busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Saturday, October 24, 2020

    dear tony, what is the weirdest thing about you? 

    wow.

    that is an amazing question. let me take a walk and think about this.

    ok, back.

    i figured it out.

    i have a hard time finishing things.

    it doesnt matter if it is a slice of pizza, a cold Coke, a novel, or a freelance assignment.

    i dont think its an ADD thing. i really don’t know what it is.

    if you have dinner with me it’s the most noticeable because i love to talk and listen and eat slowly because when i was young i would get super bad stomach aches if i ate fast. so now i eat slow and painfully slow at restaurants.

    but no way do i finish the meal there. unless it’s sushi. but not in n out, not mcdonalds, not The Pantry, not even pho or ramen. i always need a doggy bag and everyone always makes fun of me and they should.

    i have worked for Los Angeleno for over a year now and when i look back it’s a miracle that i finished over 100 pieces because i’ll write something and it will seem like — to me — that it took forever even if it only took two days. and the hardest part is always the end.

    in part because i used to pride myself on having really good endings on things.

    i once had this writing teacher who said the worst thing you could do to a reader was bore them. so i took that a step further and theorized that the best thing you could do to them is reward them for making it to the end. so you better have a damn good ending for their ass. so id try extra hard to stick the landing.

    lately i have not really done that. sometimes i’ll get lucky, but i feel like in the past i had a higher success rate at having a killer ending.

    also of late i have had a very hard time doing freelance work. my mind is elsewhere. is it COVID? is it Trump? is it this crazy lockdown? the lack of concerts ive been able to attend?

    for some reason i just cannot do the simplest things no matter how much people offer to pay me. all i think about is Los Angeleno and baseball cards. i dont even watch that much tv any more.

    and for damn sure if im watching a TV series i wont finish it unless i totally have to.

    because the only thing i hate worse than the DH is spoilers.

  2. Sunday, August 23, 2020

    dear tony, what do you do about racists? 

    junior highmama mia

    for a long time i tried to ignore them.

    i tried to believe that some people are mean and some people just sometimes act mean.

    i guess i felt like in this modern world, surely people are smart enough to know whats racist and whats not and they wouldnt act racist to your face.

    but either something changed when Trump got elected and they were emboldened or i had just given them more credit than they deserve.

    because i am a child of God i dont back down.

    i dont think God wants his kids to cower. he wants us to be brave and strong and reflect his coolness — even when we dont feel those things ourselves.

    so i dont block them on twitter or facebook or wherever , and if they engage with me, ill engage right back.

    if this was the basketball court and two guys showed up talking crazy racist smack, why would you leave? play them. beat them. talk the whole time. run your mouth, make your moves, show them the Black excellence they obviously showed up to witness.

    but win. definitely win.

    same goes for using words online or in person or wherever.

    how is a racist gonna beat me, a person who has written poems and novellas and countless news and opinion articles on the basketball court of Words?

    on this blog alone there are over 12,000 posts. how are the ignorant who can barely spell gonna beat me in a tweet or a facebook comment?

    use your words.

    how do i deal with racists? racists are not my problem.

    the demons in my head are.

    the ones who say you cant do this or youre too old to do this or that or youre too fat to do this or that or youre not enough this or not enough that.

    racists are small potatoes.

    small, soft, delicious starch in the Chunky Soup of life.

    dunk on them every time and when they’re panting, sweating, and broken, buy them a Coke like the child of God you are.

  3. Tuesday, August 18, 2020

    dear tony, can you lose yr magic juice? 

    johnson

    no.

    anything magic is a gift from above that we have zero control over.

    not that control is not an illusion

    but we have less control over gifts.

    sometimes you get a tie

    sometimes you get a sweater

    and sometimes you get the exact same thing youve always wanted.

    more attention should be made about

    how will i use this incredible tool i hope to one day have

    and will it help the most amount of people?

    instead of omg i want i want.

    i have been in situations where i was waiting and waiting for the ball

    and then i dropped it.

    fortunately there were few spectators.

    but still.

    and others i got it

    and not only did the right thing

    but added a little soul.

    those things all were boosted by magic from above

    but i was even ready for that.

    dear reader you will never lose your magic juice

    but sometimes like in exodus theres gonna be feast

    and theres gonna be famine.

    its great to be prepared for both.

    but today i heard there were blackouts all over town because of the heat.

    so i say, hey baby, lets make sure we know where all the flashlights and candles are

    she said i threw out all your candles.

    and i looked around and

    she wasnt lying.

    sure glad we had that discussion tonight

    and not in the middle of a blackout.

