Commentary

You Can Tell A Lot About A Man By The Stories He Chooses To Tell

Here are the stories Nobel Peace Prize winner, former Vice President and Current TV partner Al Gore chose to tell the ANA on Saturday:

To put his age (59) into the context of Current TV's 20something target audience, he told of having lunch with his partner in L.A. when a woman in her 70s walked by, staring at him, walked back staring at him and finally when he addressed her, she told him, "You know, if you dyed your hair black you would look just like Al Gore."

Quoting a Frenchman involved with Google who said of his favorite advertiser: "Zee one I love zee most is zee next one," Gore told the audience, "So, whoever you are ... I LOVE YOU!"

Talking about pioneering marketers who were burned when they allowed consumers to generate advertisements, Gore quoted Mark Twain, who said, "A cat that's burned on a hot stove won't sit on a hot stove again, but it won't sit on a cold one either."

Marshall McLuhan, author of Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, was a touch stone for Gore during his college years. Gore talked about a story in that book of a man caught in a whirlpool, swimming against the current, getting exhausted and, ultimately, drowning. The answer, Gore said, was to go with the current and come out of the vortex. "Going with the current is the model here," he said, with affable irony.

Lastly, he told a story "from the political world." A guy is caught in a flood, his neighbors move out and urge him to come along. "No," he says, "the Lord will provide."

The waters are up to his porch. An SUV comes along; the driver urges him to get in. "No," he says, "the Lord will provide."

The waters reach the second floor. A boat comes by and he is urged to hop aboard. "No," says the fella, "the Lord will provide."

He's on the roof now. A helicopter hovers above, urging him to grab the rope ladder. "No," he hollers, "the Lord will provide."

He drowns. St. Peter ushers him through the pearly gates and the guy asks God, "What happened? I thought you'd provide!"

And God says, "I sent you an SUV, a boat and a helicopter. What more did you want?!"

And with that, Gore told the audience, "Current TV is your SUV, your boat and your helicopter," before leaving the stage to sustained applause.

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