Tag Archive | "Twitter"

I Don’t Even Know What To Say

I’m honored.

If you want to read it, I did an interview with Rovell last year. You can read it [What Is Darren Rovell’s Problem].

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NFL Reporters Should Not Spoil The Draft On Twitter

I remember watching the NBA Draft, with Twitter right in front of me.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports ruined every. single. pick. by tweeting it about 30 seconds  before it was announced. This was not fun for me. I like being on Twitter during sporting events because it’s an opportunity to have a shared experience, and because of insight and news. This wasn’t either to me.

For the NFL Draft, one group of reporters has promised not to do this. Another group of reporters has promised to keep doing it. I suspect this is because certain networks are NFL partners and others are not.

No matter who is doing it, I think it’s stupid and not at all fun to ruin the picks by tweeting the news seconds before the announcement. Here’s why.

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I’m Retiring From Twitter Because I Cannot Top This Tweet

I wrote the following tweet last night, and between my brother and I, we decided it was the best I could do.

Because of this, I’m never tweeting again. I’m going to go out on top.

To be clear, I was never aiming for this to happen, it just did. Farewell Twitter!

I am not ending my campaign against Dippin’ Dots though.


Well this happened:

And I lost it, and this happened:

So I’m back. Who had 1pm in the pool?

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Putting Together The Pieces Of Coffee Dad’s Son’s Death

You know Coffee Dad (@coffee_dad). I retweet him even though you already follow him. He’s the top-of-the-line Twitter account that gives us gems like this:

But sometimes, like today, Coffee Dad gets serious. He speaks of his son’s untimely death. Like here:

What I think we can ascertain from his tweets about his son, is that his death was motorcycle related, his son was married, and Dad takes some responsibility.

I’d like to solve the mystery of Coffee Son’s death. Respectfully, of course.

Some notes here: as Steve McDonald (@_spmcdonald) points out, his son’s birthday is 7/17 (could someone search relevant records?), and it seems like 580 or so of Coffee Dad’s 586 tweets are coffee related.

*UPDATE* We’ve got more. Matt (@shmeelz) found this article about a man who is upset about the death of his son, who was killed in a motorcycle accident. It doesn’t end there. This was the last tweet from @CoffeeDadsSon, and it happened on March 16th:


The rest of the tweets about Coffee Dad’s son:

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What’s Darren Rovell’s Problem?

The other day, Darren Rovell annoyed me. It wasn’t one of the “A or B” polls, or breaking down a pitcher’s salary into innings.

Perhaps my tolerance was low, because it was at the end of the day. Whatever it was, it got to me. It was when he first asked this:

Many people then informed him that teams do that for a specific reason, and it was part of the MLB CBA. He then tweeted the following:

And then this:

And then this:

And then this:

And then this:

In between, there was a back and forth with Nationals pitcher Drew Storen, which is documented here.

What bothered me most I guess, is that I felt like Rovell was intentionally ignoring obvious facts to either drive people nuts, or because he had trouble admitting he was wrong. I guess it’s funny that someone being stubborn about being right or wrong would bother me specifically given my personality.

To me, it should go like this:

@DarrenRovell: If MLB teams struggle to draw on weekday day games, why do you they schedule them then?

And then:

@DarrenRovell: Oh, it’s a CBA thing so they can get sleep. 

Instead, it devolved into an insane (my words) discussion in which he was demanding proof that players with more sleep perform better than players with less sleep.

So on my commute home, I thought to myself “what is Darren Rovell’s problem?” I thought as well, it might make for an interesting post.

The next morning, I decided to ask Rovell on Twitter if he’d like to comment before I wrote it, and he kindly obliged. He was a good sport about it, especially to someone who (me) repeatedly asks him questions like “how many dollars per second does that come to?”

He did ask if I was going to use his comments, to run them as an unedited Q&A. I agreed.

It went longer than I expected. I’ve got no idea how to whittle it down (and I agreed I wouldn’t), so I’m just giving you the entire exchange. Because it got so long, it’s here on spikeeskin.com instead of cbsphilly.com. Enjoy.

We’ll start with the questions I sent him, along with his answers:

1. What’s your problem, anyway?

Don’t have any problem, Spike. Love Twitter as a tool. Love to engage people. Enjoy hearing what they have to say.

2. Why do you think people follow you? For what purpose(s) specifically?

Think there are a couple reasons. Obviously they want sports business news. Some want the quirky news, things that they won’t get from any other feed. I know that I can’t please everyone. Some people love the offbeat things that I do, some people don’t.

3. What percentage of response that you get on Twitter do you consider to be negative?

I’d say probably 30 percent of what I get is negative. Fans are passionate and I appreciate that. It’s not pretty when it gets nasty, but I can take it. I’m a man. I’m 33.

