Bill Cosby is facing a ton of accusations right now, but this blog post isn't specifically about the terrible allegations that he's dealing with in the media. I think that people all over the world are hoping that these matters will somehow be disproven to everyone's satisfaction. It's not looking so good in that department, but we do hate to see a revered comedy legend like Bill Cosby fall from grace, especially right out in the public eye like this.
Raven-Symone – who played Cosby's young daughter on TV – has been forced to step forward to deny the claim that she was molested by the comedian during their time on The Cosby Show. Why would she have to defend herself against this story? It's all because a so-called "parody" website circulated an article claiming that Symone was pursuing charges against Cosby, and that article went viral.
I find this completely disgusting, and offensive in every way; not only did these people jump on the horrific Cosby sexual assault bandwagon, but they invoked child molestation to improve their click-count. They have confused the real news cycle, and they hurt Raven-Symone, who had no relation to this case. I think we all know how long it takes for a fake news story to be disproven when it seems real, especially after it goes viral and makes the rounds on social media.
You want parody? Go read The Onion. This is way over the line, it's not funny, and it's just plain disgusting. We joke about a lot of taboo things around here, but this kind of nonsense is just beyond the pale.
Dave and Buster's is a sports bar/arcade restaurant with locations all around North America. They recently tweeted: ""I hate Tacos" said no Juan ever", in reference to a Taco Tuesday promotion. As you might expect, this didn't really go over very well with some people, and the backlash is in full effect.
I asked our own Vicky Barcelona – a young woman of Mexican descent – and she said she's not offended at all. In fact, her father and brother are both named Juan, and Vicky said that she frequently shares "Juan" wordplay jokes with them, and they all think they're funny.
Thin Skindrome continues to sweep our country, and this is a case that I find especially bothersome, because I don't believe that non-Mexicans necessarily have a right to be incensed by this situation.
Dave and Buster's deleted the tweet, and later issued a public apology. Do you think the tweet was offensive? And how do you feel about people being outraged on behalf of groups – ethnic, sexual, or whatever – that they don't belong to?
Today, we're trying to help Mary (not her real name). Her soon-to-be-fiance just confessed something that she's struggling to accept: nearly twenty years ago, he was a prostitute…and his customers weren't women. In fact, he says that he's slept with over a hundred men!
This was something that happened during a very different time in his life. He was living in Florida, addicted to drugs, and living on the streets; the prostitution was just a way to make ends meet, and feed his addiction. These days, he's happy, fully recovered from the drugs, and thankfully disease-free. He also says that he's not gay. Unfortunately, it's not all good news for Mary, who didn't know about the drug addiction, or the prostitution. She says this revelation has hit her like a ton of bricks.
Mary's sister knows the secret now, and she thinks it's time to put the relationship out to pasture. Mary is concerned that her boyfriend must be gay, if he slept with men in the triple digits. She doesn't know what to do, so she came to her fellow Rock-A-Holics for help.
Mary, your boyfriend's sexuality isn't much of an issue, in my opinion. The real question of concern here is: will he be monogamous? Is there any chance of a relapse, either to the drugs, or the prostitution? That's the big red flag issue for me.
Can anyone offer Mary some advice? We'd love to hear from everyone, but we're especially interested in some feedback from people who have been in a similar situation…
Hey, gang! If you'd like to hook up with other Rock-A-Holics in your area for some casual Group Therapy, then just wipe left…or swap right. I'm not sure how this whole swap-wipe-swipe-slop thing works, so you'll have to figure it out for yourself.
Natalie and her boyfriend are both in their 20s, and they've been together for five months. They met on Tinder, and it's been going pretty well for the couple. Of course, Natalie deleted her Tinder profile immediately, but her boyfriend didn't. Recently, one of Natalie's friends saw the boyfriend's profile, and took a screenshot…because his most recent Tinder activity was just a few hours earlier.
