Should old acquaintance be forgot? Looking back on 2017

Standard

Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? I’ve had a hard time answering that in the waning hours of 2017.

I’ve never been one to forgive and forget easily, despite a Christian calling to do so.

It’s human nature, I believe, to remember those old acquaintances and the ways in which they’ve changed our lives. It’s also important to learn something positive from them.

And that cup of kindness? Too often it has a bitter aftertaste, and 2017 is a bottle of supermarket wine—too much vinegar, but sweet enough to want a half a glass more.

I started 2017 still in recovery from a burglary that changed my view on material possessions, as well as a minor surgery that made me take a closer look at taking care of little things sooner.

By April 1, I was still Managing Editor Joel Spears. Seven days later, on a Friday, I took a puck to the face in the corporate hockey game everyone calls 21st Century publishing. There was a 10-page contract attached to soften the blow with, “There’s a layoff. Tag! You’re it! Get out.”

Now, I’m Joel Spears: Highly-Opinionated Job Seeker with a Penchant for Words.

I like Joel Spears. We’ve had lots of conversations during the past eight months. There’ve been talks about life, where we’ve been, why life went where it did, and more importantly where we’re headed.

I don’t know yet, but it’ll be interesting. When there’s something of note, I expect I’ll share with anyone who’s literate or listening.

Most of 2017 was spent looking for my own Walden Pond, a place where I could get away like Thoreau and just exist with my thoughts and grievances, as well as the new aches, pains and gray hairs of a body soon turning 40. I found that in Asheville, as well as my own back porch. And when the roaring sounds of dirt bikes or four-wheelers aren’t making me crazy, the views are spectacular, the sunsets from God’s Paintbrush, and a lifetime of memories from that porch bring forth a well of inspiration daily.

Toward the end of November, I lost a dear friend and former coworker, Jan Lee, who added a terrific amount of joy to the daily frustrations of my former work life.

Jan was like that hummingbird that comes zinging by, when the weather’s warm and you’ve had enough of the heat, to show you that the world is still colorful, life is always beautiful, and you are loved.

I also lost confidence in some folks in 2017—individuals who have long been part of my family as well as my career, who are still very alive and moving forward into 2018, just not with me.
Losing any friend or family member makes the year’s ending a little melancholy in spite of the reasons we have to celebrate. It’s in the reality that even superheroes can’t stop the flow of time. When the clock strikes midnight, you move into the future, while they become part of your past, and with each passing year they move farther away.

Change has never been something I adhere to quickly, nor easily. It always takes a push, sometimes a shove, to get me out of the nest. But when I do, I enjoy the view while learn to fly.

Right now, I’m sitting on a perch, watching the sunset on a very tumultuous year, but I’ll still take a cup of kindness yet to Auld Lange Syne. While I wait, I want to remember a life that was, enjoy the life that is, and look so very forward to the life that lies in front of me.

We all should. God only gives us one, and it’s up to us to make the most of it above ground.

Happy 2018.

Advertisements

Take A Knee: Solidarity or Disrespect

Standard

Taking A Knee against racism and corruption is a perspective worth mulling over, but not one with which I personally agree.

Yesterday, a Facebook and business friend whose opinion I greatly respect said the ability to kneel is evidence of the splendor of our country; like being pissed at the family, but still coming home for Thanksgiving. While I found myself in agreement with the point of their statement, I believe the long term repercussions of consistently kneeling during the National Anthem come at a far higher price.

Take A Knee is slowly instilling a level of disrespect and disdain for history into a younger, more impressionable generation, as well as a disregard for the hard work and sacrifice it took to allow them to have such freedom. It is also creating a land of opportunists in the Land of Opportunity, as does any bandwagon fad.

Taking a knee inside the stadiums of one of middle America’s national pastimes is more likely to have a methamphetamine effect on what is already a changing national psychology.

If Take A Knee were a one time show of solidarity, I would likely feel different about it. But as a constant in regard to social issues that take years, not moments, to change it becomes not revolutionary, but disrespectful to those who fought for your right to kneel.

#ImWithKap #ColinKaepernick #NFL #Resist #ResistTheResistance #Patriotism

Where Chief Runs With Paws Rules the Land

Standard

In the new America, this Land of The Free where so many of The Brave fear their own shadow, where vandals are lauded for destruction of historical monuments, and riots and resistance on college campuses is praised because The First Amendment is too provocative, my understanding fails me when Chief Runs With Paws scampers by unnoticed.

