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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, 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 give me opportunities to write about Weird Al and the end of the album age or even defend the Spin Doctors.

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 that’s why you’ll sometimes see blog posts with headlines like “The Attack on Truth: Postmodernism and Propaganda” or “Why we believe utter crap.”

Beyond my beloved Mostly Modern Media, a few freelance clients have been interested in non-sports topics. For OZY, I wrote a two-part series on Millennials and small towns, finding that they weren’t living in rural America despite the cheap cost of living and telecommuting potential, but when they did, they often ran for office. For USA TODAY’s magazines, I’ve written about urban gardening and men who posed for a calendar to benefit breast cancer awareness.

Latest media/culture work:

  • What’s THAT Supposed to Mean?: Aimee Mann, “Lost in Space” - Sure, the new album is good. But she’s not just a purveyor of sad, sad songs. And her earlier “sad” stuff is worth revisiting. Source: What’s THAT Supposed to Mean?: Aimee Mann, “Lost in Space”
  • What’s THAT Supposed to Mean?: Metric, “Gimme Sympathy” - Who would you rather be? / The Beatles or the Rolling Stones / Oh, seriously / You’re gonna make mistakes, you’re young. What’s THAT supposed to mean? In a different era, Metric would be huge. It’s… … a fantastic song with cleverly ambiguous lyrics. Source: What’s THAT Supposed to Mean?: Metric, “Gimme Sympathy”
  • In defense of “Love Actually” … - In Love Actually, as in love itself, the good outweighs the bad. Source: Popdose Alt-Christmas Film Festival: Actually a Good Love Story (or Eight)
  • To my LGBTQ friends, colleagues and readers … - I’m not going to lie. I grew up with a backwards attitude. Yeah, Athens is a college town, but it’s still in Georgia. At both my rough-and-tumble public school and my vaguely Christian-ish (and generally wonderful) private school, homophobia reigned. “Gay” meant “weak.” It took me a few years to realize that I knew gay … Continue reading To my LGBTQ friends, colleagues and readers …
  • What next for Rapinoe protest? - Not another 1,000-word essay, but too complicated for 140 characters on Twitter … The Spirit game this weekend at Seattle will surely be interesting. But I think all eyes are going to be on Columbus on Thursday, when the USWNT plays Thailand. I have to distinguish between two sentiments here: Personally, I would have no … Continue reading What next for Rapinoe protest?
  • Book review: Taking on TBN and spiritual voids - Start with a Bull Durham quote, then move into a critique of televangelism written by someone voted “Least Likely to be a Lutheran Pastor” … It’s funny but also thoughtful. The book, that is. (Well, hopefully the review as well …) Source: Book review: Taking on TBN and spiritual voids
  • The Sounds, Bill Bruford and creativity’s curse - The latest in the “What’s THAT Supposed to Mean?” series draws inspiration from The Sounds and Bill Bruford: Rock stars often don’t do themselves any favors when they sing about their jobs. Bullet With Butterfly Wings isn’t one of Billy Corgan’s most relatable lyrics. Even Rebecca Black recorded a song about dealing with fame, which … Continue reading The Sounds, Bill Bruford and creativity’s curse
  • “Fantastic Lies” and the lessons of Duke lacrosse - Don’t stereotype. Don’t rush to judgment. Those are the lessons of the Duke lacrosse case from 10 years ago. And to my pleasant surprise, the documentary Fantastic Lies covered those lessons pretty well. Source: “Fantastic Lies” and the lessons of the Duke lacrosse case | SportsMyriad March 23, 2016
  • Meg Gunn Dure: 1947-2016 - “The last of the Southern belles.” That was my stepmom. I’ve had entirely too much practice writing farewells to my loved ones in recent years. Source: Meg Gunn Dure: 1947-2016 | Mostly Modern Media March 16, 2016
  • What would Bill Bryson think? - Combined a book review of Bill Bryson’s The Road to Little Dribbling with a look at suburban planning. Source: Book and suburban planning review: What would Bill Bryson think? March 4, 2016

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