4. Do you read all of it?

Yes I do. And I’m totally fine with people who want to be critical of anything I say. I think people don’t realize that I read all of it so when negative tweets come in from people like you with so much frequency, they don’t realize that their credibility is being compromised. I’d say 80 percent of what I see from you to me is negative so after a while it becomes more about “What’s His Problem?” instead of “What’s My Problem.”

5. Do you feel like Twitter is a prudent place to have a realistic discussion of whether or not day games have a positive effect overall on baseball? Or any such discussion that might be better served where answers longer than 140 characters are available?

This is a big debate right now. What is the appropriate use of Twitter? I pick Twitter sometimes to engage in conversations that might be bigger than the medium because it’s what I have in the moment. Maybe I’m busy with the TV story or writing a blog and don’t have the time to push the debate further. Or maybe I think it’s a small issue and people come out with amazing passion like they did in this debate.

What I think people should realize, as I do, is Twitter is out of context by its very nature. So you have to be patient to let the dialogue advance. People interacting with me felt like I wasn’t listening to them on this topic. I was. My point was, is it worth exchanging players sleep for compromising revenues by having day games that draw much smaller crowds than night games? I think it was a good question. While many came back with, it’s obvious this and that, there wasn’t anything that really stuck. The comical thing of course was, since when do fans really care about a player’s health, especially if they’re good enough to play?

6. Is part of how you behave and your “Twitter persona” an act, or is it really you?

This is the genuine article. If I had to put on an act every time I got on Twitter or tweeted something I’d be more exhausted than I already am from a day full of work.

7. Do you ever think that some of your responses come off as condescending?

Perhaps. I don’t mean them to be. I think it’s a written medium and just like emails sometimes don’t read like the person intended, I can see how a tweet could come off that way. I’ve written almost 30,000 tweets, it’s going to happen just based on volume. The funny thing is that people who bash what I do and curse at me expect a magnanimous response in return. Or, as I referenced before, they’re people like you who have decided you have a problem with me beyond what I write and seemingly tweet at me to “pick a fight.” How am I supposed to respond there?

8. The DM thing, what’s that all about? Why do you do that? Part of me believes it’s just to drive people nuts, which I’d understand.

I originally DM’d people because I didn’t think people on my timeline really cared to hear my back and forths with other people. I guess they did. So I haven’t done the DM thing in at least four months. When I choose to respond, it is a public response.

9. Are there any of the 100 Twitter Rules you’d go back and change.

Definitely Rule #28 which refers to using an unfollow as a “learning experience.” I don’t do that anymore. I just stay true to myself, know what my role is, and if someone unfollows me, I’m good with that.

I then asked if I could ask a couple of follow up questions (they ended up being more comments than questions as you’ll see), and Darren obliged. My thoughts:

In regard to his response to question #5:

The thing that bothered me here is that as someone who knows business, it seems like you either clearly ignored some obvious ideas here, or were looking for someone to say them. When bargaining to agree to a CBA like this, clearly there’s give and take. So maybe it’s not optimal for owners, by and large to have some day games in terms of gate, perhaps it’s something they give away just to get something back. As well, we’ve seen in the NBA season that rest for players (and lack of rest) can definitely have an effect on play. Having a quality product for more games, if it means less gate for a few seems like a pretty easy exchange. 

I don’t think the passion was in that people care that much about day games. The passion was that you asked a question, they gave an answer, and instead of acknowledging that you didn’t know the answer and a “thanks for the response,” it was just that day games were still silly and bad business. That you refused to acknowledge that you were mistaken. 

That I think is where it seems condescending and frustrating.  

In regard to his response to question #4

 I think the issue here is how you address when people are critical, which is what provokes a more negative response. 

 I would suggest that your responses can compromise your credibility as much as, of not more than, mine do my credibility. 

 That said, as a receiver of plenty of negative response (not in volume what you do clearly, but enough to understand), I get it. Point made. 

To which, Darren responded with the following:


I don’t believe I was mistaken. That’s the point. And it has nothing to do with being stubborn. How much more of a quality product do you get with better sleep? Is that exchange with a smaller crowd definitely worth it for the business? While owners can choose to pay the players whatever they want, they also can choose to correlate it with the revenues that they bring in. If you believe that, and you believe the union wants to maximize the player’s dollars (which despite conventional thinking is the main role of the union, instead of to protect the HEALTH of the players), then it’s not ideal for business. I asked for data on quality of play or quality of sleep on getaway days. I’m not sure that the data exists, but if someone presented it to me, I would have posted that with lightning speed. I was thrilled that players weighed in and said that it was much harder to go to sleep when they arrive in the early morning versus late at night. But it’s still a valid question to ask: How much does the difference affect performance? Show me analysis that teams who used getaway days to leave early played better the next day.

