of the belly of a back widow spider. The black and red affair designed by Narciso Rodriguez draws your eye to the bizarre splash of red on her chest and abdomen.

This dress was bridesmaids ugly, I think it is an instinct brides have: not wanting to be outshined by her friends she chooses a dress that is cute but not quite right. No one should out shine the bride.

To complete her look Michelle chose midget point heels, which did not help the slimming effect. If your going to be wearing a dress that is clearly trying to draw your eye up and down, then the shoes have to be something that makes your legs look slim and feet small. A shoe that has a sharp toe with a tiny pointy heel that gives you the same level of lift as a good pair of sneakers is the wrong choice.

A higher heel would have made a huge difference.

The last fashion mistake of this political implication was when Cindy McCain decided to choose a mustard yellow dress with a collar that would make an Alien Zark Lord jealous. McCain's dress seemed to draw from both Rosie Riveter coveralls with the collar of a turn of the century robber baron.

What should be done? Call Palin and get her stylist's number. A few weeks ago the story of the little Alaska governor who came to Washington and got a makeover to the tune $150,000 with both these women married to millionaires there is no excuse for looking terrible.

We are not always asking for ball gowns; a pair of pumps and good looking suit or even a normal dress would work. Choose outfits that are in a normal color, style or shape any one of these out of balance can tip the scale of your outfit from cute to up for discussion.

One example of this is the bright orange pant suit that Hillary Clinton wore on the night of her concession speech at the primary she certainly wanted to be noticed with her burnt orange choice. It was a risky one. Hillary is no stranger to wearing pant suits. If a major percentage of our economy were based on these suits Hillary's campaign would have kept our economy at a nice clip. The normal cut made this outfit almost passable; the problem the color with so much of a single, solid color the suit gave her the look of a skinny pumpkin.

Clothes may not change the person but they certainly allow us to redirect our aggression and frustration because it is far easier to criticize a wardrobe than an issue.

So the balm for the female loser is mocking the dress that she wore. Just like when I was a debate competitor, even if I was totally spanked in a debate round I would soothe my bruised ego by thinking "at least I am cuter than her."

It doesn't matter that while I am writing this I am wearing gold cowboy boots, jeans and the very classy t-shirt with the white collar and sleeves stitched inside. Very classy.



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