my girlfriend is the best but you would think by now that she would know me but she doesn’t which is weird.
today is her only day off this week. i said what are we gonna do, this is great, what are we gonna do? its the middle of the week we can do anything: the beach the museums a long drive a short drive the stupid bloom JUST IMAGINE ALL THE FLOWERS WE CAN INSTAGRAM
she looked at me, put on her yoga pants and went on a walk, alone. i sniffed under my arms. my cats yawned. i got a phone call from someone who maybe wants to give me money, who knows.
when she got back i was all, how was yoga, she said i didnt go. i just needed to walk. i said i need to walk too why —
she said i needed to walk alone, and now i need the house for like 3 hours by myself but i didnt want to hurt your feelings.
i said baby im xbi, they tried to rip “feelings” from me on day 1 but they couldn’t find any. she looked at me like i was crazy. i said listen
i was the only black kid in school, pretty much from kindergarten through high school. i was also a cub fan in the middle of the longest losing streak in sports history. i also went bald. i also got a homer simpson dad bod.
i also chose the field of writing to plant my flag. and worse, i focused on poetry in college (a college that at the time had 2% black student enrollment)
if i had feelings, i would have turned into a puddle of tears by now.
but look at me, im fine. i have you. i have a great car. i have the last blog on earth. and the comments are open. if i had a thin skin do you think id have had open comments since 2001?
it’s not the things that you say to me that “hurt,” it’s not trusting me enough to say them that disappoint me.
my blood is enriched by Truth, girl, be honest with me and i am yours forever. not only can i handle it, but in this or in any relationship, if you honestly communicate with me i can make something good from that. there is nothing to fear by saying i need to be alone for a few hours. nothing. i can get my parking permit, i can go to the movies, i can get some soul food. i can solve a crime. the options are endless and maybe i should go out in the world alone for a few hours on a nice day in LA.
but you need to start trusting that your needs are valuable and if i can make them come true i will, happily. so off i will go.
how much of that will she truly take to heart? who knows. but i try.
i think she is worried im not ever gonna get another job again.
i tell her, baby dont worry, if things really go to crap, i’ll get a gofundme and people will buy us a tent and we can move to venice.
that didnt settle her stomach.
so i said this is what id do if it all falls apart. maybe its something i should do anyways. i would start a church. you know i love the lord. you know the bible is my favorite book, you know i look at it differently than a lot of others do.
you know i would be able to get a time in one of the other existing churches around here, like Saturday Nights at 7:16pm.
she goes why then?
because i could say, tune in as we live stream at 6:66pm as homeless tony preaches from the good book live from hollywood, the center of the beginning of the end!
and i would have a little prayer at the beginning. people would shake hands. or hug.
then id say now that we’re warmed up, let’s hear some music, for it is written in Psalm 100, deliver unto the Lord a joyful noise. so ladies and gentlemen: Green Day!
of course Green Day wouldn’t be there. it would be some kids from the neighborhood who would sing something good from the Staples Singers songbook
something like Sit Down, Servant
and then i would read a little from the good book and bring it home as to how it applies today.
then id introduce Green Day again
we dance around
and id say give to caesar whats caesar’s but if you wanna support the rock n roll church, give till it hurts
But that doesn’t mean that things are without drama.
There’s two challenges in building communities: making it grow & keeping it cool once it’s large.
To be honest I don’t really know specifically how I was able to grow Any of the communities I was tasked to oversee, be it LAist or Buzznet or the Howard group — I just followed my gut, and tried to be creative, while allowing the members to express themselves freely without being huge jerks.
I also paid attention to what seemed to work with us and what didn’t work with our so-called competitors.
Which brings us to the drama I encountered on the Stern page last week (which remnants still waft). Howard announced that he’s coming out with a new book. Later a staffer told him that Wendy Williams called him “Hollywood” because he has so many famous friends like Jimmy Kimmel. David Letterman, and Billy Joel. Howard took offense because god bless him, he can dish it out but he can’t always take it. He’s human.
So he went on a 30+ minute rant about her, calling her every name in the book including the dreaded c-word.
The community took that word and started using it left and right. But when Howard does it… it’s different. In part because he’s doing it on the radio. Cussing someone out on FB is old hat.
Also calling a black woman the c-word is like two strikes to me.
So I announced the new rule that we wouldn’t be using that word any more and 20-30 people got super uptight and started using the word against me. Which is fine. Everyone has a mountain they wanna die on. Mt Cword is an odd one, but you do you. And I banned them with a click.
But then this guy gets on and starts saying it like two days later.
So I decide to debate him so people can see what I am talking about. Here it is.
Me: Is there something you want to say to me?
Him: How much time do you have? Why do you feel to censor comments in a fan group that loves the Howard Stern Show? Howard went to Sirius in part of censorship and FCC…. When someone says something you don’t like you remove their post, suspend them, or ban them all together. That’s about the least Howardish course of action an Admin could take.
Me: How long have you been in this group?
Him: I would say at least 2 years now…
Me: So you have seen this group grow from 0 to 16k members. Would you say it’s the best Howard group on FB?