     

  4. Sunday, September 15, 2019

    someone asked me to write about the first date i ever had with amber 

    and heres the crazy thing, i have a terrible memory, which is a main reason why i blog so much

    and should probably blog more.

    but heres what i remember… through Instagram of all places she noticed that i was taking pics of places near where she lived. this was back when the Academy was where the Academy Museum is now being built. well, she lived a few blocks away.

    and either i said or she said, we should hang out after work one day.

    i remember we went to Doomies because i had recently eaten a fantastic vegan Big Mac from them at a street fair and i wanted to try it again to see if i was hallucinating.

    so i picked Amber up and she had these crazy shorts that rode up high on her hips but were chopped super short.

    i was driving a Prius looking car back then, def not the chick magnet muscle car she was accustomed to.

    she said she didn’t drink, so i didnt drink either. and i noticed that i hadn’t made a move during a date without liquid courage since… maybe high school?

    amber looked so beautiful and knew everything about LA (she’s a native), i hugged her goodnight and putt-putted away in my slowass hybrid.

    miracles of miracles she texted me back the next day saying she had a great time.

    she may have even included a risqué photograph saying she was impressed that i was a gentleman the whole evening.

    after some questioning, she told me she would be interested in seeing Aerosmith play at the Forum with me, Slash was opening. she wore a slinky sparkly dress and i noticed this was the first concert i had gone to without buying a beer since… high school. it was fun, she was cute. i put my hand around her hip for one song and was too scared to kiss her when i dropped her off.

    a few days later she texted me, said how much she loved the show and wanted to see another concert with me, did i have anything on the calendar? i said oui, KISS is playing with Def Leppard opening in about two weeks. we went, i was nervous, i was still not drinking, but then the lights spelling K I S S blinked i knew i should and i did

    and i must be an incredible kisser because fireworks started exploding

    all over the stage, in the audience, pretty much everywhere.

    i hear Kiss was so moved by my moves that they now incorporate those pyrotechnics in all of their shows.

    you’re welcome.

  5. Tuesday, February 19, 2019

    the secret to growing communities that grow 

    i have been so lucky to have been able to work at some of the coolest online ventures around. from LAist to the LA Times to the Oscars. but it all started here on this very blog, the busblog.

    one thing i learned at LAist was – it helps if you love the content as much as you love the audience.

    when you love something you do it with rose colored glasses. so you might miss some of the issues. but thats ok because when you notice that certain things are bad, you will rush to fix it. not out of any weird power trip but because you want everyone else to enjoy the thing you’re making with them.

    so the first thing is love. love it, love them. otherwise it’s just work and you can tell if something is being run by someone who loves it compared to someone who is just doing it for the money and health benefits.

    the next thing is be open to change, be open to creativity, be open to possibilities, be open to things that are scary, be open like youve never been open before.

    if America wasn’t open to expansion we would never have had the Louisiana Purchase and we would have never made it to the Golden State. And now California is as mighty as most foreign countries. it pays to be open. it pays to figure out ways to grow. will there be growing pains? of course. don’t freak out. as the hitchhikers guide wisely advises: dont panic.

    at every group blog ive seen or worked with there were more than a few superstar writers who some thought were irreplaceable. we are all irreplaceable. the yankees have won championships without Babe Ruth. the Lakers have won without Magic. life goes on without tony pierce and all the rest. and thats ok. what is freaky is how quickly life can go on without this star or that one. it’s been over 35 years since SNL lost John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray and that show still trends every Sunday.

    the show will go on. so dont fear change. if you wanna be punk rock, embrace it. and if you wanna be new wave: be the change.

    which brings us the my favorite facebook group Howard Stern for Fans who Actually Like Howard Stern.

    no one asked for this group. i started it last year, wellllllll into the last stages of his career. he only has a show 3x a week, 2x a month. there were already at least 100 howard stern groups, and yet suddenly ours is on pace to being the most popular one on Facebook. how?

    because i have set rules. i enforce the rules. it’s just me plus some superfans who let me know via flagging or instant message when people are being rude. and i allow the group to metaporphisize into whatever it’s gonna be. and i will call bullshit on certain trends. and i am not afraid to boot people or protect others.

