18 years!

September marks the 18th birthday of this site.

If this is your first time here, welcome! (Actually, if this is your 1000th time here, also welcome!) I usually use this annual post to tell you a little bit about myself and what you’ll find here.

I write a weekly column for The Saturday Evening Post (every Friday morning), and I also write for Vulture.com and Esquire. In 2002 I created the pop culture magazine/blog Professor Barnhardt’s Journal, and I update that once a week or so (or whenever I have something new). In 2003 I released a collection of essays and short humor titled Book, with Words and Pages, which I then put online for free.

I also do a monthly snail mail publication called The Letter., where I send handwritten or typewritten letters to subscribers. You can subscribe to it or donate to the site by hitting the Donate button over there on the right. (And thanks!). You can also sign up for my mailing list on the right and I’ll send you an e-mail whenever I post something new on the site.

Social media? Well, you can read my thoughts on that here.

I have more stuff in the works: more books, more fiction, and also a podcast that I had hoped to launch this summer but has now been pushed back a bit. Any questions or kudos or complaints, send me an e-mail or leave a comment below.

Have a great weekend! Supposed to be cooler.

Five more things about media and technology right now

A follow-up to this post.

1. Please note the word “self” in the word “selfie.” That means you have to actually take a picture of yourself with your own hands for it to be considered this. If someone else takes a picture of you, even if they put it on social media and it has a hashtag, it’s not a “selfie.” This is called “taking a picture.”

(Side note: let’s stop using the word “selfie.”)

2. Someone asked me what my favorite app is and I said “pen and paper.”

3. If you complain about clickbait or gossipy headlines or “you won’t believe!” links, and then you actually click on them, then it’s your fault we have them in the first place. That’s how it works. The more we click on them the more popular they’ll be and the more we’ll see.

4. Weather is the clickbait of television. Unless there’s a massive snowstorm/hurricane/power outage, the weather should never, ever be one of the top three stories on the news. But now it’s always one of the top stories on each of the local newscasts, even if it’s 70 degrees and partly sunny. Yes, yes, they do it to get viewer attention at the top and to compete with other stations and other reasons, but it has gotten insane. For every half hour local newscast, weather takes up several minutes of airtime and three different segments of the show: at the top, during the regular weather segment in the middle of the show, and then “one last look at the weather!” at the end of the show. (And the rest of the half hour is taken up by viral videos and promos for what’s coming up later on the news. Oh and some news too.)

5. It’s spelled W-H-O-A. Not “woah” and certainly not “woha.”

Suddenly, it’s summer

Happy Labor Day. And Happy Summer, apparently.

I just put my fan away for the year, just in time for the atmosphere to turn into hot soup (Chunky style). It’s the type of humidity where you sit on the couch and you try not to move at all, and you sweat anyway. You can feel it forming on your face and body, and there’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no air, no relief, no happiness.. It really hasn’t been that bad this year though. There have been very few days where I thought oh my God another hot day I can’t wait until Labor Day is here please please please. But the past couple of days and the week to come are making up for that. I don’t have to go into all of the details because longtime readers know this already but I’ll summarize my thoughts the same way I did in my Saturday Evening Post column a few days ago:

I hate summer.