Friday, November 23, 2012

Mencia in Joplin

Fri Jun 03, 2011, 12:14 PM CDT The JoplinI saw Carlos Mencia in Joplin after that devastating tornado tore that town appart. It was so great to see him doing the job that night (Wednesday June 8, 2011). This article in the Joplin Globe appeared prior to Mencia's show. He did not disappoint. Date: June 3, 2011 Headline: Carlos Mencia knows he has an important job to do by: Joe Hadsall, Globe Features EditorThe Joplin Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Carlos Mencia is familiar with the job description of a comedian. He knows it’s his job to make people laugh, to take their sad and change it to happy.

His audience in Joplin won’t be any different once he gets behind the mic. But Mencia knows that Joplin is in need of some laughs.

“I’ve done a lot of amazing gigs in my life, important ones,” Mencia said. “But going to Joplin is way up there. It’s going to be, if not the most important, one of the most important shows of my life.”

Mencia will perform Wednesday at Joey Thumbs, at 716 Main St. The stop, booked before the May 22 tornado, is part of a nationwide, smaller-town tour that Mencia booked specifically to perform for different kinds of audiences, he said.

The star of “Mind of Mencia”, which ran for four seasons on Comedy Central before the network cancelled it, is preparing to record a new special for the network. In preparation, he booked a tour in smaller towns across the nation.

The new audiences have given him a completely different feel for his material and helped to hone his act, he said.

“I’ve never really done anything like this before,” he said. “When I’m getting ready for a special, there’s about 12 comedy clubs in L.A. that I would rely on. This time, I wanted to get a feel for what audiences are feeling while I’m on stage.

There’s also a tweak to his presentation, that success may have affected. His motivation to rise from the projects gave him an edgy, attack-mentality presentation that earned him and his show some notoriety. He also came under fire for some of his post-Katrina comedy, which offended some African-Americans.

Though his perspective and premises may be the same, Mencia said his delivery is a little bit different.

“Now, it’s more ‘Can you believe that?’ not ‘What the f*** is that all about?’” he said. “I’m a different human being now. I don’t get shot at anymore, I don’t hang around gang-bangers anymore. It’s a new part of my life, a different perspective.”

The smaller sets also let him get in tune with an audience, and which jokes they like better, he said. That actually complicates his writing process, he said.

And speaking of writing: Mencia still denies the joke-stealing charges of comedian Joe Rogan, who confronted him on-stage in a viral video. In fact, Mencia said his biggest writing problem is that too much is happening.

“In the next month and a half, I hope nothing else happens,” Mencia said. “I have an hour and 45 minutes to trim to about an hour. Others have problems filling it, but me, I’m thinking, ‘Which one of these babies am I gonna kill?’ And then Obama kills Osama, and I have to put that in there.”

Even worse is when Mencia loves a joke, but audiences don’t like it as much as others -- and he doesn’t mind telling audiences that, he said.

“Stand up is for the audience, not for me,” Mencia said. “If you’re a comic that does jokes for yourself, just go in the bathroom and tell yourself jokes.”

That connection with a Joplin audience will be even more important, he said. Proceeds from the show will go to the American Red Cross, and he said he’ll come back to Joplin in the future.

He’s never done a show quite like this before, he said.

“I accept the responsibility of the comedian. My job is to make people laugh and forget the pain,” Mencia said. “I’m happy, proud, blessed and honestly blown away that I get to be the individual to do that. It’s gonna be great to see that audience and hear them laugh in the midst of the pain and the atmosphere.”

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Eleventh Morgan Wedding

Greg and Ellen: Highlights of the Eleventh Morgan Wedding - July 5, 2003

Six kids in the Morgan Family from Lakewod, Ohio. On July 5th 2003, the wedding of Ellen Azar Yoho to Gregory Lawton Morgan brings the number of marriages in this generation to Eleven. (Still, I think under the national average for success of the institution I believe).

 Even though I have demonstrated a level somewhere between indifference and contempt for the celebration and family gathering for the purpose of witnessing the exchange of wedding vows… And in spite of the fact tha I routinely show up with an inappropriate apparel choice (red sneakers with a tux, no tux etc etc)… Or I arrive too late for timely photos or maybe even too late for the wedding service itself (as the reception is really the part I like best). ..

