busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    im most grateful for the ideas 

    a long time ago i was in a poetry writing class at my university

    it was a trick class because the credits did not count for any requirement in letters & science

    even though it was a letters & science class.

    you took it because you wanted to

    and that was all.

    the trick though, is it was taught by the most popular writing teacher in

    the mysterious college of creative studies

    a place where if you could somehow get in, it would bless you with

    the unimaginable gift

    of no grades, no tests, no finals.

    but none of us who took this class knew that.

    at least i sure didnt.

    none of us knew that this teacher was the key to that incredible world.

    incredible, in part, because everyone in that college was super talented

    in art or music or math or words.

    one of the things this teacher did was she required each student to meet with her privately

    twice that quarter, after class, for about an hour.

    weird, but ok, whatever.

    upon my first visit she asked how i liked class, and i said i liked it.

    we went over some of the poems id written and after that i said

    hey i have a 13 page epic love poem id like to ask you about because im having

    a hard time finishing it.

    and i gave it to her and we read it and the next time that we had a meeting

    she was asking me if i would be interested in transferring from letters and science

    to go to the college of creative studies.

    little did i know it was a trick question.

    because it tricked me into believing i could do it.

    which i did.

    one of the things i asked her that pivotal afternoon was something that i remember even now,

    centuries later

    i said, robyn, obviously you know a few things about creativity,

    as that is the college you teach at, and also attended,

    i am really afraid that the ideas will stop one day.

    will they?

    and she said:

    nope.

    and she aint never lied

  2. Saturday, April 20, 2019

    how to write when yr young 

    About once a year i get asked to speak to college kids and it’s terribly flattering but am i really the best person for them to listen to?

    If I was someone in his right mind I’d say, be as Robinson Crusoe’s dad told him to be and be as mediocre as fuck.

    “[The] middle station has the fewest disasters and is not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind,” the senior Crusoe said.

    Vicissitudes of course being “a change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant.”

    I will be speaking to upper division storytellers and journalists, so i will remind them what i was taught at their age in the College of Creative Studies about what makes a good story:

    introduce likable characters that the reader cannot help but fall in love with and then fuck them over royally and watch them overcome the disaster(s).

    Therefore in good storytelling there is nothing more central than a big fat vicissitude

    so how on Earth do you think you can write from experience about tragedy, misfortune, and struggle, unless you have found yourself head first into some shitty shit yourselves?

    Which is why I advise all of you to ignore Mr. Crusoe’s well-intentioned instruction (if you truly want to be writers), and avoid the middle path entirely as that is where there is little reward. And if you have noticed not one person ever wrote the story about the Senior Crusoe, the first novel ever was written about his wild son and the crazy shit he experienced when he ran away from his family who wanted him to be a dumb lawyer.

    Which brings us to you, I will say.

    You are young, the world is out to get you. There’s global warming that half the politicians won’t even talk about. Homelessness, especially here in Southern California is crazy. Gas is over $4 a gallon. We won’t even talk about how many banks you gotta rob to buy a house here.

    And the debt that you are racking up every minute, hour, and day in this college is more crippling than you know. How do I know this? Because if you really let it sink in, none of you would be smiling. You’d be angry. You’d be nervous. And for damn sure you wouldn’t be studying to be journalists — you’d be in Pre-Med or Pre-Law or Pre-420.

    But you’re here, I will continue. Which means that like me, you are idealists, which means your life is forever fucked. Because you think you are the exception. You think you can change the world. You think that Robert Frost was right when he chose the road untaken.

    So continue to take it.

    Take it and write about every step. And if you aren’t writing every day now, start.

    Let me tell you the good news and bad news about writing and creativity and aging: Right now. RIGHT NOW you are a fountain of ideas and a wellspring of good shit. The problem is very little of it fits into what adults have considered “correct” in school. And so every time you write something super interesting in class that breaks the mold or colors outside the lines, you will not get an A and anything less than an A is a ding to our egos and subconsciously tells us that we have failed somehow. Of course you didn’t write that sentence perfectly. Of course you’re rough around the edges. Most of you were born post 9/11. WTF! You’re babies.