In case you’re wondering, Runs With Paws is the latest cat figurine from Illinois-based, online retailer The Hamilton Collection.20170829_122737

“Wearing his majestic ceremonial headdress with pride and casting an all-knowing, green-eyed stare your way, this adorable kitty is the chosen guardian of the spirit world.”

And now, he can be all yours with the Chief Runs with Paws Figurine, “a Native American-inspired cat figurine available in a limited edition…. This little kitty is ready to bring his indomitable spirit to your home.”

You’d think the Native American has endured more than any other race in the country, having been ridiculed and enslaved for centuries. Afterall, they’re essentially still enslaved in the concentration camps we call reservations despite their ability to live freely among their captors.

Yes, they’re arguably free to judicate the enclosures they were given, the enclosures we’ve all (White, Black, Yellow, or Brown) given them or forcibly led them to—with exception to when our Government decides to supercede them with a pipeline, and when Leftist organizations like Greenpeace exploits their cause.

Speaking of exploitation, Chief Runs With Paw’s “all-knowing, green-eyed stare” will continue to watch you while Margaret Sanger is celebrated in the National Portrait Gallery for her role in the eugenics movement, for her speech to the Ku Klux Klan, and as founder of Planned Parenthood; while former Ku Klux Klan leader and U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.) is lauded as a mentor because he said, “I’m sorry I supported supremacy and segregation,” and yet has more than 50 public buildings named in his honor; and while General Robert E. Lee—who openly scorned secession, war and even opposed memorializing the events of the Civil War—is systematically removed from our peripheral view in a sweeping attempt at cultural genocide.

(Read: Confederate Statues Removed While Racist Progressive Statues Remain)

But Chief Runs With Paws marches on, quietly obtaining pats on his feathered war bonnet. As he trots, the society who pets him remains more concerned with tightening an elusive, invisible strand of shackles in spite of themselves, avoiding historical fact while placing greater concern on someone who’s a little too pink to represent fictional characters in movies and television.

Meanwhile, back on the reservation someone wonders why a new Walmart just covered their ancestral home, and Chief Runs With Paws rules the land

Pack Your Riot Gear For A Visit To The Never-Trumper’s Top 10 Safest Spaces

Standard

Earlier this month Candid Magazine posted The Top 10 Places To Visit In America And Avoid Trump People.

First of all, has a portion of our society chosen to segregate itself into such a gooey plasma of self-imposed oppression that they can’t even vacation with their opposition?

Please. That’s awfully, “Jim Crowe” of you.

On the other hand, if it keeps me free from the forcible digestion of America’s current obsession with cultural genocide and keeps my travel plans free of riots and protests, then take Candid’s Marxist advice and run with it. I’m totally okay (or should I say ‘I give you my written consent’ so as not to violate my personal space) if you want to isolate yourself in one of these 10 bastions of Safe Space.

v3egr

But, before you go, take some notes for your itinerary while you avoid the “Embarrassment-in-Chief.”

First stop? Seattle. From Fremont to the Fish Market, Seattle is a stronghold of progress; a must-see, Candid writes.

It’s also a must when it comes to knowing your criminal activity.

According to areavibes.com, the overall crime rate in Fremont is 15 percent higher than the national average. For every 100,000 people, there are 9.02 daily crimes. And while Fremont is 64 percent safer than other cities in Washington State, you could be one of the 31 lucky anti-Trumpers to score your chance at becoming a crime victim…of any crime.

Score! Who needs the Space Needle when you can go home with a gunshot wound!?

Despite a shooting in Downtown Seattle back in April 2017, James Sido, of the Downtown Seattle Association told Fox affiliate Q13, “It is safe to be in downtown Seattle, there’s no doubt about it.

“Despite the chaos from [a recent] shooting,” the article states, “crime rates are dropping across Seattle for homicide, robbery, assault and car prowls. But in downtown Seattle, all crimes against people and property saw a spike from February into March compared to this time last year.”

Don’t worry though, downtown worker Ian Hutchinson said it’s just another day. “We don’t let something like this really affect us like feeling safe or day to day safety.”

Cool, man!

Next up, Portland, Oregon. With it’s “undercurrent of strangeness and electricity…,” Candid writes, “Don’t leave Portland without doing something strange.”

Maybe they haven’t read Willamette Week’s March 2017 story “Oregonians Are Reporting More Hate and Bias Crimes Than Anyone in U.S.

According to the WW, Oregon—a state actually “founded as a white haven”—”now leads the nation in hate crimes.” 

