Oct 19

One where I tried to tie the day together

Students I know created this show:

Other students I know produced two shows this evening, and they’ll be online tomorrow. And in between this and that, on a hectic night of shooting, where I might have just been accidentally getting in the way on purpose, I did get one of the better jokes I can make in a studio …

We got one in last spring, too …

The infinity effect is a classic joke. Maybe I appreciate it more than other people, but that’s OK. There was a great cartoon, probably from the 1960s or 1970s, that I can’t find today, but I’ve never forgotten and it probably predisposed me to the bit. At some point you have to be able to amuse yourself in the course of your day.

Elsewhere, this evening, I saw a presentation from the great Doc Searls, who has been a fellow at Harvard, NYU, UC-Santa Barbara and a widely published journalist. He’s also a best-selling author. One book he co-wrote, The Cluetrain Manifesto, was an important component of a class I used to teach. So this was a great opportunity to hear an important thinker. I could say a lot more about the guy, but you’d think I was overselling it.

Isn’t it interesting how well that applies to everyone, except for those to whom it does not apply? And then, for fun, go live in that lifestyle for about 12 hours, or try to conduct your daily business therein. Where is the water that fish asked us about?

I remember the first time I said this, in a political communication panel at a little regional convention. The room was full and there were some seriously accomplished scholars in the room. The looks I got when I said “We should stop differentiating between the real world and our time online.” This would have been immediately after Barack Obama’s first presidential election, when online strategies had been so critical to many of the campaigns we saw the previous fall. I can only assume it seemed an odd thought to the more accomplished scholars because they were of a vintage that, when they thought about it, were still thinking of other mediated formats.

The bigger problem, tonight, is that more people should have heard him speak. But that’s a problem for a different day.

I made a joke today about the vulnerability of the Internet, one demonstrable weak spot, of course, being …

Then The Yankee and I went to lunch. She dove into her purse to pay and pulled out … cash. I saw an Out of Order Post-it on the little loyalty card sticker. As I am convinced the societal part of our world will come to an end just after the adhesive of hastily scrawled notes on carefully applied squares of paper gives way, this was not a good sign. Especially after that joke I made this morning.

But she just wanted to pay with greenbacks today. Sometimes you go with the classics. It was only the loyalty scanner device which was down. We won’t put too much thought into that as a metaphor. All of this, I guess, made sense, given the moment (the moment is the message, by the way) wasn’t typified by people stacked up at the cash register how they were going to get by this guy who was between them and their noontime habits.

If you know anyone looking for a project …

Someone out there is thinking big thoughts about the intersection of sports media and geo-policy and geopolitics. With the world getting smaller and sports getting larger and the money … well, the money is just a form of communicating these days. That’s the moment we live in. That’s the adtech that Doc Searls was talking about tonight.

And it won’t be going away any time soon, no matter how I mangle the spelling of Silicone Valley.

More important than all of these things is this beautiful expression:

You go have yourself a wonderful Wednesday tomorrow.

Sep 19

Idle browsing

On Wednesday nights, you can have plenty of grand plans. Oh, this morning I was going to get up, get a workout in, go run two errands and then go to the office, because I have a late morning because of a late evening.

I woke up, saw that the sky was still gray and re-invested in the warming properties of the many covers on the bed.

At least I ironed every single wrinkle out of the day’s clothes and got to work on time.

I did receive 55 spam emails today. And I got one email about a package that is on its way, while I was tracking that same package via a previous email. That wasn’t spooky at all. It wasn’t spooky because the tracking page said, simply “Your package is on the way!” Anyone with that attention to detail to the finer points of supply delivery logistics isn’t terribly concerned with putting read receipt bugs in their email script.

But who knows what is in the actual package, right? Completely different ball game.

I returned some items to the same store a few weeks ago. I walked in, an impeccably dressed older gentleman said “Can I help you?” I told him I would like to return these two things and there was nothing wrong with them, no sir, they just didn’t fit through most of the parts they were meant to fit. About that same time his phone rang and he took the call and talked to whomever was on the other end through the entirety of the return and credit process. I signed a receipt and received a copy and, through the magic of technology the money was returned to my account via this piece of plastic in my pocket and then I walked out, the impeccably dressed man having not said another word to me, because of his phone call.

