Success Is Certain: Losing a Job and Gaining a new Focus


♠ Addition by Subtraction ♠

“What do you mean I’m fired!?” — Wayne Fontes, joking after his dismissal as Detroit Lions Head Coach in 1996
 
LAKEWOOD, N.J. (JSC) — I’ve been fired three times in my life. The first time was from a cashier’s job at Target in 2004. It was a gig that I took while I was in broadcast school at Specs Howard. It was a decent enough gig. I made a little extra money while trying to set myself up for my first job in the “business.” The day it happened, I was honestly kind of “meh” about it all. It was never something that I saw myself doing long term, but I was admittedly pissed off at the situation that was created to get me out of there. The second time I was let go was in 2008. That was from a radio station in Flint and I saw it coming. They were in the process of making changes to the station’s format and I was one of a number of people cut loose, including the program director. I charged that to the proverbial game of radio. Plus, I was in the process of starting graduate school at Wayne State University. This one was a net gain overall, truthfully. Over the next five years, I went on a run that saw me appear on NPR, MSNBC, and ESPN Radio, a run where I covered everything from high school softball to a World Series; from municipal elections to Presidential elections; interviewed community leaders to Olympic Gold Medalists. I felt, and still feel, that I’ve paid my dues and earned my stripes in this business. So when I was fired for the third time on April 1, I had to reassess and question whether I still had a place in this business and, really, what I’m doing with my life. The answer has been a resounding Yes. Let’s Go.

Continue reading Success Is Certain: Losing a Job and Gaining a new Focus

No Apologies: My Take on the Black Class War…


♣ Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

DETROIT (JSC) — In the 5½ months I was largely AWOL from this blog, a whole lot of stuff happened. I can’t even go through an entire rewind of it all. I could go into the tomfoolery that was Donald Trump demanding to see the President’s birth certificate (never mind that anyone with half a brain and a 10th grade education, had seen it three years ago). I could go into the subsequent killing of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden after he was on the run, and I use that term loosely, for 10 years. I could go the sports route and talk about the NFL lockout, which threatens to torpedo part or all of the 2011 NFL season. Hell, I could always go to an oldie but goodie and talk about Detroit. But one story that really jumped out at me that I didn’t get a chance to touch on back in March is the shit storm that jumped off when Jalen Rose, and later Jimmy King (of University of Michigan “Fab Five” fame), singled out all black players recruited by and playing at Duke, particularly Grant Hill, as being “Uncle Toms”. Rose and King got very chesty about this, until the backlash punched them in the face. The full quote asserted that apparently there was something inherently unfair about a school choosing to recruit black players who can not only play, but are model citizens and strong students. The Nerve of Duke! Far be it from me to ever defend Duke basketball, but if I ran a program, I’d do the same thing. Well, the “Uncle Tom” alarm has been sounded again with the barbs being thrown at a familiar target. I’m here to say: Enough is Enough! Let’s Go.


Continue reading No Apologies: My Take on the Black Class War…

Mastering Destiny: The Road to Redemption…


♠ Redemption comes to those who wait, forgiveness is the key. ♠

— Tom Petty

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (JSC) — I often bristle when I hear people, most of them under the age of 30, say with their chest puffed out and head held arrogantly high: “I live life with no regrets!” Immediately, I think two things to myself. First: You must not have a lot of friends and your family must secretly hate the ground you walk on. Secondarily: You’re either a ruthless motherfucker, or you are just a posturing asshole. For most of the last decade, I have lived with the festering, angering, mind-blowing regret and guilt over having wasted six of my life at Michigan State University being an abject knucklehead and waste of space. My screwing around during my first 2½ years in East Lansing basically set me back nearly a full 10 years. I have always regretted pissing away those early years at MSU. It gnaws at my soul that because I thought that my shit smelled like the finest spring water with a twist of lemon, I missed out on numerous opportunities while my peers cashed in. I thought that I blew my chance to do what I always wanted to do with my life: Be a working journalist. When I graduated from Michigan State on May 2, 2003, I had no idea where I was headed and what the next eight years would bring. Those next eight years are what will make tomorrow afternoon all the better. The word of the day is: Redemption. Let’s Go.

Continue reading Mastering Destiny: The Road to Redemption…

Forgetting Sarah Palin: Why Do People Still Care About This Woman…?


Whatever Happened To Bowing Out Gracefully?

“You can’t legislate intelligence and common sense into people”

— Will Rogers

DETROIT — Imagine, if you will, that you were the head coach of a basketball team. You had this unknown point guard suddenly show up on the scene. You signed the kid the day before a big game and you toss him into the lineup when you find your team in a 23-point hole in the 3rd quarter. You figure you have nothing to lose. This PG, gets on the floor with a basic grasp of the offense and runs the plays you feed him to perfection. He’s hitting teammates at the right spots. He’s running the pick-and-roll to perfection. He even made a killer 18-foot jumper off of an iso. Next thing you know, you’ve trimmed the lead to six points with that guard on the floor. Just as it seems like you are ready to make that push in the 4th to try to win the game, that damn point guard decides he’s gonna start running his own plays and goes into business for himself. He’s no longer running the offense through the post. He’s jacking up 28-foot jumpers with 14 seconds left on the shot clock. He’s leaving his man on defense. He’s trying to drive on three guys and gets his shot tossed. Next thing you know, that lead has ballooned to 28. Game over. You Lose the game…and your job. Ladies and gentlemen, this particular point guard’s jersey number was 2. The name on the back: Palin. Let’s get down to business. Continue reading Forgetting Sarah Palin: Why Do People Still Care About This Woman…?

Five Years Later: My Journey Through The World of Radio…


How Far Have I Really Come In Five Years?

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

— Lao Tzu

DETROIT — Five years. January 5, 2005. A grand total of 1,828 days (counting the extra day we got in 2008) have passed since I drove that long and winding stretch of back roads on the outskirts of Lansing, Michigan heading into my first day at work at WQHH-FM. It was five months after I had graduated from the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts. It had been a year and a half since I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Communication after six listless years at Michigan State University. The day I walked into that small building, that more resembled a strip mall than a radio station, I was unbelieveably nervous and scared, and amped, and excited…and scared as hell! Those of you who have known me for years know how my odyssey in Lansing ended, and it’s not something I feel the need to completely rehash here. This blog is about the entirety of the road I have travelled since that cold day in January of 2005.

Continue reading Five Years Later: My Journey Through The World of Radio…