A long time ago – nearly 23 years ago – I married Lynn with the agreement that getting married was easy and no cause for celebration. Rather, staying married – that is cause for celebration.

Nevertheless, Greg and Ellen were determined to make a significant production of their merger. Both married once before – both with children from those previous marriages. Greg – son’s Wesley and Matt and Ellen – Michael and Lauren. A beautiful portrait of Greg and Ellen, Wes, Matt, Michael and Lauren was on display in the pre-convene area at the wedding. Lovely shot of the group in front of a beautiful seascape.

Lauren, received a song dedication during the wedding because “Greg never had a daughter ..and now he has Lauren.” Very touching gesture. The song “Brown Eyed Girl” was chosen for this “father – step-daughter” dance. Lauren calls my brother “Geggie”- (A little too saccharine sweet for my taste but an indication that Greg might actually get the respect of the step children as time marches on.) Michael is a little hyper – like kids can be…but apparently the family is ready to March into the future together likes millions of dysfunctional families in this country do.

I regard the job of Best Man as two fold (and said so in my toast): 1. Talk the groom out of it and 2) get the Groom to do something he’s not likely to do after he gets married – gamble, stay out all night, go to a strip joint …(I failed on both counts). My preparation for the toast included the selection of music tracts and a number of stories designed to illustrate and embarrass. I was able to edit about 90% or my intended material down to a kinder-gentler 15-20 minutes which was probably still a little too long – and more than Greg expected. I could see that both Greg and Ellen were on pins and needles through the whole time I had the mic – but were pleased that I showed restraint.

Here’s the toast (as closely as I can remember delivering it):

Greg and Ellen July 5, 2003
(edited to reflect actual comments on the wedding day)
Two Jobs of Best Man

  1. talk the groom out of it
  2. talk the groom into doing something he wouldn’t think of doing after he’s married  (stay out all night, go to a strip club, gamble… what-ev 

I have failed as a Best Man on both counts.

My brother is planning to go through with this thing.

So what can I do?…

So I decided to make a film about Greg.

But we ran a little short on funds…

Gonna need to borrow some money – what do you say Rob?

I only need about $2 Million to make this film.

so let me describe the Movie. (Let me pitch it to ya)…

…a movie about Greg in his formative years…that maybe helps shed some light on how he has come to this juncture in his life…

…this treatment includes some ideas for the Soundtrack for the movie as well…

Hopefully, this will help Ellen see what she’s getting into and maybe provide a little insight for all of you that wish them well in their marriage…

Opening credits and first scene:

Music: Father and Son – Cat Stevens

“You’re young, that’s your fault. Think of everything you’ve got. You will still be here tomorrow, though your dreams may not. Find a girl, settle down, If you want you can marry…look at me, I am old…but I’m happy…” 

Aerial  – Zoom in through giant picture window at Edgewater Drive House….

Here’s where we see Greg getting folded into his convertible bed...ya know one of those couches that fold out to a bed…well he was often folded into that bed as a part of his wake up ritual.

Greg’s muffled voice can be heard “Dad I’m up! I’m up!” 

Disolve to Lakewood High School graduation ceremony in progress…

Music: Oh Very Young – Cat Stevens

“Oh very young, what will you leave us this time. You’re only dancing on this earth a short while. And though your dreams may toss and turn you now …like favorite jeans they fade in blue….and the patches make the goodbye harder still.”

This song was playing in the Cutlass Supreme after the graduation ceremony is over. (This is an important “establishing shot” Greg and I put over 100,000 miles on that car)  

Cut to

Music Change: Radar Love

“Been driven all night, my hands are wet on the wheel….”

Wide Shot of the same Cutlass Supreme headed I-71 South/and eventually I-75    

This begins the segment of the film I like to call:

The Valdosta Incident

It’s approximately 1200 miles from Cleveland to Miami…That’s about 24 hours of driving

Greg was always convinced that was just a one day trip

Two drivers – 24 hours – no prob – except one of the drivers is a control freak and the other (me) would just as soon leave the driving to my brother…

Though we did that drive a number of times (at least twice a year for 4 years)

…on one trip…Greg, admitting a bit of fatigue after driving for about 16 hours straight asked me to take the wheel.  

We were in Valdosta, Georgia.

Now Valdosta GA is just North of the Florida border

…but it’s still 7 – 8 hours of driving to get to Miami. 

