Three things…

This is what I imagine will be the first of a few “political” posts over the coming years, if that’s not of interest to you – okee dokee.  If it is, stay tuned.

First up:

Dear flacks… It’s time to get the torches and pitchforks.  I know we may not like the press when they don’t respond to your pitch (pitch better, seriously) but the removal of our some of our most respected press outlets from the WH briefing room last week is something to get riled up about.  This is your industry, you have a huge stake in this game and if you don’t see it you shouldn’t call yourself a PR pro, turn in your flack card – I’m embarrassed to know you. No, I won’t explain it to you.

But what to do? That I can help with:

  1. Subscribe to your local paper and national news outlets – it helps with the moneyz and it helps circulation numbers so that imbecile in chief can’t claim that our press is failing.  And yes – it’s our press.
  2. Buy some swag – wear your heart on your forehead, chest, mug, pens, anything. Avow public and notoriously that you believe in Real News and Real Facts and Real Press.
  3. Become an Associate Member of the Society of Professional Journalists. You don’t qualify to be a full member (only press does), but this pretty good too.

If you don’t know the SPJ – read here. In short though, “The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.”

The second thing:

Bomb Threats at JCCs

I don’t know what to say. I grew up in JCCs. Nothing needs to be said here, nothing should need to be said here, but it’s everything. It’s people across this nation deciding that the best way to exact revenge upon people – mostly seniors and children – that have never done anything to them is by calling in a fucking bomb threat. And to what end? None – just fear, confusion and doubt.

The worst part – this is the lowest possible form of terrorism (and don’t think it’s not).  This is the violent equivalent of prank calling your neighbor. These wimps are literally calling in their violence.  You really want to show what kind of badass you are – show up at a Krav Maga class and start a fight or tell them you called in a bomb threat to their child’s preschool – I’ll pick you up at the hospital.  I’ll go one better – show up in NYC (I’ll reimburse your flight) and explain to me, eye-to-eye, what anyone has ever done to you that merits anything approaching this. No promises about a hospital pickup after that though.

The last thing…nearly the last straw:

“Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people, or to make others, look bad,” (also, C’mon – this has Bannon all over it).

In a public forum, our President, implied that member(s) of the Jewish community was calling in the bomb threats to make others look bad. The over 100 bomb threats (link 2 above). All independently came up with this grand idea?

It’s not the lack of taste, the lack of evidence, the part where governement is supposed to protect, or that this is the beginning of an open door to search warrants (or searches without warrants) and investigations that’s bothering me (well, ok, they are…but not the big thing).

What’s bothering me this time though – is that I almost let this one slide. It didn’t surprise me. I tweeted, FB’d, IM’d privately but then I moved on. I didn’t Never Forget.  This is how it starts – directing blame without proof and creating an enemy.

I forgot…that’s what made me angry.

Why Shutting Down Google Reader Actually Hurts

I don’t have my copy here, but there is a bit in Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0 about the difference building a successful site or business and building a successful platform, or more accurately reaching platform ‘status.’

One creates something others can build upon and around – grow a community.

The other is a sole building in a desert. And when that building doesn’t have a reason to be populated any longer there’s nothing for anyone else to do related to that building and they all leave.

Google Reader wasn’t just another Google service – it was a platform. Don’t believe me? Continue reading Why Shutting Down Google Reader Actually Hurts

Gun Violence: If You’re Sick of it – Do More.

Gun Wall © by Mike Saechang

This started out as a Facebook post that seemed too long for there.

If you’re truly sick of gun violence (in schools, theatres, or anywhere) – after you’re done expressing remorse, remembrances and regrets here (on Facebook) take the additional 5 minutes instead of responding to woe-is-our-society comments, close the FB tab, and contact your state representatives and let them know.

Yes, I’m serious.

They aren’t checking your FB profile and even if they’ve got the right plank on their platform, as it were, let them know you insist, no demand, they do more.  A letter as simple as:

“I’m  dissatisfied with current gun legislation in our nation / state [as appropriate].  As my representative in the _____ I’m entrusting you with taking up this battle in the legislature. Continue reading Gun Violence: If You’re Sick of it – Do More.

Ya Never Know…

“Ya never know…”

Yes, I posted that oddly ambiguous Facebook comment following last week’s penultimate Mad Men episode (spoolers herein, so run away now if you dont want to be spoiled).  Of course, it was inspired by Lane’s untimely self-offing.

Upon reflection though – we do know.

In the Art imitating life debate we’ve reached the turning point for Mad Men it seems. Continue reading Ya Never Know…

North Carolina, Gay Marriage and Action

(CC) Flickr user eivindw

I’ve seen the posts, the comments, the reactions, and everyone’s indignation. Just stop.

