That Vision Thing

Asbury Park, Early 2000s

Back in the late 1980s, presidential candidate George Herbert Walker Bush (aka 41) was told by advisers that in order to win the election, he needed to  take a moment and write down where he wanted to lead the country and paint a picture of how his leadership would look in terms of potential accomplishments.  His legendary response to the suggestion was a somewhat dismissive comment.  “Ah, the vision thing,” he reportedly sighed, as if the concept of having vision was a sort of useless waste of time.

He was in many ways a very good leader, and now that he has passed, perhaps time has revealed to the world that he was also a kind, if not calculated and complex man.  Yet, the comment about vision was always one that marketers like myself find perennially cringe worthy.  In hindsight, it may also be the reason he ultimately didn’t win re-election.  Arguably, he didn’t even try very hard. Of course, his “read my lips, no new taxes” comment-turned broken promise can take first place prize for providing the death-blow.  Nonetheless, a person who had a vision might have known better.

So I dedicate this tiny space in the universe to Mr. Bush and his vision thing.  RIP Mr. President. Thanks for the fodder.


Ok, I must apologize to anyone who finds the graffiti in the photo vulgar.  I find it somewhat humorous for many reasons.  For context, understand that the photo was taken during the early 2000s during a WARP tour festival, when young punks invaded the boardwalk of the then zombie-worthy Asbury Park.  Other than the Stone Pony, the Wonder Bar, the crumbling Paramount and the Empress Hotel, not much else was on the beach.  Well, nothing good anyway.  The town painted  jaunty beach scenes onto the back walls of the crumbling, empty retail stores along the boardwalk in a “painting lipstick on the pig” attempt to disguise to severely depressed infrastructure.  I recall similar attempts at “slum-restyling” while driving the Cross Bronx Expressway in the 1980s when they painted curtains and potted plants onto the boarded up, burned out Bronx apartment buildings