Drew Storen, the Washington Nationals closer, said I was wrong about sleep and getaway days and the business of it all. So let’s look just at the Washington Nationals.

Storen Tweeted: “Having players perform at the top of their abilities in order to win the most games is better for business. It’s about winning.”

So then why have the Nationals only had 1 WEEKDAY GETAWAY ALL YEAR SO FAR. ONE. This is when they played a day game during the week so that they could travel somewhere else to play the the next day.

On April 11th the Nationals played @ the Mets on a weekday day game so they could get home to Washington (long trip I know, explain that one to me). They won the next day in 10 innings by one run.

So at least in Storen’s case, there was one piece of data, which no Twitter follower looked up for me (I would have RT’d it whether it proved my point or not) and the data is inconclusive.

Did getting home early help the Nationals get the win? Did Drew and his teammates go to sleep immediately when the went home? The Nationals won that game on a WILD PITCH by reliever Alfredo Simon.

It’s easy to say I’m wrong and I make bad points, but there’s clearly a debate as to whether it’s smart for Major League Baseball (and for the union to collectively bargain) getaway days when they are so few and far between, that they seem to affect crowds and there is not a ton of data that i’ve seen that says that on these few occassions lack of sleep affects performance.

I share so much on Twitter. From great T-shirts to weird tattoos to opinions voiced by those who do and don’t follow me. The burden to have to share everyone’s thoughts on every issue you discuss, just isn’t fair. It’s also easy to say that someone is wrong if you’re not going to back it up.


Read back through my responses yesterday and tell me one tweet that had any sort of disrespectful or condescending tone. You won’t be able to find one. I’m in search for some facts instead of opinions. You have you opinion, I have my opinion. Persuade me other than to say “it’s common sense that players who sleep better perform better.”

And he also added in a subsequent email:

I think it’s also fair that your intro does not include any counterpoints to my points so as to compromise this debate.

I agreed to that stipulation. Then, I responded with this:

You need facts to determine whether people perform better if they’ve slept better? I guess since common sense suggests that it’s true, but a simple google search returns a ton of results. 


I don’t have any research about teams on getaway days, as I’d guess there isn’t any. But I don’t think suggesting that because there’s no specific data on it, the intuition wouldn’t be the same. Right?

Where’s the data to suggest that every day game, if it became a night game, would have higher attendance? Just your intuition, right? I might even suggest that as part of a marketing strategy, to make games more kid friendly and appeal to people who can’t normally attend games, it works on a much broader level than something as direct as ticket sales for particular games. 

At this point I asked Darren if he’d like to come on my 94WIP radio show Thursday night for 12 minutes to discuss this, and I could post everything together. He suggested I publish this, then he’d do the interview. He then added the following:

Please incorporate this….

Again, there’s one piece of data with the Nationals. I did it for you. They had 1 weekday day game on April 11th to take a 1 hour flight back to Washington. Let’s work with that data because it’s the only data we have. Figure the players got back at what…8 pm? Did they go to sleep right away? Did their sleep make them better the next day?

Many on Twitter, like you, suggested that this was not a debate and I was wrong to suggest it was. Sure, there is data that says that sleep can make one perform better. But that’s over TIME. How many decent night sleeps do baseball players get by playing three- and four-game homestands in the same city. I’m sure enough. And if they don’t, it can just be called part of the job. I get less sleep that a government employee who might be expected to leave work at 4:59:59 pm every day. It comes with the territory.

It’s a much better assumption (than a sleep performance argument) that I make that weekday day games as a whole draw fewer fans than the same game would at night.

I can’t really work with the one piece of data I have because Johan Santana faced Stephen Strasburg on April 11th and that factor alone contributed to that day game drawing more than 9,000 fans more than the previous game. Would it have been more if it were a night game? Probably.

One more point to make here.

On April 11, the Nationals and the Mets played the game during the day on a weekday (it was a Wednesday) despite the fact that the Nationals were going back to Washington and the Mets had an OFF DAY the next day.

Explain how that makes sense.

Of course I wanted to respond, but with this post in mind, and the interview in mind, I responded with the following:


There’s no way I can just “publish this,” and not respond to your final retort.

Then you’ll want to respond. 

Then I’ll want to respond (since it is in fact, what I’m writing).

And everyone will want to have the last word. 

I’m not quite sure how to proceed from here, but there are plenty of things (including one game being sufficient data to conclude anything about sleep and performance or attendance) that I’d like to respond to in your last email.

I appreciate your time, but I’m not entirely sure that an unedited email chain makes for great reading material. 

He then responded that I could do what I want, and asked that I just not use anything he wrote out of context. I don’t believe I’ve done that. He then sent me this:

You see why having a longer forum than twitter isn’t necessarily more fruitful?

To which I responded with:

No, this absolutely does not show that. It just shows that email isn’t the best forum for it. That doesn’t make Twitter better. 

