nothing in here is true

  1. Friday, September 25, 2020

    gonna try to unplug this weekend 

    it’s already hard. im addicted. and im procrastinating.

    i have so much work to do and a hard out on Thursday. maid’s coming, so i have to skedaddle outta here.

    two weeks worth of work boiled into six days.

    how will i do it? am i that amazing?

    i gotta say this about my first year with Los Angeleno, i always wanted to write more since leaving LAist way back when and it’s nice to write again.

    it makes me really appreciate those who do it every day or damn near every day. it’s not easy.

    my problem is not in the story ideas. i have 10 a day. good ones. perfect ones.

    its: can i remain excited about them 20 minutes after theyre approved?

    the answer is rarely yes. so i try to write as fast as i can before i get bored to death.

    my brain zips around so much these days FOR OBVIOUS REASONS and social media does not help because each page refresh or full screen scroll leads to two new moments of agita.

    thats one thing i miss about not being in Chicago, even though i havent been there in ages, i miss the italians

    today at the grocery store this black guy passed me and said nice hat.

    turned out he was from the South Side. super rarity to have that happen.

    most younger black dudes from that part of town are Sox fans.

    they view Cub fans as entitled white boy fratty dudes — and they’re not 100% wrong.

    so i asked him why a Cub fan and he said his grandma always had WGN on back in the day.

    i wish more networks understood the secret trick that WGN did to us:

    Ray Rayner cartoons in the morning, Bozo at noon and the Cubs at 1:20pm.

    it tricked millions of us kids to get addicted.

    i still dont know how a kids show at noon stayed so successful when most of their target market – pre TIVO – was at school, but thats another story idea for another media outlet.

  2. Thursday, September 24, 2020

    what will you do when your dreams come true 

    and what will they do for you

    what if your dreams have already come true

    what if all of this is second desert.

    there are a lot of things i miss very much

    near the top of that list is driving uber lyft.

    for a little while you could say i was addicted

    because in a little way it was competition with drivers on facebook

    but in another way it was the greatest paid tour of my city

    where i could ask anyone anything about their neighborhood

    and they would go on and on and on

    pointing along the way.

    i drove so much my arms and legs hurt after a while.

    i drove so much and had a near perfect rating

    not because im an incredible driver

    but because when people talk about their neighborhood

    theyre talking about themselves

    and who doesnt like that?

  3. Wednesday, September 23, 2020
  4. jane fonda was on howard stern 

    people say that howard is dunzo

    theyre mad because he doesnt have strippers on any more or weirdos

    but at least once a week he does a dynamite interview.

    the other day it was jane fonda who, it turns out, is a huge fan of his and said if she hadn’t “closed up shop” would have loved to have gone on a date with him.

    i wonder if howard is happy

    he doesnt seem like it, which is weird.

    all the money, such a perfect wife, can say whatever he wants on the radio to millions of people and

    get away with it.

    all these people want to get interviewed by him.

    now he gets to work from his own house, no commute.

    but he always seems so miserable.

    obsessed with his weight, he hardly allows himself to eat like a king

    only has a few friends

    then theres all the weirdness with artie. jackie. stuttering john. tom the engineer.

    and you know the wack pack are hitting him up for money all the time.

    but who knows, maybe he’s fooling us all.

    still, i worry.

    the silver lining about having to wear masks in public is

    i wonder how many celebs like howard are allowed a bit more freedom

    because now they can walk around with a bigass mask and glasses and maybe a hat,

    and no one would that it’s the king of all media

    strolling down the street

    buying some spaghetti

    he’ll cook real nice

    and then toss in the garbage


  5. Tuesday, September 22, 2020

    of course id pack the court 

    with black women.

    id put 3 or 4 in there.

    everything else is politicized. everything else is bastardized. why not for a little while we have one place that is more diverse than the others and

    omg see what happens.

    they say dont pack the court because the public doesnt like it.

    so the public likes a president who lies 20k times, who doesnt support the troops, who plays footsies with the enemy, who disparages the fbi cia post office football players etc etc etc?