    but i really think the secret sauce is i love howard’s show and history, and i know it, and ive been around the block in regards to social, so i can see trouble before it happens.

    what i love about this chart on the tippy top is, anyone can have good numbers in your first 6-7 months cuz youre new and cute. but if you suck people will bail out and stop telling their friends. whats interesting about this group is it started hot, and has continued to be hot for the last 6-7 months too. even though howard has had hella vacation, even though more stern groups have sprouted. even though ive been obsessed with a secret project. the growth is growing at a pace of 61%.

    every week we are getting between 250-350 new members. and theyre staying. lots of posts.

    i had one guy say, how many admins do you have? i said me. he said, im in this group but i admin another one about a cable TV show and we have 4 admins. how do you do it? i say, i let them be. he said, no way would that work with us? i asked why? he said the founder of the group wants everything approved. that takes time. and the quality is better.

    i said how do you know if the quality is better if its always been one way. maybe when people are free they write better or they say things that omg that One guy doesnt like or the other 3 admins. thats a lot of ways to get vetoed. here i only have a few ways to get vetoed: poop, disparaging howard robin or beth, politics and a few others. most people are cool with that and it allows space for people to be free.

    freedom is everything for growth. give a tree a lot of space, a lot of sunshine, and tons of water and that baby will grooooooooooooow.

    now bababooey to you all.

  6. Sunday, February 17, 2019

    tony what is the purpose of anything? 

    dear tony, why should we try? why should we try to push the boundaries, the envelope, whatever you want to call it? why shouldn’t we just march in formation and do whatever the person with the loudest bullhorn says?

    dear sweet reader,

    i don’t know about you. but when i look at the map of the USA my eyes move from right to left. often very quickly.

    when i look at the East Coast i see the past. i see a bunch of smooshed up places all knotted up with each other and really only one or two of the places matter. boston knows it doesnt matter which is why theyve flooded the place with colleges so they could figure it out.

    but ive figured it out. we need progress, which is why the eye moves from right to left on the map. from the past to the wholesomeness to the wild west. the west is the future. somewhat the present but more the near future.

    we need that progress to live. ask Payless and Sears and Circuit City what happens when you are not constantly progressing. you die. you die right there in the rut that you buried yourself in.

    is it exhausting to be ahead of the pack? isn’t easier to just lay back and coast along with the middle? yes. and fewer bugs hit your windscreen. and you’re more likely to hit a pothole or black ice or a swarm of bees.

    but is also provides the best view, the most excitement, and schools aren’t named after followers, they’re named after leaders, explorers, warriors.

    do your job. live up to expectations. make magic when no ones looking.

    and get fucking schools named after your ass

  7. Friday, February 8, 2019

    what if the what ifs are right 

    what if the voices are speaking from the future and they know and theyre there to protect us and especially you then what do you do what do you say what if they know

    which is an excellent question for this weeks ask tony and i know the answer to that perfectly and here it is

    there are two songs on the playlist. neither are good. the one is the mopey sad scared boring panicking drone that says its not gonna happen everyones out to get you the end of the world is nigh

    the other is saying oh but youre the exception to the rules youre the chosen one youre the golden child incapable of failure, try, try, try all will be well, and then vacation a little more you deserve it!

    dont you think basketball players at the free throw line hear the people booing and shouting and trying to distract them

    of course. and they know theres nothing good in listening, so they listen to the other song, you can make this, you can do this, you have done it, youve done it millions of times, just hit it and smile on your jog back down the court

    practice your acceptance speeches, not your defenses

    prepare for success, not death

    seek out the fuck yes

  8. Sunday, July 22, 2018

    zigadenus asks, “who are you”? 

    well, i was born a poor black child

    while in high school i went to iowa to check out a college, i was poisoned by a group of undercover miscreants

    collectively called the xbi

    who convinced me to move to california and join them.

    at first their intentions were good, but as time passed it became obvious to me that they werent who they claimed to be and i left

    but you never truly leave the xbi.

    in order to lure me back into their good graces they have attempted to bribe me with lavish gifts, beautiful women, and delicious tacos

    in a way, this blog is an accounting of the lovely, but immoral things that they have done to and for me so that i would some day return and fly their black helicopter, chopper one. the one thing i really miss. a lot.