I then told him I wouldn’t take him out of context, and that was that.

I thank Mr. Rovell for taking the time to answer the questions. I’m not sure I found out the answer to my original question. But I won’t tease him on Twitter anymore.


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Crank Calls On Twitter: SOPA Broke My Wikipedia

I think these must become a regular feature.

Today CraneKicker (@cranekicker) asks the fine people at XBox what happened to his Wikipedia.

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Q & A With Chuck Klosterman: Drake, Twitter, and The Visible Man (plus The Death Of The Alt-Rock Dream)

I first read Chuck Klosterman’s work when I moved to Chicago in 2007. My boss game me a copy of Fargo Rock City, suggesting that he thought as an 80’s rock guy who was working at an alternative radio station, I could relate to it. He was right.

I’ve since read every word Klosterman has published, and it was a real thrill to get to speak to him about his new book The Visible Man, as well as some other things. I didn’t expect to discuss Drake.

There is an uncut version of the conversation on my podcast, and you can listen to that by clicking HERE. 

There are a couple of things I took from my interview with Klosterman, aside from the content itself. First, it seemed like every question I asked him, he’d thought long and hard about at some point. I couldn’t tell whether that was because he thinks a lot about everything, or I just asked him things other people have asked him. In any case, he always had a well thought out answer. But second, and more importantly, it seemed like even though he’d thought about these things so much, he was open to discussing and potentially interpereting those things differently. That comes through far less clearly in print.

For those who follow me on Twitter (@spikeeskin), you’ll find his comments about people who tweet too much particularly amusing, considering the interviewer.

The conversation began with him asking me what the interview was for, meaning website, publication, broadcast, etc …

Spike: Yeah, this is just for me, my website. The internet, where we don’t need “the man” anymore.

Chuck Klosterman: Who is “the man” though?

S: I don’t know.

C: No one’s met the man. I keep wanting to run into him at some party or something. And I can tell him that he owes me money. Or I owe him money … I don’t know.

S: Every time I bring up your name, there’s a more polarizing view of you than I expect. Does it surprise you?

C: It doesn’t surprise me because it happens all the time. It confuses me. I’m not just talking about the negative side either, I’m talking about the positive side too. It just seems really weird to me. I just feel like my writing is pretty straight forward. I feel like if anything, my perspective on things is borderline banal. I don’t feel like I’ve ever made a strong political statement. I don’t know why it happens. It must just be the way the information is presented. But when I write, my goal is just to be as clear as possible. Just interesting, entertaining and clear. So I’m not surprised by it, it’s just how it is. Now it doesn’t even matter really what I write. I think I could almost write anything, and somebody would love it too much and somebody else would hate it too much.

Now it doesn’t even matter really what I write. I think I could almost write anything, and somebody would love it too much and somebody else would hate it too much.

S: I remember in a piece you wrote you talked about things being overrated, underrated and properly rated. It doesn’t feel like anything anymore is properly rated. Everybody to make their point either overrates something or underrates it. When something hits critical mass, everyone feels like they have to have a distinct, black or white opinion.

C: Although I suppose you could argue that it moves everything to its properly rated level. Because if every possible opinion is expressed over a piece of art, you know, a record or a book or a movie, well then every opinion is there and then time just sort of dictates which opinions hold up.

The new Drake record is out today. I’ve been following it on Twitter. Hadn’t listened to it yet. But the people I follow on Twitter are nuts about this record. They’re just in love with it. So I’ve been listening to it and because I had that experience beforehand, where I was reading all of these sort of  really visceral over-the-top reactions, it seems a little overrated to me. It doesn’t seem as good as what they’ve been arguing. But that has nothing to do with the record.  It has only to do with my pre-existing perception and basically the fact that I happen to know people who have been listening to this record for a week and were pre-disposed to like it. So, will I ever know if this record is properly rated? That’s the confusing thing.

There’s really no consensus, so we’re all just sort of forced to let our very small circle of influence tell us if something is universally good or universally bad. So I think in a lot of ways, we have so much more information now, so much more access to things. We have more information and are yet less informed.

So I think in a lot of ways, we have so much more information now, so much more access to things. We have more information and are yet less informed. 

S: Does that opinion of the record being rated so highly, change how you actually enjoy the record? If you had not read that reaction, would you have felt better about the record?

C: Well I certainly couldn’t have thought it was worse. We’re kind of talking about two nebulous things. We’re talking about something’s real value and its perceived value. So they’re (the people on Twitter) saying these things about the record, and they’re saying they’re very moved by it. They’re saying it’s very important. So when I listen to the album, I’m not listening to it like “is this entertaining?” I’m listening to it for the import. And that really changes the scales, you know?

