busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    im still very much a community manager 

    i mean, once it’s in your blood. and this is something ive been doing since 2004, so…

    as you may know a year and a half ago i started a Facebook group for Howard Stern fans because I noticed that in all the huge FB groups the atmosphere was toxic. Mostly *against* Howard!

    They were also super rude and incredulous towards each other.

    So I started a group called Howard Stern for fans who Actually Like Howard Stern and it was a smash hit almost right away.

    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.

    And no one has uttered the c-word again. 

  2. Monday, March 18, 2019

    the thing about writing is 

    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.

    because no one else is dumb enough to ask it.

    and to me, thats wanting the world.

  3. Friday, March 15, 2019

    how would you describe your writing style 

    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.

    there was no one to give any help in the copy machine or computer area. the computers, btw, are infamous for earning more than the employees.

    and the parking lot was packed.

    lets just say i was glad i wasnt interviewing to work there.

    when i got to the place i was all dressed up for, i was asked some questions that i hadn’t expected at all. which is good. i like being pleasantly surprised.

    one of the questions was, how would you describe your writing style (the job was a writing gig)

    my first thought was: if charles bukowski wasnt a drunk, was black, and went to uc santa barbara.

    but i didnt say that because it would have broken my mothers heart.

  4. Wednesday, March 13, 2019

    i think i turned around the sleep problem 

    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.

  5. Tuesday, March 12, 2019

    getting the education is part of the education 

    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

    first hand

    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

    is not a problem,

    the entire thing is the education.

  6. not dark yet / time out of mind / 1998 

    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

  7. Monday, March 11, 2019

    ok this week i gotta get a job 

    ive been staying up, driving amber to work, driving home, reading the internet, reading the bible, listening to michelle obamas reading her book to me, petting the cats, eating oatmeal, not watching tv (!), talking to my mom

    thanks to daylight savings time its 130am right now and i wanna take a walk. but my neighborhood isn’t really the kind that you just stroll in on a crisp night. you can. you could. i could. i have. but if something went down, lets just say no one would be surprised. havent we had enough surprises?

    when i saw this picture of david bowie i realized i would have to dust off my business suit. it means business! it’s hilarious the dance we do to get a girlfriend a job entrance into a college a car loan an apartment. we wear clothes we know we wont wear in the office, we answer questions they probably will never ask again. i may even have to bring a briefcase of my work because who knows how difficult it will be to hook up your mac to their system? paper it is.

    and dance it is. we dance when we dont want to all the time. 8th grade dance. prom. weddings when youre a kid. night clubs. of all the times ive danced id say only a few of the times i really wanted to. the end of the 8th grade dance (i was the dj), a few of my friends’ weddings, a handful of concerts, the kitchen with amber, vegas with amber, waiting for tacos with amber.

    when i worked at mcdonalds this kid broke down the large cups cardboard boxes and laid them out in the parking lot. he started breakdancing. i think about that a lot. i should have learned from him.

  8. Saturday, March 9, 2019

    i slept all day because i was up all night 

    doing the project i was up all night and i havent been able to revert to a normal schedule which is not good because theres a long legged girl in my bed right now at 257am who wants me in there but im wide awake wishing there was a ball game on.

    a friend of mine who works at this fancy place said she would put my resume on the right persons desk. she suggests i go on unemployment.

    but i was a contractor at the end.

    she said, youre over 40 and black. thats two protected classes.

    i said did you not hear me i stepped down to do this project. i knew the risk i was taking. i wanted to do this thing. all my life i tell people to ask for what they want and dont freak out when they get it. i got it. why should i break any rules?

    she said, you have nothing to lose, they might approve it

    i said, i dont want to be on unemployment. i wanna do cool shit. life is short. i was on unemployment for way too long before i got picked up by the academy. it was never fun for me. i could never relax. i was always feeling depressed. a loser. i know the economy was bad, but i felt totally useless. the fact that i got The Best job out of that is great, but getting there was arduous. never again good friend. #bars

    then she said disability then. and she texted me a link to all the things you can file for disability for. theres a disability for everything she typed.

    i said, do you know the cubs won the world series? they won it after a rain delay in game 7 on the road in extra innings. and im not saying that the good people of cleveland arent deserving, but i have Always tried to be an honest, hardworking, genuine person. someone you could trust. they say look at someones friends to see who they are. all my friends are trustworthy. why would i want to be the friend who is on fake disability. at the college paper where we became friends it was like a competition to see who could write the better story poem song news article rock opera. not who could be the dirtiest liar. why use our energies on such a small game? if im gonna tell a lie i want to do it in a novel that sells for a ton more than a damn disability check.

    she said, you should also stop blogging and stay off social media.

    i said WE ARE TALKING ON FACEBOOK MESSENGER RIGHT NOW!

    she said do you know how many rich guys i know and hang out and work with and work for. how do you think they got what they got?

    i typed, right now im looking at my living room tv. under it are some old dvds an old broken desktop computer. a weird lamp. a broken Roku, a PS2. some autographed balls from people i know. i can look at all of those things and know i earned the money fair and square to buy them. i didnt cheat anyone. i didnt lie. i did the work earned the money bought the crap.

    i could never enjoy looking at a tv that i had to lie to buy. i dont know how these politicians who take money from wicked sources actually walk into their mcmansions and sleep right. it would give me nightmares. in free solo that climber got an mri and it showed that he has no fear in his head. these dudes must have no conscious in there. mine is enlarged. and im glad. midwest represent.

    she didnt reply. it was late and either she passed out or was bored.

    then she came back on. what did any of that have to do with the cubs and game 7?

    i said, oh. they barely won because of karma. we had slightly more than the other guys. i would never want to fuck up the karma for the cubs or my friends by doing shady shit. lets make good magic. lets lead by example. lets be the cool story people tell each other not oh that fool yeah he sucks.

    my favorite movies are rock documentaries and either its someone doing something fucked up to the band or the band doing fucked up things to themselves. just be cool.

    then she sent me the thumbs up sticker and i went straight to twitter against her advice. sorry.

