Hey friends. I hope life has been treating you well. It's been a bit a wild few weeks here in Pittsburgh. Enjoying the warm weather that's been coming our way recently, and hopefully it stays that way.
So much stuff has been happening recently, I'm not even sure where to begin. I feel like, since I bought this MacBook, things have progressively become more active. It's pretty amazing to know that there's all of these projects happening simultaneously, and keeping up with it all has been quite the challenge.
I cracked, however, and landed back on Facebook. I realized that, after a certain point, I was sacrificing my creative endeavors for the chance of relative freedom from the app. It was kind of strange reactivating it, to be honest. It was like reopening Myspace, or possibly what it would feel like to reopen AIM after almost twenty years away from that platform. I sat and stared at the screen for a minute, watching my entire digital life repopulate in a matter of seconds. Everything I’d ever shared, posted, liked, commented – there it was, live and in full effect. It’s truly bizarre to know my footprint is there so prevalently and pervasively.
I had no other motive to reactivate other than purely creative. I had been really content not being on the platform, using alternative methods to engage and create. I’ve been working to try to get this new project off the ground. But I found I was really struggling to get it in front of people’s eyes without having an active presence. Until there’s something new for us to be on that perhaps isn’t so toxic, this will have to do. I found, though, that I wasn’t nearly as engaged as I had been before in the areas of supercharged political discourse. Normally, I’d be all over a post, sharing some statistics about police brutality and disproportioned police killings of people of color, or railing against the game show host that just left the White House, or even something more mundane like a shared post from a slightly less reputable platform than Fox News. These posts and replies became almost reflexive, carrying me from one outrage to the next, without taking a second to process or understand why I was engaging the way I was.
It was clear I wasn't making any headway with anyone on anything, especially when it came to espousing post after post with no real goal other than to wax poetic about my feelings on the topic, and potentially fight with someone. My posts became counterproductive and, as much I love a good dialogue, the platform became another stream of consciousness with no real path forward. I have plenty of other platforms to engage with people who want to hear, see, or read it, and I've made the conscious effort to not post anything on Facebook other than my creative endeavors and the occasional family photo download.
I don't know how long I'm going to stay on Facebook, but I know that being back on it means serious changes with how I engage. I still firmly believe that I was wasting my life on there, and I don't even really notice that I'm still on the platform. We'll see how this goes. All of my updating, life, expressions, writing - all of it will continue to be right here.
Okay, time to content! First, a fun new episode of Foundation Radio came out yesterday with my dear friend, Sam Marshall. Sam and I had a chance to sit down and talk about his life as a composer for Sony, how he got into the world of video game composition, the influence of The Beatles on his life, and why TikTok is just plain brilliant. In this clip, we discuss how sampling is a tapestry process, and how trashing an entire piece of music you’ve created can sometimes be the best move to make.
Sam and I have known each other almost thirty years, and I was stoked to have the opportunity to catch up with him and help tell his story. I'm so excited when I see him producing new music and, most importantly, living his dream. Click the play button below to check out the whole episode, which includes a five rapid fire question segment at the end where we big up Limp Bizkit's first album. It still rocks, and still holds up. If you know, you know. Please be sure to subscribe to Foundation Radio wherever you get your favorite podcasts.
I really got down to business and did a bunch of fun stuff recently. First, I got to be a guest on a podcast. Ron and Alex Studd host a fantastic program called Between Two Studds, and they asked me to stop by their show to chat. I rarely, if ever, get to talk about myself on anything, even my own show. The episode's called "Green Smelly Dead Guy", and the title describes the story exactly as awful as you imagine. We talk about that, plus "Good Will Hunting", podcasting, and life. You can stream the whole episode below. Don't forget to subscribe to the show.
I got to share the really cool news that I'm officially a staff writer with Kulture Popped, a really amazing site that covers all things pop culture. I never thought I'd be combining my love of writing with my love of professional wrestling, and I'm sure hyped that the brother Paul Brown brought me on board. I'll be covering a ton of the pro wrestling beat, and I've already published two pieces, with a third one on the way.
The first is my wild theory and idea that WWE should lean into the idea of a John Cena heel turn, and pit him against the unwilling savior, heel Roman Reigns. It's an in depth, fantasy booking piece that's centered on the premise of bringing lapsed fans back to the world of pro wrestling. It's something I've imagined after the unbelievable cinematic match, the Firefly Fun House Match. Even if you don't know anything about pro wrestling, but love the idea of performance art and nuanced psychological storytelling, go out of your way to find the entire match from WrestleMania 36. Much has been written about the allegories, the themes, the good vs. evil idea - it really is the best content produced during the pandemic, and perhaps one of the coolest pieces of performance art I've ever seen.
My colleague and friend, Brendan Menapace, gave me some of the best feedback I received on the piece:
"This made me care as someone who is not the least bit knowledgable about wrestling. Obviously, I know John Cena and a loose understanding of everyone else, but you did a great job of explaining 'okay, this is why this is a big deal and why you should care'."
By the way, Brendan is one of the most fantastic writers I've had the pleasure to get to know and work with, and please be sure to subscribe to his newsletter at this link. You won't be disappointed, trust me.
Honestly, this is such good shit, you have no idea. They made an action figure. Yes, I've already bought it.
Courtney and I have also been really excited making the vlog content we've been doing. After we decided the Sunday Funday idea was something to document, we dove head first into it. This past weekend, we went to McConnell's Mill State Park in Portersville, PA and saw some incredible rock formations and waterfalls.
Court and I are coming up with some cool ideas over the next few weeks, and we'll be releasing them on my YouTube channel each Sunday after we get back. Hit the subscribe button so you can check out what we've got going on.
I really appreciate you subscribing to my site here, following all of the content we've been producing recently, and reading these updates. It keeps me going, and I hope you've been enjoying it as much as we have creating it.
Until next time, friends... peace.