It’s really hard to compete with young people and their experience. Their experience is not to look for import, they’re having a “real experience with the sound.” When you talk about adults, the only reason we’d talk about music is that it means something aside from itself. That really detracts from he experience of “well that sounded good” or “I enjoyed listening to that.”

S: The new book is The Visible Man. How is the creative process different for you to write fiction rather than non-fiction?

C: Well the main difference is that fiction really is a creative process. Whereas journalism is more of a reactive process. That’s the central difference. I guess it’s kind of obvious but it’s true. When I’m doing, let’s say a profile of Noel Gallagher, a couple of months ago. Well that whole thing is based around meeting him, trying to explain to other people what that meeting felt like and seemed like.  And then also trying to sort of describe what the totality of this experience made me think about. But in all of these cases I’m reaciting to something.

Whereas in fiction you’re starting with nothing. Some people start first with character and plot. I start with the idea first, try to build characters and plot around that. But ultimately it’s just a blank space. It’s a white screen.

S: The idea for The Visible Man is about a man who can wear a suit that makes him impossible to see. What were you thinking when you decided to write a book about that?

C: I was still writing Eating The Dinosaur (2009), actually. I was writing about time travel in that book, I felt like I had to re-read The Time Machine by HG Wells. And when I got it, it came along with The Invisible Man. So I re-read the Invisible Man,  which I hadn’t read since fifith or sixth grade. And I twas just totally different book. When you’re a kid, you’re really interested in the idea of invisiblity like you’d be interested in a superheros or whatever.

When you’re an adult, the thing that struck me at least was the actual Invisible Man was just this incredibly self-absored ego-centric, kind of an amoral person. I thought that was very interesting, because if somebody had the ability to create an invisibility suit, or in that novel a potion, whatever the case, they’d have to be brilliant. But in order to use that, to employ it and spy on people about their knowledge or to live a life where you’re unseen in a world that is seen, you’d have to have a great deal of confusion over social boundaries, what is normal behavior, what is acceptable. You’d almost have to be kind of emotionally retarded. That’s an interesting sort of character. People who are extreme in two ways at once. So that’s why I wanted to write a character like that.

At the same time I was also thinking about interviewing, because I’ve been a journalist for 20 years now, and I’ve conducted 1000 interviews, but also because I’ve been interviewed quite a bit as well. So I spend a lot of time thinking about the inherent problem with the interview process. And the weaknesses of trying to get information from someone besides asking questions. And I thought “well, what would be other ways?” And one would be to observe people without them realizing they’re being observed. So in the novel essentially you learn more from the invisible man character talking to his therapist, than he learns from watching other people. Ultimately, even though it has problems, interviewing is the best way to understand people. There’s no way to get around the fact that interviewing is the only way to come to a conclusion, even though what they say probably isn’t completely real. 

There’s no way to get around the fact that interviewing is the only way to come to a conclusion, even though what they say probably isn’t completely real.

S: This book felt to me like a deparature. It was scarier than I imagined it would be. I don’t know if that was your intent. When you finished writing it and looked back on it, did it come out differently than you expected or something that you wouldn’t typically write?

C: Do you really think it was scary though? Or just scarier than you thought? I don’t feel it is scary. I mean I think it’s interesting when people say “oh, you’ve sort of written a genre novel.” Because I always assume they’re talking abot sci-fi. And then they’re like, “no, it’s kind of a horror novel.” And I suppose structurally it is.  When you write a novel, you have a voice and you have ideas, but you also sort of have to have story. You have to have narrative. And I guess, the way I built that narrative was like a horror novel, you know? I guess if you’re asking was I surprised it turned out that way, I would say no. I guess if anything I wished it would have been more terrifying (laughs). I think that would be to its advantage, not its disadvantage.

S: About 40 or 50 pages in, I legitimately looked to the front of the book because I thought I read the cover wrong. I actually went to look to see if it was Chuck Palahniuk. And then at the very end of the book, and I won’t give away what happens, but I had a very Paranormal Activity, is someone in the room with me, kind of fear that lasted the rest of the evening.

C: I gotta say that makes me happy. Your sort of interaction with the book is great in my view. It seems like that would be effective. I’m glad you felt that way. It’s very flattering

S: I don’t read fiction very often. At the end of the book, maybe it’s from movies or TV shows, or the fiction that I consume other than books, I always expect at the end of a work of fiction for there to be some kind of thing that I learned. “What was it about?” “What am I supposed to realize about people or humanity?” I think I got to the end of Visible Man and I felt like I wasn’t taught a lesson.

C: That’s true, I don’t really do that. In fact, in general, I’m not really interested in that process. To me, I’m interested in ideas about society and ideas about human nature and ideas about life, you know? But the idea that the complexity of the world and those issues could somehow be boiled down into one point, to me that actually takes me out the story. I want my ficition to seem like non-fiction when you read it. I want people to feel like they’re reading a non-fcition book.