Him: I wouldn’t say the best, no. I do find some neat posts here and there but I personally find your censorship as an admin to be over the top and very anti-Howard. I bet if you leave this up even though I doubt you do that others would agree.
Me: What would you say the best is?
Him: I think your intentions in starting a group that discourages people from talking shit about Howard on every other post was cool but you’ve let that get away from you.
Me: I’ll ask again, if this isn’t the best Stern group on FB, what is?
Him: The official page, HSS Universe, Howard Stern Fans……. Is this when you remove and take down my comments, Ms. Turk?
He is referring to the Executive Producer of the show Marci Tuck, who some have inferred has watered down the Stern Show and advised Howard not to have strippers and porn stars on any more, etc. While an interesting theory, something tells me that Howard Stern does only what he wants. His show is the most successful in radio history. If he wanted to have strippers on every day, he would. I think he’s just 60+ and bored with what he did when he was 40.
Me: Howard Stern Show Universe has had 5 posts this month. Very little discussion and nothing original. What makes that page, to you, better than this one?
Him: Lack of censorship from the admin.
Me: How would you know? They don’t even have audio of Howard’s rant.
When Howard got home last week after his rant, it was quietly removed from the archived show on the Sirius App and missing from subsequent replays throughout the week and weekend. But thanks to some Russian YouTube site, it was preserved and posted online, including on our FB group. I let it stand because I don’t like when things are deleted and also, it was interesting. And one thing Howard always complained about other broadcasters who would bristle when a phony phonecaller or a drunk or angry person got on the air was “why would you cut off the one interesting thing that happened on your show all week?” I took that statement to heart.
Him: You ban words from a freaking Howard Stern group.
Me: Yep. Now lets go to what you think is another group better than this one, Howard Stern Fans — today that group celebrates a milestone. A year ago today that group had its last post. Are you serious in saying that a group that hasn’t had a post in a year is better than this one? OH, I’m sorry, they haven’t had a post in TWO years. I’m starting to think that even though you’ve never said the words I’ve banned in here, you just wanted attention from me today and a cool story to tell your friend about being banned for being an idiot.
Him: I think I’ve hurt your feelings, Marci.
Me: I think you complimented me by not being able to show me a Stern group on FB better than this one.
There was silence.
Me: Is there anything else Robin?
Him: That’ll do Marci… Censor away!! The people that have called you out on your power trips before got booted so i’ll be in excellent company.
Me: Once again… your point is that even though this is the best Stern group on FB (in part because of the decisions I have made), I should change that because you want the freedom to say things in this group that you’ve never said… even though you are free to say those things in other groups that are less successful — and in some cases totally dead? Do I have that correct?
Him: Not at all… Do your thing, Tony Turk. I love the show , hate censorship, and I don’t think this is the best unofficial Stern Show fan page on facebook. I enjoy a lot of the posts people share in this group but you aren’t going to make or break my day by booting me or not.
Me: Why would I boot you? You have provided the perfect example of why this group has done well. You can’t name a better group. The groups you name are dead or dying. You seem outraged that you cant type in HOWS THE SLOT or the c-word. So I should doubt myself because you want to call me names? I’ll get right on that bud.
the best times to tell stories and the best time to reveal things and the best times you’re interesting
are the times you really dont wanna write at all
and thats when your world is inside out and youre in a free fall
and you think youre gonna die.
during those times every part of your brain is firing because its trying to protect you from freaking out
and every sliver of fear is done stretching and theyre now ready to run.
problem is, im not fixin to die.
im tony pierce. busblog. king of siam. leader of the underdogs.
defender of freedom.
all of this is happening for all the right reasons and my network of angels are working overtime to get me where i need to be
just like the done when i wanted to go to the world series.
did i deserve to go there, and the parade afterwards? no.
no more so than any one else.
likewise i dont deserve all these people writing and DMing me and emailing me to provide help. and i feel bad when i dont seem super eager when they offer me this or that.
unfortunately i want the world.
unfortunately i know what i want, and i can see the future, and i can read peoples hearts, and when i tell them about every purplish vein in there it can be jarring and uncomfortable.
which is why even though its so damn cliche i would love to start a podcast and get it going fast. today i was procrastinating reading the bible because i didnt do it on sunday and the whole time i was all i wanna interview him and her and him and her.
i got to rodney on the roq. and i imagined what id ask him. and i predicted how he would get shy and how i would ask him about his shyness
and i would ask him do you know that morrissey song ask
shyness is nice / but shyness can stop you / from doing all the things in life you want to
i want a podcast so i can ask a music legend if he is familiar with a hit tune from a music legend that he helped get big, and ask him if he feels seen with that song.
yesterday i had my second job interview. unlike the first, this was in person.
even though i generally feel comfortable talking with people, i don’t like wearing a suit (because I think it’s a lie), and i would feel very awkward being forced to bad mouth any of my previous experiences. everywhere ive worked, people are just trying to make the best decisions given the options in front of them.
so driving over there i was like an hour and a half early. i walked around an old Staples store which had the worst energy. the two dudes working behind the counter were slow and had difficulty keeping eye contact with who they were speaking to. many of the shelves were either empty or lacking.
