Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I'll Speak At Your College. It Won't Cost A Lot. People Will Leave Feeling Good.

There's a lot of talk right now about college campus speakers. Controversial speaker gets protested. Provocateur falls out of favor.

What do you want your speaker to accomplish? Does the speaker have to say 1,000 outlandish things to remind you of the First Amendment? I'm a fan of the First Amendment. As they say, there's a reason it's number 1. Lots of ways to celebrate it in ways that don't involve hate. Got that? Celebrate without the hate.

I still remember being an undergrad at SUNY Fredonia and listening to Henry Rollins do spoken word. Good, energetic speaker that made me think critically. Inspired me to do some spoken word of my own when I was in my 20s.

I'll come to your campus and give a speech that will make people feel good. There were likely be references to love and intimacy and classic rock. Not just classic rock, I'll likely say something about Stevie Wonder and then advise everybody to listen to De La Soul's Three Feet High and Rising. My speech will be uplifting. I won't provoke for the sake of provoking. There's enough controversy freely available on Al Gore's Internet. Why amp it up? There is a love deficit in the United States. I aim to do something about it.

Being a low-profile (no profile) speaker, I don't cost a lot. I'll negotiate a fair price. I will make sure some of the money goes to a local food bank or other charitable cause.

Use the Google to find my contact info and holler.

See you soon at a campus near you.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Interview with Mark Cuban About Our Rapidly Changing Economy

Mark Cuban talks about the changing nature of work and how rapidly the economy is changing in an era of automation. Near the 14 minute mark, he says he expects an increased demand for liberal arts majors. You need a "freer thinker" who can give a fresh perspective of the data, he says. He also talks about the need to be realistic about workers being displaced in our fast-changing economy.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Respect to Rex Ryan

Yesterday I was driving around with my family. We decided to check out Rex Ryan's house. It's on the market for a $1 million. We live in a neighborhood where homes are in the $150,000-$200,000 range. We live about twenty minutes from where Rex's house is located in Orchard Park. We were curious about what kind of house fetches a million dollars. As we drove into the neighborhood, suddenly a Penske truck was driving close behind us. Not right on us or anything, the driver seemed patient, but I felt in the way. I maneuvered out of the driver's way. Then I got distracted by the sight of a huge, beautiful home. As I was admiring the home, my wife noticed a house in the other direction. It was the house we had been looking for. "Rex is driving the Penske truck," she observed. Rex, like a boss, was backing the Penske truck into his driveway. It wasn't a 21 foot truck or anything, but it was substantial size. It would have taken me 3-4 tries to back in and I'm sure I would've taken out the mailbox along the way. It only took Rex one shot to do it right. There was Rex, chilling in his sweats, apparently ready to pack up some of his belongings. One day you're making $5 million to coach the Buffalo Bills, and then you're just another guy renting a moving truck. I almost yelled out "Good luck Rex!" but that seemed ridiculous, even for me. Rex, if you happen to read this, the Schoepflin family wishes you well. Best of luck in all your endeavors.

Ain't That Peculiar

One of my favorite movies was on when I woke up this morning. American Splendor. I love that film. Each time I watch the film, I notice something different. This time it was the song "Ain't That Peculiar" -- and I didn't know it was a Marvin Gaye song until I looked it up. I know the most popular Marvin Gaye songs, but I'm new to this one. It's perfection.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Information Whiplash

It's the era of information whiplash. Wait, what happened with Nordstrom? What did Kellyanne Conway say? Ethics violation! Wait, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the executive order?! Trump tweets SEE YOU IN COURT! Did you say SNL is funny again? Yes I saw the Melissa McCarthy bit and it was hilarious. Is Rosie O'Donnell going to play Steve Bannon? What percentage of Americans know who Steve Bannon is?

Can't keep up with the news. The information that comes in puts me on an emotional rollercoaster. It's exhausting. People in the streets are yelling ANOMIE!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, not yet, but you never know.

And then I come across a news item reporting Mississippi lawmakers would like to add THE FIRING SQUAD as one of their execution methods.

I'm going back to bed.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


Democrats casting around for fresh voices -- Kirsten Gillibrand and Thomas Perez come to mind --  shouldn't forget that Bernie still has plenty energy left in the tank. Here he calls President Trump a fraud and says he will sell out the middle-class and working-class. Depending on how the next few years go, this could be a primary ad. Lose the "Feel the Bern" slogan. Keep the direct language in talking to voters.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

By the Way, It's Guilty Pleasure Saturday

I love donuts. I haven't eaten a lot of them in 2017. Like many guilty pleasures, donuts are best served in moderation. I spend half my life at the grocery store. It's hard to pass up Entenmann's assorted donuts. I only get them a few times a year. Today was one of those days. Okay, let's rank them in order of deliciousness. First are the chocolate frosted ones. Amazing. My 9-year-old and I share a love of them. If parenting is a selfless act, he will get the final one tomorrow. In second place are the plain donuts. Life is hard and stressful but these plain donuts dunked in strong black coffee make it all worth it. No disrespect to the powered donuts, but they are in last place. One is okay in my second cup of coffee, but they never taste totally fresh to me. Honestly, friends, they fall short of being inspiring in the way that donuts should.

It's guilty pleasure Saturday. In addition to donuts, perhaps a Lifetime movie is in the mix, or a listen to Van Halen's 1984 album, or maybe I'll google around for facts about Robert King Merton. Drop me a line in the comments section if you care to share your guilty pleasures!

Judith Butler Talks Gender

Judith Butler describes gender as a phenomenon that is always being produced and reproduced.

She says: "To say gender is performative is to say that nobody really is a gender from the start. I know it's controversial, but that's my claim."

She mentions bullying as a practice that tries to "keep us in our gendered place."

She says "it's important to resist the violence that is imposed by ideal gender norms, especially against those who are gender different or non-conforming in their gender presentation."