You were saying, guys?

The article also cites information from BuzzFeed, that Leftist sandcastle of politically correct news and information, that includes “44 incidents reported to the Documenting Hate project between November 8, 2016, and March 3 [2017].”

Additionally, BuzzFeed noted that a Freedom Rider named Ericka Mason “spotted Nazi stickers on a federal courthouse wall in Eugene during a rally to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order banning people from several Muslim-majority countries. Max Gordon, who has a mezuzah on his doorway, woke up to find a large swastika drawn in the snow on his lawn in Portland. Jeff Petrillo found white supremacy flyers stacked on a table during a school board meeting in Beaverton. Many others have seen the graffiti: swastikas in Portland; ‘We’re watching you’ on a Eugene bar with an anti-fascist sign on the door;” and “‘Anne Frank’s oven’ on a utility box less than 100 yards from a synagogue in Ashland.”

Sounds tolerant!

Next is the glistening City of Angeles, where you can get your crazy on and somebody will probably film it for free.

“Los Angeles voted overwhelmingly Democratic,” Candid notes, “so it’s a fairly safe ratio.”

I bet you can even engage in heavy petting there with prior written permission from each other, of course. This also includes full consent that the Pettee has a right to reject the Petter at any time, even after when the petting has…concluded?

And, it continues, “LA can make for an ideal sun-drenched holiday – if you know where to go.”

I hope those go-to’s aren’t in the neighborhoods discussed in the Los Angeles Daily News “L.A. crime puzzle has no easy answer” from July 2017.

Leading with “Have we reached the point where it’s cause for celebration when crime in Los Angeles rises only 1 percent?” the article quotes L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck, who told the Los Angeles Police Commission overall crime was “‘up less than 1 percent’ compared to the same six months in 2016.”

“To most of us the key word there is ‘up,'” he said, “But Beck focused on what followed.

“Of the slight rise, he said: ‘That’s a positive after two years of incremental increases, so we think we’ve been making progress on crime in the city of Los Angeles.’

“Everyone gets Beck’s point. The overall crime uptick for January through June 2017 is an improvement over the overall crime spikes documented in the first half of 2016 (6.6 percent) and 2015 (12.7 percent).”

Subcategories, however, tell a different story and “continued to see significant increases from the first half of last year to the first half of this year. Those included auto thefts (up 5.4 percent), robberies (up 4 percent) and victims shot (up 4 percent).

“Homicides — the Mona Lisa of crime categories, the one everyone wants to see — were up 2 percent,” the article notes.

bnhnb2t

If you’re still eager to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood lifestyle, actress Naomi Grossman told Candid “pretty much anywhere in LA is good [to avoid Trump supporters].”

“Scroll through my Instagram,” she said. “Anywhere I go, or post about, has been vetted, and is void of Trumpsters. I think there may be about ten Trump supporters here [in Los Angeles], total.”

“Ten [Trump supporters] out of over four million makes for good odds indeed,” Candid concluded.

I feel safer already. Don’t you? *snuggles*

You’d better enjoy being a victim in Los Angeles though. Not to imply you aren’t already, having been subjected to free speech on top of the horrors of a democratic election.

Leaving our secessionist friends on the West Coast, Candid travelled inland to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico where readers will find “pure magic” and a “rampant arts community.”

They can also find a rampant crime rate in Santa Fe, 69 percent higher than the national average, according to areavibes.com.

For every 100,000 people, there are 13.23 daily crimes in Santa Fe, but it’s still safer than 19 percent of the cities in the United States.

The good news is, while you enjoy that New Mexican magic you only have a 1 in 21 chance of becoming a crime victim. Oh, and the number of total year-over-year crimes in Santa Fe has increased by 4 percent. Hopefully, you aren’t in a group with 22 of your closest friends.

While you’re waiting on Santa Fe’s annual balloon rally, you might also read the Albuquerque Journal’s September 2016 article “Crime on the rise in state, Albuquerque, FBI says.

“New Mexico had the third-highest violent crime rate and second-highest property crime rate in the nation in 2015, according to new data released by the FBI…which also shows an increase in Albuquerque’s crime rates.”

Data showed there were 656.1 violent crimes per 100,000 New Mexico residents last year, “more than five times the rate of low-crime states in New England such as Maine and Vermont” and double the national average. “Violent crimes is defined as including murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.”

The Journal noted, “New Mexico was second only to Hawaii in terms of property crime….” Violent crimes rose 9.8 percent while the state’s “rate of murders and nonnegligent manslaughters…increased by 16.7 percent.” Property crimes also ranked higher than Las Vegas, Oklahoma City and Louisville.

