Local elections will soon be upon us, and we will be inundated with clarion calls to action from those who want to lead us out of the wilderness. A couple of guys have already announced for Fayetteville mayor, and more may be lurking in the shadows.

I thought about the whole election process this month as I was writing an article about my own failed attempts at office holding (“How I got a Mandate from the People” ) and reflected upon what may have been the greatest single boon to campaigns ever – the soundbite.

Oh, yes, I know. People decry the soundbite. “You talk for ten minutes and they only use one or two lines! Oh, the humanity!” But when you’ve spent as much time around candidates as I have, you learn to anticipate that.

Like others, I used to whine about it, but then I watched as people learned to master the soundbite; they learned to get to the point, rather than meander around it for minutes at a time.

I used to hang out with one guy who would corner reporters, talk to them for ten minutes – with the main thrust of what he was trying to impart somewhere in the middle of his speech – and be angry the next day when the reporter quoted the “wrong” part of his diatribe.

I think that the best political speeches are like the best letters to the editor – passionate, eloquent and to the point. An excellent article on soundbites can be found at:



Renaissance Towers – Cover it up!

At some point you have to wonder if having that god awful hole in the ground is actually driving away potential business from the downtown area. Can’t they at least cover the damn thing with a tarp?


Is this how Fayetteville is being marketed now?

I had an interesting conversation a few weeks ago with a retiree who had recently moved to Fayetteville. He complained that he had moved here because this was supposed to be a “bedroom community,” and there were those here who didn’t want it to be one.

Bedroom community? Didn’t former City Board Director Shell Spivey warn us about this in the early 1990s? Is this why some local factories seem to be running on Life Support and the current city administration seems totally unfazed?


On the Air with Sherlock Holmes

This week we’ll be running a show from a few years ago with a local Sherlock Holmes appreciation society. You can’t do serious shows all the time. I thought I knew a lot about Sherlock Holmes, but these folks left me in the Victorian dust – or fog.


Anyway, it’s a fun show. I wonder if people still write letters to 221B Baker Street, seeking the help of the world’s first consulting detective? I like to think so.

Show times:

Monday – 7pm
Tuesday – noon
Saturday – 6pm

As always, C.A.T. is on Channel 18 on the Cox Channel line-up in Fayetteville.

Trivia note: in the 1980s, people wrote letters to the A-Team, asking for their help.