There are a million definitions of public relations. I have found it to be the craft of arranging the truth so people will like you.

There are a million definitions of public relations. I have found it to be the craft of arranging the truth so people will like you. (Alan Harrington)

“The world as a single city…”

An unnamed blogger gave us the single-city phrase.

It’s another example of anonymous men and women helping us along the trail of life with gems of wisdom about life, liberty, and the pursuit of individuality, or conformity, whichever trail we choose.

A big chunk of our North American society has chosen the conformity trail, including us, in the once upon a time True North strong and free. “Yesiree!” Jimmy exclaimed. “That blogger’s got it right. Our cities are all ‘chained up’ like a truck on an icy hill.”

We met the ‘store-chaining’ concept in another land in its early stages, but didn’t recognize it.

It was a town like ours in the Outback of Australia, a town in that famous place, “the middle of nowhere,” and it wasn’t chained up — then.

The hotel wasn’t ‘chained up’ either. It was a four star; its claim to fame at the time was Princess Di and her husband were to stay there during a visit to the Outback.

So, there we were in the lobby gazing at some superb Australian art work, waiting for a cab.

Across the lobby a dozen or so people were complaining loud enough to be heard in downtown Alice Springs about a major snag in their travels in the Outback.

To hear them, it was a catastrophe — they couldn’t find a McDonalds! It was inconceivable that any town, anywhere, wouldn’t have at least one!

Paraphrasing the brilliant blogger’s phrase, we were witnessing the beginning of “the world as a single restaurant.”

Writer Duncan Holmes in a recent piece in Tidings: Canada’s Wine and Food magazine, intimated it’s not here yet, but it’s on the way.

“I have an irrational fear,” he wrote, “that one day in the not-too-distant future, no matter where we choose to go in the world, all food will taste the same … a moment will come when a restaurant meal in Moscow will look and taste the same as it does in Melbourne and Montevideo.

“Call it fusion, food mongrelization or simply a case of unbridled taste inbreeding, but the writing’s on the kitchen wall.”

The writing’s on shopping mall walls too, isn’t it?

“You know,” Jimmy said the other day, “Variety used to be the spice of life, remember. Now it’s down to what’s good for Big Business is good for you. What we choose is what you’ll choose?”

Is language next?

There’s a lot of muddling English around. There’s more gonnas, gottas, betchas and gotchas than we’ve got mosquitoes, and this language is in standard use, obviously encouraged by those who were once icons in the word business, newscasters especially.

Ah, but they’re being countered by the versatility and vibrancy of our children and their thought-provoking, oft funny lingo, helping keep it fresh as a daisy.

Consider these:

Solomon had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn’t have history.

The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.

In the Olympic games Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled biscuits and threw the java.

Queen Elizabeth was the Virgin Queen. As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted hurrah.

You can’t keep these little ones down can you, or are they in danger of being “chained up” too?

Apparently there really is a day for everything. June 11th is, OK was, national Cheer up the Lonely Day. Why not any day, every day?

A tip of the hat to the forgotten few — our proud war vets who were “over there” for as long as six years. Last week, I got some mental exercise jumping to the conclusion there’d be much coverage of the anniversary of the D-Day invasion June 6, 1945 and of the men and women who pulled it off, so I need not say a word.

Well that’s what we got — nary a word, or if so, there were so few. Remember England’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s few? “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

It hasn’t changed but, apparently, we have. Complacency is not the place to sit in times like these. The Boy Scout motto, Be Prepared, sounds like a lot better place to sit.