Blog Archives

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. changed the way generations of Americans dream. And as millions of us honor Dr. King’s powerful legacy of peace today, his civil rights message defined by the words “I have a dream…” will continue to inspire the many generations to come. When faced with troubles, personal and societal, Dr. King is a popular reference in finding the motivation to succeed.

Exhibit A I Have a Dream:

Martin Luther King Jr.’s life tragically ended far too soon at age 39. However, we can take solace in knowing his legacy lives on.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

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Forever the Twain Shall Meet

How about a Throwback Thursday from the 19th century?

Literary icon Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835.

For a blog that emphasizes writing with creative twists on a myriad of events, celebrating the birth of famed author Mark Twain is a must. Actually, it’s more of an act of gratitude to the man who effectively planted the idea in our impressionable minds as young whippersnappers that this thing in school called “literature” expanded beyond the witty and signature verbiage of William Shakespeare (c’mon, we all struggled in memorizing and understanding Shakespeare in sixth-grade) to a more conversational language of rambunctious kids causing trouble and going off on exciting adventures. We related to these stories as if our own, with a little imagination mixed in for good measure and fun. And while there are countless authors in the world, current, past and surely in the future, there is only a handful in relative terms who have risen above the rest to secure and connect with new generations of readers as the years accumulate far beyond the original publish date of declared classics of the written word.

Mark Twain is regarded as one of these masterful wordsmiths.

Your homework assignment is to read or re-read a book by Mark Twain. This time, from his perspective…

one that profoundly changed the trajectory of American literary history.

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.

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.