Saturday, August 29, 2015

Take A Picture

Coincidence can be crazy sometimes. "Wow, what a coincidence!" somebody says in a moment of excitement. Dumb luck. Blind faith. Fate. Random. Who knows exactly what causes whatever.

In 2012, I made a trip to Morgantown and at a particular moment in the trip I was listening to the radio and "Hey Man Nice Shot," a great track by Filter came on. In 2015, I made a trip to Morgantown and in a somewhat similar situation as 2012, I turned on the radio and Filter's "Take A Picture" began playing.

What a coincidence. I'll talk more about why I made the trip later.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Norm Macdonald Clip of the Week

Norm Macdonald is back in the public eye a little bit. He's a judge on NBC's "Last Comic Standing" reality show. To promote that show, he made a guest stop on "The View." Now, if you watch some of his appearances from the 90s, he is hilarious on that show and the hosts love him. This time, it's a little more awkward and I think that's why it's funny. As they wrap up the interview, Norm even says "I'll be funnier next time!"

The best part of the interview is that every time Raven-Symone tries to ask Norm a question, he interrupts her and says something random. That's how you know he's not just being an awkward guy feeling weird; he's doing a bit. The questioning wasn't conducive to being funny. At one point, Norm is asked about Donald Trump and makes an actual good point about politics. After he's done, there's an awkward moment where they're waiting for a punchline that never comes.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Excessive and Unsafe: Armed civilians stand guard outside military recruitment centers

Surprise, I didn't hear back from the New York Times [click here for backstory]. I didn't expect to at all, so I'm not disappointed in any way. Insert the cliche line about the biggest journey beginning with a small step or something. Sending it in was that small step.

So, I went with the backup plan of sending it everywhere else. I sent the article to over 20 newspapers in West Virginia and Ohio. I heard from one in Romney, WV that said they would print it. Not sure when. I haven't heard back from any other newspapers and I really don't expect to. They tend to just print these things and not talk to you.

I imagine some won't print it. Some (the local ones) know who I am and just don't seem to care for me. Others may not want to deal with the political ramifications of printing something that they - or their advertisers - may not agree with. Honestly, I think the biggest issue in not getting printed in some of these newspapers will be the length of the article. It's 841 words and most like outside contributors to be shorter and more concise. But sometimes you can't be concise. That's why the hashtag "Long Reads" exists.

We'll see who prints it and who doesn't. In the meantime, I have posted it over at the site Medium. It's a great site, in theory. It's an online collaborative writing project. You post something, everybody sees it, and we all learn something. It's a nice, easy-to-use, pleasant-to-look-at interface. I've used Medium before to mixed results, but I'm giving it another shot.

Here is the link:

Check it out if you would like. I think it brings up some good points about these men standing outside of their local recruitment centers with guns. I bring up the positive and negative. It just so happens that I see a lot more negative that can come out of this.

Here's a little preview. I talked to both of the men there and recapped my conversations: 
One man, when questioning my motives to speak with him, after I said “You can trust me,” referenced the first Gulf War he served in and replied “Do you know how many Iraqis told me I could trust them, then I had to turn around the next day and kill them?” I knew it was rhetorical, but I was so shocked by that statement I meekly said, “I don’t know, how many?”
It's already gotten some positive feedback on Facebook. A friend was texting me and asked why the people who were originally bashing me due to my original Facebook post weren't commenting this time. I thought about that for a second and realized why: I'm using facts and logic and they can't really argue with it. Before, it was a crude and insensitive joke and people could say "Fuck you Chris, you're wrong about this!" Now, they look at it and go "Yeah, there are some safety issues with this and what are they really accomplishing, aside from what Chris said they're accomplishing?"