Sweet nothings: Readers on Hershey.

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Sept. 20 2002 12:42 PM

Sweet Nothings

The Fray speaks out on Hershey.

Candyman II: Farewell to the Cash: The Moneybox Fray discussion of Daniel Gross' piece on the meltdown of the Hershey sale started slowly but has picked up since it was featured. Food-industry consultant-types pondered the fate of family-owned companies here while Baltimore Aureole ridiculed the idea of diversification behind the sale here:

good thing the hershey trustees didn't sell the company in 2000 ... to satisfy Gross' diversification mandate, they might have invested the proceeds in Enron, WorldCom, AOL Time Warner, Tyco, Lucent. were there any winners over the past 2 years?

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Thomas' detailed post on the legalfracases of the Hershey Trust board of managers is as interesting a story as he claims, particularly the part where the managers claim they can't spend all the money the trust makes now.

Entr'Acte: Also in the Moneybox Fray is the nascent discussion of CEO second acts. Captain Ron Voyage stuck up for F. Scott Fitzgerald here:

Ivan Boesky, Ross Perot, Fawn Hall, David Stockman, G. Gordon Liddy, the "Where's the Beef?" Lady, Adnan Khashoggi, "Dan & Dave", Robin Leach, Shannen Doherty, the "Bartles & Jaymes" guys, Spiro Agnew, McLean Stevenson, Dan Rostenkowski, the XFL, Edwin Meese, Disco Duck and MC Scat Kat. What do they all have in common? They're all people who committed unspeakable crimes against the American people (usually in the name of money), and they have all had absolutely no "second act" whatsoever.

I would suggest not being so sanguine about Kenneth Lay. Evidence suggest there are plenty of bad boys with no second acts out there, we just can't remember who they are. The second acts (even Milken) are the ones with discernible talent, of which Mr. Lay appears (along with Mr. Winnick) to have none.

Dontcha think? In the Poems Fray, the usually interesting discussion of the poem of the week (" Prayer Meeting") includes a veritable Niagara of ironing puns here ... 9:40 a.m. 

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Thursday, Sept. 19, 2002  

Let's call the calling-off off: The Nuclear vs. Nucular Explainer went up on MSN.com, and the posts poured into the Explainer Fray. While most posters (like, say, William Blake here) thought this quibble was simply another and more pitiful front in Slate's war on Bush's lexicon (joining up with Bushisms), at least a couple saw it as a defense of linguistic sloppiness ( here and here)—a way of allowing lazy Americans to crawfish out of their obligation to the mother tongue. (No one saw Bush as a Bloomian strong poet.) Mrachmuth got the joke here:

Webster's Dictionary explains President Bush's speech: Much, if not most, of what the President says, in both manner and substance, is "questionable and unacceptable."

Total quality fraying: One of the great things about the Explainer Fray is that people who really know what they are talking about can advance or qualify the explanation, and since the point of the Explainer in the first place is to reduce a problem to a factual question and answer, the Fray seems to embody that magnificent moment in the old diagram of the scientific method where the arrow goes back up to the beginning: Pure feedback.

The best post to the War Games Explainer was Scipio's here, which elaborated on the goals of a war game for both strategic and tactical commanders and, along the way, made General Riper's "victories" seem less impressive. A critical snippet from his long entry:

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