Tag Archives: blogs

Soapbox friends: Jeff Barnes is okay

Introducing Jeff Barnes, beer pong blogger.

This represents the triumphant return of Jeff “Don’t Ask Me Shit, Dawg” Barnes, one of the DBK faithful, to the written word. It also now means the only part of modern life without a dedicated blogger is nudist hiking. (Oh, nevermind.)

roll it back like Wal-Mart

roll it back like Wal-Mart

Jeff Barnes, you will remember, broke a news story for The Washington Times about the snakehead fish breeding in Maryland ponds. He was cited in a book from the Smithsonian about the phenomenon. He was not credited in the 2004 made-for-SciFi Channel movie “Snakehead Terror.”

Barnes is also the source of the Single Best Beer Pong Taunt in History from summer 2003, Ocean City, Md. When Barnes and partner quickly and soundly defeated a team of three girls across the table, he told them: “the last time I saw two guys handle three girls that good was in this” as he threw the porno “Where the Boys Aren’t 7”  from our DVD rack onto the table. Uproarious laughter and defiling of their honor followed.

The DVD then ended up in the freezer for the rest of the summer, for whatever reason.

He says he’s starting a general blog soon. Stay tuned for link love.

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Friday Happy: Somebody’s Getting Married

In honor of Jim Faber, who’s whose [christ, who edits this thing?] wedding I am sadly unable to attend this weekend due to a multitude of reasons having to do with Obama’s universal airplane ticket coverage plan being stalled in the Congress and precluding my travel to Houston.

But happy wedding anyway, Fay Bear. And here’s hoping uncle Cookie Monster doesn’t get all wacked out again on double-stuffed metheos and ruin yet another touching affair.

Jim is getting married to Jenny. They both met here where they worked. Their first date was at a gelato shop. A year later, Faber proposed outside the same gelato shop. They often took weekend dates here.

Somewhere in between there was a brief discussion about Faber learning to throw a spear and his utter defeat in his campaign to have ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” as their wedding song (also his ringtone).

During this time, I and a few other people at the Packet kept a secret blog chronicling our life as tourists in the United States of Jim. It was called Weekdays with Faber, and included this post from the always perceptive Justin Paprocki:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Fabler

The Fabler

The sound of one hand slapping

Faber and I passed in the newsroom today. He raised his hand in the international gesture of the high five. We slapped hands, producing a sound similar to when a quarter pound of cold cuts is dropped from an average height onto a linoleum floor. A faint sound, yet still adequate. However, a miscommunication arose. Faber then swung his hand in a downward fashion, intending to hit hands on the “flipside.” This move is known as the “windmill” and was popularized in the hit film Top Gun. I was not expecting the “windmill” and did not have my hand ready to receive his. Instead, his hand smacked my buttock.

I was startled slightly, and Faber was quick to apologize. He explained that he thought that I had a “look in my eye” that indicated I was preparing for the flipside. I explained that, at that time, I was unprepared for such activity. We then did two “windmills” to satisfaction and went about our day. We haven’t spoken since about the episode.

Happy wedding Jenny and Jim!

Happy birthday, you filthy soapbox!

It’s our blogiversary!

That’s right, it’s been a year since this odd experiment in web interactivism was birthed in the corner of a lowly bar during a lowly happy hour on Hilton Head, as I sat slashing away at the keys in search of some new solace I wasn’t finding in the newspaper industry. Indeed, I only started writing this thing out of a frustrated sense (or premonition) of claustrophobia with the newspaper job, knowing that the bounds of the vestigial print newsroom were constricting around me and other fellow reporters so quickly there was barely time to grab our asthma inhalers.

Lots of people start blogs with the mindset that the world needs their opinion on topics from music to politics to the state of obesity in America. I’ve been lucky never to have such delusions about why I started this. I’ve tried to clean it up over the past year, adding some order among the cranial chaos and occasionally (usually not on purpose) writing about something momentous or of interest to a general audience.

But looking back now, I’m surprised at how reasoned and sensible that first post was a year ago, even though I knew I was shouting into the abyss, before I even started posting links on facebook or attaching my real name to it, when I was still keeping it on the DL out of fear of discovery by an editor or job prospect.

So blog pretensions aside, the only reason I created this was for another outlet, just somewhere else to write that doesn’t involve soul-crushing lede changes or aversion to risk taking found in too many newsrooms. The thing about blogs is, you either devote a lot of time to it and seek to crack the market with a fresh idea and still make a pitifully small amount of revenue, or you do it for the joy of writing and creating a dialogue with friends. And also possibly because some nights you come home half drunk and think everyone wants to know what you think about a direct-to-dvd Batman animated promotion. Which they do.

In the course of a year, I kept track of (and got considerable Google traffic from) trivia team names, channeled unchecked rage at Funky Winkerbean, somehow became the No. 1 Google image search for both “ghostbusters” and “cartoon all-stars,” and wrote in probably unnecessarily detail about a breakup (“I’m not too happy about having personal details about my life out there,” she said after reading it. “Well, it’s my life too,” I said, giving the writers’ “all life is fair material” response. Besides, I said, there’s no one would read this that I wouldn’t tell about it anyway, and better to describe it in precise written words than awkward spoken ones on my end.)

I also kept a sad documentation on the decline of a once-promising local newspaper, then wrote in plain truths about my decision to leave the newspaper industry and to try to pit writing skill against the forces of poverty in New York City. A few times, I even wrote about news events that got linked to and read elsewhere.

