Blog Archives

Posting Up Against Giants

Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Steven Spielberg walk into a newsroom…

Journalism, not the shouting on cable news, is invaluable in a democracy. More specifically, the gritty, old-school reporting approach with pen marks galore, endless stacks of paper and the pursuit of revealing the greater truth to an “off-limits” story instead of merely getting there/yelling something inflammatory first is increasingly becoming a relic of the past.

And it’s in this pre-digital past that Steven Spielberg ventured into for a modern-day reflection. Plus, Mr. Spielberg was able to bring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep together for the first time for a major motion picture.

Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming film The Post isn’t necessarily aiming to revitalize print journalism as much as it seems to be directed towards reigniting the spark of a thoughtful, determined American media.

Considering the times we live, in which news in the political, sports and entertainment spheres are indistinguishably blurred together and run and broadcasted by powerful insiders (former athletes, political operatives, and commentators on both sides, etc.), the question that lingers is, “Who can those on the outside trust?”

It is likely that The Post won’t comprehensively answer this critical question, but this film will transport audiences back to a time when there was information you knew and information you didn’t know. “Metrics” and “analytics” hadn’t yet become fancy synonyms for information. Journalists took a breath, focused and refocused a few times, went to work all day and night while framing a report in a context that far exceeded the words and margins of the said story.

Even when the story was (like in this film) larger-than-life and full of high-level risks and stakes for a nation asking important high-level questions.

The leaking of the Pentagon Papers had its fair share of controversy. It will be interesting to see how the legendary director chose to tell and frame historically significant events involving real people. Nonetheless, the Pentagon Papers and the Washington Post have received the top-shelf Spielbergian treatment in The Post that stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep set for theatrical release this Christmas.

And then set for ordering on Amazon several months later.

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A Record of Human History: The Hey-Side

For around a year, I’ve been waiting for a particular package to arrive. Patiently…waiting. No, it wasn’t late. This time, the package just took a while, and for legitimate reasons. The contents of which were going to be amazing and, honestly, out of this world when opened.

Well, at least a spectacular replica of something that was literally sent out of this world 40 years ago.

And this package arrived today!

As expected, the book, the albums and the disc sleeves are spectacularly designed and produced. It’s surreal to receive such a cool piece of history in the mail, courtesy of a Kickstarter campaign.

The fundraising and reward-based company Kickstarter has been good to a lot of innovators, dreamers and customers (like me) over the past several years. Thanks to Kickstarter, I’ve ridden a real-life hoverboard (no wheels, but an actual hoverboard that hovered above the ground in Silicon Valley), possess a limited edition board game inspired by Christopher Nolan’s epic film Inception (that came inside a silver briefcase) and can now play NASA’s famed Golden Records on a turntable and/or digitally.

Simply incredible.

If the Golden Record was re-recorded with a few new songs, images and earthly sounds today, one specific thing comes to mind above all the worthy contenders…

the B-movie masterpiece Independence Day.

Just as a nice reminder, in case the aliens ever got any ideas.

Never Forget

Sixteen years have passed and yet that day will never fade from memory. And that goes for everyone who lived through the day that felt like the end of the world. While part of me wants to write endlessly about 9/11 recalling every detail and memory, the greater urge today has been to look back into the sky.

On September 11, 2001, I looked up into the clear blue September sky thinking how everything I knew had changed. A paralyzingly eerie feeling overwhelmed my entire body in this surreal gaze. And as a sophomore in high school, I was old enough to process what had happened. The tragedy of the day, with its heart-wrenching imagery, the heroism of the first responders and passengers on United 93 and the ever-lasting, sinking feeling that the world would never be the same will last forever.

The fact that my dad was almost in New York City, specifically the World Trade Center, on the morning of 9/11…Luckily, he got the last flight out of New York City back to Columbus on September 10th, completely unaware of what would happen just hours later.

RIP to all the victims and their families from the plane crashes in New York City, Washington, D.C. and the United 93 flight that heroically crashed in Pennsylvania.

Never forget and “let’s roll.”

That Bold Declaration of Independence Turned 241 Today

August 2, 1776 is a date Americans have burned into their memories as one of the most important days in this country’s history.

Wait…what day was that?

Yes, August 2, 1776, was when John Hancock became the first delegate of the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence. And he did so in very memorable fashion, as we all know. As such a critical event in American history, it seems appropriate that August 2nd should be celebrated in America by some kind of ceremony involving citizens signing a document in public squares as large as they can to honor that unforgettably powerful signature by Mr. Hancock during this country’s vulnerable entrance into the world.

Here’s a visual refresher concerning John Hancock, courtesy of the 1972 film 1776.

John Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence is a great reminder that if you’re going to do something bold and big, then it’s best to make sure everyone knows that what you’re doing is genuinely a bold action and a big deal.

Like forming a new nation.