Take your memes and someecards and put ’em away.

Anyone who knows my politics knows I support gay marriage, but you need to stop talking and start doing. I get it, I too am a “a lily-livered, bleeding-heart, liberal, egghead communist” (West Wing) and it’s much easier to talk than do.

But seriously, did you expect this to go any other way?

Let’s consider: Continue reading North Carolina, Gay Marriage and Action

Ok, I’ve stewed…

And now I’m perfectly tender.

Don’t really have much to say about this one — no deep thoughts or analysis.  First sent this around to an internal group around 10 days ago, and I’ll just quote what I wrote to them, which pretty much covers it.

I’ve apparently become too comfortable in NYC.  This happened all the time where I came from in one manner or another.

Spotted on the lawn in front of [A major building near the Fin. District] this morning on the way to kid’s school.  Thankfully he wasn’t paying attention and doesn’t read that quickly yet.

I’m actually even torn about posting the pic. But I’m a big believer in the whole "Words only gain power when you hide from them."

Another rant to a fellow twitter/blogger/parent (who may not want to be mentioned here so I’ll leave her name out) went more like this:

What the F___?  I spotted this on the lawn in front of [same major building] (0.08 miles from my apt’s front door) this morning while taking my 5yo [yo is net shorthand among parents for year old] to school.  Thankfully he wasn’t paying attention and doesn’t read that quickly yet.

It’s 2010 in downtown NYC and we still have this s___ to contend with.  I hate/dislike plenty of people, but not because of their gods, skin color, etc.  Mostly it’s stupid that bothers me and stupid is totally equal opportunity.  Ok.  Again, sorry to impose – I should know better, I’ve lived near the sticks.  End Rant.  Thanks.

Everyone’s responses were very helpful — thank you all 12 of you.

And it’s 10 days later and I’m still at a loss for what to say / think.

I’m not naive.  As mentioned I’ve lived near the sticks – I’ve been evacuated from synagogues because a bomb threat was called in, gone to buildings that because of who occupied the building had swat-esque armed security in place, lived in cities where defamation of synagogues was a monthly event.  Been there, done that, thanks.  It’s one of the reasons we moved to NYC – so that if you say you’re living in a certain part of town people don’t look at you and ask “Isn’t it kind of dark there?” And they don’t mean the amount of light. (No, I’m not kidding).

I know had this happened in another year the kid would’ve been able to read it  quickly enough and understand all the words that I’d have to start explaining hate for the sake of hate, racism, bigotry and all those fun states of mind that only exist because they’re taught.  I’m not looking forward to the day I have to explain these concepts to a 6 or 7 yo and that because of the religion he happens to have been born into one day he may encounter someone he’s never met who already hates him.

That day, now that day will be classic – you’ll see some high-level PR-Worthy spin.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Some great quotes…

I recently rediscovered from “Tunnel in the Sky” while doing some housekeeping.  My particular favorites are bolded.

“Man is the one animal that can’t be tamed. He goes along for years as peaceful as a cow, when it suits him. Then when it suits him not to be, he makes a leopard look like a tabby cat. Which goes double for the female of the species. ”

“Remember though, your best weapon is between your ears and under your scalp-provided it’s loaded.”

“Now keep your shirt on. I know you can make fire by rubbing a couple of dry words together.”

“And remember – when it gets down to fundamentals, do what you have to do and shed no tears.”

“…with weather, women, and wine there was nothing ‘just as good.'”

“Knew a man once who didn’t get shot at sunrise because he overslept the appointment.
Really? Who was he?
Young fellow I used to know. Myself.
Hunh? You really did, sir? You mean you were
Not a word of truth in it. Good stories are rarely true.”

“You used logic again … you use the stuff the way some people use dope. Why don’t you use your head instead?”

How It’s _Not_ Done: Avoid Creepiness

As I’ve previously mentioned I’ve been in e-communities in one form or another for a very long time (way before it was social media, before the Internet was a household word and in everyone’s household and pocket).

Sadly, there’s been one recurrent theme — a noticeable percentage of the male of the species who play in online communities are socially inept or at least project that image online (some intentionally, some not).  And rather than take advantage of this new medium to deal with what might simply be awkwardness when put on the spot IRL, frequently these new platforms seem to make the problem worse.  Why does it make the problem worse?  Not quite sure, I have some theories, but putting them out here right now won’t really advance the discussion.

Instead, some tips on how not to be a stalker/creepy online (these are mostly Twitter based as it’s really one of the speediest interactive systems and prone to such odd behaviour since the friend/follow system can run unilaterally (i.e., no acceptance is necessary))…. Continue reading How It’s _Not_ Done: Avoid Creepiness