Job creation is a false idol. The future is about gigs and assets and art and an ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects. It will change the fabric of our society along the way. No one is demanding that we like the change, but the sooner we see it and set out to become an irreplaceable linchpin, the faster the pain will fade, as we get down to the work that needs to be (and now can be) done.

music, videos

Monday Morning Music: Focus, “Hocus Pocus”

Remember when I said King Crimson’s Jamie Muir is the most wonderfully eccentric person you’re likely to see in music? Meet his toughest competitor in that category, Focus keyboardist/flautist/yodeler/whistler Thijs van Leer in his early ’70s glory.

The song worked its way into a terrific Nike ad with Wayne Rooney, prompting van Leer to wax nostalgic in this terrific interview. If anyone finds an interview with Muir, please let me know.



Community: TV show or confused journalism concept?

The Seattle Times is splitting its newsroom into “Creation, Curation and Community” staffs. (The Seattle Times: Newsroom reorganization reflects new priorities | Knight Digital Media Center.)

Cute, but also a Confused Concept. Counterproductive.

“Community” needs to be a small part of everyone’s job. Having someone to manage their local bloggers (terrific concept) is a good idea, but beyond that, “community” shouldn’t be in a silo.

“Curation” implies that editors are busy using overly complex tools to put things on the site and in the paper. That means they’re not spending their time editing. That’s an important part of the process.

And lumping one group under “Creation” will work about as well as the Office episode in which the sales staff starts lording its new status over the other Dunder-Mifflin employees.


My writing worth re-reading: An exercise in self-improvement and narcissism

I’m going back through my back catalog for a reason, and I thought I’d share some of the greatest hits, based on my own selfish opinions rather than anything objective. A lot of these are quixotic arguments against the grain, because I’m an underdog at heart and because I think I’m most original when I’m not thinking with the mob.

This is not a scientific survey. I was basically taking random slices of the archives and seeing what I still enjoyed.

SportsMyriad, February 2011: Critique of Fedor and Strikeforce, including a comparison of the Showtime broadcasters who beg you to get excited and the HDNet broadcasters who simply let their excitement be contagious.

SportsMyriad, February 2011: Why everything you think about the U.S. soccer mentality is wrong.

SportsMyriad, September 2010: Are sports monopolies necessary? Examples from soccer, MMA, chess, etc.

SportsMyriad, July 2011: Choke! Why there’s no double standard for women’s soccer. This one and the ensuing arguments cost me a couple of Twitter followers.

SportsMyriad, April 2011: Why I argue with morons. (For the record, I’m not the one who called them morons.)

Mostly Modern Media, July 2005: A little rant about modern video games.

Mostly Modern Media, October 2005: Why country music’s endless tributes to alcohol are superior to hip-hop.

Mostly Modern Media, August 2005: Chipotle and the decline of Western civilization. No, it’s not Chipotle’s fault. Chipotle is just the venue.

Mostly Modern Media, November 2005: A rebuttal to the “child-free” movement.

Mostly Modern Media, November 2005: Scott Adams, PZ Myers and why overkill fails to impress me in blog arguments.

Mostly Modern Media, March 2008: A takedown of mindless cynicism about Disney World.

Mostly Modern Media, August 2008: China beat: Handball, war, sanitation, etc. (One of my all-time most-read, thanks in large part to a link from D.C. Sports Bog.)

The Netminder, August 2008: Taking a wrong turn in Qinhuangdao (a classic tale of travel misadventure).

USA TODAY, January 2010: Following Tom Lawlor through a weight cut.

USA TODAY, February 2010: Ain’t no party like a biathlon party. “The German people make very party. Also Norway people.”

USA TODAY, August 2008: Discord on U.S. boxing team.

USA TODAY, August 2008: Modern pentathletes kiss a horse, get talked back into competition after miserable fencing round, etc.

USA TODAY, August 2008: Iceland team, president and first lady go crazy over prospect of gold medal.

espnW, June 2011: FIFA press conference is abruptly cut sh

espnW, July 2011: Marta has her Diego Maradona moment.

espnW, June 2011: Tournament rewind — best teams, best players, best Al Bundy reference, etc.

espnW, June 2011: Equatorial Guinea wins over fans.

Huffington Post, June 2010: Tipping point for U.S. soccer has long passed.

USA TODAY, August 2007: Maykel Galindo’s story of defecting from Cuba and conveying bad news to his grandmother.

USA TODAY, July 2007: Washington Freedom await women’s soccer league rebirth.

USA TODAY, June 2002: USA is a legitimate, if peculiar, soccer nation.

USA TODAY, September 2001: The world’s game is needed more than ever. (Specific date: Sept. 13, 2001.) “We can’t all make it to the World Cup. We can’t all play well. But we can share this unique experience with all who take advantage of whatever freedom they have to enjoy this game — a game that captures the human spirit in every corner of the world, even and perhaps especially those that are suffering or mourning.”

USA TODAY, February 2001: Annoy everyone — support the USA.

I also wrote a book.