Thursday, January 30, 2014

So you want to talk politics and Jesse Jackson? Here's your place for it

Yes, two postings in a week. How about that?

This one comes from an error in judgement I made. We are in New York for the Super Bowl. Radio Row is kind of an assembly line of interviews. Athletes and entertainers are herded around by PR folks. They do roughly eight minute interviews and at the end tout whatever it is they are representing. It is a challenge to make them interesting.

(Lamont Mann, who is part of a Web site I enjoy called Houston Media Watch, has a nice piece on it here). More on them shortly.

We try to personalize the interviews as much as possible and try to keep the sense of humor we have on the show the rest of the time. Sometimes they are huge successes. Sometimes (like Evander Holyfield today) they are massive failures. You eject as quickly as possible and make jokes.

Today we got to interview the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Politically, I don't agree with everything he's done, but I respect his place in history. I rarely take photos with people unless it's someone I find transcends what we do. The guys from Sons of Anarchy. Sully Erna. People who are outside of sports. I am fortunate enough to get to meet people like that.

I posted a photo with myself, A.J. Hoffman and the Reverend to my Facebook page. I was astounded at the hate and political crap that was being spewed. I took the photo down, because I am fiercely opposed to political debates on Facebook. I find 99 percent of them to be completely partisan crap from one side or the other.

Lamont wrote that I was wrong to take it down. I might agree. My first reaction after working five hours of radio (I know, you all work harder than that, but the format makes it a grind, trust me) was f--- these people for bringing their hatred to my page. Maybe I should have left it, but I despise political rants on Facebook and want no part of it. I have no tolerance for small mindedness and some of the comments were frankly very racist.

(Funny, Lamont and I can disagree but it's not personal or petty).

Many of you invite political discourse on Twitter or Facebook. I rarely do. If so, I deserve whatever response I get. I badly misjudged how people would react. Interestingly, the Twitter response was much more intelligent. Many essentially said "I don't like the guy or his politics, but it must have been cool to meet him."

That was my thought. I even said that on the original post. I was also critical on air of an answer he gave.

My biggest beef with politics is you are either one thing or another and the other side is a complete idiot. A lot of people want to believe it's all because of the tea party, but I believe the left does it just as much. Fanatics on either end of the spectrum are the problem. We don't have true discourse to try to come to a common action that is best for the people. That's the politics I want. I give some, you give some, and the party with the mandate from the masses gets to win more. I am hard core right wing on many issues, especially economics. I also believe in our right to guns. Socially, I am pretty liberal. I am for gay marriage and gay rights. I'd like to see a more effective affordable health plan. I believe in personal freedoms. With my right to bear arms I should have the right to smoke weed and to gamble. I believe we shouldn't tell a woman what to do with her body.

I also believe we should not cut the military budget, bring our troops home and re-open more bases in the States. Let the rest of the world quit counting on us to be policemen. Protect our own shores.

And I believe Canada's governmental, multi-party structure is far superior to ours and we could learn from it. England and Australia as well.

So what does all that make me? A moderate? Liberal? Conservative? Where does that put me on the political scale? And why do I need to be labeled anyway? In reality, both sides represent things I believe in. And they both do things I hate. I'd love for us to negotiate. I'll win some and lose some, but I will accept that.

That's my political stance. So I invite your discourse here. I don't want it on Facebook. I don't want to hear about your religion on Facebook. If you want to know mine, Here it is.  (Hint: whatever you believe, it has some of it).

So here are the questions: Is Lamont right? Was I wrong to take the photo down? Should I have just ignored the ignorant comments? Am I being just as bad by essentially censoring everyone by removing the post and re-posting that I was disgusted? Am I overreacting? Am I quashing the discourse I profess to love?

Frankly, am I a hypocrite? I essentially said STFU, I don't care what you think and it's probably because I was stunned at the amount of pure hatred.

Am I a coward?

Fire away in the comments. Call me an idiot. Tell me how wrong I am. Sound off on Jesse Jackson. You can find the photo below. I am inviting you to do it. This is the place. Feel free to begin a conversation.

Just please keep it off my Facebook timeline.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Yes, this blog still exists

I remember when I promised to post here more often. But staying busy and a wicked case of writer's block have contributed. But I shall do my best to not let this beast go unattended for this long again. I plan on trotting out some fresh fiction soon, and this will bet the place for it.

Why now? Well, I am at 39,019 feet on a flight to New York for Super Bowl week. As I was live tweeting the flight, I decided it might be time to wipe the dust off this sucker instead.

Plus, I'm hoping someone can explain my obsession with flight tracker, the on plane map that shows your route, altitude, speed, etc. (we're going 630 mph and are 59 minutes from landing).

It's just a plane with a line behind it and a map. It barely moves. And yet I can't stop staring at it.

So I tore myself away long enough to write this. I'm hoping a week in New York will spur on the writing juices and bring Freddys World back to life. I am sure to encounter freaks and weirdos. Then again, I'm starting to wonder about me. If you can't spot the freak or weirdo at the's probably you.

It's such an awesome time we live in where you can get wifi on a plane. (Of course, it's pretty lame of me to bitch about how slow it is, but there you go).

OK, that's enough for now. I really plan to do more here. Hopefully I will follow through (I know, I've said that before). Thanks for your patience.