    sure seems like at least 50-60 million of our friends and neighbors have no problem with that.

    but america would lose its mind if the court looked like america? or worse: a little more black than america looks?

    the top 40, the nba, the nfl, gospel choirs, and soul food restaurants look more black than america looks and guess what, people fucking love those things, so why would it be any different for the highest court in the land?

    if i was president i would do all the good things that should have been done long ago and watch people lose their minds.

    we are here for a short period of time.

    tom petty is dead.

    tom petty was here, did his thing, fought some good fights, grew as a man, renounced confederate flags (and his use of them on tour) well before it became a thing on msnbc.

    and then he died.

    he died lovable. he died after not only making the heartbreakers huge, and his own solo career huge

    but also making the travelling wilburys an unexpected masterstroke

    what will be your unexpected masterstroke

    what will be the thing that you do that people will say, yeah it makes sense but i didn’t really see it coming?

    mine wont be packing the court.

    but it will be something.

  6. Sunday, September 20, 2020

    i got what i wanted 

    i wanted to get the hell out of dodge.

    i wanted to recharge my batteries.

    i wanted a second floor suite with a nice view and a cheap price.

    i wanted the air to be so warm that at midnight, topless, you could just lay down on the outside couch and stare at the stars and scribble notes of world domination down in your 19 year old notebook.

    and it didnt want it to cost an arm and a leg

    and i wanted to dangle my feet in a pool

    and i wanted to escape the unhealthy air of LA

    and somehow i wanted to avoid the COVID

    fortunately i know a guy

    technically shes a she and because she remains friends with everyone she works with

    we were able to get a great deal and i used the money ive been socking away every two weeks

    for the last two years

    so i didnt even feel it.

    savings, what a concept.

    we ate well, we stayed up all night, we had the AC up so high it was cold in the room

    a huge novelty for us.

    for a while we would sit outside then sit inside then sit back outside when it got too frosty.

    i was also doing this thing where i wasnt using my phone or going on social media

    the first couple of days were no big deal.

    but then some crazy things happened, and also amber didnt like me running around without a phone.

    she likes to see where i am and she wants to be able to call me if shes in trouble

    or if im in trouble

    which is sweet.

    but it made the experiment harder.

    eventually i got sucked back into social media because it’s amazing and breaks news and teaches me junk.

    but i did learn a lot from this week in regard to social and my phone.

    1. i use it way too much and i can get distracted by it
    2. i waste time fighting with people on it
    3. i dont need it as much as i thought
    4. theres more to life
    5. i concentrate better on things when my phone isnt near me
    6. i miss my momma when i dont have a phone
    7. even though Waze is great, i know how to get there
    8. the Benz navigation is bad but it does the trick
    9. so much of social is personal/professional advertising and not enough support
    10. no phone means no pictures. i loved not having my phone. i didnt love taking fewer pics.

    the most wonderful surprise came at the AAA office about 3 miles from the hotel

    i have had an expired registration for my car since May

    i tried to make it happen via the mails but the DMV has been closed and they said i was late


    so i sent them a second check and a letter saying i thought the mayor said you cant charge me more because the DMVs are all closed

    and they never wrote me back. they didnt say i was late. but they also didnt send me anything.

    i  was in limbo. i was screwed and they wouldnt let me do anything online.

    meanwhile the DMV had 4 hour wait times.

    i knew AAA could help on some things, but when i popped my head in there they were so nice and so prepared for exactly this type of thing, simply via my ID

    $105 later and i had my registration and i was so happy you have no idea.

    i did screw up and brought along some work which is always a good idea when you want to be productive

    but the next time i go i am going to make sure to bring shorts,

    two pairs of socks, two shirts,

    a big portable speaker,

    and my tooth brush

    anything extra is silly.

    we had a spiritual breakthrough too, which maybe we can talk about one day.

