Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Miller’


Do Not Lose Heart; We Were Made for These Times

On earth as it is in heaven: Why Jesus didn’t call his followers to be safe

The Gaslight Zone, Part 1 and Part 2

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Gerrymandering and Marijuana

Can We Get Real About Opioids? and Opioids, My Mom’s Death, and Why People Trust Science Less

How my daughter died from a simple case of flu

The Perception of Liberal Bias in the Newsroom Has Nothing Whatsoever to Do With Reality

Facebook use is a predictor of depression

The Internet Isn’t the Wild Wild West Anymore, It’s Westworld

Killing the Church with Sunday School

Girl, 2, defends her choice of doll to cashier

Carolyn Kelly, R.I.P.
Mark Evanier’s getting by, with the help of Henry Fonda

Sheryl Sandberg: ‘Everyone looked at me like I was a ghost’

Letterman’s mom was everyone’s mom: Dorothy Mengering dead at 95

A Tribute to Carrie Fisher

The Public Library: A Photographic Love Letter to Humanity’s Greatest Sanctuary of Knowledge, Freedom, and Democracy

Dianne Bentley saved receipts, helped take down her cheating governor husband

Arts in the Parks

Not me: Two longtime artists offer stunning works in ‘Traces’ exhibition

“Let me help” (Thoughts on “The City on the Edge of Forever”)

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the 1960s

Ken Levine interview: Voiceover artist Randy Thomas

I wrote about helicopter parenting four and a half years ago, and someone wanted to know if I wanted to read Abandon Helicopter Parenting, Embrace Negotiation Parenting; xooloo has developed an app for that.

7 Tips for Donating Old Books Without Being A Jerk

Now I Know: The Slave Who Spied on the Traitor and The Campaign for the Other Gary and Taking “One Person, One Vote” Literally — and Accidentally

Queen Elizabeth has someone break in her shoes before she wears them

Dawn Wells: Forever Mary Ann

I keep seeing references to crushed Doritos in recipes, e.g. replacing bread crumbs on fried chicken, or as the crust for mac and cheese. Have YOU used them?

Chopped liver

Music

Just a clown singing Pinball Wizard to the tune of Folsom Prison Blues

The Beatles – Home Recordings, May 1968 (white album)

Coverville: Elton John cover story

Back in June 1980, the legendary Chuck Berry performed in the little village of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada

K-Chuck Radio: Music to help pretty plants grow

5 truly explosive performances of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

Appreciating an Unusual Beach Boys Album

Who has opened for the J. Geils Band?

Linda Hopkins; blues singer won Tony for best actress

The Neuroscience of Singing

There is a reason to have a B# and an E#

John Coltrane Draws a Picture Illustrating the Mathematics of Music

Monkees Star Mike Nesmith Reveals All on Drugs, a Near-Crippling Illness, and Jack Nicholson ‘Bromance’ in New Memoir

Where Have All The Bob Seger Albums Gone?

Genesis Tour Manager Recalls His Role in One of Rock’s Most Embarrassing Moments

Rock’n’roll shrimp named after Pink Floyd because of its deafening vocal ability

Good news for Chuck Miller fans: chuckthewriterblog.com is now working! It will just have the new stuff, but it’ll be easier to find previous pieces over time.

And chuckthewriterblog.wordpress.com will have his new and old posts. Well, most of them, eventually. For some reason, the posts between 25 December 2016 and 1 April 2017 did not get loaded automatically, so Chuck has to add them manually, which is tedious. He’s added the only Collarworld story from that period, and a couple others. If you’re one of the 700+ people who have signed up, you’ll likely get notifications of the repopulating as well as his new pieces.

I asked the man to write something: “Hey everybody… just a quick note of thanks to all of you who took a stand in the past few days. I never dreamed that I would have this much support, but boy am I glad that it’s there. I’d love to get one more get-together with all of you at some point in time, let me know if there’s an available date or dates we can do this. – Chuck”

I have mentioned Chuck Miller’s departure from the Times Union community blogs, as a result of an April Fools joke, and him starting his own blog. He was doing fine, with over 700 subscribers in the first four days, far better than he fared on the Times Union platform. But then:

Last night, I received my Times Union archive of blog posts from the past eight and a half years of blogging for them. I thought everything would be fine, I simply would upload my files and combine old blog posts with new.

Unfortunately, the second I did this…

My chuckthewriterblog.wordpress.com site went crash. Locked me out for violations of terms of service.

Bottom line: chuckthewriterblog.com is currently populating, and will be up soon. But as I know from recent personal experience, it is NOT instantaneous.

