Culture

Selected clips

IMG_1073History

Growing up, I found music more interesting than sports.

I devoured every issue of Rolling Stone and Musician in between sessions at the piano or on my guitar. My classic rock sensibilities followed me through my classical music studies as a music (and philosophy) major at Duke, where I interviewed guitar legend Richard Thompson (page 18) and a host of jazz luminaries (page 3 — and yes, Clint Eastwood was there). I wrote about my percussionist days, and I still harbor dreams of being a bass player in a semi-progressive rock band.

So I have plenty of music posts at my personal blog, Mostly Modern Media. You’ll also find some fun reads on television and comedy. My friends at the entertainment site Popdose also let me write.

I’ve also had some brutally honest reflections on my occupation, journalism, starting in 2000 with my grad-school projectThe Changing Face of News in the Information Age. I warned of journalists sacrificing accuracy and context to be “first” with the news, and I worried that readers would personalize their information to the point of ignoring everything that doesn’t fit their world view. I hate being right.

And I’m not just a sports-and-rock guy pontificating about journalism. I spent much of my career on news desks. At Duke, I covered the sentencing of the “bogus baron” and wrote opinion pieces on letter grades and academicese. At Ozy, a couple of decades later, I wrote about Millennials spurning small towns in a piece that was picked up at NPR.

But the biggest non-sports piece I’ve ever written was a Guardian piece on the revival of Flat Earth theory. Written in 2016, not 1716.

Projects and indexes

Recent music

Latest at Mostly Modern Media 

  • Please make me quit chronicling the cruelty of the president …
    Today, our commander-in-chief … … threatened to cut off aid to California in response to … the fires that are ravaging California.  A few issues with that: Trump has failed to note that more than half the forested land in … Continue reading →
  • About last night …
    The tyranny of the minority party is over. Make no mistake — the Republicans are the minority party. In 2016, Trump was elected with 46.1% of the popular vote. Republicans did eke out a narrow victory in the number of … Continue reading →
  • Whatever happens Tuesday …
    … there will be too many people motivated by prejudice and fear. They accept stereotypes of immigrants while turning a blind eye to the violence of people whose families have been for generations. They will ignore the industries and farms … Continue reading →
  • On negativity and reaching out to snowflakes
    Let’s first be clear about who’s a “snowflake” and who isn’t. Much of the country cares about immigrant families. Even if they want to keep everyone out and have even stronger border security than we currently have, they don’t want … Continue reading →
  • Why we should reject the “liberal” label
    “Liberals” these days are under attack. Seems unfair, given that the dictionary definition simply refers to being open-minded and interested in education. To some extent, that isn’t new. A few decades ago, Saturday Night Live had a sketch that was a mock TV … Continue reading →
  • Yes, climate-change scientists have an agenda …
    It’s called “saving the planet,” you self-made ignoramus. You don’t believe me? OK, name another agenda they could possibly have. Money? Nope — they could go make more money selling out their credentials and working for corporations. Power? Ha. Read … Continue reading →
  • What you should understand if you support Kavanaugh
    The purpose of this post isn’t to convince you that Brett Kavanaugh is unfit to be a judge (let alone a Supreme Court justice) or that he attempted to rape Christine Blasey Ford and has a pattern of sexual harassment. … Continue reading →
  • Second hits by alleged one-hit wonders
    Saw #NationalOneHitWonderDay trending on Twitter and figured I would spot several bands and musicians unfairly labeled as such. Ever since I saw a TV special label Suzanne Vega a one-hit wonder just because one of her songs was bigger than … Continue reading →
  • When good economic results happen to bad presidents
    Washington Post headline: Jobs in manufacturing are indeed up and we have no idea how to fit this into the narrative that the world is about to die under Trump. (Or something like that.) I wish the story had pointed … Continue reading →
  • Fascism and the free press
    Let’s take a look at a couple of concurrent things … First: Many news organizations have fought back against Trump’s anti-journalist incitements.  A Poynter roundup opened with a good statement of purpose. Yes, the Trumpistas will simply yell and scream … Continue reading →

Full clips by topic: music, tv, reviews, academia, books

 

 

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