    You think it sucks when you don’t get as many likes on your Instagram as you expected? Your whole life teachers have been teaching you how to get likes and since you’ve made it into this fine institution you have figured out how to get enough of them in class, but let’s be real few of us are straight A students and to that I say Good.

    We all know the key to being really successful at school: it is to give the teacher in front of you precisely what he or she wants. That, by the way, is the polar opposite of what it means to be creative, interesting, or Robinson Crusoe. Name me one book about a kid who did exactly what his teacher wanted. Now show me one person who wants to read that?  Not even my fucking Siri obeys my every wish and you know what, good for her.

    For about 10 years you will be filled with all the energy and weird ideas in that beautifully developing mind that you have now and if you do not write it down, especially now that I have warned you, you are dumb. And I know you aren’t dumb because I have been in this class before and this is not the room for the dummies.

    “Oh, but you say, you’re in your 50s and you seem incredible.” True! But the only reason I’m as fucking rad as I am today is because i have been writing down my insane shit forever. That’s the only way to keep that oil well working through your 40s. And trust me, it will be in your 40s that you will need it the most because if you think shit’s bad now, just wait until all the peers that you hate start making their way into Congress.

    But back to youth. Think about all the great rock stars. Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, the Stones, even the rap stars like Kanye and Eminem and current stars like Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish: all their great stuff was when they were young.

    I dare you to tell me that “Reputation” was better than “Fearless”. Or that “Yeezus” was better than “College Dropout.”

    Prince wrote (and performed) Purple Rain when he was 25 years old. Sure he wrote some good stuff when he was 45, but it sure wasn’t Purple Rain. AND THAT’S PRINCE!

    Which is weird because wouldn’t it make more sense that once you have truly mastered your instrument you would be better and better? Shouldn’t Eddie Van Halen at 64 be a better guitar player than he was in his 20s? Yes. But he’s not. Neither are the guys in Led Zeppelin. Neither is Ice Cube or Jay Z or this one that one. And these are people who practiced getting their flow out!

    Age grabs you when you aren’t looking and throws you on the rocks like Robinson’s many shipwrecks and leaves you on an island of hungry hungry cannibals.

    So please do not sleep through your youth, writers. This is your time. There is something about having your first kiss in your first apartment with the prettiest girl you ever saw — especially if you are also a girl. Youth is the gasoline for the bonfire of creativity and even though I am the exception to that rule too, I am telling you from my heart, it doesn’t last forever. It’s noon and I already wanna take a nap.

    So promise me this. Promise me that tonight when you get home. Before you get too tired. And preferably before the sun goes down: start a blog on blogger.com. Do not tell anybody about it, make it private, and write the scariest story you have to tell.

    Scary not Friday the 13th, but scary like you have not told anyone this story except maybe maybe maybe your best friend in life. Embarrassing. Or Thrilling. Or something that you might consider bragging. And then tomorrow write the second scariest story, and every day keep pushing your comfort zone. Keep digging deeper. Change your style slightly every day and write from different perspectives. Make the shit rhyme. Fill it up with ridiculous lies and unexpected details. Like Tolstoy, get into the minds of the characters and tell us what they’re thinking. And if you’re super cool, don’t tell, show.

    And continue to experiment all the damn time.

    You are not being graded on this. No one is reading this. But if you keep it up and at the end of this year you have 100 little stories and you’re 20 or 21 years old, I promise you that when you are 40 you will love the fact that you got these out of your head and into that private little crazy blog. These will be priceless to you. And then do it again every year of your life.

    There will only be one thing stopping you. The devil is real and he lives in your head. Rent free! He tells you that you can’t write and that this story is stupid and it’s boring and you’re gonna get in trouble and blah blah blah. Put on an anti-devil hat. I am wearing mine. It’s a Cubs hat. When I put it on and I hear the devil I say, shhhh, the hat is on. STFU. You can talk when it’s off.

