Whatever happened to "We May Never Pass This Way Again?"
Buzz has been monitoring a disturbing trend of totalitarianism emerging in Dallas area high school mottos. Highland Park High School's football squad's motto, for instance, is "Nothing Short of Perfection." Which makes a lot of sense when you recall that the Park Cities have the area's highest per capita rate of cosmetic surgery.

But some people have found that this bubbleheaded quest for perfection has an elitist, super race kind of ring. To make matters worse, the motto is often displayed as a bumper sticker near the ubiquitous--in the Park Cities--Confederate flag.

Still, the most arresting senior motto is from the high school that prides itself on producing tomorrow's leaders. The guys at St. Mark's have gone with--we're not kidding here--"Total Domination." (Quite the whips-and-leather statement, considering these are the same weenies--correct us again if we're wrong--who are disciplined harshly for wearing unauthorized neckwear.)

Since they don't even have girls at St. Mark's, we can only assume that Total Domination refers to the leadership qualities inherent in bombing civilians and invading the Low Countries. (A rejected Marksmen motto, we understand, was: "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out."

Before we go any further, Buzz wants to dispel any false rumors about the senior class mottos at other area high schools. Arlington's Martin High School's motto is not "This Bud's for You." And, no, Arlington High School's senior motto is not: "Hey, it was consensual." And Plano High's motto most definitely is not "Football, Felons, and Fun."

Finally, there is absolutely no basis to the rumor that Mansfield High seniors went with the catchy maxim: "Homicide Before Dishonor."

Mr. Stanley, watch your back!
Psst! Mr. Stanley, Dallas' arbiter of taste and our favorite Dallas Morning News columnist--get out while the gettin's good. Lately, we've been picking up bad vibes:

1. In the November Neiman Marcus catalog, N-M chairman and CEO Burt Tansky is shown in an electrifying series of photos as he "mingles with customers." One of these crassly identified "customers" is none other than the regent of retail, Mr. Stanley!

2. A recent column, one from Mr. Stanley's "counting" genre in which he marshals (and marshals) indisputable facts--whether it be uses for cows or loose threads on shirts--called professionals to task for hanging plaques on their walls. "There are so many plaques that they are clustered together in a prominent place, commonly known as the trophy wall," he wrote, before calculating that these mementos could cost in total as much as $9 million. "A scientific study might come up with an estimate of double or triple that amount," he admits.

Mr. Stanley, God bless 'em, wants the plaque money channeled into a national recognition fund that would support worthy health organizations while still polishing executives' egos. As an alternative to plaques, he recommends a fashion statement in the form of lapel buttonhole ribbons "much as the honors awarded by European governments are worn." His compassion is bottomless as he recommends that the now-idled plaque makers be retrained by the government "to a more rewarding and interesting occupation."

The bold column drew the ire of plaquemakers--bad form on the DMN op-ed page.

3. Mr. Stanley penned an egregious suck-up column in which he described September as a "sterling month," citing not only the kickoff for the Japanese Sun & Star cultural extravaganza, the Texas Rangers pennant, and an exceptional Dallas Symphony Gershwin concert--but also Belo Corp.'s purchase of the Providence Journal Co., increasing its empire by a newspaper and nine TV stations. "The transaction will make Belo the nation's eighth-largest broadcasting company," Mr. Stanley gushed, adding, somewhat unctuously, "Robert W. Decherd, who comes from a family of journalists, has done a brilliant job since he assumed the role of Belo's president and chief executive officer." Hmmm.

It's no secret at the News that many News editors cringe when Mr. Stanley's column comes in each week--fearing he will again count the number of single-passenger drivers on a particular Houston expressway, or regale us with the history of Nylon. They say folks like Mr. Decherd only keep Mr. Stanley around because he is the arbiter elegantiae of Dallas.

We hate to see a stand-up guy in such an awkward position, so we say, Mr. Stanley, give the News the bum's rush in exchange for a seat of honor on the Buzz staff. Hell, anyone who could slip that hilarious "plaque" column onto the DMN op-ed page has the chutzpah we're looking for.

--Glen Warchol


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