While the boyfriend was showering, Natalie got into his phone and checked out his profile. It turns out that he had been communicating with three other women in the early days of their relationship. Natalie says that he seems to have zero recent activity, and the conversations weren't scandalous. Her friends are telling her to dump the guy on principle, but she's not sure what to do about this. She hasn't told her boyfriend about the issue – or her snooping – and she came to us looking for some advice.
I don't have much to offer here, except to say that you need to manage your own feelings if the people around you are jumping directly to "dump your mate" when you share a problem with them. Make your own decisions, and follow your heart-brain-gut to figure out what's best for you and your relationship.
Let's hear it from you, good people! How should Natalie deal with this Tinder situation?
Today's blog come from one of my mentor, Dan Sanders:
Let's start with the "butt" of many jokes. There is a magazine called Paper whose recent goal was to break the Internet, the one assignment they had for the Winter issue. How do they hope to achieve that goal? Here's what they said: "There is no other person that we can think of who is up to the task than one Kim Kardashian West. A pop culture fascination able to generate headlines just by leaving her house, Kim is what makes the Web tick."
I can only "ass"-sume that Kimmie is trying to keep up with Kanye, who is so good at making an ass of himself. So what's the fuss all about? Mrs. West has bared her bottom for Paper, and the magazine's intent is to try and overload the Internet with hits. I might suggest a good spanking, instead.
There is, however, a much more sinister plot to break the Internet than any involving the ass Kanye or his wife's ass, and I first blogged about this on May 11. The issue is Net Neutrality, and push is now coming to shove.
At stake, potentially, is the freedom of podcasting to exist as a category of personal publishing unburdened by a licensing cost for the basic platform of downloadable audio. An organization called Personal Audio, which apparently operates out of an empty office somewhere in Texas that no one ever goes to, has already sued Apple and others claiming it held patents on the concept of playlists, and it has actually scored some victories. Personal Audio, whose process is to get in, cause confusion and chaos, and grab all the money it can, is at it again, suing podcasters, including giant Adam Carolla's ACE Broadcasting, HowStuffWorks, and Togi Entertainment. Personal Audio claims it created a system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence, which later became the industry standard for podcasting, and it has the patent to prove it. In terms of the field of communications, it means broadcasting a message to the public without direct feedback from the audience.
All podcasters depend on the number of hits they get to generate revenue. Even a radio station website generates revenue from the number of hits coming in from readers and listeners. A podcaster can also create a network of suppliers, so to speak: Dan Sanders talks about everything under the sun, but on that same website, Gordon Geek has a blog about the latest video games. Gordon may get 500 hits, and Dan may get 500 hits, but together they and the website have a thousand hits, which advertisers pay more for because of the exposure. This is how you build a podcasting network.
If you're a podcaster who has been hit with a letter from Personal Audio, contact the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, a non-profit digital rights advocacy group. EFF is offering legal and support services to podcasters.
There are more thoughts on this and other topics on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Give a listen.
Happy Friday to you, friends! I'm glad you could take time away from Liking and Poking things on Facebook to join us here for some Group Therapy!
Casey isn't liking her husband's Facebook activity very much. In fact, she wants him to shut down his account completely…because he's having a Facebook affair!
I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that the trouble has to with three girls that her husband knew in high school, 25 years ago. He's not just casually interacting; we're talking about hours of chatting every night. Casey is particularly bothered by one woman that she knows had a high school crush on her husband. Casey says her husband is ignoring her, and their kids, in favor of hanging out with his social media girlfriends. Whenever she mentions it, Casey is accused of being a nag.
When you're married with kids, you look for easily-managed ways to have fun. For me, those distractions were provided by gaming sessions with friends, because we weren't having the same kind of enjoyable interactions in my day-to-day life. I'm certainly not defending a Facebook affair, or ignoring your family, but I'm just saying that I understand the pursuit of outside enjoyment.
This whole situation MIGHT be innocent, and may eventually pass after the initial excitement wears off. If it is something damaging to your relationship, then your concerns are justified, and it needs to end. Casey, you don't want to issue ultimatums, and you definitely don't want to snoop on your husband…because if this IS innocent, then you may create a bigger issue within your relationship.
