I wish I had more time to devote to this blog on a regular basis, but sadly, between my ESPN duties, the advice I give (gladly) on Twitter, the attempt-in-progress to get a taker for my second book, throwing in family responsibilities on top of all of that... well, something has to give.
Typically, it's the blog that ends up falling through the cracks, especially when the lack of downtime leads to a lack of creativity in terms of figuring out exactly what topic to wax poetic about...
I'm open to suggestions, so if you have any topics that you'd like me to address or movies you'd like me to review, things of that nature (outside of the world of sports, of course -- that's my other gig) -- feel free to offer them up in the comment field below and I'll see what I can do.
I also want to draw your attention to the DONATE button I've added to the blog to the right of this post. Believe it or not, this is at the request of a few Twitter followers who wished to "give back something" for all the advice I've given them.
While I give my advice freely and without expecting anything in return, I would be foolish not to do the math and realize that if even 10 percent of my followers donated just $1/month, I'd be able to save up enough money to perhaps self-publish my next tome on my own.
Hey, it's worth a try! No pressure... you could always just find Sally Struthers and send it to her instead.
By the way, have I mentioned how nice you all look today? Have you lost weight?
In my last post, I offered my two cents on the whole Rebecca Watson-DJ Grothe feud.
While I didn't expect everyone to agree with me, I certainly hoped that anyone who read what I wrote, both in the blog post itself and in the comments beneath it would see that I am far from a Watson-hater.
In fact, I agree with much of what she has had to say, and while I think much of Grothe has argued is equally valid, I fully support Watson's decision to not attend TAM.
I would have thought, however, that Watson had a thicker skin than to block me from her Twitter feed after the following exchange. Watson had posted a link about the King and Queen of Norway being required by law to be members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Clearly in a playful mood, she followed up with a whimsical tweet, which I responded to in the hopes that she had a sense of humor about herself. Clearly, she does not...
Yes, this tweet elicited no smiles, chuckles or guffaws, but rather a "block" from Rebecca Watson.
Look, I get she might not have found it funny. But I meant it in good spirits. However, it goes to prove my point that when you read something, it often leads to misconceptions about the intent of the statement. And the only way to know for sure is to ask, not to cut off communication.
Watson doesn't know me, so she doesn't owe me anything. If she took it the "wrong way" so be it. However I would have hoped that as someone who is upset that her own printed words were taken to mean something that she did not intend, that she would be a little slower on the trigger finger to judge others.
Back when I was in
college, I took an Intro to Psychology course in order to fulfill my core
As part of the class, all
students had to sign up for and take part in a number of
"experiments" being conducted by more advanced students in the
department. Naturally, the time
commitment involved in each of these tasks varied as did (as I discovered) the
quality of the subterfuge involved in accumulated data.
For example, one of the
tasks required me to answer some questions about my personal views on a topic
which I don't recall exactly, but it was probably along the lines of teen
drinking and whether the legal age should be lowered or not.
After taking a look at my
answers on the survey, I was placed in a private room and told in about fifteen minutes, I would be asked to debate my views with a professor and would be
asked to take the contrary position to his, which happened to be pretty much in
line with my response to the survey.
They also gave me a
research package to study to help me shape my remarks, and the upshot of all of
this was that after the fifteen minutes had elapsed, they told me the professor was not available
after all, but would I mind taking an additional survey in order to get credit
The survey was similar to
the original one, and the upshot of the whole experiment, I gathered, was they
wanted to see if my opinion would change after being told I had to advocate the
other side and was given all sorts of information that countered my
pre-existing point of view.
Perhaps if I actually
believed for an instance the scenario I was placed in I would have been a good
subject, but as I never once truly thought that I would have to go through with
the debate, the whole exercise seemed worthless to me.
In fact, the last thing
they asked me was whether or not I believed the scenario, and when I said I did
not, they thanked me for my time (and honesty) and said they couldn't use my
way to fulfill the obligation to volunteer for experiments was to take part in
a survey. You'd go in, answer a few questions, and then you'd be done. These
tended to fill up quickly, however, and I was only able to sign up for one such
activity, one that was only open to males.
As it turns out, this
survey dealt with the male attitude towards women. It was around 100 statements
long. For each one, we were told to put a number from 1 (strongly disagree) to
5 (strongly agree) that corresponded to our level of agreement with the
And so, I quickly worked
my way through the document, strongly agreeing with sentences like "Women
should be paid the same as men for doing the same job" and strongly
disagreeing with "When a man sees a girl dressed in a way that turns him
on that means she wants him to make sexual advances."
Then I got to a statement
that simply left me flummoxed: "Any woman can be raped."
I had no idea how to
respond to that question, because I couldn't figure out the context of what
exactly the statement was trying to say. Obviously, if it meant that it was
"It is OK for any woman to be raped" then the clear only answer that
should be selected is "1 - strongly disagree."
However, given some of
the surrounding sentences, I suspected that perhaps what was really being asked
was if there was a certain kind of woman who was "immune" from rape.
In other words, I thought the intention of the statement might have been better phrased as "It is possible
for any woman to be raped."
If that were the case,
then the answer would have to be (sadly) "5 - strongly agree."
When I went up to the
proctor of the survey to ask for clarification, he said he wasn't allowed to
give me any, nor could I leave it blank and receive credit.
Since it was anonymous,
though, I had a pretty good sense that failing to answer that question would
not result in any repercussion, I did leave it blank rather than skew the data
in a way that (due to the ambiguity I perceived) didn't represent my world
But all these years
later, I still think back to that survey whenever I am witness to an argument
between two people who appear to be at war over an issue on which they actually
are on the same side, but due to a similar seeming ambiguity in something one of them
said, battle lines have been drawn.
Imagine the following
Person A: Women who
attend conferences like yours are not safe from sexual assault. Agree or
Person B: If by not safe
you mean that it is possible for sexual assault to take place, then I agree. If
by not safe you mean that the mere act of attending our conference makes it more
likely that they will be sexually assaulted, then, I disagree. I worry that the
way you phrase the statement may lead people to think the latter is true.
Person A: How dare you
blame ME for the problem and not those who would commit sexual assault in the
first place. I am not a liar! These
things happen! I am not going to your conference. I do not feel safe.
While not exactly the conversation that is going on, that's my humble view of
the current kerfuffle between Rebecca Watson and DJ Grothe, in the simplest of
terms. It saddens me that these two people, and the supporters of each who have lined up on both sides, all seem to agree that sexual assault is a bad thing and should be eliminated. Yet rather than continue a dialogue on the real issue, the bile and hatred directed at each side by the other that I'm witnessing dismays me.
All I can say is, I'm done with this survey and will be leaving my answer
to this question blank.
Here's the first in what I hope to be a series of crossword puzzles that I'm calling "Done in 60 Minutes." Don't worry, it shouldn't take you that long to solve them. That's simply the time limit I'm putting on myself in making them.
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on what you think, and whether or not you'd like to see more of these in the future.