    And then write. Even if you, too, are the exception to the rule, and even if you do this for 50 years, I bet you that the stories that you write from age 20 to 30 will be your best ones. I know this because – and there are exceptions – but that’s what history has shown us. In our youth we kick ass. Ironically it is also in our youth that teachers are paid to put a grade on our art and try to shame us and force us into the middle path of bullshit and soullessness, which is insane and criminal, but it is what it is.

    My generation legalized weed, maybe yours can outlaw grades.

    I have one more bit of advice on how to write when you are young: do it during the daytime. The younger you are and the further away you live from your parents’ rules, the more you should be doing anything else except homework at dark. For in the dark, when you are young, is where your stories will most likely come from. And aint nobody wanna read a novel about someone cramming for fucking finals — at a State School.

    If it’s light out: study. If it’s dark out: party. Say no to drugs, don’t drink and drive. And stop listening to terrible fucking music.

    I will now entertain questions.

  3. Tuesday, January 29, 2019

    WHY ISNT LIFE HOW IT USED TO BE? 

    as you may know, i run the worlds best howard stern facebook group.

    one of the things that im constantly debtating about is deleting posts that whine that howard isnt the same howard as he was when he was throwing baloney on the asses of strippers or yelling at the FCC or having women sit on a giant vibrating… well… device.

    the same could be said about this blog or me or you or anything. shit changes. get over it.

    i am so blessed that i was invited to be part of the college of creative studies when i was a lad because creativity has been top of my mind for a long time. and especially the dynamic of how creativity changes as we age.

    in music it seems like most artists have a spurt of creativity when they’re young and it dissipates as they get older. listen to Bruce Springsteen’s first three records compared to his last three and a lot of the experimentation is long gone and Bruce is far from the only example of this happening. indeed there seems to be only a few exceptions to this rule

    tom waits, bob dylan, and neil young.

    in rap it seems like only kanye continues to push his own boundaries in dramatic ways but i could be wrong i dont know a lot of hip hop. but lets bring it back to the busblog.

    i know i dont experiment here as i used to. i dont for a million reasons including the fact that i just dont care any more. in the day when blogging was poppin and i would get millions of readers and 40-50 comments on every post i felt like the only way i could compete with alllll the other blogs in the world was to do Anything i could to stay relevant and interesting and vibrant.

    now i am one of the last blogs that does this almost every day.

    so who cares if i do something interesting or “new”, who’s gonna read it?

    and in a way i dont want that many people reading it (murphys law, catch 22) because i dont want to be misunderstood and have that affect my livelihood. its all very complicated.

    now back to howard. im sure at 65 years old theres part of him that wouldnt mind throwing a slice of luncheon meat at someone from time to time, but i think he’s gotten that out of his system. and if he does it now people will complain and say he has run out of ideas. you can never win.

    but you can.

    you win by doing. you win by going to work every day (or in his case 3x a week) and putting out a show and relating to people and connecting to people and doing the damn thing. dancing with the one you brung ya.

    last night i was reading about HBO and how now that they are owned by AT&T have all this extra money and they wanna compete with Netflix. and i thought maybe i should try to work with someone to bring Howard a Charlie Rose type interview show thats just a big round table and Howard and a guest. Letterman did a short version of this for Netflix, but America knows Dave as a great interviewer, not everyone knows that Howard is even better.

    and i thought, someone has probably tried to get howard to do it but for whatever reason thats not his thing. what is his thing? painting? he loves to paint. so maybe get howard to interview great artists for a month. then the next month SNL alumns. then musicians. it could be a whole thing that compliments his work on radio.

    so the question is, do i know a producer who could help me with this?

    the answer is. yes i probably do.

