Listen, I'm just some dude you don't even know. I'm not renown for anything besides writing an article
about Big & Tall fashion that was once cited as source material for the much more popular Wikihow entry
on the same topic. I follow more people on Twitter
than follow me back. But I have been known to offer up my unsolicited opinions on this blog and produce a podcast
that's mostly about what people think and why (that I haven't updated in three months because I've been weary as shit while trying to manage my horde of children and getting more sleep). I figure if I'm going to go through all the effort of maintaining the semblance of a public profile for ZERO benefit, the least I can do is share my opinions on the upcoming election:
You can hear and audio version of this article on There's No Time To Explain Podcast #23 at timecode 04:48
Last week was the sort of week that will be mentioned in history books when, years from now, we discuss the confluence of cell phone video, police brutality, and the ascendancy of the Black Lives Matter movement. Starting with the shooting of Alton Sterling on Tuesday, July 5 by two police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, followed very quickly by the shooting of Philando Castille in Falcon Heights, Minnesota by an officer during a traffic stop the next day, each in their own way is a perfect, headline-grabbing example of the systematic over-policing of Black people. Before anyone could catch their breath and process these shootings, the next day, July 7, a group of police officers were ambushed in Dallas during a Black Lives Matter march by a military reservist who killed five officers and wounded another nine officers and two civilians. The man, later assassinated by a bomb delivered by a robot, claimed these shootings were in retaliation for the July 5th and 6th killings of Black men
My wife, Victoria, recently took our oldest kid on a two-day Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor getaway for her birthday. It was a grand time for the two of them, and I was happy to guard the home front and allow them a girl's trip. Because it was just a treat for two and not our entire brood of four kids, they splurged on Flash Passes for the two parks; paid access to shorter lines to get on rides and waters slides faster. Victoria sent me a text message in the middle of day one letting me know how many amazing rides they had managed to get on in the short amount of time they had been there. Jokingly, I warned my wife not to accrue too many hexes and bad juju from the hot and sweaty people whom they breezed by to move to the front of the line. My wife admitted to feeling like an asshole doing it.
I recall a trip to Hurricane Harbor a few years back. My kids and I stood in line to ascend one of the park's many water slides. The accent was a concrete staircase split down the middle by a metal handrail, one side packed with sweaty masses, waiting in the oppressive heat, ready to advance a single step at a time, up the multi-storey tower for the opportunity to bolt down a waterslide. The other side was empty most of the time, punctuated by the occasional group of teens who would sprint past us on their way to the top of the tower. They held Flash Passes and that allowed them to wait in a shorter line, whose members were cycled in at the top of the slide tower at a much faster rate than the people waiting in the general admission line.
I have ended each of my podcasts
with the words, "be kind and thoughtful." Certainly it's my intention to have people who listen to my podcast consider those words as they go about their days but I want to acknowledge that I'm saying those words to myself; I often neglect being kind and am constantly thoughtless in word and action. These days it's so easy to forget what other people go through, what others endure and so often we judge each other based on our limited assumptions of what is right for others with no consideration for their personal experience and feelings; we assume much about others based unsophisticated understandings of what their life is. I use that as a preamble to my following message; it's not related directly but in some ways should be a throughline of anything we encounter.
My heart goes out to the friends and family of the victims of the Orlando shooting at the Pulse Night Club. The pain and suffering you are going through right now is unimaginable. I'm sure every common thing that can be said about death will be said to you ad nauseum in the coming years, but there are lots of people that grieve with you, who are your allies, who will stand with you despite what may seem like the stunning silence of millions. My family and I count ourselves among those who have cried with you and in some other city, on some other day may have been in that very same club dancing with your loved ones.
For the last few weeks, I've been editing the podcast of Luke Storey, founder of a school for fashion stylists, School of Style. Luke is an interesting guy who pulled himself out of a life of drugs and depravity by engaging in every possible self-help, spiritual, herbal, nutritional, and lifestyle solution he could get his hands on. He's launching a podcast about all the things he's tried called The Life Stylist. This first episode is his life story and the next episodes, that drop once a day for the next ten days, are interviews with people who are behind the practices he's tried out. Help keep me employed by giving it a listen then rate, review and recommend.
Last week, I posted a podcast about my experience talking to attendees of the Bernie Sanders rally in Ventura, CA on May 26, 2016
. Before this post, all my podcast episodes were recorded conversations with friends of mine or people I reached out to on the internet who had unique perspectives. Certainly no one who might be considered famous, perhaps my brother-in-law who is a well-regarded author and historian
was an exception. As it goes, my podcast, for 17 weekly episodes was received as I expected, friends and family and an assortment of curious acquaintances would check it out garnering perhaps half a dozen listens a day. I had previously tried spending $20 on it to have it promoted to people on Facebook who were interested in my topic. No post seemed to fare so well as when I decided to spend $20 on my podcast post with "Bernie Sanders" in the title this past Saturday.
This week I registered my daughter for kindergarten. I hope they are ready for her. I expect within a month she will either be the queen of her class or have a seat separated from the rest of the kids. Those are not mutually exclusive. While filling out the registration paperwork, I was confronted by my old buddy, the race and ethnicity questionnaire. I’ve always taken more than a passing interest in this ritual because 1) I used to work in Human Resources; 2) I like knowing how data is used and abused in our lives; and 3) I stand astride two seemingly contradictory opinions about race, the first, echoed by many a fair-minded friend, that race shouldn't matter and the second, also echoed by another set of fair-minded friends, that inequities among the races are an institutional problem that demands an institutional solution.
Audio version of this article at 02:16 of There's No Time To Explain Podcast #15.
With Ted Cruz and John Kasich out of the race, Donald Trump becomes the presumptive nominee in the 2016 Republican Primary. The New York real estate mogul's populist message and unnerving tone have ignited the passions of a very specific set of Republican primary voters. His demeanor on the campaign trail, historic unpopularity with any demographic outside of white males, and utter void of any clearly articulated policy position or traditional conservative values have mainstream Republicans and the GOP establishment resigned to a historic loss to an archrival of Republicans for decades, Hillary Clinton, or, worse, a disastrous Trump presidency that could dismantle the Republican party as we know it.