“Lucy, you got some ‘splaining’ to do.


Actually, ‘Around the Block,’ you’ve got some ‘splaining’ to do

Some of the feedback I’ve received regarding my two most recent posts, Oysters can change sex multiple times during their lives and Around the Block goes back to a time when Dianne & Lindsey were sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!”, suggests that a little Around the Block history is necessary.

So, before I post my next Around the Block, I thought it might be useful to provide readers with some background.

When I first began writing Around the Block in 2012, several hosting iterations ago, (yes old-timers, its been over 10 years), my posts were mostly devoted to straight political commentary. Remember, 2012 was a presidential election year and, with Mitt Romney the GOP candidate running against President Obama, there was a lot to write about. After a while, particularly as I was a devotee to the New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz and his “Not the News” columns, I decided to go beyond straight commentary and post occasional satirical stories, dubbed “News with a Twist.” Posts identified as “News with a Twist” were fun to write but perhaps what was even more fun was the reader reaction; many readers wondered, what was real and what was “twisted?” It got to the point that I even considered color-coding the text: black for real; red for “twisted.”

When I moved to the current hosting iteration of Around the Block, the new format provided me with the opportunity to include a statement that would explain what Around the Block was all about:

Around the Block is my little corner of the web for commentary, information, satire and more. In this space I cover politics, sports, current events, people…basically things that move me enough that I believe my point of view can be part of the general discussion. My posts will sometimes be sub-headed with a descriptor (“News,” “Commentary,” “Looking Back”…). Satire, however, will always be sub-headed “News with a Twist,” in recognition of the fact what may be parody to me can be credulous to others.

In the run-up to the 2016 election, Trump’s shenanigans and the inaneness of his GOP primary opponents provided ample material for “News with a Twist” posts. In fact, although I haven’t done an exhaustive examination, my guess is that at least 50% of my stories in 2015-2016 were satirical.

And then Donald Trump became POTUS.

And then satire…funny…wasn’t funny any more. In my mind, satirists at the time, like Borowitz and Samantha Bee and Trevor Noah and others were trying too hard to be funny and cynical at a time when the world was becoming, not only unfunny, but dark and evil. So, I began writing less “News with a Twist” and more straight commentary.

Having said that, the two posts I highlighted at the beginning of this story are, to a degree, “News with a Twist.” The post that will follow this one will be, similarly, satire…”News with a Twist.” While I don’t think it makes sense for me to code real versus satire by color, if you have any questions regarding veracity versus satire, post a comment, or email me at tedblock@around-the-block.com for clarification.

Thanks for your support. Thanks for your comments. And, thanks for promoting Around the Block to your friends and neighbors.

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

5 thoughts on ““Lucy, you got some ‘splaining’ to do.

  1. FYI
    I see the problem. Most people these days are using the WP app to read new posts. Unfortunately, the app does not provide the categories, tags, etc. (And nor do we see the ads on free blogs!) It give the author, the title, and the post. (And a place to make a comment, or hit a “like” button.) That’s it. We don’t get to see which posts are not intended to be taken in any way but as a straightforward post. The cagegories and tags options are not held to be important anymore, unless someone is searching for a specific thing — for that they can be useful.
    If you are going to continue with satire or some other twist, and if you do not want to confuse your audience, I would use the very first sentence in your post as a sub-title, as you did with “Commentary” in this post, and then giving a subtitle, if you need one.
    There was no mistaking the intent of this post, even on the reader app.
    Take care, Ted. (Not satire. For information only.)


      1. Lol. Alberta it is. On the 59.5 parallel. Can’t remember the longitude, but about the centre, east/west of the province. 780 kms (495 mi) north of Edmonton. 😉


      2. So, based on some very quick geographical research, you must live north of Fort Vermillion. Based on this, from Wikipedia, “Fort Vermilion holds the record for the coldest temperature in Canada recorded outside Yukon, when on 11 January 1911, the temperature dropped down to −61.2 °C (−78.2 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded was 39.4 °C (102.9 °F) on 15 May 1912.[30] This gives a temperature range of 100.6 °C (181.1 °F).” With that range in mind, what would be the best time to visit? Or, perhaps more directly, is there any best time to visit? LOL!


      3. Close. Weat-North-West of Fort Vermilion, in the town of High Level. Lately the weather is not historically stable (go figure) so visiting would really depend on what climate experience you are looking for. To see the Northern Lights at their best, usually early or late winter. (Winter starts in October, ends in April or May.) To walk in the arboreal forests August or September, but don’t eat bananas or wear yellow. Female mosquitoes are partial to both. Snow and cold weather, the end of January (-40, F or C!) Sunshine 20 hours a day, with no blackness at all, late June or early July. There’s more, but those are the weather features many people marvel at. The choice(s) are yours.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: