why life isnt fair

in the world of youtube 3.3 million views on a video is a smashing success

and even though this one has that many, i still feel like it should have ten times as much

because not only is it an outrageously great tale

but it’s told well, unexpected things happen,

and it lets us peer into a world i, for one, never imagined existed.

ninja from die antwoord is a national treasure. when his group debuted in LA in 2010, even solid journalists like the LA Times’ Chris Lee wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not. turned out it was so seriously great it had no peers.

a couple years later Ninja’s video vision became fully realized in Baby’s On Fire and it catapulted their career

that video has over 220 million views.

which makes me wonder why the top video of Ninja talking about hanging out with Kanye West and Drake can only pull in a fraction of that.

is it appeal of Yo-Landi? is it that great beat? the funny narrative?

these are the things i think about sitting on my couch waiting to be called up to the pros: why are some great videos only worthy of 3 million views, and why do others get 222 million.

which always gets me back to the most pressing one:

How can MTV continue to avoid music videos when they perform sooooo well on YouTube. clearly there’s an audience. why not return to your roots?

had an interesting job interview

in some companies the recruiter will be the first line of defense. he or she will place the ad, then you apply, and if you fit the general need, they arrange for a phone interview.

sometimes it’s a video interview. but these are modern times and you won’t have to get dressed up and schlep down to their offices to answer the basic questions which are usually “how much does this pay?” (me) and “piss in this cup” (them).

i prefer the phone over the video because in video you never look well, sometimes you’re tiny in their screen, i overdo it with my hand gestures. and often i feel the need to raise my voice because i fear they can’t hear me.

yesterday the guy asked, “so if you make it to the next stage, i will be calling your former bosses. what will they say they didn’t like about you?”

my first answer was, “sorry, Barry, but i have worked in HR, i doubt they’ll say anything bad. We live in a litigious society and most managers have been trained to either redirect those inquiries to HR or merely answer the two basic questions of ‘did they work there during this time period and are they eligible for re-hire?’ Otherwise they risk the chance of being sued because unflattering chatter that directly leads to someone not getting a job is the first steps to a slander case.”

fearing that might be a defensive / snotty answer – even though it’s 100% accurate, I said, “but I will play your game. Let’s pretend you could read the minds of my former bosses, what bad things would they say about me?”

Barry said, “yes, yes. what would they say?”

And I said, “well they’d probably say that I have big ideas, and lots of them, and that can be annoying after a while if you don’t want to hear big ideas from me. But Barry, big ideas are why there is social media today, and before that the web, and before that personal computers in our homes which led to devices in our pockets that hold all of the world’s information. Without big ideas we would be nothing.”

Then he said, “ok, do you have any questions for me?”

And I did. And that’s when I feel he became annoyed with me. Because he did not have the answers for half of them.

I will be selling oranges on freeway exits very soon.

watched this great doc about former Times columnist Robert Scheer

heres why i love documentaries: i always learn something.

biggest was i never knew he was the one who interviewed president jimmy carter in playboy when the former peanut farmer admitted that he has lust in his heart.

“And Christ set some almost impossible standards for us. Christ said, ‘I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust has in his heart already committed adultery.’

“I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.”

– Jimmy Carter, November 1976

from a reporting standpoint it taught me this: you don’t have to have gotcha questions for people. if you are an interesting, educated, interested questioner, and you create a situation where the subject feels relaxed enough to let it all out, they probably will.

the film also talks a lot about the concept of selling out. even though it was originally presented as a 1960s fear, it’s def something i was highly aware of decades later in college. it was the worst thing you could do.

maybe it was the recession, maybe it was college debt, but i have never seen a millennial concern themselves with selling out.

their biggest goal is to be an influencer. ideally someone who receives boxes of goods from companies and films themselves opening them and becoming a human commercial.

if i was six figures in the hole at 23, id be day trading Supreme swag on ebay too.

today seems extremely far removed from what i saw in this doc.

remarkably so.


almost went outside today, but thought better of it

tomorrow i may have to do some walking.

im watching mad men with amber. it’s her first time.

don draper always reminds me that i talk too much and im wearing all the wrong suits.

the drinking is heavier than i remembered it. and the smoking.

was this supposed to be a parody?

before amber moved in i had a bottle of wine or two, a jug of rum, maybe a few beers in the fridge.

these people had entire bars available to them in every room.

gen x may live to 200 years old if we dont ruin the planet first. we dont eat steaks. we pretty much never smoked. drank, but not like what im seeing on tv.

gen x got you obama, and legal weed. dont you forget that. they coulda voted for mccain but didnt. sarah palin could have been a thing for more than a hiccup.

as dylan said, it’s not dark yet, but it’s

getting there.

somehow ended up on the facebook page of the first girl i ever asked to be my gf.

she said no bc she said her dad would killer bc im black.

i cant even tell you how bizarre her page is.

then i saw that she was remembering an old friend who had died a few years go

then i looked at her page.

my entire life is completely different

by miles

compared to what it could have been if i had stuck around in the past.

some people have long chapters

and theres something very special about that.

me, im glad for this.

whatever this is, im happy im in the middle of this

any day.

does this current spate of bad luck and rejection kill you?

a little

does it make you think that you will probably die penniless and heartbroken?

my heart heals quickly

does it make you worry that you will become a mumbling old guy in a robe stumbling down hollywood blvd?


does it make you feel washed up, unloved, and underestimated?


will you give up?