That being said, it's not okay for your husband to ignore his family. If that's the case, and you aren't just overreacting out of irritation (that's for you to decide, not me), then it's time for a serious heart-to-heart talk about this situation.
Let's get some opinions from you, Rock-A-Holics! BONUS HONESTY POINTS if you've dealt with this situation, either as the ignored partner, or the active Facebook user…
Welcome back to Group Therapy, gang! I'd like to try something a little bit different this time. Would you mind putting on this Black Widow costume and shearing me like a sheep with these industrial-grade clippers? I've been very baa-aad.
Hey, where are you going…?!
It's always difficult to know when you've reached the kinky-in-bed point in your new relationship, and Hailey is trying to figure out if she should reveal her wild side to her new boyfriend. She admits that she can get pretty freaky, and they've been together for about two months. Is it time to surprise him with some kinky business?
I guess we're not at a point – as a society – where sex can just be discussed openly between the consenting parties. It's one thing to fantasize about wild things, but there's a necessary division between fantasizing and taking action, especially when it comes to the seriously kinky stuff. Personally, I think that guys like a little more management in these situations, with less chaos; I'm not saying that surprises are a bad thing, but you want to make sure that you're not going to "11" when your partner is only at a "6"…
I've gotten myself into trouble with ladies over the years, because I concentrate very intensely on making sure that the woman is pleased, and have ruined the spontaneity at times. So, there's an argument against discussing things TOO much. It's a real double-edged sword, and I guess it really depends on the individual person.
If ever we've had a topic that could inspire some interesting replies from the Rock-A-Holics, I feel like this one could be a winner…
Group Therapy is all about Rock-A-Holics helping Rock-A-Holics helping Rock-uh…wait, that might be one Rock-A-Holic too many.
Jennifer has a friend who has three kids at the age of 28…and now she's pregnant with twins! (I assume she's a millionaire, because only financially responsible people bring that many children into the world.)
The pregnant friend recently joined Jennifer for a lunch date, where she ordered some wine for herself. Jennifer was shocked, but the four-months-along mom-to-be said it was no problem; after all, she drank during all of her other pregnancies, and those turned out juuust fiiiiine. Jennifer was pretty scandalized by this, and she mentioned it to her friend's boyfriend. (Yes, I said boyfriend. I assume he is also a millionaire, and undoubtedly the father of all of this woman's children. That's how we do it in America.) The boyfriend wasn't surprised, and couldn't care less, so now Jennifer wonders if she should go over the heads of the happy couple, and talk to her friend's parents about their daughter's drinking.
Is Jennifer overreacting? I don't know enough about the current rules and medical information regarding wine consumption and pregnancy, but I think I'm probably already forming opinions about the mother-to-be and her life choices in general, so perhaps we should seek some unbiased advice.
Does anyone out there have some educated advice for Jennifer? We'll take your opinions in any event, so pop the cork and let it flow, people…
Sorry! I wasn't expecting anyone! Just, uh…just give me a minute to, um, freshen up…I'll be right there!
Dang it, I knew we should have put a lock on the Group Therapy door!
Let's see if we can offer someone else a helping hand: Last week, Brent's wife caught their 13-year-old son and his friend watching porn on the house computer. The wife insists that the kids are too young for that kind of exposure, and she even told the friend's mom about the incident. Since this happened, the wife makes the son leave his bedroom door open at all times, so she can monitor him whenever she wants. She also wants her son to stop hanging out with that pesky troublemaker friend of his.
Brent thinks his wife is overreacting to all of this, and he wants to know if he should talk to his son about covering his tracks better, or if he should side with his wife.
Brent, I'd rather be right than happy. I don't subscribe to the "Happy Wife Happy Life" philosophy, and I'm 100% against the kind of ignorant nonsense that your wife is bringing to the table in this situation. A 13-year-old boy is going to have urges, and curiosities, and I feel like the kid's mom is completely blind to all of those matters.
