"Made in America" is more than a slogan. It's about supporting your neighbors, your community, your country.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It was your usual Monday morning for Red – she cringed as all of Black's emails from over the weekend dropped into Outlook. (While Red tries her best to escape from work on weekends, that seems to be when Black works hardest. Or, at least, writes the most emails.) Those were followed by a bunch more from earlier in the morning (emails from Black usually start at around 5:30 A.M.!), including one that got her attention as the subject line was "Buy American" and in the email Black suggested doing a Banter Bite on President Biden's "Made in America" Executive Order.
Black also explained that she had subscribed to a new source of political news, Punchbowl News, that had sent a detailed data sheet on the Executive Order that morning at 5 a.m. (Red rolled her eyes while also being concerned about Black having even more sources of information and "ideas") and offered to forward it.
Once upon a time, Red might not have reacted at all or, to be honest, even cared.But that was before she and Black wrote their book and, after they decided to self-publish (that's a story onto itself), Black insisted they print in the U.S.A., even though it more than doubled the cost of the book.
Red can still remember questioning why they'd willingly spend more money than necessary, which resulted in her getting one of her first business (combined with civics) lessons from Black. We won't bore you with all the details but as Black pointed out to Red, there's a price, often hidden, for maintaining high standards. And although more than few people thought we were crazy; we took a deep breath and followed our hearts. And we've never regretted that decision!
Yes, I know the inauguration was last week, and I'm sure Black wants to tell me, "Get over it!" but I'm still thinking (and reading articles) about Amanda Gorman, the amazing 22-year-old who was not only the youngest inaugural poet ever, but also the nation's first National Youth Poet Laureate. Her poem, "The Hill We Climb", was incredible and her delivery mesmerizing as she brought her words to life. But as impressive as that was, what I found most incredible was what I learned later that night when she was interviewed with CNN's Anderson Cooper.
Everything with us is a story. Several years ago, we were working with a branding company, and one of the team imagined us as cartoon characters. (Thank you, Puneet!) People told us they loved our sisterly banter, so we started doing a single-frame cartoon to introduce our monthly columns. Then we used them on slides at speaking engagements (Black's corporate background taught her how BORING PowerPoint presentations can be, so she refused to have slides filled with words) and people suggested we syndicate them. (Black, of course, then researched syndication.) And, we even used them at a pitch meeting with Hasbro. When we started working with an animation company, and saw their version of our "creatures" we decided they needed to be front and center.
So, just about the time we began developing this website, Black suggested to Red we start a daily "Banter Bite" that we could publish on our Twitter and Facebook pages. It could be about something happening in our lives, current events, some obscure fact/study she happened across, the list goes on and on ... Red's reply? (Keep in mind, she's the self-proclaimed queen of blah-blah-blah.) "I'm not sure we'll have enough material to be able to post every day."
The reality? In the beginning, Black humored Red and we didn't do them every day. But Black kept churning them out based on their conversations – and soon there was a large backlog. We decided to publish them six days a week (we believe Sundays shouldn't be spent on gizmos, although that doesn't stop Black from working).
The feedback? Almost instantly, people told us our Banter Bites are fun and quick to read. But also relevant to their day-to-day lives – and not just on the day they're published.
In other words, they don't have an expiration date! And although they may be considered "old" in today's world of social media and "instant news" (even something from earlier in the day can be considered old or outdated), every month we list our "favorites" of the month.
Find one (or more) you like? Consider sharing it …
A modest man with a humble beginning who was as comfortable talking with presidents and kings, rock stars and politicians, as he was with total unknowns. A truly amazing talent with an equally amazing career.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We're not sure that there's anything more we can say about Larry King that hasn't been said, and by sources that are far more qualified than we are. (Although Black once had the honor of talking with him on the telephone.) From the CNN tribute to the icon who taped more than 6,000 episodes of his show on their network, to AP News covering his life as well as tributes from around the world. There are countless tributes and articles being written about this truly one-of-a-kind broadcast interviewer. But was he really an interviewer? Well, technically, yes. But we feel that he was really more of a broadcast conversationalist. We dare you to watch any Larry King show (here's a Vanity Fair tribute listing some of his most memorable) and not feel like you're eavesdropping on a conversation.