I’m a freelance interactive content strategist and copywriter in Austin, TX. See my work here.
I post about whatever geeky stuff interests me. Sometimes I post funny stuff that I make up. About once a week I post videos of my cat Yeti ignoring me. I welcome reader suggestions and feedback. I seldom get any.
Oh, yeah. I’m also the recording artist currently known as ManChildATX.
Entries in politics (19)
A report issued by a leading group of climatologists suggests that global warming is accelerating faster than previously predicted, and that the planet will be uninhabitable within 50…
New polling shows that Mitt Romney is poised…
A Predator drone-launched Hellfire missile, intended to kill an assistant to Al Qaeda’s logistics coordinator in Pakistan’s tribal areas, instead hit a home where a birthday party for 19 orphans was…
While the fiscal crisis in Spain appears to have eased for the moment, new worries about Greece, Portugal, and Italy have sent world markets…
Republican leaders today announced they will attempt to legally establish the twinkle in a man’s eye as the moment human life begins, conferring personhood to individual sperm cells for the first…
Texas governor Rick Perry said…
New research suggests that children of Alzheimer’s sufferers are ten times more likely…
For the first time, music has been shown to cause cancer in lab…
New data from the Bureau for Labor Statistics highlight interactive copywriting as one of the worst…
In an attempt to outflank Congressional Republicans, President Obama today announced…
The art of the non-apology apology is often crude: a condescending, second insult on top of the first, really. But you’ve got to hand it to Rush Limbaugh. He issued a non-apology apology that was much more finely crafted than what we usually get. Forbes—Rush Limbaugh’s Non-apology Apology
While it’s true I used an expletive in expressing that President George W. Bush irrevocably damaged this country “nine ways from Sunday,” I wasn’t making a literal claim that the former President had had non-consensual sex with a land mass.
Though I was only referring to Mrs. Palin’s boundless tenacity, a trait some female dogs share with her, I used poor judgment in conflating the two. I hope the dogs will forgive me.
By calling the pope that word, I meant to imply he’s as indispensable to healthy daily functioning as that anatomical opening we all share.
When I replaced the first syllable of Ann Coulter’s last name with a very bad word that also begins with a “C,” that was due to a momentary lapse in self-control, where my internal voice forgot that it’s not my external voice. And my internal voice should have known better than to hit “send” on the email that went out to my entire mailing list.
When I suggested that Mr. Romney could not locate his sex organs with the Hubble Space Telescope, it was not meant as a slur on hardworking astronomers everywhere.
I would sincerely like to apologize to any feminine hygiene accessories that may have been offended by my comparing Mr. Limbaugh to them. I want to assure those douchebags that I hold them in a much higher regard.
Gingrich: I’ll Make It a National Priority to Clone the Guy Who’s Giving Me All That Money
Santorum Opposed to Drilling Virgin Fields on Moral Grounds
Ron Paul Admits Saying One Sane Thing for Every 10 Crazy Ones a Psychological Ploy
Don Francisco of Sabado Gigante: I’ll Be VP if My Chief of Staff Can Wear a Spangled Bikini
Florida TV Viewers Pine for Return of Annoying Infomercials
Trump: I’m Just As Relevant Now as I Was Six Months Ago
Rick Perry’s Foot, Mouth Schedule Reunion: “It’s Been Too Long”
Weakening the protective private-sector money dam
Unfluffing the comfy cash cushion
Radical fundamentalist fair-ism
Forcibly suppressing our natural greed reflex
Unfairly attacking poor, defenseless regressive taxation
Arrogantly and arbitrarily favoring selflessness over selfishness
Robbing the gilt, diamond-encrusted cookie jar
Stealing from Peter (Posspount-Weatherford III, Esq.) to pay Pablo
Dishonoring massive inherited wealth
Ignoring the sacrifices made by our robber-baron forefathers
- Eye herpes
- Aluminum foil for breakfast
- More ear hair
- A table dance from Judge Judy
- A four-year flight in coach seated next to this guy:
- A makeout session with Bernie Madoff
- A human baby
- Oprah Winfrey dancing on my coccyx
- Blood streaming from my every orifice
- This song stuck in my head on endless loop for the next four years:
Still, one day I found myself emailing with a friend who was often trying to set me up with women she knew. This friend was also a frequent contributor to an email listserv, so I saw her emails in my inbox all the time. As I hit “send” on a reply to her, I realized, to my horror, that I had a written a personal reply to an email she had posted to this listserv. At the time, a lot of email listservs were set up so that replying to a message broadcast that reply to the entire list. And in this reply, I was picking up a thread from one of my ongoing “private” conversations with my friend about one of the women she was trying to set me up with, asking questions about what she was like, how old she was, etc. (No, I didn’t ask if she had big tits, but it would have been just as humiliating.)