I can just smell that desert air…as someone tries to bury my half-dead body in the sand beneath a Joshua Tree. Can’t you?

56aad5cee5b6c33be08959d66564c2e9-political-opinion-political-figures

Moving on to Aspen, Colorado, what Candid referred to as a “fishbowl for people-watching” and high-end culture, you can expect to be luxuriated and “punctuated by five-star hotels and global fashion….”

If you can afford the life of a Five Star Liberal, living as a 99 Percenter among the One Percent, you’ll probably be alright considering your chances of becoming a crime victim there are 1 in 1,147.

At least you don’t have to worry about protecting yourself, because you probably won’t be able to afford it. Party on.

If Aspen isn’t your style, put on your 10-Gallon Hat, surround yourself with bulletproof glass, and mosey on down to Austin, Texas.

You’ll be wooed by the Lone Star State’s Capital of Anti-capitalism, according to Candid, by this “welcome dot of blue in the expansive sea of Republican-ness.”

While you’re there, you might be tempted to travel outside your razor-wired compound after you read U.S. News and World Report’s “Police in Austin Seek to Curb Rising Violent Crime Rate” from March 2017.

This story highlights a fun report from the Austin American-Statesmen noting “that while thousands of visitors flocked to the city for the annual South by Southwest festival…, violence around the area left about a half-dozen people dead.”

That’s because violent crime in Aspen rose last year by 10 percent, and “Austin counted more homicides than it had in years.”

“Through March 13, 187 robberies [were] reported, including four banks, 28 businesses and 155 people.

cowboy-hipster-douchebag-e1503700596505.jpg

In 92 instances, the robbers carried a gun…. In nine of the robberies, the gunman fired, which police say was rare in the past.”

Assistant Police Chief Joseph Chacon said, “even with a continuing uptick in crime, Austin still ranks among the nation’s safest cities and that residents and visitors should feel safe…, though “We’ve seen some pretty high-profile incidents that have occurred that are very violent in nature.”

I’m already there. How about you? Maybe it’ll be like Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, only politically correct and emotionally safe.

Moving northward we have Chicago: Headquarters of Hope and Change—and the nation’s highest crime rate.

The folks at Candid want you to know this city is home to Barack Obama, “the man the world wishes was still in America’s top job,” they say, because “Chicago is one hell of a city.”

They failed to mention you might think you’re in hell while you’re there “especially in the summer.”

I know you’ve already booked your hotel on the Magnificent Mile, but just hang on. Take a look at the Washington Times’ article, “Chicago still leads nation in homicides; violent crime on rise in other big cities.”

Need I really say more? It’s okay. I will anyway.

This story, from August 2017, notes “Violent crime is on the rise this year in some of the country’s biggest cities…,” but The Windy City holds a special place in a hardened criminal’s heart.

“Chicago still leads as the deadliest city while homicide cases have spiked in Baltimore and New Orleans,” the Times states.

“The 62 police departments that provided data for the Major Cities Chiefs Association’s midyear crime survey reported 3,081 homicides in the first six months of the year, an increase of 3 percent over the same time last year.

“The departments recorded nearly 4,000 more aggravated assaults this year than at the same period in 2016, though reports of other violent crime — including rape, robbery and nonfatal shootings — remained about even.”

I mean, I’m already there. Let’s go! It’ll be like Mario Kart with semi-automatic machine guns.

Next stop, Asheville, North Carolina! That scenic hotspot and island of Socialism in the middle of the Smoky Mountains.

In Asheville you’ll not only get the munchies, but according to the Asheville Citizen-Times you might even get mugged, if you’re lucky.

burning-man-5000-comes-up-and-starts-playing-the-didgeridoo-14728448.png

In their February 2017 article, “Downtown Asheville leads city in crime,” C-T doesn’t hide facts that “the city’s top spot for serious crime also happens to include its poshest real estate—the half-square-mile where thousands of well-heeled tourists drink craft beer and eat at high-end restaurants,” where “Downtown saw more acts of violence and other serious crimes in 2016 than in the city’s four other crime hot spots combined.”

“Downtown was the hot spot in all areas with 351 total serious crimes—57 violent and 294 property.”

One of only nine murders, according to the article, in this city of approximately 80,000 “happened next to [downtown] when real estate agent Christina Kessinger was found in a dumpster in a business parking lot just north of I-240.”

