I’m a white, straight male who lives in Wisconsin, yet I’ve been called a “faggot” — not once, but twice — for holding a disabled man’s hand as we crossed the street. I worked with another man, an ex-police officer, who talked openly of his disdain for women officers.
“When they called for help, there was an unspoken rule the other officers would wait a beat. We’d go,” he assured me. “But we’d give them a chance to figure it out themselves.”
In many ways it’s silly to mourn the death of a celebrity. It’s a one-sided relationship, and chances are you never knew the real them: their fears, their loves, the intimate moments — sometimes throwaway, sometimes profound — that can only be shared by those in a tight-knit circle.
But when I learned today that James Gandolfini had died, I was truly sad. I grew up watching him as Tony Soprano, the labored breathing exploding into anger, the love for both his families, the depression and the ecstasy. Someone once said that television actors are on a different level. In film you spend just a few hours with a character in the movie theater. In television you invite them into your home every week for years on end. Sunday nights were for Gandolfini to come into my home. Now he is dead. Just 51 years old. And I will no longer be able to pick up a new film and spend my Sunday nights listening to new stories from him.
UPDATE (7/30/15): After spending a few years trying to push all Google users into Google+, Google is apparently trying a new approach. They’re calling it a chance to “lead to a more focused, more useful, more engaging Google+.” Others are more direct, saying the social site is essentially dead.
Original Post: Some writers say social media’s bullshit. They look on it as some unholy abomination, all that’s wrong in the world. I’ve heard others say to just write, just do your job, marketing isn’t worth the time. They have a point. It’s easy to get sucked into half a day of music videos, top-10 articles and cat memes. But those writers are ignoring the future, and they will increasingly pay the price.
The days are coming where freelancers will get hired based not only on their portfolio, but their social media presence.
I started blogging because I hated myself and I wanted to change. So many people I knew were feeling suffocated. Life has a way of doing that, of slowly taking over, creeping in from the edges until those visions of a wide open future become more and more narrow.
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” -Henry David Thoreau
The other day I became possessed while stumbling through an antique store. I found an old paper — two of them actually — sitting on a shelf tucked away among old bicycles, antique model tractors and dirty figurines.
The idea that I absolutely must read them suddenly washed over me. Old, rusty, used-up crap doesn’t normally excite me, but after spending a weekend immersed in The Great Gatsby and living it up vicariously through the rich, spoiled high society of the 1920s, I thought it’d be nice to get a little taste of old-school journalism and sense of what reality was a century ago.