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Monday, February 25, 2008

I'm Here Again

I have been a busy man.

Between church- 'yeah, I go'-, radio shows T.V. spots and four to six articles per week, I have found myself in a unique place, at least for me.

I have found myself - in demand?
Even in a small market rust belt like Central New York I still consider my transformation a bit surrealistic.

It all started with my lay-off/firing from The Utica Phoenix. The once mighty monthly newsmagazine was the first place where I was consistently published. Aside from reporting I performed an insane amount of tasks for my editor and chief. In the process I established myself as a fixer of sorts- someone who can get anything done. Sort of like Michael Clayton sans the Mercedes and law degree.
You would be shocked by the number and variety of proposals I am subject to hear on any given day.


How do I translate my wide ranging connections that cross demographics and universes into a viable living?

Public relations perhaps.

In a lot of ways my freelancing is a very inexpensive(free) form of publicity. I am pitched stories daily

People have began to look for my writing.

I used to struggle to find stuff to write about now I have found myself literally sifting through subject matter.

What is news?

I write for an entertainment weekly with an eye on political,and cultural awareness. A new and emerging voice in our community. I can't help but feel I am a part of that. We picked up where the Utica Phoenix left off. The Utica Phoenix had a simliar upsurge in interest when I started writing for them.

Now that I, along with a few others, have left. That interest has died.

It is not me- it is what I represent.
The appetite for real biting commentary in a digestable language is in demand.

The best thing that I ever heard that has helped me the most is: "David I love your writing but you use too many big words"
I want everyone to understand me. Everyone from the Penthouse to the gutter should know where I am coming from.

I have submited some of my more controversial blog posts-they ran them...The Whistle Blower Blues, 911 truth, My ode to family reunions.

My editor Ken Polisse was courageous- he weathered all the phone calls and said 'give me more'.
The publisher, P.A.- he's a bad-ass. He knows the advertising for that particular publication has increased- they are one aggressive push away from demographic dominance in this market.

The paper is locally relevant.

Ken took a gamble with me his startegy worked, he just made a vertical career leap. That can only help my resume because he never changed my copy accept for one article.

No wait a minute - a few articles, but there was only one change that actually bothered me.

Kudos Ken.

I know am the first guy in the area to submit a story with a decidely Gay subject matter HOW SHOCKING.
Margaret ho er'- I mean Cho- is not revolutionary but around here, in this corner of America, she is.
Ken has moved on but my new editor Leeanne Root is off to a good start.

The online edition of the paper has a video feed- that is her inaugaural gesture. She brought something new right away.

Yeah I am kissing a little ass but she deserves it.

It is a win win situation. I am self employed, unburdened by anything but myself. They (The Life and Times of Utica- google em') are extremely flexible and have an appetite for insightful reporting- believe me I have competition. Once people found out I was just submitting work they tried.
It ain't as easy as I make it look.

I was born to do what I am doing right now.
You are probably wondering how I ended up on radio and T.V..
I am too
The radio spot was on a small market show in a small market which makes it the equivalent of highschool radio- but it wasn't It was WHCL Hamilton College's radio I was invited for a Black History month interview.

I waxed poetic for three hours, it was marathon radio, I was immediately addicted. People called in and I was able to demonstrate my encyclopaedic knowledge of popular culture past and present.
I , for a moment, was a pundit.
I felt like a car salesman who could drop to a dollar and still get paid for a million.
So that was the radio spot- I're thinking - big deal.
To me, it was.
So later in the same week I go to my community meeting, pen and pad in hand, to see what they got going. They appoint me the spokesperson for The Cornhill Neighborhood Association.
"Dave your well spoken"
"He's perfect"
I pretended to reluctantly accept, but inside I was flattered and honored.
The next week they schedule me for the WKTV Evening News
I would be on Newstalk sandwiched between the snowmobile report and weekend weather.
From what I am told I did great.

All I did was speak clearly, gesture with my hands a lot and smile.
It was a six minute interview and I was able to vocalize a lot of things I write about now.
It was a message of alignment. I felt like unifying spirit who snuck on the airwaves.

I will be doing another radio show on February the 29th . This time it will be WTLB which is a local newsradio station.

The conversation gets serious now.
But I am ready.
No matter what happens freelancing is still working.
In fact, it is time for me start to really write

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Apple Pie and Fried Chicken

I don't know but I think I am allowing myself to get excited.

The thick cloud of cynicism and apathy is starting to dissipate, replaced with a faint mist of hope and optimism.

Barack Obama the much maligned(at least in my corner of the blogosphere) underrated Presidential Candidate is chugging along.
In the past, whenever a black candidacy was announced it was usually accompanied by a laugh track. Everyone in the newsroom knew there was no serious chance of winning a Primary beyond South Carolina.
Most regard these announcements with caution. It always seemed like a fitting way to measure the black consensus, find out where we are at on the issues. Make it a bit easier to spin us and ultimately earn our vote.
Bill Clinton (the unofficial first black president) reminded us all about that
The best part of all this is Obama and the classy way he (or I should say his handlers)has run his campaign.

When Obama first announced his candidacy the national newsmedia and ,many of the pundits had to be issued a confidential press release to pronounce his name correctly. I am assuming this because the widespread and annoying mispronunciation stopped abruptly. I also would have done it myself.

I cringed, listening to NPR "well it seems Barrack has a legitimate chance to make some waves"

Barrack?- Army Barrack

I have a friend named Jamal (Jah-mall) all his teachers used to pronounce his name Jamm-el (Jammle). To this day he still suffers from chronic correction syndrome. Bosses, DMV, know one gets it right.
Simply annoying.That is soo lame. Just like Barrack.

There seemed to be a slight resistance to acknowledge his ethnicity like he could somehow pass as white.
It is soo important to be acceptable, isn't it?

The quick and classy move to correct the pronunciation helped pave the way to legitimacy.

In our heart of hearts we know when we are Anglocizing-at least I would if I was white (at least I hope I would).

Obama's claim to a post racial society is his self fulfilling prophecy. He knows just like most of black America it is, at best, a concept.

He also knows the balance of political power will instantly swing to the right if he wins the candidacy. As political strategist he is brilliant he has already courted the evangelicals and according to many polls could beat McCain

But the post-racial statement fits like a glove with White America; the only segment of society that thinks racism does not exist.Unfortunately it does.

But guess what?

Their is an equal opportunity for misery and poverty-plenty of room at the bottom.

The cleanliness in this race is encouraging, but it is also indicative of our lack of direction. There is no clear agenda for either candidate.

No lynchpin issue that will galvanize America.

The economy? Ready for change?

Oil and Tobbacco have run their course; smart money will invest in The emerging green economy. That is, if you look ahead.

For once, making money will be good for the planet.

Good for our lives.

I hope that is the lynchpin that galvanizes us all.