I wasn’t driving 10 minutes before Greg fell asleep

I wasn’t driving 15 minutes before I fell asleep

When we hit the warning track – the gravel on the shoulder of the road

Greg was awake and alert…and ready to take the wheel again.

Music: She came in through the Bathroom Window – Joe Cocker’s version (Beatles tune)

“She came in through the bathroom window…protected by a silver screen…now she sucks her thumb and wonders…”

Cut to Mahoney Hall on the Campus of the University of Miami – bright sunny Florida day

Zoom into Dorm Room 234 Mahoney Hall (another expensive camera angle but well worth it)…you could hear our 8-track player blasting Joe Cocker …Greg is imitating the way Joe Cocker. 

Cut to Greg pulling into Mahoney Hall in a big yellow school bus as he crashes into the concrete canopy at the entrance to the lobby of the dorm building. 

(He miscalculated the height of his vehicle…fortunately the 20 mentally retarded kids he was transporting on a field trip were not yet aboard)

Cut to Greg singing along with the house band to:

Jumpin’ Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones

“(guitar riff) Jumpin Jack Flash it’s a Gas, Gas, Gas”

The Miami experience includes a number of diversions for the rigors of academia…the beach, the night life…the race track. A win at the track (Hialeah) is the reason that later that night Greg takes the stage for a rendition of Jumpin Jack Flash…This was not a karaoke night…Greg made himself part of the act!

Cut to the University of Miami Rathskeller…on a typical Friday Afternoon…It’s Happy Hour

Music: Free Bird – Lynard Skynard

“(guitar) ….I’m as free as a bird now….and this bird you’ll never change”

The drinking age was 18 then and the Friday Happy Hour tradition was a big part of our college experience…  

Free Bird – This song is 8 or ten minutes long…The stimulus/response mechanism that tells students that it’s about to be “last call”…Plenty of time to get at least one more beer.

“I’m as free as a bird now….and this bird you’ll never change…”

As the song winds down you see Greg Playing Air Guitar in a beer soaked Rathskeller …

Now flash forward about 20+ years.

Wes picks up the phone in St. Louis/split screen shot Greg’s on his cell phone in Tampa…He’s got kids in the background…they’ve rented a movie and the soundtrack is Julie Andrews… 

Sound of Music – Julie Andrews – from movie soundtrack …I called Greg on the phone … and I hear:

 “The hills are alive with the sound of Music.”

The audience is left wondering - What will become of the “Free Bird” and what kind of sequel can we expect from Greg?

Credits roll across the movie screen and the audience is left wondering how the story of Greg is going to play out…

I hope that the sequel is a happy one with Greg and Ellen.

Thank You. 

The band at the reception was flexible and was able to tolerate and support a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”  as performed by me…joined by Greg. A pretty fun little duet with my brother and I sharing the microphone and not really knowing the words. Pretty funny …”Regrets I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention….I’ve lived a life that’s full ….Much more than this…I did it my way!”

The rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding provided perhaps the greatest drama. The wedding party along with a number of out-of-town guests enjoyed a terrific meal in a place called Jackson’s Bistro. The private room provided a righteous view of the fourth of July fireworks on the Bay.

All seemed to be running smoothly until, after the dinner and fireworks the group began to disperse. Dan and Netti slipped away, the party was winding down… Mom and Dad left with Sully Barth (mom’s friend since they were little girls). Decending the stairs outside the restaurant, Sully took a nasty spill. Sully is 80-something and she got a nasty gash in the back of her head. The pool of blood at the base of the stairs and the Emergency Rescue People on the scene made it clear that something had happened. Kinda like a car wreck – you really don’t want to know….By the time I got to the scene…Mom was being a tad overly dramatic about insisting on going to the hospital with her friend Sully. Fortunately for me, Rob was on the scene too. He is a take charge Kinda guy - a real field general - and was able to bark out a few orders and make arrangements for advising Sully’s husband at the hotel (Bob Barth chose to skip the dinner, choosing instead to kick back in the hotel room).
Rob – God Bless Him – stayed in the hospital emergency room with Sully and Mom and Dad until Sully was released. Due to the heavy traffic from a variety of fireworks mishaps and routine holiday accidents the ER wasn’t able to release Sully until 7 AM! Ten stiches in the back of her head. Yikes!!!