  4. Tuesday, December 25, 2018

    im full from Christmas 

    but im glad it’s over. so much stress. not enough religion.

    theres a bunch of stuff i gotta do.

    one is get my car detailed. ive had it for years and maybe 1,000 people have been in it, and i need it properly cleaned out.

    it’s gross even thinking about it.

    next i need to be a better shoulder to cry on for amber. im always fixing problems she tells me and i need to be more of a listener.

    it’s almost impossible for me not to try to fix things though. so it will be interesting to see if i can do it.

    i also want to read more shakespeare. when dickens was acted out at church the other day, i was in awe of his use of words.

    so what i wanna do with shakespeare is watch a play a week and read along on my ipad from one of the plays i can download from the LA Public Library.

    i remember loving shakespeare in college, but let’s be real, that was a long time ago. id love to watch his top 30 plays by this time next year.

    and i always say this but i want to blog more. this year produced the fewest amount of posts of any year of the busblog. i was super busy. i am super busy. but whatever thats a lame excuse.

    kids in africa would love a blog. i will blog. they will be weirder than usual though because i think one reason i have slowed down is im nervous that people will think im weird if the weird stuff comes out

    but two things: im not that weird, and people love weird. let em have it.

  5. Saturday, December 8, 2018

    blogging is hard enough 

    heres the hard thing about blogging: keeping it real. 

    we live in polite society.

    we also live among humans and humans love gossip. 

    so on your blog you can either have no friends no job no life and 100% keep it real on your amazing blog and be perez hilton – and noone wants that

    or you can say nothing in heres true but still withhold like 99% of your life

    or you can somehow tip toe around everything and attempt to make general stories that could apply to anyone. but seriously how many of us are the Brothers Grimm? 

    so when your blog cms changes and you cannot revert back safely, you feel as though you were already floating in space, but now you have been detached from the space ship. 

    its just you and your suit against the world. and you may stop breathing soon.

    which is exactly what they want you to think.

  6. Saturday, October 13, 2018

    she’s all, you are not ashamed of anything? 

    i said the only thing i feel constantly guilty of,

    shame isnt the word id call it,

    is this blog.

    this humble collection of zeros and ones floating around in the cyber space.

    i said, i wish i spent more time on it, with it, through it,

    pushing things, pulling things, stretching, revealing

    i wish i was able to create some of the beginnings of magic i used to be able to spark back in the day, the years before punk broke.

    there was a time i wouldnt have been happy only posting twice a day, let alone take whole days off

    or two.

    when i was young and dumb(er) and riding the bus every day i truly felt invincible

    that because i had nothing, really nothing, what could you take from me.

    so my girlfriend at the time took my hair.

    shaved it right off.

    put it in a bag and sold it to chokey chicken.

    then my bad job took my bad job.

    and then all these really good things happened. because of the sacrifice? yes. because of the growth? yes.

    yes to all of it.

    add some heat and funky fertilizer and water that shit every day and something new will happen.

    so the question is, am i ready for new. newer than new. is this the new? is this the thing?

    maybe its just the fertilizer.

    maybe it’s time to bring the heat.

  7. Tuesday, August 28, 2018

    bachelor bobs podcast fiesta 

    if you asked me a year ago if i would ever have a live-in girlfriend again i woulda honestly told you no

    i felt like i was too old, too weird, too stuck in my ways, and not handsome enough to nab the type of women i had been lucky enough to be with through my Past

    but it just shows to go you that i am often wrong about things, particularly matters of the heart.

    which makes me wonder what else i am wrong about. God? Politics? Gravity?

    i dont mind being wrong because when i am wrong it means that things are nicer than i expected

    not only did i think i would be bored as someones boyfriend at this age, but worse, i thought i would be boring to someone sweet.

    i never want to bore someone, especially a sweet girl who cooks and cleans and wears freaky clothes for me.

    people ask when i will ever quit this blog. my first answer is never because i hate quitters, but the truth is when it gets boring.

    but this will never be boring.

    i may have to get amber this necklace.

