Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Jewish Quadrant

I represent the Jewish quadrant. We have a quadrant now; tell your friends.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Come on Lucky 7s!

With trepidation and excitement, I placed the last of my chips on the table.

The Vegas highrollers – friends, if for the evening only – had a “no fail” system, and they (and their money) were backing me.

It was a sure thing. My number was coming in…


Like so many starry eyed bachelorettes, I hit the tables at The Mirage in hopes of striking it rich – or at least of making a hundred bucks. I’d held on to my chips all evening, afraid of letting go of my sure thing, even though, by letting go, there was at least a chance of obtaining something better. And then I remembered something I’d seen in one of my favorite episodes of “Sex and the City.”

Carrie Bradshaw is turning 36. A Big City writer at a life precipice, she decides to join her girlfriends for a trip to Atlantic City, where a lucky roll of the dice has her palming a $1,000 chip. Her friends tell her to risk it – you gotta play to play! – but, much like with the other life choices she faces, Carrie is hesitant. What if she makes a mistake? What if she loses it all to a throw of the dice?

She approaches the roulette table and notices the final number is 36. “What happens after 36?,” she asks the table master. “I guess you fall off the table,” he responds.

With a deep breath, Carrie puts all her money on 36 – and, symbolically, on herself.

She loses the $1,000.

Friends, we never really know what’s going to happen when all bets are in. Once the ball is rolling, the outcome is out of our hands. But even in betting one thing is sure: you have to show up to get the ball rolling… and that’s exactly what I have decided to do.

I have loved my time at American City & County, but, all cards on the table – it’s time for me to place my bet. Like Carrie, I must bet on myself, even if I lose.

So I have accepted another position and, by the time you read these lines, the roulette wheel will already be in motion.

Friends, we can spend our lives playing the game, hoping for something better. Or we can hold onto our chips, afraid to lose. I won’t say I’m not afraid, (turns out the Vegas highrollers’ “no fail” plan not only could fail, but did) but I will say this: it’s been a pleasure serving you, and my hopes for your future remain as high as my hopes for my own. I hope these past 2+ years of content have paid you positive dividends. They certainly have for me, and, as I play this particular hand, I know the value of the chip I’m placing on the table. What I don’t know yet – and what I really stand to learn with this gamble – is the value of willing myself back into the game and expecting, even for a moment, that I might just win big.

Magazine Megaphone

Recently, while attending a panel on Holocaust remembrance and human rights at Atlanta’s new Civil and Human Rights Museum, I posed the following question to M. Alexis Scott, former publisher of the Atlanta Daily World:

With the proliferation of modern media, where individuals can pick and choose media and messages that reinforce already-held beliefs while discarding or ignoring all media that might challenge that belief, how does one get a contrary message through? In short, how do we ensure that we’re not only preaching to the choir, but getting our message to those who we wish to reach – those minds we hope to change?

Scott’s answer? “I don’t know.”

Media and politics, while strange bedfellows, share a common goal – to deliver our message to as many people as possible in hopes of informing the electorate and planting the seeds of positive change. Back in the day – say, prior to 2000 – this process took place on doorsteps, with get-out-the-vote campaigns and the arrival of the daily paper and the nightly news. Today, for better or worse, the information war claims the internet as its battleground and, as we all know, if it’s on the internet it must be true. Even if your true and my true are diametrically opposed to each other. Even if one of us is just flat wrong.

And speaking of flat and wrong…via the internet, one can “prove” that the earth is, indeed, flat (Thank you, Flat Earth Society and members of certain religious orders). One can also “prove” that aliens have landed and are living among us, gathering information for eventual takeover. Internet sources can even reinforce with “evidence” the most disgusting and dangerous of beliefs – that certain peoples are inferior. That the Holocaust never happened. That terrorist groups, far from being deplorable, are actually ridding the world of evil, and should be lauded for their murderous efforts.

My friends, I do not know if the world is a more frightening place than it ever was. Maybe the proliferation of media has just brought more of the world’s longstanding problems to our attention. But what I do know – and what Scott echoed – is that for those of us among us attempting to reach disengaged or hostile audiences, the messages are just not getting through.

But it is imperative that we get through.

So I ask – if anyone hears me through the noise – how do I get through to you?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

You're just too honest

Those truths that lurk in our heart and lodge in our throat are best left unspoken...

Dislodged, the path to divulgence is free from obstruction.

And no one welcomes that level of honesty.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The 10%

"Don't take this the wrong way, but 90% of the people in the world don't care as much as you do..." - friend and coworker

"90% of people in the world don't care as much as you do..."

My morning was spent mourning. My night may well be too.

For the spider.

For my failings.

For my lostness.

For you.

"Don't take this the wrong way..."

But you'll never be as dear

as my dear he is to you

You'll never ever measure

to the treasure, yes, it's true.

Because 90% of people just don't care as much as you

"And this isn't a fatal flaw in them."