Due to certain circumstances, I was in Montreal. Coincidentally, Canada had elections, and the results indicate that the Conservative Party is winning. What that really means remains to be seen, but the Liberal Party wasn’t exactly looking all clean and lovely, and, gosh, those political ads was such mudslinging (“Vote for a Better Canada” to suggest kicking out those left-wing lunatics; “Vote Conservative, and you’ll end a pro-choice and free Canada and make Canada a right wing country” to suggest avoiding a Bad Right Wing Future – ugly and blunt – without a slick American touch, I must say).
And, much ado about Google, as Prof. Tim Wu writes for Slate.
And, in the land of Mary Worth – the comic strip – the saga continues this week. Mary Worth’s neighbor, Wilbur, a bespectacled divorced middle-aged geek (father of the lovely college co-ed Dawn – who has had her own romantic debacles), is in trouble. He is the pseudonymic “Dear Wendy” (like Dear Abby) advice columnist, and he’s being sued by a disgruntled advisee. See, the lady asked “Wendy” what to do with her workaholic husband, who’s never home to the point that he even refuses to communicate or accept marriage counseling – and she’s a yuppie and he’s a yuppie – so, Wilbur, in his infinite wisdom, suggests that the workaholic’s wife consider the ultimate choice of divorce. So, the lady actually does it. When, months later, she sees her ex – after she heard he got promoted at the Big Corp. – she feels her heart go aflutter. She misses him, see, and hasn’t really gone on with her life. She asks her ex to reconsider their marriage, but learns he has already moved on and is engaged to another woman. Lady gets mad and sues “Wendy” and the newspaper syndicate for ruining her life. Emotional distress and other tort damages.
Wilbur feels guilty. He takes his work seriously, and now wonders if he should have considered the primary motto of do no harm. And, maybe his personal life clouded his advice. Who is to say for sure? His syndicate’s mad at him (like maybe his editor should shoulder a little blame?). But, seriously, the lady’s a moron for taking an advice columnist’s advice too seriously. Can she win her lawsuit? Will Wilbur look for a new job? This is a job for yet another one of Mary Worth’s wise platitudes. Or, maybe she can shake a little sense into the litigious lady! Stay tuned!