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January 31st, 2000

Wall Street Journal
By James Castwell

"Beauty and brains do not often go together;" I am, however the exception, I have neither as I will now demonstrate. I am really unhappy with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for attacking fishing. By now you have seen the TV commercial where they show two babies, one going to a household that subscribes to 'Fishing Magazines.' And the other baby going to one that subscribes to the WSJ.

Next you are shown how the former guy still lives with his parents, and the latter is a big success on the stock market. So what are we supposed to think? How would they like it if I put a big ad on TV advising all fishermen to stop buying the WSJ? Shouldn't be a problem, they don't think we can read anyhow. If we could, we would give up fishing and buy their tabloid.

Now I am not against taking on them, no sir. It would be great advertising 'tho. But, should I do this? List all the names of the guys from their publication who are registered on FAOL. You know, those who read FAOL on a regular weekly basis from the main office of the WSJ! Think I can't? We have tracking programs that can tell me where you bought your PC and what color socks you were wearing at the time. This is war and I'm up for it. I can tell you which desk these guys sit at when they read us. Mostly the data shows it's Monday mornings, usually before they attend the perfunctory 'Monday Morning Song Fest.' You know how it is in the great halls of wisdom, daily brush-fires to extinguish, meetings, more fires, more meetings, business lunch, more meetings, and more brush fires. It is not surprising so many of the WSJ guys read FAOL! They can dream, right?

Now let's look at another element of the blatantly bias batch of, of . . . well, you know what I mean, the guy who lives with his parents. Chances are he probably still remembers their names, both of them. Doubtful the other guy remembers where his live, let alone if they had names. The first guy undoubtedly has a fine 8 to 5 job, lives at home and looks after his folks. He may still fish with his dad, bring home some fish and enjoy a family meal once in a while. He will get the house when they pass on and continue to work, probably do some guiding, a few lectures, teach some kids how to fish, write a book or two (by now he has mastered the elusive art of literacy) and retire from the world just a poor hapless slob, of no particular value by the misguided, modern, Madison Avenue WSJ values (or lack thereof). No one will miss him other than the few fishermen he happened to acquaint himself with over his measly 79 paltry years.

How about our big WSJ success? Hey he is happy, delirious in fact. Rolling in bucks and enjoying the fast track. For recreation he has others do it for him. Like playing 'Power-Lunch' golf. Great sport, make big deals while having some underling haul your clubs around, or drive your little golfing buggy for you while you 'deal.' (There was a book, 'The Art of the Deal,' remember? I don't think he fishes either.) Oh well, that's another column. Back to 'our WSJ hero.'

His analyst tells him he needs to 'get away from it all' for several months a year or he will 'end up in an early grave!' Same old story. What should he do? Why, take up fishing, of course! Guess where. Right. Bingo. You got it. You're getting the picture now. Why did it take you so long. OK, I forgot, you fish therefore you're limited. My mistake.

Should we wonder if he ever met his sibling? Did he ever envy the fluid casting stroke, his connection with the environment, the calm way he talked and accurately tobacco-spit a winged insect from the gunnel of the old cedar canoe they were drifting in? Darn ...'in which they were drifting' Sorry for that, I'm still learning.

If the shoe fits . . .

I think to 'wrap' this all up I may have found a sort of a compromise. One that should make some kind of a marriage of the two elements. How about this? Let's say the first guy catches a few fish and decides to have a meal for some people from the WSJ who have come out to the 'boonies' to do a 'colorful human-interest' story about him. He cleans the fish carefully and wraps the entrails for disposal as is a properly accepted method. Now, what do you think he should wrap them in? I had thought of mentioning a possible connection with 'bird-cage bottoms' and puppy-training, but felt that would be unnecessary as those already exist.

The WSJ does not go into how long either lives, but there is no doubt in my mind.

Only one really did. ~ JC

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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