Maybe I'm the wrong guy to ask about this one, now that I think about it; the males in your household seem to have no trouble getting into trouble on their own.
Help this guy out, Rock-A-Holics! Maybe you can offer some more…balanced...advice.
(Today's guest blog features one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:)
…the Christmas stockings, that is (although I can think of much prettier stockings to rock).
I spent some years of my life working in the wildly unexciting, leg killing, brain numbing world of R...retail. I bet you thought I was going to say radio, but radio is not as bad on your legs, and unless you worked for the now long-gone WODS radio station in Boston, which seemed to start playing nothing but Christmas music beginning in June, the worst hazard was those call letters, which were very hard on the tongue and might sound like W-odious, if you weren't careful. (Say it loud and proud and quickly, and you'll hear it.) Anyway, with the demise of WODS, retail has the market on Christmas music. I have a friend who loves Christmas and works in retail, and she has already told me she will go nuts if she hears "Blue Christmas" one more time.
Now, about Christmas, don't get me wrong (which I have learned is easy to do—sometimes I even do it). I like a few Christmas lights, a nice artificial tree, and a few bobbles, but I have seen houses so lit up that Rockefeller Center pales by comparison, and all I can think of is their electric bill, which alone would buy some nice gifts for a poor child.
I'm sure almost everyone has a favorite Christmas song, as well as one they hope to never hear again. If forced to choose I would pick "The Little Drummer Boy" as my favorite, and if I never hear "Oh Tannenbaum" again that would be just fine with me.
I was driving a friend to work the other day, and I saw a young man maybe 18 or 19 sitting by a deserted building. He was dirty, wearing a hoodie and backpack, and was playing with his phone. I had to wonder what his Christmas past, present, and future were.
'Tis the season to spend wildly, and retail wants you to so badly. I know it's a time of stress, but be kind to your retail workers, and try to give a little less to yourself and more to the kid on the block with the dirty hoodie and backpack and an uncertain future.
More thoughts about—well, who knows?—on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Give a listen.
It is Group Therapy time, folks! Let's sit down together and share some ideas!
Well, maybe not. A Rock-A-Holic named Ron is having some trouble in the "idea sharing" department, so let's see if we can help him out…
In the last few months, Ron has noticed a female coworker passing off his ideas as her own. Sometimes, these ideas came out of conversations between the two of them, followed by this woman turning around and selling the concept as her own. On at least one other occasion, she obviously overheard a brainstorming session between Ron and someone else, then took the eavesdropped idea and pitched it in a way that prevented its intended use.
Let me share this: as a man, I can tell you that stealing someone else's ideas and passing them off as your own can be a real rage trigger. Ron is justifiably angry. I'm reminded of the HBO show SILICON VALLEY, where a certain character had a great idea with great potential that even he didn't initially understand, and it could have all gone wrong if he hadn't made the right decisions.
Ron, I think you should start keeping your thoughts under lock and key as much as possible. Let's hear what the good people who read this blog have to say. What do you think Ron should do about this situation, Rock-A-Holics?
I don't know if you've seen the DIRECTV ads featuring Rob Lowe, in which he plays two different versions of himself. "Regular" Rob Lowe is portrayed as cool and handsome, while the "alternate" Rob might be socially awkward, or ugly. Personally, I think they're pretty entertaining…
…but I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that some people are upset about the "alternate" Rob Lowe personas. For example: Socially Awkward Rob Lowe is having trouble in a public restroom, because he can't pee with other people around. Cool Rob enters the picture and tells the audience to avoid being like the awkward version.
7% of people officially suffer from "shy bladder" (there's a medical term for it), and at least one of these people is upset about the portrayal of people with the condition, and want the ads to be pulled. DIRECTV has said that the commercials will continue.
"Thin Skindrome" is the medical condition that I am officially diagnosing today, and I think most of the people in our country seem to suffer from it. I'm socially awkward, and nowhere near as appealing as Rob Lowe! You don't hear me crying about these commercials, do you?