In fact, without going too much into it, the Beatles come up a lot in the book. And the reason I did that is because I’m sort of actually against the idea of clear symbolism. In a play for example, they often say if the gun appears in the first act, it needs to go off in the third act. Things just happen in life, and we create the symbolism for it, even if there is none. We’re trying to sort of understand what it’s like to be alive.  So we create symbolism, symbolism is not inherent. So there’s a lot of things in this book that are consciously trying to contradict the idea that if A happens, it means B. 

Things just happen in life, and we create the symbolism for it, even if there is none. We’re trying to sort of understand what it’s like to be alive.  So we create symbolism, symbolism is not inherent. So there’s a lot of things in this book that are consciously trying to contradict the idea that if A happens, it means B.

S: Are the characters in the book, at least the two main ones, at least loosely on specific people?

C: Pretty close to entirely made up. When you’re trying to imagine, trying to make up a person. You certain have to imagine a body, and what they look like, and that to a degree is a composite of people you’ve seen. You know, when I guess though in truth that both of those characters are probably more like me than anyone else. Even though neither one is like me exactly.

S: How do you think you would handle that ability if you were given this ability to be invisible, what would you do with it?

C: Well, you know, not much. It’s not like I have a huge desire to do that. I’m married, and my wife and I have a lot of friends who are couples. I’d be interested to watch our couple friends when they’re fighting. Because I’m always very intrigued by the interior world of relationships. No one really knows what’s happening in a relationship besides the people involved. Recently, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth broke up. After being together for something like 30 years. People in the alternative music community were just devastated by this. It would seem like it was kind of the death of the alt-rock dream. There was this unspoken idea that because of their interestes and personalities and to a degree the music that they played and the art that they made, that they could have an adult normal relationship. And then of course they break up. But really the thing, the lesson from that should have had nothing to do with that. The lesson should have been, it doesn’t matter what someone seems on the outside, it doesn’t matter what you know about someone’s relationship from watching them. The only reality is the one that they’re sharing that’s private. So it would be interesting to see my friends fight. I’d like to see what they fight about.

S: I always  wonder when I see two people start to fight, when I see it brewing, how it ends. You know, who wins?

C: Of course the truth is that if someone wins, no one wins. It’s gotta be a tie. If somebody clearly wins an argument like that, they both lose, always.

At this point I made the connection between what Chuck said and the NBA lockout. Because the lockout has since ended, I took that part out of here. I did leave it in the podcast, which you can listen to by clicking HERE. 

S: I remember you and Bill Simmons talking about your apprehension to joining Twitter. Especially for a writer. You’re not terribly active on there, but has your view of Twitter changed since you started using it?

C: Well it’s an interesting question. The main reason I first got involved, is becaue I write about stuff like this. And it just seemed inconceiveable to me that I could write about it without experiencing it. So pretty much now whenever there’s a new sort of medium like this, I’m going to sort of wade into it.  Also there’s a degree of pressure on joining Twitter, if you know, you try to make a living writing. It is a pretty successful way to promote a book. Because the people who are following you are pretty much up front admitting, “I am interested in what you’re doing. That’s why I’m following you.” And you can really reach them directly in a a way that no other medium really does. And thirdly, and this is probably, you know, the biggest thing I’d say about it, is you know sometimes I’m bored. And you know, when you’re bored, you check your email. But my email doesn’t always change, Twitter always changes. It’s like an interesting kind of distraction. And I do get news from it.

You know, like so many things, they start one way, and it becomes something else. You know, initially when people made fun of twitter. They were like “well you know, I don’t want to read about someone having a sandwich. I don’t want to hear that you went for a run or whatever.” It was sort of the equivalent to when people  used to say that all bloggers lived in their parents basement. It was the defacto thing you said. But of course, as soon as more people started joining Twitter, that behavior generally stopped. Because those kind of people don’t get followed. And that kind of action moved to Facebook. So now facebook is this thing that’s more inward looking. Like, “here’s a picture of my baby.” Things about my life. Twitter is more outward looking. It is “here’s story link, I think this is important.” Or, “I saw something on 30 Rock tonight and I hated the commercials.” So I actually do find it pretty useful, you know. It’s maddening. It definitely, I would say the worst thing about it is, you know in the past if you were a cynical person, you’d say “you know, most people are dumb. The world is crazy.” You didn’t really mean that, you just kind of said that because how did you know? You just kind of felt that way. And then Twitter does prove that people are idiots and the world is crazy. 

And then Twitter does prove that people are idiots and the world is crazy.

S: Not everyone should have their opinion out in the public I guess. It doesn’t benefit anyone.