    who am i? im the same as you, a temporary visitor to this mortal coil, skateboarding on the tightrope over clever and stupid, dreaming of a time when one doesnt introduce themselves by elegant words that could never fit on a business card, but instead hold up a lotus bloom and esp everything

    on saturdays i drive for lyft

  9. Friday, May 25, 2018

    tony why are you confident about the internet when it changes so much 

    i am confident because i have been doing this for as long as the world wide web

    pretty much

    has been around.

    i was in atwater village in 94 for the northridge quake and then soon after i was transferred to san francisco

    it was there that marc brown turned me on to the web and immediately he and all of my daily nexus friends realized what a beautiful canvas it could be to those of us who had things to say

    by late 1996 i was being paid real money, including a company car, to sell a box called WebTV which put the internet on your TV.

    not only did i sell it as a manufacturers rep, but i taught salespeople at sears, good guys, circuit city, walmart and other places how to sell it. in many cases i was showing mangers and their customers what the internet was

    and why they would want to see it on their television.

    ever since then, i have been paid money to either get people to go to websites and blogs or get people to follow my employers on social media.

    i am good at it for a number of reasons starting with the fact that i love the internet, i love people, and i love researching how people do things and what they like.

    the biggest disadvantage that some of my peers have is they try to apply what THEY like and project that on the audience.

    unfortunately the online audience is extremely disloyal and will run away if their needs are not met.

    this doesnt mean that you have to sell out on your values to maintain a community. but it means that if you do not listen, react and anticipate what your audience wants, then you will not have much of an audience as time goes on.

    the best way to see what your community wants is to click on their names and see what they’re posting, figure out who their “friends” are, and study what those people have done that attracted them to their accounts.

    currently i have worked with a community for 4.5 years. every day except sundays i study the people who like our stuff.

    why wouldn’t i?

    you’re right, tastes change all the time. it does seem daunting to have to adjust all the time. but any athlete can tell you that champions are made by the adjustments they make to their gameplan — sometimes as it happens.

    the only way Peyton Manning can make a smart audible is by studying what the defense has done in the recent and not-so-recent past, and identify what they are probably going to do on that play, and then AT THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE call a new play that would best work against what he thinks the defense is lined up to do.

    adjustments.

    there are only a handful of social channels that really matter. it isn’t that difficult to study all of them all the time if it is your job and you love your job.

    but if you are extra, like i am, you might even take on a second job, like driving an uber, where you can literally talk to strangers all night about instagram, snapchat, twitter and facebook and ask them how they use it and what they like and what they dont like.

    sure its a tiny sample size but after thousands and thousands of rides all around LA you will start to see patterns.

    it’s in those patterns that you can begin to see trends that you can capitalize on.

    and when you try something along those lines… and it works

    and it works year after year after year

    and when you see your followers rise 100% and 400% and 4,000%, you tend to gain confidence.

    especially if you have been involved in the arena since the game began.

    which i have

    and i am so grateful.

    now go help flint get some clean water.

  10. Saturday, May 12, 2018

    dear tony, how do i get this thing that i want? 

    the vast majority of questions that i have gotten recently are about attaining things. material objects, dreams, jobs, etc

    and the answer is ridiculously simple: persist.

    as we know from video games, nearly all of your opponents will be dumb, slow, and eventually predictable.

    only at the end of the level will you be challenged with a person or a scenario where you might fail a few times (or more than a few times) before you succeed.

    learn from these battles and look for the patterns.

    if the giant slaps you twice with his left hand before going for his crossbow, then stop what you are doing on the second slap and dive at him when he reaches back.

    same with life. note what your reactions are to things and how those become unhelpful to that particular move. maybe you are the one who is tipping off his patterns.

    if you want the attention of a pretty girl, for example, and you find that you keep needing to have your lawyer pay them off so they doesn’t rat you out to the press

    maybe getting a new lawyer isn’t the answer.

    we all want to get as many points in this video game as we can, but we also should do it in as cool a way as possible.

    the first time i actually wanted to be someone else was when i was at the roller rink watching this one dude dominate on Defender while smoking a cigarette while on roller skates. he was probably 14 . he played with ease. he was not reacting to the onslaught he was dancing within the patterns.

    he knew not to shake the machine by yanking the controls because his beer would spill.

    study what it is that you want.

    be cool about it.

    dont quit and dont spill yr beer.