Now you might think this poor customer service, but you’d be mistaken. No time was wasted.

I’ve taken one other thing back to that company before. Similar problem. It was no muss, no fuss and just a little Oh, that’s what you bought from the website, judgement and a quick Won’t you see what’s on sale over on the clearance rack up-sell.

I glanced at it. And that was the moment I realized I’ve completely converted to online shopping. The brick and mortar operation has its uses, but none of those uses are idle browsing.

Words to live by:

More on Twitter and check me out on Instagram as well.

Sep 19

I’ve seen this one! (Star Trek edition)

I went to the movies this weekend:

And I wrote about it here. Some excerpts:

I know I saw Wrath of Khan in theaters, but unless I saw it in a re-release I was six-years-old. And while I saw all the subsequent movies, even the lesser ones, in the theater, and I’ve seen The Motion Picture several times, I’d never seen this on the big screen:

While The Motion Picture is still a slogging sort of rough cut of a film, it has its place and it was worth seeing. There’s a group, Fathom Events putting nostalgic movies in the big theaters on slow days. So there’s often a throwback on Tuesdays and Sundays. This was the first I’ve heard of it, but I’ll be back for other select other films in the future. There was even a little mini-documentary before the movie — probably something produced to run before a DVD or some banquet event. Though this is a problem:

Sep 19

Just some videos to fill the day

It is the rare day indeed, this year, that I get out in front of The Yankee. The closer I got to the end of yesterday’s ride, the more I felt like this:

I just knew she would pip me before the end, and so I pushed and pushed as hard as I could, and somehow I managed to stay away, but only just.

And if you’re here for a different sort of video, this is the funniest one of the weekend:

And this is a cool little bit of something cool the Indiana athletic department cooked up:

But there’s something important in there:

George Taliaferro’s story defies excerpting, but let’s try:

As the first day of school approached, Taliaferro asked the football coaches when he was going to be moved on campus. He was told black students didn’t live in dorms.

“I called my father and told him I didn’t want to be in a place where I couldn’t live on campus, where I couldn’t swim in the pool and where I couldn’t sit in the bottom section of the movie theater,” Taliaferro said. “My father told me there were other reasons I was there, and then he hung up the phone on me. I was never so hurt because I thought the one person who could understand being discriminated against was him.”

That tough love stemmed from two things his parents, neither of whom went past sixth grade, told him every day as he grew up. “They’d say, ‘We love you,'” he recalled. “And, ‘You must be educated.'”

And then:

He played seven seasons of pro football, six in the NFL with New York, Dallas, Baltimore and Philadelphia, three times making the Pro Bowl. He became a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Baltimore, advised prisoners adjusting to society upon their release, got his master’s in social work at Howard University, taught at Maryland, was dean of students at Morgan State, returned to Indiana as a professor and special assistant to IU president John Ryan, and helped start Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana in Bloomington.

You can’t put that in a gif or a football video, but you certainly oughta try.

Sep 19

Sports in spite of ourselves

Here’s the other show the sports guys produced last night. It’s a talk show, and this episode follows the traditional format, but I hear things may be getting changed as we progress through the year. There’s a new host and new producers eager to stretch their legs.

The guy that hosted that show for the better part of the last two years graduated this spring and just started working as a sports reporter for a television station down on the Gulf of Mexico. Everyone that comes through our little station gets hired. For good reason, too. If you stick around these parts for too long, this is bound to happen:

For the last several years, I’ve been trying to find ways to pay less attention to football. It’s grown less important, the older I get. And yet, where I’m from, there are heavy duty cultural implications. Of course, I’m not there anymore, sadly, so that helps. But there’s plenty on television. And it’s good television.

There’s also the safety aspect. It’s become more difficult to enjoy watching people do these things that could potentially be so self-detrimental. But, I’ll watch. Because it is fun. And it isn’t all bad. Way up and way out and all that. Tribal joys

Plus, the ethos. Look at the guys from this school in Indianapolis doing all the right things:

How can you not be romantic about football? How could you not want to be a Marian Knight?