Golf was a top priority for me for this trip. I was successful in playing 9 holes the day of my arrival in Tampa (by myself) and recruiting Greg/Wesley and Matt to play as a foursome on the 4th of July (with Rob and Kevin and Ellen’s borther-in-law Larry behind us in a three-some) and a round with Sundance on the 5th. 45 Holes of Golf!

I could write a book about what I observed through a variety of Morgan golf experiences. Especially the nature of playing with Morgans. Suffice it to say…Tempo is pretty hard to maintain when Rob is hitting into you….or when Sundance prefers your putter to the one in the bag you rented for his sorry ass. FYI scores to be added to my on-line handicapping calculation – 98 for nine at Babe Zaharias public course (rating/slope 68.4/117) and 103 at the Rocky Point course (rating/slope: 68.2/114 from the white tees) on July 4th…I am thowing out the extra nine at Babe Zaharias where my concentration fell off trying to keep Sundance happy – a 56 for nine.  Rob Claims a score in the low 90’s but refuses to show anyone his scorecard.

Shot of the round for Wesley (Greg’s Son) – a 40 foot pitch into the hole

Shot and hole of the round for Sundance – a 199 yard par three. A driver to the green – two putts for a par. Sheesh – this from a guy who hasn’t played in 15-20 years.

Overall, everything went smoothly and without any real crisis. A good time was had by all. (Net Net – Golf outing for Jim Varney and Uncle Wes will be better when we can concentrate on the important stuff – tempo, studying breaks on the green, keeping it in the short grass etc instead of wedding party photos and tuxedos).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Barb Flunker Art Show

How nice to be invited to someone’s home for the express purpose of art and conversation. The last time I visited with Barb was at the “Carts & Cocktails” fundraiser event at Laumeier Sculpture Park. She was the official docent outside the station featuring Jackie Ferrara’s site specific sculpture that night. She is a wonderful guide and loves to engage people in their impressions about art as they encounter it.

It turns out that Barb is an artist in her own right and the invitation was an opportunity to share her latest work. It was a sunny cool day in November. I arrived early and was treated to a docent tour of work that is strategically located outside and newly installed displays of recent work inside the home. The latest series of paintings features striking color of Printers Ink which is a tribute to her late brother. (He was a printer.) I can’t help thinking that he must be proud of his sister.  

Barb explained that her journey as an artist was encouraged by her son about 11 years ago. “You should pursue this professionally,” he said knowing that her paintings are inspired with the natural and spiritual beauty of the world using oils, acrylics, and recycled and organic natural materials in non-traditional ways. Like so many artists, she had been doing this for years. It was this bit of encouragement that set her in motion. She visited galleries and art dealers in St. Louis. She recalls those early bold moves with samples of her work and remembers how the additional positive feedback at that time helped propel her forward.

It’s clear that her husband Ray is on board too. “Ray was very supportive in repurposing our family garage as several works were being created outdoors. I’m okay with natural elements, even light rain falling on my work but when higher winds and storms were forecast we needed to protect them while they had time to dry.” Ray fabricated a system for the larger format works to rest at that time and continues as a superb host at this private showing.  

Barb’s work has been shown extensively in the Midwest and has been represented by Denise Roberge Gallery, Palm Desert CA, and Mark Palmer Gallery, Paducah KY. Her work is currently shown at Niche, The Lawrence Group, St. Louis MO, and Brewington, St. Louis MO. Barb’s work is also included in numerous collections.

Visit her website at and you will see the work influenced by travels, nature, family and friends. Barb’s dynamic, textural, abstract paintings explode with the vibrancy of life itself. Thanks for including me Barb.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012



So, my son Ben mentions to me that J-Kwon is appearing at the Pageant. This University City Loup venue is the scene of the Ludacris performance a few months ago. Rap (or should I say Hip-Hop) is a cultural phenomenon and I have to say that I enjoy a lot of things about it. For my generation “Sex, Drugs. and Rock-N-Roll” was the rally cry. For my son, it’s not too different…only louder, and blacker and with no interference from musical instruments (just pre-recorded sound and one or two DJ-MC types behind a big electronic console in the middle of the stage).

J-Kwon was to be a part of Hoodfest. Which I didn’t understand, until attending the event, was a string of local wanna-be acts leading up to the featured performers. And as St. Louis (The Lou) has become somewhat of a hub for Hip Hop.  Murphy Lee and Ally were listed as hosts/presenters. And local hip hop hero, Nelly even made an appearance.