  8. Friday, August 17, 2018

    happy birthday to my all time favorite blog about busses 

    do you remember everything? like how this started?

    like how you were frustrated and sad and felt like your life would add up to nothing?

    do you remember how Blogger used to crash all the time, several times a day

    and you had to write to support and Real People would write you back and say oh try this

    or oh we did this for you

    and it was all free and it was nice and you sorta made friends with them, virtually anyway, because they were good souls?

    does anyone remember laughter or 40 comments on every post or blog rolls or

    the all powerful technorati 100?

    of course you don’t, youre so young and so much has gone under the bridge

    i dont remember half of it but this blog, my blog, the weirdest thing ive ever made, documented most of it

    due to broken links and poor planning a lot of the pictures are gone

    and the pictures made it so much better

    but the tales are somewhere in here. fond memories of not so fond experiences sometimes.

    and fortunately the only thing that was true

    was you.

    and i thank you.

    happy 17th birthday, busblog of hope.

    thank you for refreshing my memory.

  9. Thursday, June 14, 2018

    theres a thing called ‘voice’ that people like to talk about 

    and i get it, in theory, that in writing there is a particular tone that one could read into a blog post, an article, a report, ect

    and that’s nice, but where i come in conflict with some

    it is when i say it doesnt matter.

    when i was at the Times, i tried to convince as many desks as i could that they should consider group blogs as opposed to individual ones.

    i explained that tonypierce.com was pretty successful at a point, for a one man show, but i never really understood the power of a group blog until i was at LAist.

    there you could get lots of different points of view and

    OMG lots of different voices

    and that diversity is what brought in a larger audience.

    any time someone brought up a blog or a site that had a detectable voice, i brought up two that were rollicking group blogs with no unified voice.

    it wasn’t until two of our group blogs, the local news LA Now, and the Fabulous Forum sports blog, broke out once they started writing a bunch of stories a day.

    those successes allowed me to say with confidence that IF you believe in voice,

    then you should also encourage a chorus, which, when it is in tune, can create a more powerful emotion.

    but me – i don’t believe the audience is loyal. and i believe that they are clicking clicking clicking hundreds of times in between visits to your incredible web destination.

    and during those clicks they are hearing one different voice after another – and they love it. how do i know? because they keep clicking.

    what will keep them clicking within your web site / instagram feed / blog, isn’t a tone or a style similar to the one they just read

    but kickass posts, one after another, with interesting information that they can’t get anywhere else,

    with fascinating photos or graphics or charts.

    internet users are bombarded with conflicting, contradicting, ugly beautiful images and messages. the fact that you have 9 pink pictures in a row with some lilting sentences

    is not why someone will return.

    you impressing their friends will.

    and what impresses their friends is learning something shareable before you do.

  10. Tuesday, April 24, 2018

    why i dont care if you dont like this blog, by tony pierce 

    once you start caring what John thinks, you’re gonna care about what Paul, George and Ringo think.

    and fuck Ringo.

    once you start caring what Beyonce, Michelle, and Kendrick think, you’re gonna have to care about what Bruno thinks

    and fuck Bruno too.

    i dont mean that in a mean way i mean that in a Bruno shouldnt care what the busblog thinks either.

    people should just do their own things in as close to a vacuum as they can

    because before we know it we are going to be like Kansas: dust in the wind

    and the kids who see what little evidence we have of our existences are going to see what we wrote

    and if what we wrote was bullshit like OMG Trump Rulez or OMG USC helped South Central become what it is today

    well, those kids will laugh and dismiss you forever and your legacy will be tainted.

    however, if what you wrote was true and pure and honest and filled with soul and black girl magic then they will gobble all the rest of it up too.

    and they will see that one page of a great blog is different on each page and each month and each year.

    what you are reading is a 17 year work in progress. and it has progressed and changed and gone through ups and downs

    as it has stretched and risen and flown and grown.

    thats what good things do.

    so if some fool takes a stab at one page and disregards the hundreds others, well

    fuck Ringo and Bruno and Hater 1 and Hater 2

    this aint for you anyways.

    this is for the far-aways.