Here I am on my 4th blog since 2008. I've done this for a long time (back to 1990 actually, we used to call it a column, which was much more respectable). I enjoy it and it's part of who I am. I'm been writing for the "paper" since I was 22. I was groomed for it, educated for it and I love it. But I haven't done it for a couple years and I feel the gnawing. I grew up devouring Dave Barry, Carl Hiaasen, Erma Bombeck and even that nutty Joyce Maynard who, after I attended one of her mushroom fueled naked sauna Guatemalan "writer retreats", I sort of fell out love with. Not because of the mushrooms and wife swapping, but because her workshop sucked and it cost me $5000 and gave me parasites. But her column, as a kid, reading the St. Pete Times, I looked forward to.
But when newspapers became Penny Pincher coupon books or were written by software demons translated from a foreign tongue, I stopped sharpening my pencil. When they fired the fact checkers and went into Click Bait, I just left the business. In a particularly sour period of my life I worked for a large ad agency writing soul sucking copy like Avoid the Noid, (you're welcome). It was a brief moment in my history when I did bad work for good money. I don't recommend this life plan. I quit, and went into the restaurant business. If you want to get beat up, come by it honestly. Everybody, I mean everybody is a restaurant critic.
But then no one wanted to read anymore, just watch videos. And post emojis. Everyone was perpetually Tween. It's fun for a minute but like putting stickers of ponies on your forehead, it's a little silly after the age of consent. But lately, just sort of, I see good written conversations happening in the Comment Section of YouTube. Sometimes related to the content, but even better...sometimes not. People sharing other info and studies and facts. Not surprisingly I sub to a bunch of independent journalists and functional medicine docs and groovy space channels. I feel like you can find your tribe and move to the same island together one day. When I find an argumentative tone or insults, I'm out. Let's talk, offer opposing views, listen. Some comment sections are of course, disingenuous, poorly written mosh pits of bad grammar. But I read them. We all do. Some of us meet in the comments. It's a weird subculture.
A friend of mine got a comment on his page today on a link he shared that was not offensive in the least but his good friend said...
"Hey Bruce, what is this misogynistic shit sandwich you're trying to shove down our throats?!" We had a good laugh and talked about how many people don't know what misogynist means. I'm not sure how one responds to this besides describing said Shit Sandwich. A cow patty grilled and served on a multi grain of opinions sauced on my fucking page with a side of Blocked.
As much as I like the guilty pleasure of reading the comment section, I decided to disable comments on here because I don't care what you think. Let me rephrase, I don't care what you think about what I write. If you like it, come back, leave me a tip, buy me a "coffee" (kofi link below), donate, tell a friend. If you don't? Don't read my drivel. Simple. This is not a public forum. You can have your own blog and write what you think over there.
The internets have opened a door to a great many opinion havers and agenda pushers (aka influencers) and yes, I know how the game works but it's a pretty low bar. Wouldn't it be cool if someone like Chris Hedges was paid as much to write instead of Jenna Marbles? And no offense to Marbles, but we have to have a space for the writers and the thinkers along with the Tubers and people who shoot a tshirt cannon while riding in a Lambo. Us Weekly can exist with the New Yorker. If the Kardashians can't be billionaires from showing their butts, I think we can toss a few coins to those of us who sit on ours. Typing jokes, writing websites, annual reports, kid's books, poetry, songs. Starving artist shouldn't even exist anymore. And if I get a tour of Pelosi's chocolate ice cream freezer whilst the rest of the country burns? We need a new plan.
But here's the thing...Marbles and PewDiePie and Logan Paul or even Rogan...It's not supposed to be the same demographic. Would you watch TeleTubbies instead of Arrested Development? No. So why are the drag queen makeup tutorials making millions of dollars more than our great minds? Because we're letting kids run the world. And kids, tweens and college kids are into Cancel Culture, Binary Thinking and Fantasy. Check yourself and see if just maybe you've fallen into the teeny bopper trap. Drama? check. Bullying? check. Taking it seriously when someone (like the President) "tweets"? Check. So, like a 17 year old white girl spray painting FTP on a Starbucks in Seattle, you've lost the plot. Find your own playground.
We think we don't have to be the grown ups in the room because they aren't feeding us grown up food so we're throwing strained peas and apples all over the place like a bunch of fussy toddlers. Nose up, baby. Nose up. If we want to pull this nation together we have to put down the bong, cork the Mommy Merlot party, turn off the devices, put some pants on and call a meeting. Detox. Lead. Clear your mind for some lucid thought and stop asking what the 15 year olds want. Stand up for yourself. Liberty. Freedom. Choice. The Press. Whatever flavor you want, but support more than ONE MEDIA CHANNEL. Be civil. Use social media as a TOOL not a life line. The reason 10 families run the entire world is because we pay them to. Let's demand better choices and support those who go out on a limb to provide us with one. And here's a subplot: **The evil puppet masters of the media world know that a teen or 22 year old YouTuber will go soft in the knees over a $50,000 endorsement to hawk whatever product or psych operation they have cooked up...and it's going right into your kiddo's brain. So pay attention, it's not just product placement of soda and shameless plugs anymore. ** Demand accountability. In a future post I'll list some independent journalists and OTT (over the top) media where you can take a look and listen.
Thanks for reading. If you'd like to leave a tip, Buy Me a Ko-fi link below.