will you sell out?


do you regret the choices that you made that lead to whatever this is right now?

since i based my choices out of trust, honest communication, and the desire to make others happy and help them, hell no.

you have so many ideas, why don’t you try one or two of them?

i may have to resort to that.

if you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect others to?

sir, this is a wendy’s

there is nothing you cant do

this month marks my 35th summer as a california resident

in 1984 i had a poster of madonna in a wedding dress on my wall,

the same one she would grind on at the mtv vmas

and tonight i watched Lizzo shock the world with a two note flute solo like no other

on the bet awards, at the microsoft theater,

an entire complex that didn’t exist last century

for the entire time that i have been here this is the one thing that i see every day:

you can do it

yes you

look at her

look at him

look at them

you can do it

yes you can

how will you do it

when will you do it

you dont have to do it

but youre doing something anyway

why not do it

you can do it

fuck it, do it

you can do it.

theres 500 places you can get a taco in LA

some guy, today, opened the 501st

you can do it

he can do it

you can do it

look at her do it.

its in the breeze its in the sky

there will be one cloud up there

and it will be shaped


have i told you ive been watching a lot of youtube

it’s true.

and ive gotta thank the youth of america.

billy bragg said we should save them and i guess we have, sorta

of course theyre all gonna melt from global warming

but before they do i hope they resurrect punk rock, figure out how to refreeze the ice caps

and get all the plastic outta the oceans

and when theyre done they will go back to watching youtube

im very sorry we havent figured out how to stop the clock from ticking.

seriously. im very sorry.

i think i wrote a good cover letter, but who knows

i feel like they could take it two ways:

this guy’s a huge jerk, screw him


hey this guy is awesome, let’s call him to see if he really is and if he’s not, screw him, or if he is then let’s let him do his thing and see if it’s all true.

fortunately it’s all true.

fortunately, even though i was intimidated when i first walked into the daily nexus

that the next time i only stuck my head in with my printed out article and then ran back to the dorms as fast as i could

fortunately i was in the right place at the right time surrounded with the best people alive and we were all ready to rock and we did, together, every day we could, day and night

and we made each other better and better and still do to this day in one way or another and i believe that that just doesnt happen in college, that it can happen again and again in life.

i feel like i helped build a pretty good team at the dot com and another at LAist and another at the next place. i dont think that was luck. i think when you are in the right place with the right people magic happens.

as designed.

you need the right sunlight and love and trust and good vibes and you shake all of that up and

hello cleveland.

the chorus in my head keep telling me the most negative things, but it took a few months to go from this to that the last time and the time before that and patience grasshopper, patience.

in the meantime, i may get a doctor’s outfit, like a long coat and an old school mirror they used to put on their heads. and long white pants and black shoes. and i will have a sign that says, tourists, ask me anything. i can help.

and i want to have a pad of paper, like what doctors hand you with your prescription to give to the drug store.

and when a tourist says i want some good chinese food in westwood or a good place to buy records other than ameoba, i will write down the name of the store, use my phone to get the address, and hand it to the person. if they tip, fine, if not, fine. who cares. maybe i’ll sit on a bench on venice beach and just consult tourists for free.

because i would have loved to have run into a “doctor” like that while on vacation.


heres what i dont understand about social media today

these companies know how important it is.

we know this because they insist on having a twitter, a facebook, an instagram, and sometimes a youtube channel.

and they know its part of marketing. and maybe PR, even though thats dangerous, but whatever. they understand the power.

and yet i see people asking for 1-2 years experience. the same people say they want to pay them $30-$35k

a year.

who do you think youre gonna get for that rate? and what do you think that person is going to create in the one spot that routinely is the face of the company? probably nothing interesting because, like seriously, youre gonna let the lowest paid person on your team do cool outside-the-box shit on your twitter? daily? without you watering it down so that its no longer cool nor outside the box? doubt it.

when you apply for jobs they usually ask you to write a cover letter. sometimes they may even ask what you would do to improve what is currently being done.

every now and then im tempted to say, “i’d change everything. i’d stop mimicking what everyone else is doing. i’d be original. i’d pretend that social media is new and the rules have not been established. and everything is changing, so why not BE THE CHANGE instead of aping what tom dick and harry have done?”

ok fine, i have said that in some cover letters. and it gets tossed just like the boring cover letters.

i even had one guy have a good interview with me and then say, “give us a few pages of what you would improve on.”

i wrote six pages. starting with SEO. lord knows know 23 year old is giving them a full page critique about their meta tags, their mish moshed index pages, and how their content – if tweaked ever so slightly – could turn their website into a monster in a short period of time for very little cost.

a couple weeks later they said they were gonna hire someone from within to do their social and i was all mmmm hmmmm. but i looked at their meta tags and they didnt change shit. they just wanted to underpay a pretty girl.

people dont wanna change the world. it doesnt matter what their mission statement is, how punk rock they pretend they are, how progressive their so called style is. they hire people who look like them, not people who look like LA. how do i know? LA is 47% latino. let’s start there. talk to me about your last 20 hires and then tell me that 9-10 of them were brown or black.

it’s like when i clean my room. maybe i’ll put that one little thing over there. or that other little thing in the trash. but if i was serious about cleaning my room, it would look noticeably different when i was done. and it would look like a mess while i was doing it.

which is why I look like a mess right now.

cuz i am going through a metamorphosis. because if i dont, i’ll die. and be nothing. like half of the places who wont even write me back.