  7. Tuesday, September 15, 2020

    why it shouldnt matter 

    it’s pointless to care what people think, infact id say it’s harmful.

    as long as you are being good and trying to be nice and helpful and peaceful and loving

    what could you possibly be doing that would cause someone to hate on you

    and if they did, odds are it’s their crap that theyre projecting on you

    theres not one person who doesnt have haters.

    theres not one band where you couldnt find 100 people to say they suck.

    we have a tiny period of time to rock out.

    do not read the comments

    do not feed the trolls

    turn it all the way up

    and delight the world with a joyful noise

  8. Monday, September 14, 2020

    what if im addicted to twitter? 

    since Friday i have been without my phone. my girlfriend is more uptight about that than i am.

    WHAT IF THERES AN EMERGENCY she asked as we drove to Inglewood last night to get some ribs.

    then i die.

    have my ashes sprinkled among the ashes of Hollywood.

    the day before we went to Target and she did not let me leave my phone at home in case we got seperated in the two story store in Pasadena.

    now its lost somewhere in this house, locked, and trust me when i tell you last night when i gleefully told her i dont care where it was she about blew a gasket.

    things i miss about my phone are minimal. i miss calling my mom when i go on long drives. i miss having it tethered via bluetooth to my car’s Alexa so i can say hey alexa play Tsar

    but other than that it has been a pleasant separation and im sure my phone feels the same way about me.

    but this twitter. holy moley, i had no idea.

    it all happened saturday night, as per my previous post. i watched Josie get arrested and via twitter and my iMessage i was able to alert some of the people she works with. Lord knows i was not going to sit on my hands as she wa being driven to prison because of some weirdo goal to be off the grid.

    but as the conversations got weirder and weirder on Twitter regarding her case, the first amendment and the plausibility of a pro journalist jumping into a law enforcement scrum like some modern day Leroy Jenkins i began seeing why i love social media so much.

    often times it’s an interesting conversation, but moreso it’s debating with people who are so different both politically and otherwise that it’s eye opening that we can both be looking at the same half full glass of water and they say

    not only is it half empty but because of Obama it’s undrinkable.

    theres many things i should have studied at UCSB than poetry, namely: Spanish, coding, and apparently Philosophy. I flunked two courses in school, a cinema class on Buster Keaton because i refused to over analyze his slapstick comedy because i didnt want to ruin future viewings, and the philosophy of Berkeley because apparently im dumber than i look.

    in that class we had one book. it was a paperback called The Philosophy of Berkeley. It was about 75 pages. I couldn’t get through 5 of them.

    im someone who was able to read much of The Bible, Finnegans Wake, and The Sound and the Fury in college. while distracted by the beach, the ladies, and my real goal: writing 100+ articles for the Daily Nexus a year. but those who understand philosophy is something i really admire because it was so foreign to me.

    Give me Faulkner’s crazy, trippy, stoned, drunk run on sentences and Joyce’s Ulysses (which I tried to read on shrooms) any day over philosophy.

    I read Milton’s Paradise Lost as an ice cream man on summer vacation, for fun but i bombed big time with Berkeley which is why i appreciate trying to conversate with these twitter people with their American flag icons in their bio about what a good journalist can and cannot do.

    and yesterday i went on twitter to see the rest of the debate AND TODAY I DID IT TOO!

    partially i did it because two of my stories for Los Angeleno were published over the last few days an i want people to read them.

    the first was about diversity at the Oscars and how their new rules can be easily gamed

    and the other is about diversity at the LA Times and how they really should bite the bullet and let Angel Jennings have full on veto powers otherwise she will be frustrated as merely a token.

    going forward i have no other excuses.

    but here is the biggest problem i have with twitter: i learn s much. i follow about 1,300 people. about half of them are fully alive on the platform, tweeting out and retweeting fascinating things. news breaks and theyre on it.

    who doesn’t love breaking news?

    who doesnt want to talk about the president visiting california and saying that the global warming will just disappear? who doesnt want to talk about the Bears’ crazy comeback yesterday or the Cubs’ no hitter or a thousand other things?

    i do i do i do!