Well, as long as they’re environmentally conscious criminals, I guess the Anti-Trump populace should feel safe enough to head downtown for some hemp necklaces and a vegan chicken sandwich.

Next on the list, how could a Never-Trumper forget The Big Apple!? It’s New York City, baby!

“Trump may have his own tower on Fifth Avenue, but the people of NYC collectively said ‘not my president’ on the 8th of November 2016,” Candid proclaims. “Needless to say, avoid Fifth Avenue. Instead, go anywhere….”

Anywhere, except maybe the outskirts of town, where murders “grew 10.5 percent between 2015 and 2016 — from 266 to 294 — while murders fell in New York City by nearly 5 percent, from 352 to 335,” according to a July 2017 article in the Poughkeepsie Journal titled “Crime in NY hits all-time low, but murders outside NYC up.”

Your chances of getting mugged or murdered while you’re checking out the bright lights of Broadway might be on the downslide, but best wishes for a speedy recovery while getting there.

In April 2017, the New York Daily News found while “murders were down 10%, with 61 slayings this year compared to 68 last year, police said, “…crime in the subways is up 6%, mostly due to a double-digit surge in felony assaults.

That’s not NYC’s fault though, according to officials. Blame it on Trump’s proposed budget cuts that would leave America’s largest city defenseless in its fight against terror, according to Police Commissioner James O’Neill and Leftist Mayor Bill de Blasio, who vowed to fight any cuts while publicly funding anti-Semite Linda Sarsour with taxpayer dollars. (Read that story here.)

Last but not least, we have a bastion of anti-Trump Socialism Burlington, Vermont.

“…Home to the antithesis of Donald Trump in every way: Bernie Sanders – state senator and former contender for the Democratic nomination,” Candid notes, Burlington’s a “vibrant university town” fit for foodies and art enthusiasts.

Burlington’s also a great place to get robbed. Wonder if that has any support to do with Bernie’s campaign platform, since his electorate believes in forced benevolence?

bernie_c0-0-698-406_s885x516

Per the Burlington Free Press in November 2016’s “Drugs behind rise in robberies,” the number of robberies in Burlington “increased over recent years, despite Vermont ranking as the safest state in the country.”

Despite large quantities of pancakes and maple syrup, robberies in Vermont “are up by 40 percent, according to a Tweet sent out by the Burlington Police Department.

“In Burlington, 911 calls regarding robberies rose from 22 in 2014 to 38 in 2015, according to data posted by the department. So far [as of the end of 2016], there have been 22 robberies reported….”

While “Vermont is the safest state in the country according to an analysis of FBI data by 24/7 Wall Street. The analysis found the state’s violent crime rate to be 118 incidents per 100,000 residents.

“Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo attributed the rise to heroin use and the opiate crisis,” the Free Press writes. “Many of the robberies are drug-related, either an addict seeking money for drugs or robbing a pharmacy to get access to drugs.”

Sounds awesome. Right? Nothing like having your Ben & Jerry’s and being mugged for the spoon, so a thug can warm their opioids.

I know you’ve already got your bags packed for one of these safe havens, but “if in doubt,” Candid writes, you can always “head north to Canada or south to Mexico” as “‘the wall’ is not up yet.”

d39

 

Death of a Newsroom

Standard

Hammering another nail in the coffin, Gannett today announced it will shutter Nashville design operations and outsource its pages to hubs across the country.

It’s a sad day for the Newsroom at large, with more jobs affected, lives uprooted, and, worse, another end of local layout to accommodate local news coverage.

In addition to having been a managing editor, I also had numerous, daily design responsibilities​ from news pages, to tabloids, even a book. When the parent company went to remote layout hubs in 2015, it didn’t make sense for many of us who had laid out pages in addition to writing for most of our career.

In fact, our small newsroom took it as an insult. What we did quickly and efficiently in-house, when outsourced added an average of eight more hours to the work week via negotiations, uploads, corrections and proofs between the newsroom and hub employees. There was also less time to go out and get the news.

The community at large echoed our frustrations, noting the personal touch had been removed. Some said they no longer felt it was a community newspaper.

While the new hubs were touted as a time management tool, in order to more effectively promote content development by newsroom staff, it ultimately had a trickle down effect that led to newsroom layoffs across the company, including managing editors such as myself.

The real end result was heavier, less efficient workloads for remaining staff and a severe decrease in morale.

Working with the hub, in this case particularly as former designers, also made it more difficult when our own creative contributions were commonly frowned upon in exchange for a singular style across all hub-affiliated publications.

