My Forty Days and Nights in the Wilderness
. . . are over. By which I mean that I finally have returned to the twenty-first century, with telephone service, cable TV, and an Internet connection--after six weeks without them and a good two-and-a-half weeks after they were originally supposed to be installed. (I can't begin to count the number of confused, indifferent, arrogant, and seemingly dimwitted people from several companies that I have spent hours talking with over the past eighteen days--to say nothing of the computerized "help menus" that had me punching in the same information, over and over, only to finally cut me off without an answer to my problem. Only the continuing power of monopoly could make it possible for phone and cable companies to get away with their appalling level of customer service in this day and age.)
I hope to resume blogging at something close to a normal rate in the days to come. Meanwhile, for those who've missed my scintillating insights and have been wondering what to think about the major events and personalities of the summer, here is a handy checklist:
Hezbollah attacks on Israel: Bad, but what do you expect?
Israeli attacks on Lebanon: Worse than I expect.
Joe Lieberman: Clueless.
Ned Lamont: Impressive.
Warren Buffett: Awesome.
Newt Gingrich: Scary.
London Metropolitan Police: Professional.
Department of Homeland Security: Pathetic.
David Wright: I'm in love.
And while I have you on the line: Am I the only person to find the new Hummer commercials not only repulsive but of questionable efficacy? One shows a young mom buying a Hummer after her daughter is shoved out of line at the playground; another shows a man buying a Hummer after feeling frustrated over buying tofu at the supermarket (probably on orders from the wife) while the next guy in line is stocking up on steaks and spare ribs.
Are Hummer customers so full of hostility and insecurity that they willingly identify with these losers? Personally I find these ads insulting. They practically shout the message, "Hey, sucker--if your life is a wretched mess, buy a Hummer! It won't actually fix anything, but it's an empty, expensive gesture that might make you think things are better!"
Tags: customer service, phone company, cable company, Hummer