    the greatest thing about being the blog editor of the LA Times was being able to bounce from desk to desk and talk with some of the greatest writers and editors of those sections about the stories theyre working on and how we can make the ones theyve recently published get seen.

    it was like going to college and being given an All Access pass to every classroom, all the star students, and all the best professors. every day i learned so much.

    twitter is a tiny version of that. oftentimes the journalists will tell you in real time what they are working on or what their recently published stories are all about. and the best ones will answer your questions. you do not need to be a Philosophy major to chat with them because they see the half full glass of water and will talk all day with you about it.

    using their real names.

    using links to support their point of view.

    and often the people who follow them are also interesting and educated people who also want to learn.

    so why am i giving that up for even a week?

    because all addictions should be put under control.

    even if they are fulfilling and wonderful and incredible.

    at least for me.

  9. Sunday, September 13, 2020

    well i replugged 

    i had to. i was watching TV on Saturday Night. 11pm news.

    when you’re not distracted by your phone and laptop you actually watch things. its crazy.

    the nice lady on TV said “a radio reporter was arrested tonight in Compton…”

    LA is huge but it’s also teeny tiny. I totally expected to see Claudia Peschiutta being escorted to the pokey because, like, me, she is not afraid to tell Authorities when they are wrong wrong wrong and let’s count the ways they are wrong.

    the last person i thought id see on my screen was Josie Huang.

    But there was Josie, screaming to the fuzz who she worked for, that she was a journalist and how this was wrong.

    Shockingly on the LA Sheriff Dept’s Twitter account was a three-part tweet that claimed she “admitted” she didn’t have the “proper” press credentials AND that she had no ID.

    Josie? one of the most prepared and organized reporters you’ll ever cross paths with?

    we are to believe that Josie drove all the way down to compton to go to a hospital where two deputies are recovering from gunshots to the head and she didn’t bring a press pass or her work ID?

    technically, there is no requirement for a press credential to practice journalism. Many in the press simply have business cards but even that is not required to be protected by the first amendment the same way you don’t need a document to speak.

    press passes are typically offered to make things easier for law enforcement or other officials to determine who is press in tense situations where yelling and pointing aren’t always easy to do. or in this case its shown to hospital staff to help prove why you are there. unfortunately it doesn’t guarantee entry or access but it doesn’t hurt.

    but on the sidewalk, a public sidewalk, the minute Josie identified herself to the deputies they should have respected her in the exact same way law enforcement wants to be respected when they identify themselves in situations.

    secondly, she had her ID flapping from her neck, laminated, and visible, so fuck your fucking bullshit tweet. delete it.

    i hate lies so much that i created this blog.

    and on this blog i wrote “nothing in here is true” that way if i wanted to lie, i could and no one could say they were tricked.

    the irony is on many posts the only lie is “nothing in here is true”

    the Law, however should always be trusted. and their tweets should be Gospel. video proves that all three of these tweets are false.

    on a day where two deputies were shot in the head at point blank range the public should be united in trying to find the shooter. instead, due to these lies and the way Josie was treated, the emotions are more complicated than they should be and respect for the LA sheriff’s dept is not 100%.

    that is fucked. and it’s nobody’s fault other than the department, which currently doesn’t have the greatest track record.

    is there a solution? there’s always a solution.

    here a former journalist should be in charge of that twitter account. they should be paid $150k and there should be zero rush to put out information. especially if it is in regards to someone, like a journalist, who has video of the arrest and the events leading up to it, and if there are, oh I dont know, tv cameras showing reverse angles and such.

    because this will only make the department look worse when the truth comes out.

    but heres the problem.

    we currently live in a country where the President of the United States has convinced a healthy chunk of the populace that the press is not to be trusted. also ironic since he has lied to the nation over 20,000 times from petty topics like crowd size of his inauguration to deadly things like how the coronavirus is spread.

    therefore something eye opening happened when on twitter word spread of Josie’s arrest:

    the majority of the public didn’t believe her.

    despite the videos, despite the ACLU, journalism unions, journalism orgs, her workplace, other journalists who were there, asswipes like me… sooooo many people on twitter said nonsense like “that’ll teach her for getting in the way of deputies.” “she wanted to be The story, well she got what she wanted.”