C: Well it benefits no one. It literally benefits no one. It doesn’t even benefit the person who is venting. Because all it does is make people perceive them as crazy. You’re right in that I don’t go on Twitter that much, because the people who do, are unaware of how they’re looking, how they appear to other people when they do that. It makes people appear that they’re both totally self-involved with their own ideas and also obsessed with subjecting those ideas into peoples’ face. It’s like the worst combination of qualities. It’s like somebody who is screaming at you about how they’re ego-centric. It’s just crazy. So I  try to do it just enough that it’s not a waste of peoples time to follow someone, but I don’t like people who Twitter too much. I don’t think anyone does. And the easy response is “just don’t follow them then,” but it’s more complex than that somehow.  I don’t know why, but it is.

S: Once in a while, once in a month, something happens that makes me wonder what life would have been like before this. This week it was the Penn State thing. Even forgetting about the reactions to it, which ranged from interesting to inane, but  just how quickly it escalated from point A to point B. I just went and thought “think about 20 years ago.” When I would have had to wait until watching the news at 6 o’clock, and to get an update on the story, and to get more than my friends opinions. I just thought about what this would have been like before social media. 

C: Here’s the key difference though, ok? This either indiciates that there’s no difference ultimately, or that the change has been sort of negative; you’re right, you wouldn’t have gotten everyone’s reaction to this instantaneously. You would have gotten a reaction from a smaller number of people, who would have spent more time thinking about it. And what you would have read then, is maybe a couple versions, there would be a news version that would be just information. And then a few editorial takes on this that would have been nuanced and more sophisticated than Twitter.

Now with Twitter you get it all at once. You get all of these perspectives basically from people trying to first react immediately, and then a second wave always of people arguing about how the narrative is going. You know how “everyone feels this, but maybe we should feel that.” So in a way you’re getting information faster and from more sources, but you’re actually getting it in a less efficient manner. It’s almost sort of like, instead of reading the New York Times, if you were to get every draft of people working on their story. Let’s say there was a way you could hook into the main frame of the New York Times computer system. So instead of reading the paper, you would get everyone’s draft. You would see all of the editorial responses from their editors, and get all of these different things. In some way you would have more information, but would it be a more effective way to understand the world? Probably not.

S: I just think generally people aren’t prepared to deal with things like Twitter. That technology has moved too quickly for us.

C: It’s hard, maybe problematic to make broad statements like this, but I think we agree it’s true. Just about all technology is beneficial in the short term and detrimental in the long-term. I mean if you look at something like television. I love telelvision. I’m watching it right now as I’m talking to you. I’m watching Baylor and San Diego State, it would be a big loss in my life if television didn’t exist. But is the long-term impact of television on society positive or negative? If you really think about it in broad strokes, I think it’s a very difficult question to answer. I don’t know if it’s been more positive than negative. Although in the short-term, it’s always positive. There’s no way to get around the fact that I can see this game, that’s happening in Texas. If TV didn’t exist, I would have never seen, I may have never seen the state of Texas before, except in a photograph or a painting, you know? 

Just about all technology is beneficial in the short term and detrimental in the long-term.

S: Well technology is invented by smart people and most people aren’t smart. The toys are too complicated for regular people to deal with. The result of technology is the problem that it’s invented by people who understand the best way that it should be used.

C: I don’t know if I agree with that though. I think that often technology is invented by people who are interested in technology. And the guys who invented Twitter, whomever they are. I suspect that the people who invented that were mostly interested in the mechanics of it, and how it would work. How many characters is the right number? For some weird reason the number of characters they picked seems about right for the way we use it at least. And I think that they probably had lots of ideas of how it could be used, but for the most part that was secondary. For the most part, it was like, “we need to make that happen.” Other people decide how it’s used.

Steve Jobs is a great example of this. My wife’s reading his book right now and she’s kind of talking to me as she reads thorugh it. He was someone who was really interested in science and he was really interested in philosophy. So one could argue that here’s a guy who is that person you’re describing. He had this sort of utopian view of how this technology should be used. And sometimes I wonder like, “is succeeding at technology simply a matter of being able to put the parts together in a way that other people can manipulate for their own purposes?” Can you really control how people use something?

S: Thanks for all of your time, I thought Viisble Man was really cool, I was surprised by it, but I thought it was really cool.

C: Well thanks for doing this interview, they were good questions.

Yes, I kept the last line in there because I was happy he said they were good questions. Sue me.

You can purchase The Visible Man on Amazon HERE. 

You can purchase The Visible Man on iTunes for your iPhone, iPad or iPod HERE. 

You can visit Chuck Klosterman’s website, and get information on his other books HERE.

You can follow Chuck Klosterman on Twitter @CKlosterman.


Posted in National Sports, PodcastComments (0)

Time’s Yours Podcast: The Chuck Klosterman Interview

Time’s Yours Podcast: The Chuck Klosterman Interview

You can purchase The Visible Man on Amazon HERE. 