The station Q95.5 had a high profile throughout the evening with MC Chrystal on the mike between acts doing the introductions – usually nothing more than something like “Hey St. Louis, give it up for our next performers….”

I bought three tickets. This event was held on May 9, 2004, a Sunday Night. Ben and his friend Stephanie Paul were probably willing to tolerate me a chaperone because I made it easier for Ben’s mom and Stephanie’s parents to allow this on a school night.

Stephanie, Ben and I arrived at the Pageant and hour before the scheduled start time. (What was I thinking…of course Hoodfest wouldn’t start on time. And there was no real benefit to arriving early except we got a pretty decent parking space.) It was a beautiful night (Mother’s Day, in fact). To kill some time, we crossed Delmar and sat at a table stationed outside in front of Mirasol – a new restaurant (only open a few months). As the sun was going down, we felt a warm breeze that reminded me of being in Miami – South Beach or Coconut Grove. We watched the drama begin to unfold in front of the Pateant.

Hoodfest started at 8pm.     

Here’s what the St. Louis Post Dispatch had to say about Hoodfest in the newspaper on Tuesday May 11, 2004
Music Review
J-Kwon’s strong show
Deserves more fan support
By Kevin C. Johnson
Post-Dispatch Pop Music Critic
“Teen President” J-Kwon might need to campaign a little harder the next time he performs in St. Louis.
St. Louis’ newest rap sensation, dubbed the teen president by some, inexplicably and surprisingly failed to draw a crowd worthy of his newfound stature – a No. 1 rap single in “Tipsy,” a gold CD in “Hood Hop” – at Q95.5’s Hoodfest II concert at the Pageant Sunday night. The first Hoodfest in January with Murphy Lee was a sellout, the balcony was closed for this one.
Maybe hip-hop fans were too caught up in Mother’s Day. Maybe the Trak Starz-presented event at the Rum Jungle at the same time divided the crowd. Maybe the relatively late announcement of the concert hampered ticket sales. Or maybe the gunfire that broke out at J-Kwon’s recent video shoot scared people away.
And Maybe Nelly’s surprise guest appearance should’ve been promoted. Whatever the reasons, folks should’ve been packed into the Pageant to see a rapper big enough to serve as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” next weekend, when his audience will be in the millions.
J-Kwon came with attitude and was flanked by a supportive Nelly, Murphy Lee and Ali, who opened the set with “IC IC,” a track from “Hood Hop.” “Welcome to Tha Hood” and especially the personal “They Ask Me” were a pair of strong selections from J-Kwon. “Sow Your Ass” featured female rapper Eboni Eyes, who gave what was perhaps the nights breakthrough performance.  She’s a new act backed by production duo the Trackboys, who are also behind J-Kwon. The Sho-Offs, J-Kwon’s group, also made an appearance.
The boisterous “Tipsy” was followed by the guest laden “Tipsy” remix. Here, it featured Murphy Lee, Nelly and Ali, the recording features J-Kwon with Chingy and Murphy Lee. It ended a too brief set.
During his time onstage, J-Kwon came off as confident, unapologetically raw and almost humorously potty-mouthed, making it interesting to see how he’ll fair on “SNL” compared to recent polished “SNL” guests such as Usher and Avril Lavigne.
Before J-Kwon’s appearance, a number of rising local talents performed more than two hours of brief sets that, to their credit, moved along with barely a break in between. Several of the acts were from Nelly’s Derrty Entertainment label.
Ruka Puff was a standout. Just imagine three Bone Crushers  - complete with removal of shirts, exposing lots of excess flesh – and you get Ruka Puff, which performed its song “Angry.” Another standout was Jng Tru and Taylor Made of “Whirlwind” fame, whose set featured Nelly and other St. Lunatics.
Also good were Beano with “Skip to Da Lou” and “Act Bad,” the All Stars with “So Serious,” Xta-C with “So Heavy,” and Kin Jacob and Prentiss Church. Others who performed included Chocolate Thai featuring Z, Hard Knox, Potzie, 2 Cent, Mysphit, Arch Rivals, Ahmad, Lil Loui’s and the Young Boyz.
Critic Kevin C. Johnson
Phone: 314-340-8191


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Crystal Bridges 11-11-11/11-11-12

Crystal Bridges American Museum of Art November 9-10, 2012 - The Lauemeier docent crew, lead by Maureen Jennings, orchestrated a trip to Chrystal Bridges. I was delighted to be among the forty or so people on the overnight bus trip to Arkansas to visit Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded by the only daughter of Sam Walton (Alice) and designed by internationally renowned architect (Moshe Safdie).