    it blew me away. which is hard to do because i have been on Twitter for a little while now.

    but it taught me an incredibly important lesson.

    for some idealistic reason i have always believed that if so much popular opinion is against me on Twitter, there’s something i could have done better, different, more clear that would have prevented so much negativity.

    but here Josie did nothing wrong. there were multiple camera angles. things were clear. hell, we could even see the deputies trying to smash her camera to destroy the evidence that they had illegally manhandled her and interfered with HER job, not the other way around.

    and yet the public saw this gold dress as a red one.

    it did not help that the Sheriff Dept shit in the punchbowl with its tweets. despite the fact that this is a department who just recently was exposed for incredibly bad behavior. there are members of the public who will always take the side of the law over the press even if the video is right in front of them and there are jerks like me who will confront them on twitter telling them that they are wrong wrong wrong.

    plugging back in for a day taught me just another reason why i should unplug for a week.

    my beloved social channels are infested with pollution that in many ways is man made.

    and its good to rehab for a while and get that gunk out of your system before diving headfirst back into it for the rest of this year.

  10. Saturday, September 12, 2020

    truly unplugging 

    the skies of LA look like the water in the bowl after youve had a rough night

    and you coulda sworn you flushed but when you toss the TP in there

    you see this golden brown reminder that booze just aint your thing

    and bacon wrapped hotdogs have a time and a place

    hi, my name is tony.

    i am on vacation for 10 days. and i am at the beginning of a lil experiment.

    last night at 6:30pm i turned off my phone and put it in ambers purse.

    the goal was not to turn it back on until my mommas birthday a week from sunday.

    but it only lasted an hour because i needed to call her to tell her i wasnt dead.

    and also to fill her in on my plan.

    somewhere along the line i also have chosen to cut my social media use down by a good 96%

    im still the founder and co-moderator of the greatest Howard Stern Facebook group around

    and i dont want to burden the other two moderators with my vacation, so i will be dipping back into that page a few times a day.

    its been less than 24 hours and naturally at first i wanted to see what my FB page thought of my plan

    a few people said something super dumb that normally i would have retorted

    but thats all part of the problem.

    for being such a laid back person, at my heart i am a bit of a controler, a secret alpha

    and definitely an astrological cardinal sign

    i feel more comfortable leading than following unless i have someone incredible to support

    but if you say something stupid on my facebook wall, for example, i will school you

    because obviously nobody else has.

    ive noticed that i am spending more time reading the newspaper and reading reddit.

    in fact ive already been guilded this week on reddit for something i found and thats nice.

    whats not nice is i like wishing people happy birthday on facebook and i have no idea who im slighting

    but i hope they understand.

    cutting off the phone and social is not something im doing because


    or because its evil or spying on me or sucking away my creativity.

    the web and social have put bread on my table, beautiful women in my life and given me most of my real life post-college friendships.

    ive been able to work several Oscars, buy a Benz, and live a reasonable life.

    if anyone loves it and knows it and enjoys the daily give n take of it all, it’s me.

    but only until now have i been able to take a break, driver 8.

    every other job had me tethered.

    i once had a job where i was  forced to work seven days a week.

    i even asked the HR director one day if it was legal. years and years with no real days off?

    the response: you’re staff, and thats the nature of your gig.

    which was baloney. but what can you do.

    theres something about emotionally and mentally not having to worry about being responsible for shit for a few days.

    where you can truly unplug.

    it’s been about 22 hours. and already i have some good ideas bubbling that probably wouldnta been there.

    im watching more tv, and by that i mean youtube.

    and im focused when i watch because i dont have that “second screen” to distract me.

    my attention span is returning.

    but the only real issue is the air quality. i cant really go outside.

    no one can.

    the smoke and soot and smog and crud are everywhere.

    i wanted to go to Palm Springs for a few days and not do shit by a pool

    but even that oasis is closed.


    maybe i’ll blog more often.