If you like sticking your nose into other people's business, Group Therapy is perfect for you! It's all about Rock-A-Holics helping Rock-A-Holics, and there's usually something juicy to discuss!
When Holly was 17, her parents paid for her to get a nose job; she's thankful for the improvement, but she's a bit sensitive about the subject. Recently, Holly's boyfriend saw some pictures of Holly in her early years, and commented about how different she looks now. Holly's sister (who showed him the pictures) insists that Holly should come clean about the situation, but Holly isn't sure that she owes anyone an explanation.
I'm just going to be honest, Holly: I think you have some bigger issues at play here, and the boyfriend should probably hit the road before he discovers more truth than he can handle. I'm not making any insinuations here, but I feel like the sensitivity is fairly over-the-top, given the situation. This is something that changed your life for the better, so why is it so crucial that you keep it a secret from someone you care about?
Am I being too harsh? This whole thing just smells funny to me…
It's Group Therapy! Everybody into the car! Make sure the designated driver has the keys!
(We DO have a designated driver, right?)
Well, a Rock-A-Holic named Michael was the designated driver for his group of friends on Halloween. He had no problem with this job, because he's just not a big drinker. With a head count of 6 people, the evening's travel required an SUV owned by one of the members of the group. Michael got into an accident behind the wheel of that SUV, with everyone in the vehicle at the time. No one was hurt, and the friend had insurance that covered the $4000 in damages, but there's also a $1000 deductible, and Michael can't afford to pay it. He suggested that everyone should chip in – a cost of about $167.00 per person -- but only one person agreed to contribute; everyone else flatly refused, insisting that Michael, as the driver, should be entirely responsible.
Michael is worried about this situation for obvious reasons, and wonders if he was out of line asking everyone to pitch in. Personally, I feel like you shouldn't think twice about asking the group to help out, particularly when you simply can't afford something like this. It's not like you're being greedy, or irresponsible; you just don't have the means, so you shouldn't be afraid to ask for help.
Today's blog features one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:
In last week's podcast I promised to try and explain what my blogs and podcasts are about. Now sitting in the dark for hours, my monitor the only light, I hear a familiar voice whispering the word free. Free. There was another word after that, and it took a while to understand it.
I remember sitting in my dad's car at night, with the soft glow of the car radio. The car was some type of big Buick, big as all cars were in 1961. The car was parked by the side of our house, and a group of friends and I would gather there. We were all too young to drive so the car never moved, but we traveled for miles by listening to the radio. My dad's car, the radio on, was our hangout and all we needed.
On Staten Island where I came of age, Cousin Brucie, Bruce Morrow, on WABC and Murray the K, Murray Kaufman, on WINS, pretty much owned the air waves. Less known was Douglas "Jocko" Henderson, a guy I liked, and his show was called Jocko's Rocket Ship on WADO and WOV. All of these guys were mixing the many musical genres of the time, including Motown, pop, hard rock, surf music, and novelty tunes, which gave birth to something else, just under the surface, taking hold in college radio stations and picked up in some places like KMPX in San Francisco. And again I heard the word free.
Now I knew the other word was form, so freeform, and the voice was that of my longtime friend Larry Miller. Then I knew the answer. I earned my chops listening to Cousin Brucie and Murray the K, and I found a way to play freeform music even when I had a playlist (more on that in the podcast). (If you want an explanation of freeform radio, there's a 3-minute video at http://youtu.be/oY-OxKagM-w, and my friend Larry Miller is a part of it about 2 minutes in.) So there it was, what I was I doing without thinking about it, and what I'm doing now with blogging and podcasting.
What form do my blogs and podcasts take? The answer is none at all. In some way they are shapeshifters. I approach each podcast as if it were live. Sure, I could go back and edit, slice and dice and cook it, but I don't. Frequently, I have an idea in my head for one thing, and just as I open the mic, I think of something totally different. That becomes the podcast, and it's often unrelated to the blog.
So now you know, and I hope you'll join me for freeform podcasting on the shores of Rambling Harbor.