You can purchase The Visible Man on iTunes for your iPhone, iPad or iPod HERE. 

You can visit Chuck Klosterman’s website, and get information on his other books HERE.

You can follow Chuck Klosterman on Twitter @CKlosterman.

Posted in National Sports, PodcastComments (0)

Top 10: Who And What Is #FreeBoosie

Marreese Speights

Chris Johnson is the Promotions Director for 94WIP and co-host of What’s The Word on Phillies 24/7. You can find him on Twitter @chrisjohnsonjr.

Occasionally, when I go to Twitter I realize that I’m behind on a joke of some sort between my new group of virtual friends (if I would have written that sentence 10 years ago you wouldn’t be able to convince me that I was about to get married).  If you’re in Philly on Twitter, you probably know what #aretroops, #bolg, the fake @Sl_JonHeyman and Meech’s great hunger strike of ’10 are all about.  Over time you figure it all out – well, almost all of it.

I have a confession to make.  I have no flippin’ (for the kids) idea who Boosie is or why everyone wants he/she freed.  I’m now going to take a few minutes to try and figure out who Boosie is, by constructing a Top 10 list of suspects.

#10 Samuel Dalembert
I don’t think I remember seeing any #freeboosie stuff while he was with the Sixers, but maybe that’s just because Twitter wasn’t really around while Sammy D was not hustling his was through 6 or 7 years in Philly.  Is Dalembert Boosie?  Does he want to free himself from Sacramento?  Do his former teammates say #freeboosie because they want to help him out of Sac-town?  I have no idea.

#9 The NBPA
I have no idea what goes through the heads of professional basketball players.  Is #freeboosie some kind of code for the labor strike? Is Boosie a lawyer or agent that they all trusted who is literally in prison?  Hopefully Boosie gets freed soon so he can step in and solve this labor thing before Spike loses his mind.

#8 Plaxico Burress
Boosie starts with a B.  Burress starts with a B.  I know he’s out now, but maybe #freeboosie isn’t as much as a stance for Burress anymore as it is a symbol to free all humans who shot themselves in their leg in NYC while wearing sweat pants in a club.  Speaking of sweatpants in a club, one day in 7th grade I realized that all of my jeans were in the laundry and I had to wear sweatpants to middle school.  When I write the Top 10 worst days of my life, sweatpants to middleschool day will be in the top 3.  UGH.

#7 Twista
Maybe Boosie is a rapper that we haven’t heard from in a while.  Maybe Twista is his real name and Boosie is his nickname.  Either way, Twista had that one really good jam with Kanye Jamie Foxx and then one on his own and then disappeared.  Maybe that’s because he’s in jail under the alias Boosie.  Maybe not.

#6 OJ Simpson
I don’t even think I have to go through numbers 5-1.  It’s definitely OJ, right?  Yea, the guy from Naked Gun.  Get it?  OJ – orange juice!  You’re right, most NBA players have no idea OJ was even an NFL Hall Of Fame quarterback that invented Gatorade at the University of Florida.

#5 Avon Barksdale
NBA players must have a ton of free time, especially in the playoffs when they only play one game every four days.  When not playing they must be either playing Call of Duty or watching crime series on HBO, right?  Not only was Avon the only one who really had to incur a lengthy prison sentence, but he also ended up paralyzed in Remember the Titans.

#4 Tupac
Is he really dead?  How does he still release an album every few years.  And not just new albums, but they’re on CDs, which weren’t even really invented (ed. note : yes they were) when he was ‘allegedly’ killed.  When Tupac and Biggie went away, we were left with the likes of Diddy, Pitbull and Master P.  Please, if Tupac is Boosie and can be freed, please do so and bring back good rap music.

#3 Allen Iverson
Many current NBA stars grew up idolizing Iverson and wanting to be just like him.  Well, now he has to resort to playing basketball in Turkey.  TURKEY?!  #freeboosiefromhavingtoplayinTurkeybecauseifheplaysinTurkeyeventuallywewilltoo?

#2 Lil’ Wayne
Sometimes I see it referred to as Lil Boosie.  This could just be circumstantial evidence, but maybe it was a thing while Lil’ Wayne was in jail and everyone wanted him freed and then he put out a rap album while in jail (they have recording studios there?) and no one realizes that he’s out now.  I watched The Seven once and they said that Drake is Lil’ Wayne’s brother.  Is that true?  RIP The Seven.

#1 Gary Busey
This has to be it, right?  Maybe it’s all just been a giant misspelling like #supportaretroops.  Maybe all along, Dalembert, Lou Williams and the rest of them wanted to FREE BUSEY from VH1 reality shows!!!  No, not Busey?  Then who?

Posted in Fun Stuff, National Sports, SixersComments (5)

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