Overzealous Recycling 001: OK, this might be a newsletter

bullock_readingIf you’ve taken the time to scroll through this blog’s archives — and truly, thank you if you’ve actually done so — you’ve walked a path largely littered with neglect and failed ambitions. Trying to maintain my version of a newsletter here definitely fell victim to that.

I enjoy newsletters a lot (although I’m trying to pare my subscriptions down during the new year) and would like to take a swing at one myself. (In a future post, maybe I’ll list some of my favorites.) But I doubt that I’d attract enough subscribers to make the venture worthwhile. If I’m wrong about that, please let me know and I’ll activate the MailChimp (“mail… kimp?“) signal.

However, I have no business running a newsletter unless I can produce content regularly. There’s a writing resolution for 2019. And if I want to actually create a newsletter, calling it “Not a Newsletter” while it’s in blog form probably sends the wrong message. After tripping over the phrase “overzealous recycling” a couple of months ago, I thought it could be a good title for a newsletter. So here we are.

These sorts of posts largely began as collections of links to my writing and articles I enjoyed. I haven’t written anything that I’d care to link to in recent months, but hope to change that. And I still find plenty of stuff that I think might interest you. Yet a newsletter should include much more than that. There should be some original writing, mixing in other content like video, photography, audio, and… recipes. (Those seem to be popular!)

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Not a Newsletter 007: Radio nowhere

milesspidey_readingWhen I was a kid, working in radio seemed like such a cool job. Every station had to be like WKRP in Cincinnati, right?

That delusion was first dispelled when I won a prize from the old WIQB (Rock 103!) in Ann Arbor and drove to the station to pick it up. Rather than a respectable office with the magic happening behind the glass, WIQB was basically a shack out in Saline.

As I grew older and got to know people in the radio business, I learned how brutal it could be. Many of them had been ruthlessly fired. (My podcast co-host was one of them.) Plenty of people in other lines of work have been let go because of salary cuts or job duties changing. But radio was supposed to be the cool job.

I was reminded again of how cruel working in radio could be earlier this week when a host I’ve worked with for years was fired. Here in Asheville, Bill McClement was a co-host on the sports talk show I’ve contributed to for nearly five years. I’ve talked to him two to three times a week throughout that time. I’ve sat in with him as a co-host a handful of times and always had great fun doing so.

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Working at home, I’m not always the most social guy, so there have probably been many weeks when Bill was one of the few people with whom I had a conversation — even if it was about baseball for a segment on a sports talk radio show.

No, I don’t know all the details and probably never will. It’s not my business. But watching someone lose his job after 15 years with a company (and 40-plus years in the industry) is heartbreaking. It sure seems like he deserved better.

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Not a Newsletter 003: Upward and onward to greater glory

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Plenty of important (and concerning) things happened in the world this week, as has become typical in the current political and social climate we live in. But for many comic book and pop culture fans, the big news of the week was the passing of legendary Marvel Comics storyteller Stan Lee.

At 95 years old, we all knew the end was coming sooner rather than later. But it’s still hard to believe that we won’t have Stan Lee alongside us to celebrate the elevation of his creations to supreme pop culture. Yet Lee’s death also prompted more celebration than mourning as we remembered what characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Fantastic Four and so many, many others meant to us through childhood and into adulthood.

Though it didn’t seem like nearly enough, I wrote my own tribute to Stan Lee , praised my favorite creations and movie cameos of his, and we talked about his legacy on the Amusement Park Podcast.

It’s too bad that Lee’s death brought us the nostalgic escape and joy that we needed, but celebrating his legacy certainly provided a welcome diversion — even if it was borne from unfortunate news.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you reading this. Based on my conversations, the holiday jumped on us sooner than expected. But it’ll be nice to have a break, regardless of whether or not you spend that time with family and friends. I have ambitious plans to… watch a lot of TV and movies when I’m not eating. I might have another Not a Newsletter before we dig into our respective meals. Not sure about that yet.

Regardless, I’m certainly thankful that you care enough to stop by. And I’m grateful for both the opportunity to write and express myself. Here’s a Stan Lee quote to take you into this week’s reading:

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