Some argue that style and design doesn’t matter as heavily as content, especially not when it comes to the “where,” but I couldn’t disagree more. 

There’s a strong argument for their equally important weight to balance the scale. 

If you’re the designer of your own page, no one knows better than you where your stories should go. And even if you aren’t, then walking across the hall to collaborate with your design team is a heck of a lot easier than negotiations through instant messages and emails to someone you’ve likely never met, who isn’t part of (and is out of touch with) your community. Most likely, they’re a couple hundred miles away and in another state.

While the printed page is evolving, or rather being absorbed into the digital age, print isn’t dead yet. Neither is the layout process at a local level, and it will continue to be relevant and pertinent in PDF and HTML formats well into the future.

These current changes shaking the publishing industry are nothing more in my opinion than a rush to create change, in news coverage as well as bank accounts, and it’s slowly killing the Newsroom.

#newspapers #journalism #gannett #hub #layout #design #newsroom #tennessean

Six Minutes Is Not A Story

Standard

Before I lost my job amid the corporate shuffle of a 21st Century newsroom, I spent 15 years working to become the writer my philosophy professor declared I would never be.

Since then I’ve learned that some nights are sleepless, filled with thoughts of undeveloped stories; colors are more willing to reveal their secrets; conversations are fodder for unwritten fiction; and people are often characters who may or may not make it to a page. Most importantly, I’ve learned that time passes too quickly.

I like to think of myself as an observer of “la belle vie,” the beautiful life. Sometimes it’s why I’m so critical of the everyday world and its sloppy abuses of nature. I see the hourglass unapologetically draining its sand while so many people never see those millions of unique specks glistening in the sun.

Even as a writer-in-progress (I like to think I’m still progressing) I didn’t truly value my own surroundings until I began to meet the people who lived the stories I wanted to tell.

From the centenarian who remembered riding in her first car—one with tasseled window curtains and a rumble seat—to the nonagenarian with flowing silver hair, her mind locked away while her voice echoed Bible verses and the Songs of God laid upon her heart during a bygone Sunday Service, I learned most everyone has a story that wants to be told.

In today’s technological hustle and flow, articles and even works of fiction are churned out by the hundreds every hour. Most of them, despite their value in Likes or Upvotes, carry nothing more than a superficial, glittering half-life filled with typos and generalities gathered from other likeminded resources around the Web.

Last week, having clicked one I couldn’t help notice below the headline, even before the author’s name, the article’s “Average Read Time.”

“Six minutes,” it stated in bold type. Because life’s so busy we have to microwave our knowledge like a Hot Pocket?

Maybe a six-minute read makes for good time management, but considering that the general public’s ability to retain only 10 percent of what it reads, I thought less of the story, its relevance and ultimately the person who wrote it.

Unfortunately, one of our most valuable tools for free speech, the Blogosphere, has introduced the world to uninformed citizen journalism. Despite authors who use it to weave the fabric of their stories, many self-proclaimed writers are only in it for the Five Steps to Online Success:

Step 1: Grab a topic; Step 2: Google some details; Step 3: Make them readable; Step 4: Click “Publish;” Step 5: Get followers to obtain “Guru” status and win a Pulitzer on “How to Knit Socks For Cats.”

Meanwhile, most of them think George Washington was the first King of England and the Cold War was about life below 40 degrees.

Six minutes isn’t a story. That’s time to become involved in content and want to learn more. Not journalism. Sadly, that seems to be the approach that works for Pop culture.

Real stories are seldom found in fashion tips and trending hashtags. They’re in the careworn faces and calloused hands of the everyday woman and man. It takes longer than six minutes to read about their songs and listen to their tall tales, hear a tremble in their vocal cords, eager to tell their stories. And it’s up to us to get it right.

 

 

“Have you found a job yet?”

Standard

“Have you found a job yet?”

It’s the single-most annoyingly answered question I’ve been presented with since “My Professional Hindenburg,” better known as April 7, 2017 or the day I was laid off work.

So, to answer some of those burning questions about my ongoing job search that keep filtering into my texts and inbox, here’s a mini-presser:

1) No, I haven’t found one.

2) Because I’m not desperate enough to take the night shift turning fries at McD’s…at least not yet.

3) Yes, I’m still looking. Every. Single. Day.

4) No, there’s absolutely nothing local except turning fries at McD’s.

5) No, I don’t want to go back, ever. Evaaar.

Thank you all for coming. I’m available for interviews.