A Statue of Robert E. Lee is NOT a Part of Who I Am | 2017

Update on a two-year-old post.

Two years ago, I wrote a blog post titled, “The Confederate Flag is NOT a Part of who I Am,” right after the horrific Charleston church murders. The title was from the response Lindsey Graham (at the time a candidate in the GOP presidential primary) gave when a reporter asked him why the confederate flag should continue to fly on the grounds of the South Carolina capital. “It’s a part of who we are,” he said, somewhat baffled.

Flash-forward to today and another hate-crazed neo-nazi-zealot attempts a mass murder, this time in Charlottesville, by plowing his car into a group of people protesting the spewed-hatred of white nationalists.

That earlier post seems sadly similar to what I may have written today. Even sadder and more tragic: Today we have a president who equates white nationalists with those who protest white nationalism.

Desperately looking for something positive I can say to end this post, I can only think of one way: Freed from being a GOP presidential primary candidate, Lindsey Graham now knows what the correct answer is when asked why people in the south should not wrap themselves up in confederate symbols.

When asked about the white nationalists, he did not hesitate to say, “Their cause is hate, it is un-American, they are domestic terrorists and we need more from our president,” Graham said.”

“This is an opportunity for the Trump administration to come down like a hammer on white supremacists,” Graham said. “And I hope they do.”

What You Can Learn From Damn Research

Survey says: People who swear appear to be more honest than those who don’t.

I grew up in a household where profanity was rarely uttered. At least in the presence of parents. I do recall that I had my mouth washed out with soap by my kindergarten teacher. I have a feeling such corporal punishment would now be verboten, no?

Anyway, this article showed up in my newsreader this morning and the first thing that popped into my mind was my kindergarten teacher who was, other than that time at the sink, a wonderful teacher:

A study published last year with the title “Frankly, We Do Give a Damn: The Relationship Between Profanity and Honesty,” notes, “the consistent findings (of) studies suggest that the positive relation between profanity and honesty is robust, and that relationship found at the individual level indeed translates to the society level.” It’s true, some research shows that people who swear may be likely to violate other social norms, god bless ‘em, but they are also less likely to lie during police interrogations.

(via | Open Culture)

People Who Swear Are More Honest Than Those Who Don’t, Finds a New University Study

USA Yesterday

Over the years, I’ve written a few scathing observations about Gannett (owner of the daily newspaper in my hometown of Nashville, The Tennessean) and the lawyers and corporate finance people who ruined lots of independent newspapers by buying them, calling them Gannett, slashing budgets, and then killing them in various ways. Employees and customers got screwed in all of these deals, but lawyers and corporate finance people did just fine. Here some examples of those posts:

Gonenett

Final thoughts on the whole newspaper thing

Stop blaming me for killing your newspaper

And, with irony that Nashville’s NHL Predators are today sold-out every game, this response to learning, several years ago, that the Tennessean no longer sent reporters to road games in 2009:

Observing the Tennessean die is like watching the Titanic sink in super slo-mo

Fast forward to today.

It has taken me several weeks to realize “The Tennessean” newspaper has been rebranded online as, merely, Tennessean. (Or, Tennessean.com or Tennessean Dot.) Yet another strange decision by one of the nation’s stranger media companies.

The re-branding is part of a nationwide re-branding of Gannett newspapers as the “USA Today Network. While they say in the article (below) that online, the brand is simply “Tennessean,” every reference to the publication I’ve read in an article, including the announcement article, calls it “The Tennessean.”

It’s kind of funny, if you think about it.

Like the way Facebook would never call itself, “The Facebook,” new media and old have different ways of defining what and who they are by the nuanced references they use to define themselves.

The corporate marketers at Gannett are pushing out the brands “USA Today Network” and Tennessean.com, while the creators of the content on that network and web news-service are still referring to the digital version with the print-focused “The” in front of the corporate marketer’s brand.

I would never suggest this is a conspiracy on the part of the reporters, but I’d like to think it is.

The Doodle is the Message

A Google Doodle today commemorates the 106th anniversary of the birth of Marshall McLuhan.

A few years ago, I submitted an article to an editor describing Osmo Wiio as the Marshall McLuhan of Finland.

“Our readers will have to google Marshall McLuhan and Osmo Wiio to figure out what you mean,” the editor emailed me back.

“That’s okay, I responded, Google is merely an extension of their central nervous systems,” I responded.

“?” emailed the editor.

“You know. The medium is the message,” I responded.

“The message is not a medium, it’s a large. Here it is.: You can’t reference two communications theorists in one sentence.”

Bonus: A review by the late David Carr (RIP) of a biography titled Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work.

The title of the book comes from one of the greatest movie scenes of all time (if you can use google).