  9. Thursday, March 7, 2019

    well today turned out being the day 

    some people are so paranoid about days like today that they do things that theyd never do. some dont care. and some are like me: they feel every emotion across the scale, up down and sideways.

    but since nothing in here is true heres what i will say. the xbi knew before i did. they messaged me on FB on like saturday. pretty much hey u up?

    which is unusual because usually they ESP, but i guess they wanted to make it formal. i can’t believe they even find me of any interest. im so out of shape. is there a new project they want me for? also they know im not super desperate right now, what gives? so that was mildly creepy that they knew, but good for them. they’re supposed to know the future. thats their job. me, i was in denial.

    but i was also working. day and night. id watch movies for work all night. id sleep late but as soon as i woke i was on the phone or writing or editing or doing something. my head wasnt right. i was feeling a disturbance in the force early. it threw me off. i need cheerleaders in my life to balance the demons in the old noggin. cuz if you think im a creative SOB you oughtta hear the voices in my head, and their accents! so its always good to have a radio on or a tv or a window cracked or a girl dancing on the table, anything other than turning on to FM YOURE GONNA DIE.

    the worst part is telling your mom. cuz she worries. and shes retired. and she has enough problems with my sister and her family and the weather and so you tell her its gonna be ok but she wants Answers and whats the answer. the answer is springsteens atlantic city: everything dies, baby thats a fact, and maybe everything that dies, some day comes back, put your make up on, fix your hair up pretty and meet me tonight in atlantic city.

    thats the only song im gonna let play in my head. not everyone elses dooms day serenade. not beautiful lies or anger or hurt or sorry. im gonna just look around and see what there is to see. if i am too old for this thing, then i need to look in a different place for a new thing. if no one likes my brilliant ideas then maybe i can drive that benz 17 hours a day.

    i live in the coolest, second biggest city in the us of a. if i cant make it here im not trying. and not only do i gotta try but i got a pretty girl whose nervous, i got two cats that gotta eat, and i made this bed ive gotta turn it into a water bed now.

    and heres the thing. ive been in far far far worse situations than this, and what i just did for the last 5 years is some of the best things ive done ever. except for npr i have a perfect record. sparkling. did everyone love me? did everyone love prince? did everyone love sinatra? i heard tell that when mr pilate asked the crowd if they should kill jesus or kill an actual criminal the entire crowd said kill jesus, the guy who fed them and cured all their sick homies. so aint no way any of us is gonna get a perfect rotten tomato score in life.

    but i say try to be good everyone. from the guy who delivers the mail to the guy who protects you on the first floor to the people on every floor and inbetween and in the garage and on the red carpet and in the comments. love them. you have reason to love them too. love them. love them all. love them the way you would want to be loved. love them forever and always. if you cant find a place to start loving, start with the eyes and work your way to the heart. know that people celebrated when they were born and cleaned them and fed them and drove em to school. and now youre trying to continue that love.

    and if you dont get this or that or the other, good. we get what we are ready for. i was ready for this. i was ready for that. and thats why i did well. so the question is, am i ready for atlantic city?

    fuck yeah i am.

    but are they ready for me?

  10. today is my last day with The Academy 

    For a guy who used to go to the corner of Hollywood & Highland on Oscar Sunday to try to snap a glimpse of the red carpet, you can imagine the thrill of ending up getting an All Access pass for several years to document it on Instagram and Snapchat.

    The rest of the year I covered our events; interviewed members; shone a light on the incredible archive, library, and forthcoming museum. And of course posted content on all our social channels.

    But best of all I got to work with some of the smartest and talented people you could meet. Seriously. I learned so much from them from so many aspects of the history of cinema to what works (and doesn’t work) when building online communities.

    Shout out to Josh Spector who hired me and gave me the freedom to post 3-4 times a day pretty much anything I wanted. He also set up a department that had creative graphic designers, an amazing video team led by the super cool Ryan Velásquez, and an IT dev team.

    So when you see on my resume that our Instagram followers increased by over 4,000% during my 5 years it wasn’t just because I was posting pics of McLovin. It was a team effort in every way.

    For a while I sat next to Nathaniel Thompson. At a place like AMPAS there are movie buffs, true geniuses of film. Nate not only knew his movies but also music, tv, and how to write about it quickly and cleanly. When I posted the Genie you’re free, it was after brainstorming a little with Nate and following the general instruction of Josh to try to start using movie quotes with a still from the film. It ended up reaching over 68 million people. My mom saw it on Good Morning America. I got emails of congratulations from the executive floor but it was a team effort – like all hits are.

    Speaking of my mom, taking her to the Oscars was one of the best things in my whole life and I’m so grateful to the Academy for being generous to their employees with tickets. Pretty much the best perk a job could give.

    The last year i was in the office I sat next to Rosalyn Hummel, another freaking brainiac and bookworm who just happens to know everything about the history of US presidents and presidential libraries (!?).

    I’m grateful that I got to work with Matt Severson, and Anne Coco and everyone at the library. And I’ll never forget setting nitrate film on fire with May Hong Haduong.

    This job was the longest one I’ve ever had. My third day George Lucas said hi to me. And as cool as that was it was just as cool talking with Joe Rendon and watching Lauren C Selman create magic.

    I have no idea what’s next for me, but this one will be hard to top.