maybe this happens to everyone, but if i skip breakfast and eat a late lunch i will get super sleepy.
as you know ive been up all night on the project (RIP), id take amber to work at like 5am and then id get home and read the paper, dick around on the computer and go to bed around noon. that would eventually turn into 2pm. it was terrible because amber would get home and i would still be asleep. we werent able to spend any time together because i was the opposite of her.
so i remembered about my weird no breakfast sleepy thing. so what i did yesterday when i woke up at 8pm (!!!!) was i didnt eat right away. i waited until midnight. i ate, got sleepy and immediately jumped in bed — and it worked i fell asleep. little did i know amber would wake up at 4:20am, which would wake me up, but fine. maybe now my body thinks that i should wake at 4:20am now, which i could totally live with.
so now its 7:30am she is back to sleep. she wants to do yoga at 8. i want to walk up to griffith park and be one with the butterflies.
and with that i give you a selfie that Colin Powell took 65 years ago.
was college the best years of my life? in a lot of ways yes.
in part because the entire experience was eye opening and mind blowing. and if i had kids i would want them to learn
all the great lessons i learned through that process.
like these sons and daughters of hollywood stars and ceos, when i was 17 i hadn’t accumulated the greatest grades. which was stupid, in retrospect, because i always knew i was going to go to college. but when it came time to work hard in high school i was unmotivated to say the least.
in part, probably, because if i did well, i got separated from my stoner friends who were in the normal classes, and i got placed in honors classes with people i didn’t want to be associated with.
and if i did poorly everyone would get on my case saying “but you test SO WELL.” i just avoided the whole deal.
the one place i wasn’t punished for doing well was in sports and in marching band and the one year i was in drum line we won best in state. i waited for something terrible to happen but it didnt. and i moved to california.
once here i enrolled in junior college. santa monica college was actually where it all turned around for me scholastically and i wish all of these well-intentioned wealthy parents would have just asked me, because i would have told them: just let your princess go to JC for a few years, fuck what your judgemental friends think (they aint yo friends, gurl!) – what she will learn there she will carry with her her whole life.
the red tape involved in getting classes, dropping classes, applying for financial aid, being rejected from financial aid, attaining residency, fighting for that one extra B because a C+ will keep you from transferring on time, failing at getting that decisive grade changed, the tears in the library only to be comforted by JD Salinger’s nine stories in the library – literally changed my life.
it turned me from a half assed teenager into an adult. and isnt that what we hope happens from 18-20? dont we want our kids to learn things experientially so that it lasts with them forever?
any time i fight for my right to do anything, it is because i learned how to stand up for myself at SMC, in papers, in paperwork, in rental agreements, at work. blink 182 says nobody likes you when youre 23. but try being pimply faced and 19 trying to get your boss to give you a raise from $4 an hour to $5 and being told no. those are the lessons that we need as kids. take us to the river, drop us in the water.
college isnt just about dorm life and cramming for finals, its about getting there, staying there, and falling in love with one new thing after another. and then having those things break your heart.
i was thisclose to getting into ucsb a year before it even happened. all i needed was to get a B- in history and the teacher gave me a C+. she wouldnt budge because she said i was a terrible writer and i would never make it at ucsb until i learned how to put a sentence together.
i asked why havent any of my english teachers told me this? and she said, if you’re on the borderline of being accepted into UCSB as a transfer student maybe they have been – how many As have they given you? none. how many Bs have they given you? very few. so there you have it. learn to write this summer and come back to my class and i will help you next year.
at the time i was selling tvs on commission at a crazy electronic store that also changed my life. one thing it taught me is if you want something, work hard, and if you’re on commission you’ll get it faster than if youre just working for a few bucks an hour. learn how to sell that big tv or that expensive stereo system and you’ll make more in a day than you could in a week.
so i told myself i was going to be in the top 5 of salesmen that month and the next, (each time you were in the top 5 youd get a $500 bonus). and with that $1k id buy a ticket to europe, drink where hemingway drank, kiss pretty girls and never stop reading and writing.
im still not the greatest writer, but it doesnt matter. i improved. which is the point. these are the experiences that make a person.
their own experiences. the ups and the downs.
especially the downs.
there is nothing i like better than throwing money at problems, dont get me wrong.
but getting into college and being in college and living that life
Shadows are falling and I been here all day It’s too hot to sleep and time is running away Feel like my soul has turned into steel I’ve still got the scars that the sun didn’t let me heal
There’s not even room enough to be anywhere It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there
Well my sense of humanity is going down the drain Behind every beautiful thing, there’s been some kind of pain She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind She put down in writin’ what was in her mind
I just don’t see why I should even care It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there
Well I been to London and I been to gay Paree I followed the river and I got to the sea I’ve been down to the bottom of a whirlpool of lies I ain’t lookin’ for nothin’ in anyone’s eyes
Sometimes my burden is more than I can bear It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there
I was born here and I’ll die here, against my will I know it looks like I’m movin’ but I’m standin’ still Every nerve in my body is so naked and numb I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don’t even hear the murmur of a prayer It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there