And if nothing else, I had a place to write in honest language what it’s like to watch your dad slowly suffocate for the last few days of his life under a maddening blanket of an inconsiderate disease. And I learned writing doesn’t really dull the edge for something like that; it sharpens it to an even finer point most times, but I left the apartment the night I wrote that to go drink a 7&7 (Dad’s favorite drink) at the bar, at least feeling like I had made an effort at turning personal emotions into something concrete, even if it was just ultimately a cascade of words emptying into the mouth of the void.

So overall, I generally tried to write about things that had some broad interest and weren’t just about the limited-interest world of myself.

Some friends have told me they really like this blog, that I should do more with it (others have complained about not being name dropped enough), which is nice of them to say. But I’m the first to admit this doesn’t serve a purpose other than to be just another person out in the internet writing long sentences about things that are important to him, even as people everywhere want shorter and shorter things to read each day.

Since switching to WordPress, I’ve tried to turn this into a slightly more focused site documenting the travels and travails of a young writer navigating the empty void between print and web. Those aren’t the kind of blogs that people read on a regular basis though, you need quick hits like making fun of journalists or poorly edited advertising, and that’s fine with me, I’m not trying to do much here (but please feel free to send me checks out of the goodness of your heart).

Here’s the inaugural post, Feb. 19, 2008: The Powers of Inversion.

If you read this, all I ask is that you bookmark it and maybe check back every now and then to see what’s going on. And maybe even e-mail me with stuff you like, don’t like, suggestions, comments, vegan strudel recipes, cease and desist letters, etc etc at tim[at]timdonnelly.com.

A year later, I’m still sure there’s something else out there that will fill the gap being left by the end of print journalism. Until then, I’m glad to be in New York City, struggling my way through a new media landscape and happy to have at least one outlet in the meantime.

But most importantly, thanks for reading, wherever you are!

Act now: Kidz Bop is hiring

Sure, there’s no jobs in newspapers any more and the ranks of unemployed, direction-less writers shuffling the streets shaking a coffee cup and not even finding newspapers in trash cans to help them stay warm is starting to outnumber the number of people enrolled in j-school. But fear not: KidzBop is hiring!

via MediaBistro:

all your favorite songs, minus the annoying artistry

all your favorite songs, minus the annoying artistry

Vice President, Marketing Publication or Company Kidz Bop Industry

Children’s Media, Entertainment, Marketing

Benefits 401K/403B, Bonuses, Dental, Health

Job Duration Full Time Job Location New York, NY USA

Job Requirements Kidz Bop LLC seeks an experienced V.P. Marketing. Candidates should be highly-motivated and creative, with established contacts. Reports to the General Manager of KIDZ BOP, and is a key team member in brainstorming, strategy, creative decision-making, and timely execution of projects and programs. Responsible for all platforms of the brand including audio products, website, consumer products, live events, brand extensions, licensees and more. Exciting opportunity for a self-starter who is up for the challenge of developing KIDZ BOP into a ‘must have’ component of every media plan targeted to older kids and tweens. Experience required in kids’ market and music.

About Our Company KIDZ BOP is the most-popular and most-recognized music product in the U.S. for kids aged 5-12, selling 11 Million CDs in seven years. Featuring today’s most popular songs, sung by kids for kids, KIDZ BOP CD titles have earned nine Gold® certifications since their debut in 2001. The KIDZ BOP brand celebrates the unique, authentic voice of every kid, on its CDs, through the Kid Bop Live tour, and on http://www.kidzbop.com, which features kid-created content and social networking. Kidz Bop LLC is a division of New York-based independent entertainment company Razor & Tie Entertainment, a vertically-integrated company that encompasses a music company with major label distribution, a home video company, a media buying company, a music publishing business, a direct marketing operation and a growing database of entertainment consumers.

KidzBop has sold 11 million CDs in five years?!? I suppose it’s only appropriate that in the age where other media thrive by piggy backing off real journalism, and music is suffering continuing declines of its own, that a product such as Kidz Bop that only exists on the coattails of actual musicians should be thriving. So does the question everyone is contemplating about newspapers apply here too? What happens when there are no more papers (or, hit-making major label artists) to provide the fodder for the ever hungry gaping maw of the blogosphere (boposphere)?

More importantly: how can we recruit an army of adorable children to do the reporting work for us?

Rowdy Roddy

A name I probably should have thought of and done something with a month ago:

Rod Blag’s Rad Blog

Rad Rod

Rad Rod

which could have followed in the footsteps of Fake Michael Bay, Fake Clarence Clemons, Fake Britney, or Real Levar Burton, with the linguistic rhythm of the Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog.

Next time. Or maybe there is still time? I just now found this news story: TNA wrestling offered Rod Blag a rad job yesterday:

In what is likely a publicity stunt, TNA Wrestling has offered former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich a job within the company.

Not surprisingly, it is with the Main Event Mafia who are heels (or bad guys) in the company.  But his position would be one of much respect.  He would be the Chairman of the group.

TNA Wrestling posted the following statement Friday afternoon:

TNA Wrestling is offering the newly created position of Chairman for its Main Event Mafia faction – and the opportunity to openly sell chairs, steel chairs – to ousted Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. …

“He’s innocent until proven guilty,” Angle said.  “As the leader of the Main Event Mafia, I am a huge fan of the Illinois style of politics. As such, Governor Blagojevich is welcome to join me and the entire Main Event Mafia at any and all TNA events in the future, and certainly is welcome to sell his seat with us should he choose not to accept our generous offer.”

This is an open call to someone with Photoshop to please put the appropriate head onto this picture: