A way to feel better when things keep getting worse
In general, I try to keep a smile to the world. I make goofy jokes on Twitter, start up jokey accounts just to make silly predictions, try to keep it light on my work blog, even.
In private, I'm often a cynical asshole. I do not think charitable thoughts all the time. I can be very judgmental. Sometimes I think people who are being overly nice to me are just being dumb. I don't like feeling that way and sometimes I go out of my way to do things I wouldn't ordinarily do just to alleviate that guilt a little.
Except for the saintly people whom I automatically worry about, I think we all have a chunk of that. The darkness that creeps in, especially online when you can really let it roll around in the dirt.
The economy is getting worse, the election is getting uglier. Every day is another outrage. Many of us are shielded from the worst of it, but nobody knows how long that will last.
All I can think to do is plug away at work, to keep posting funny things and try to entertain or to make other people laugh, to do small things that have a disproprotionately larger effect.
I haven't quite mastered it the way Sars has, but she's one of the people I look to for inspiration when I start to believe that one person can't do huge, world-altering things.
She has put together a Fall Challenge with Donors Choose that will directly affect many, many students. All you have to do it send some money. It's a horrible time to think about money, so don't. Just send $10 or $50 or whatever you can send. Don't think about it. Just do it.
You will receive a feeling worth more than what you send and you will help people in a way that is larger than what comes out of your wallet.
I don't know a better way to create light in the world than to simply act in good ways and hope for the best. This is a very easy way to do that.
We are live! The video project my brother Pablo and I have been working on has gone up on Movies/Television Without Pity.
It's called "Trailers Without Pity." I am not exaggerating when I say we've been working on this pretty much nonstop since about May. We went through several rough drafts until we settled (with lots of feedback from our corporate overlords) on this style, which borrows from Dan Blau's excellent Week Without Pity.
Our first episode is about the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. We thought this would air in two weeks, so I'm a little surprised and pleased to hear that they liked it so much they didn't want to keep it locked away.
The second episode is done and we're hard at work on future ones. "Trailers" will be a weekly show (knocks on wood). Please check it out and rate it highly so we can continue making fun of movie trailers from the comfort of our animated selves.
And on a subject that isn't completely making me lose my breath right now... new Smallville recap has been posted:
Arrow Smith -- When Oliver is poisoned by a strange tropical flower, we learn the origin of Green Arrow: he was shipwrecked, then he learned mad bow and arrow skills, then he was a billionaire playboy and superhero. It's just that simple!
This story was something my editor and I planned much earlier this year. Then I spent a while working on it and because of a problem I was having with the story, it had to be rescheduled and then I finished it up soon after, so it's been in the can for nearly a month. Which is the long way of saying that sometimes pieces that sound like they took a day or two to write are actually the result of months of work (including the photography and the video, below) and sometimes weeks of waiting for them to actually get into print.
The story about how professors at universities and their students use sites like Facebook and what kind of relationships on those sites are appropriate between. students and instructors.
I met some really fascinating people working on this story and I think its lessons could be applied to any industry. We're figuring out ourselves in the newsroom what's appropriate as far as using social networks in a public way. In a generation, I don't think it'll matter to most people what others overshare online, but right now we still live in a society where you can really screw your life up by making some wrong moves online.