I was SURE I had just sent out something embarrassing to an entire subscriber base of strangers. I was absolutely sick. I just sat there for several agonizing minutes, watching my inbox for my errant reply to appear as the latest listserv message.
But it didn’t. Instead, it bounced. Luckily, it turned out this listserv DID NOT allow replies to the list. I was spared. But it still makes me nauseous to think about it. I took it as a cautionary episode, and it has been a lesson that served me well.
Which brings us to Rep. Anthony Weiner, the most recent in a long line of notable figures who have shared personally embarrassing content on the Internet. All of these people made the same mistake: confusing a one-to-all communications medium for a private, one-to-one communications medium.
As a faithful listener to sex guru Dan Savage’s Savage Lovecast, I am not here to condemn the sexuality behind the actions of Weiner, fellow NY Congressman and disgraced social sharer Christopher Lee, or similar dumbasses. Different, um, strokes for different folks, and all that.
But, holy cow, do these behaviors fail to overcome any rational risk/benefit analysis! Consider this passage from today’s front-pager on Weiner in the NYT:
“Even if Mr. Weiner remains in office, however, political consultants said his ultimate ambition, to succeed Michael R. Bloomberg as mayor, has very likely been extinguished.
“‘There is zero chance today of a Mayor Weiner,’ said… a veteran political analyst who has worked on New York City mayoral campaigns for decades.”
A life’s ambition, likely snuffed out over a lame crotch bulge photo.
OK, you’re thinking, big deal, I’m not a congressman or a celebrity. Doesn’t matter. IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU! There are 1,001 seemingly innocuous things you could do online that could cost you your job, destroy your relationships and generally wreak all kinds of havoc on your life. It could all happen with a single, irretrievable click. Click! and you’re living in a nightmare. Worse, it will be a nightmare of your own making, and one you could have avoided by remembering four little words. These are words my mother drilled into me about conducting my personal behavior, but they adapt beautifully to online behavior:
WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T!
•Is it possible this email could be taken the wrong way? WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T!
•Am I too emotional right now to judge whether I should send or post this? WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T!
•If my trusting relationship with this person is violated, could this email/post/photo/etc. be used at some later date to embarrass me? WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T!
•Is it possible there are unforeseen costs to this ultimately meaningless and pointless activity that could put everything I have at risk? WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T!
•Even if I can deal with the unforeseen consequences myself, is there a possibility that they could hurt others who have supported me with their love, friendship, reputations and/or money? WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T!
Now, I wish I could say that I’ve followed my mom’s law with 100% fealty. It’s not true. I’ve made mistakes. Fortunately, none of them have been of Weiner-esque proportions. And I’ll probably make mistakes in the future. But I can confidently say I’ve avoided countless other, potentially larger mistakes by pausing with my finger over the the mouse button and hearing my mom’s words ring out:
WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T!
Erase. Delete. Take a deep breath. What have you lost by not sending/posting/sharing it? Nothing. What have you gained? Possibly everything. That’s what they call a no-brainer, kids.
WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T!
1. A. “I regret that I have but one life to live for my country.”
C. “Give me liberty, or give me death.”
D. “It is not enough to be abstinent with other people. You also have to be abstinent alone.”
B. “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
C. “Tyranny like hell is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
D. “Because sometimes in really poor families, kids just have to pitch in.”
B. “Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.”
C. “Appealing to Heaven for the justice of our cause, we determine to die or be free.”
D. “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.”
B. “Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker.”
C. “One man with courage is a majority.”
D. “And what a bizarre time we’re in, when a judge will say to little children, that you can’t say the Pledge of Allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it.”
B. “Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”
C. “I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”
D. “We needed to have the press be our friend … We wanted them to ask the questions we want to answer so that they report the news the way we want it to be reported.”
1. d, Christine O’Donnell
2. d, Rand Paul
3. d, Sarah Palin
4. d, Michele Bachmann
5. d, Sharron Angle
Me: I don’t like the results of your poll. Try harder.
Pollster James: Yeah, we get that a lot. Only from people who aren’t kidding.
Me: I’m not kidding.
Pollster James: Oh.
This is so confusing. He says he’s not a tea bagger, but he is an oppressed white man. He says it’s not a political gesture, but he is using a tea bagger totem. And most confounding of all, the ACLU, that paragon of anti-Americanism (except when they are defending fascists and gun rights advocates), is on his side. Hello? Mr. Flag Flyer? It’s Fox News on the phone.NYT: Homeowner’s Fight Involves Flag Tied to Tea Party