Our trip to the museum unfolded as first anniversary celebration rapidly approached that weekend (11-11-11/11-11-12). Our trip included viewing the premiere of a documentary film directed/produced by Larry Foley; touring the collection of more than 400 works (which are well organized into colonial, 19th century, modern and contemporary gallery spaces); a special extra-curricular experience of James Turrell’s The Way of Color - Turrell is primarily concerned with light and space. He was once quoted as saying: “I saw the Mona Lisa when it was in L.A., saw it for 13 seconds and had to move on. But, you know, there's this slow-food movement right now. Maybe we could also have a slow-art movement, and take an hour.” I love that idea!); a morning hike covering miles of beautifully landscaped trails; a bonus visit to the quaint downtown area of Bentonville (featuring Sam Walton’s original retail store location).     

Alice Walton likes to challenge visitors to recall three things. Indeed, with the sensory overload that begins with the magnificent architecture of Moshe Softe and continues with the art, the sculpture, and the trails it is pretty hard to settle on just three. So I won’t. Here’s a list of some of things I remember seeing (and hope to revisit):
George Washington (portrait by Charles Wilson Peale, 1780-82); Winter Scene in Brooklyn (by Francis Guy, 1819); Kindred Spirits (Hudson River School painting by Asher Brown Durand, 1849); The Reader (by Mary Cassatt, 1877), Jeanne (by Alfred Henry Mauer, 1904), Hall of Mountain King (by Marsden Hartley, 1908-1909). Rosie the Rivetter (by Norman Rockwell, 1943); Jackie Ferrara (1980); Jenny Holtzer (1990); Lowell’s Ocean (by Mark DiSuvero); Yield (by Roxy Paine); LOVE (by Robert Indiana)… Add works by Thomas Hart Benton, Georgia O’Keefe, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, Alexander Calder and clearly it is the sort of place of which you might like to return.

All in the peaceful and unassuming Ozark regional setting, in year one, the museum has already attracted over 600,000 visitors and has an 800 million dollar endowment. In case you are tempted to think of Art in Arkansas as an oxymoron – think again. Thank you Alice Walton – for your courage and your leadership! Wow.       

Monday, November 5, 2012

Self Criticsm and Getting Canned

Dallas  Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones was livid Sunday night, and not just because his team had just lost to the Atlanta Falcons on national television. Jones was locked out of the Cowboys' locker room following his team's 19-13 loss in Atlanta on Sunday Night Football. Earlier that night, Bob Costas interviewed Jerry Jones, who stated that he would have fired himself as general manager if he could have but he couldn't because it's impossible to fire yourself because you can't separate yourself from yourself so you just have to learn to live with yourself ... or something like that.

"I've always worked for myself and you can't do that," Jones said of firing himself as general manager. "You basically have to straighten that guy out in the mirror when you work for yourself. But certainly, if I'd had the discretion, I've done it with coaches and certainly I would have changed a general manager."

How funny is that? Sorry, but I just don’t buy it. It’s not the same thing. Sure successful owner/entrepreneurs often put a lot of pressure on themselves but it ain’t the same as fear of being canned. The irony is the double standard that exists here.

A few of highlights from my career journey:

Fred Kummer at HBE once opened a sales meeting with the declaration, “Someone in this room should be fired.” And after s brief pause delivered the punch line. “That person is me…but since that isn’t gonna happen…” He went on to make that group of sales people sweat-out the rest of the meeting.  

Steve Rose who was President of a newly merged advertising agency. AC&R/DHB & Bates in New York offered a similarly awkward assurance to the employees of the newly merged agency. “The view only changes for the lead dog,” he said to a movie theater full of merged employees.

More often than not, employees gather for town hall meetings or company-wide announcements to get a sense of how the leadership feels about the company’s progress only to leave with only a hint of how secure their positions in the organization might be.
So, boss, go ahead and fire yourself. We might be able to get something done around here.