Was Ellen right or wrong about befriending people who disagree with your politics?

Screen capture from @TheEllenShow on Twitter
Screen capture from @TheEllenShow on Twitter

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres responded to criticism after she shared a Sunday afternoon football game with friends. The problem? Former president George W. Bush was also a guest at the gathering. DeGeneres is defending herself again, having done so publicly on a number of occasions. What’s she defending? Continue reading “Was Ellen right or wrong about befriending people who disagree with your politics?”

Area 51 celebrations ahead as towns prepare for UFOers; Brands capitalize

McMinnville McMenamins UFO fest
Marcher in the parade at McMinnville, Oregon’s, annual McMenamins UFO Festival. (Photo Carol M. Highsmith, 2018)

As the weekend approaches, September 20, 2019 could be the start of something bigger. Or not. No one knows how many people will head towards Area 51, the legendary US military complex in southern Nevada. A call for people to “storm Area 51” was, according to the college student who posted the original message on Facebook, “meant to be funny.” Continue reading “Area 51 celebrations ahead as towns prepare for UFOers; Brands capitalize”

Country of Norway turns US state of Texas into adjective

Texas capitol; photo by Carol M. Highsmith, US Library of Congress Digital Collection
Photo of Texas capitol by Carol M. Highsmith, archived at US Library of Congress Digital Collection.

When I first saw the Tweet about Norway’s use of the word ‘texas’, I thought it was satire. I did some digging and found out it isn’t. It seems the good people of Norway have turned one of the largest states in the US into an adjective. In the US there’s an old saying, “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” Maybe that’s true because it looks like there are no other US states whose names have been turned into a modifier. Continue reading “Country of Norway turns US state of Texas into adjective”

Amazon fake reviews controversy reemerges; the company isn’t alone

From time to time media publish stories about fake reviews of products on sites like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and others. Right now there’s a story bouncing around from site to site about fake reviews specifically at Amazon. A British consumer group is the source. What’s an online shopper or artist in search of reviews to do? Continue reading “Amazon fake reviews controversy reemerges; the company isn’t alone”

How will new EU copyright regulations impact US musicians, bloggers, and others?

The European Union, a work of art itself in many ways, is addressing what media refer to as “copyright reform.” The consensus on doing this seems to be that the digital age requires such reforms and artists aren’t getting what they deserve for their content. Advocates include Paul McCartney, although it’s hard to accept he hasn’t gotten gobs of money without copyright reform. Web titans like Google and Facebook will be impacted, and so will anyone in the US working on music, blogging, news writing, and in other genres.

Why? Continue reading “How will new EU copyright regulations impact US musicians, bloggers, and others?”

Fans shocked as queen of country music announces secret marriage

Fans aren’t the only people shocked by the queen of country music announcing on social media she had secretly married “the love of my life”.  I was so surprised I scoured the Web to make sure there were multiple establishment media reporting the same. I did that even after visiting the singer’s Twitter page. Continue reading “Fans shocked as queen of country music announces secret marriage”

Verizon ad during championship game day shows Gillette how it’s done

Tongues wagged for a week about a Gillette ad purporting to set behavioral standards for US males, with many including me, criticizing the corporation for sanctimony and stereotyping. The ad dominated social media like tabloid Twitter for days. Another ad aired during the championship football games on Sunday, sponsored by Verizon. “The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here,” stands in sharp contrast to the Gillette messaging. Continue reading “Verizon ad during championship game day shows Gillette how it’s done”

Will social media chaos benefit arts communities in 2019?

At present social media like Facebook and Twitter are experiencing chaos. This was predictable. When you have massive numbers of humans from around the globe interacting, you have a landscape akin to the ‘Wild West’ of yore. Toss in bots, insert human screeners who make decisions to block people like a famous pastor (his page was restored), and media who snark among themselves like tweens on a middle school playground, chaos is no surprise. What’s next in 2019 when it comes to arts communities?  Continue reading “Will social media chaos benefit arts communities in 2019?”

The making of the incredibly versatile Jennifer Reeser

Pt. 2 of 3

Jennifer Reeser
Poet Jennifer Reeser (used with permission)

Jennifer Reeser, in case you missed the first article in our series about her, is no ordinary writer. Exceptional poet, widely praised translator, essayist, and reviewer, Reeser has long refused to confine her intellect to one form or genre.

Years ago, a famous poet’s son who became an accomplished writer told how his father “made his head.” As with everything, seeds of one’s future are sown at a very young age. Continue reading “The making of the incredibly versatile Jennifer Reeser”

Saving Country Music notes negative impact on musicians from Facebook changes

I’ve told every musician and artist I know to not make the mistake of relying on one social media site to connect with fans. Now a major music site is pretty much doing the same, and if you’re an indie artist, read this article. It’s well worth your time. After Facebook changed its algorithm, musicians are among the hardest hit. How hard is the hit?  Continue reading “Saving Country Music notes negative impact on musicians from Facebook changes”