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Slow the pace of great TV until Rick can watch “Mr. Selfridge” (starring Jeremy Piven).

ITV Studios,

Withering Glance think tank issues first batch of pronouncements

  • Article by: RICK NELSON and CLAUDE PECK
  • Star Tribune
  • August 23, 2013 - 1:55 PM

Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

 

CP: Taking last week off was a great break, but even then we were hard at work, getting the WG Institute up and running.

 

RN: The funding came through, eh? See, I told you that Kickstarter campaign would work. Who knew it would be so easy to raise $1.50?

 

CP: Finally, our own independent think tank. We can do little or nothing, soak up foundation money, appear on cable TV and offer our high-minded, scantily researched prescriptions for social betterment.

 

RN: With the nation plagued with so many ills, it’s almost impossible to select the cause or causes we should embrace.

 

CP: First off, I call on magazine publishers to mail their “emergency cutoff” notices a month or so before the subscriber’s actual expiration date, as opposed to the six-month industry standard.

 

RN: I can’t wait to release my working paper titled “Loud Restaurants and Hearing Loss.”

 

CP: Everyone wins in a world where pundits do not start every gasbag oration with the useless and annoying “So.” A ban, too, on politicians using the word “folks” or the phrase “at the end of the day.”

 

RN: I just know that our collaboration with the Council on Foreign Relations is going to affirm our premise that the Kardashian celebrity-industrial complex is weakening America’s standing in the global community.

 

CP: A further stipulation on the entertainment front: No movie sequel shall go past No. 2. This will encourage Hollywood studios to, I dunno, use their imagination.

 

RN: Which is currently being funneled into television and Web series. Perhaps a moratorium on brilliant shows until I’m able to catch up with “Breaking Bad,” “Homeland,” “Mr. Selfridge” and “House of Cards.”

 

CP: Whistleblowers and document leakers must be punished severely, even if Congress moves swiftly on a bipartisan basis (insert chortle here) to enact reforms based on their leaks.

 

RN: It’s going to be an uphill climb, but we must encourage Congress to boost its approval rating by five points. That’ll get it to 20. Out of 100.

 

CP: Heck, let’s lower the cost of health care, Rick. Because we can.

 

RN: While we’re at it, I recommend our policy institute make a major advocacy push, urging slow drivers to keep out of the left lane.

 

CP: We should mellow down the entire nation by piping NPR into all public spaces, around-the- clock. Volume can be left quite low.

 

RN: Our newfound expertise could land us on “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” I long to hear Carl Kasell’s baritone on your voice-mail greeting.

 

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib

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