What I DIDN’T get into before was the harrumphing of the Times Union. As quoted by a non-TU blogger named Sylvia:

“A community blog hosted by timesunion.com falsely reported Saturday morning that Kellyanne Conway, a senior advisor to President Trump, would be the commencement speaker at the University at Albany. As soon as we were alerted to the post, we removed it from our site and suspended the blog. We apologize to anybody who was misled by this post, which was not written by a Times Union staff member. Even on April Fools’ Day, there’s no place for fake news under the Times Union banner.”

TU editor Rex Smith, who I’ve met IRL, and even sang with once, noted on Twitter: “Not funny. The Times Union regrets this violation of the the principle of accurate reporting. This is not TU content.”

And the WAMC Roundtable on 3 April was likewise SHOCKED. The “bogus link” they referenced was Chuck’s senior year on the local TV quiz show for high schoolers, which he’d written about ad nauseum.

Yes, I am humming, “It’s a scandal, it’s a outrage.”

Yet it was only a year earlier that Chuck had written on his TU blog, “Uber reaches agreement to come to Albany!” which made the Washington Post’s April Fools’ Day pranks: 2016’s comprehensive, updating (and upsetting) list. The TU seemed to enjoy hitting on the zeitgeist.

If memory serves, Chuck did NOT slap an April Fools label on that 2016 post the first day, though the next day he did, to avoid the story staying on the Internet under false pretenses. This was fine then for the TU, and one would have expected it would have been fine this year, instead of suspension and blocking him from his site.

Meanwhile, there is another TU community blogger who wrote in March, apparently in all seriousness, that the White House has been closed to visitors since 9/11 until 2017. I won’t link to her because she’s guano crazy. But Heather Fazio mentions her.

Since he’s done a joke blog EVERY YEAR for 8 YEARS, I’ve been forced to conclude that there is something else at play here with Chuck Miller’s suspension. I have to think he got under the TU’s skin once too often. He often advocated for more recognition for the community bloggers, including appearances in the paper, which went away and then came back, as a direct result of his nagging. Early in my tenure as a TU blogger, the TU ponied up for pizza for its unpaid community writers, but no more.

Perhaps the tipping point was him pointing out some oblivious remarks, such as he did on Thursday.

In her blog last Monday, TU staff blogger Kristi Gustafson Barlette wrote a piece about certain thoughts in the Capital District, a “When I think of…” recap…

The part that irked me? This portion.

“When I think of great blogging, I think of Amanda Talar (who is coming back to the east coast). I also think of Matt Baumgartner and really, really miss his blogging.”

Wow. When Kristi Gustafson Barlette thinks of “great blogging,” she references two people who haven’t blogged for the TU in YEARS. Not taking anything away from those bloggers – they have written amazing posts in the past – but it totally ignores the fantastic writing and observations of the Times Union’s current bloggers and raconteurs and observers and writers. Whether you agree or disagree with their topics and thoughts, they at least deserve your attention and consideration.

Maybe if Kristi Gustafson Barlette took a few moments and actually read these blogs, she might indeed find some new favorites. Some new “great blogging” examples.

I wonder if THAT was the last straw for the TU, with his ANNUAL joke – and I will say, Kellyanne, by definition is NOT funny – was just the excuse they were looking for. Or the TU can explain that how it punishes an obvious attempt at humor and tolerating this 4/1 piece while supporting actual fake news on its community pages. If SHE writes fiction, why blast Chuck?

See, here’s the thing: this story isn’t really about Chuck anymore. It’s about a BS response from the TU to him which affects the integrity of the TU organization. The thought that, as an unpaid community blogger, if the TU doesn’t like what you write, you can get kabonged without even so much as an appeal process, in direct contrast to what we were originally told. It’s also saying that the TU accept racist, xenophobic, untrue and vacuous stuff under their banner, but only selectively.

What’s the real story? See the posts by Judd Krasher, Fran Rossi Szpylczyn, Heather Fazio, and Aaron Bush.

Chuck Miller, who had blogged at the Times Union newspaper site EVERY DAY for the past 8.5 years, is moving on to a new blogging venue, Chuck the Writer. NOBODY has been a more reliable blogger, cheerleader for the community bloggers, or more active social director than Chuck.

He initiated several TU community blogger gatherings. His most outstanding contribution, though, has been Best of our TU Independent Bloggers: Ten for Thursday. Sometimes it was 12 or 20 posts – Chuck isn’t that good at math – but I always found pages I had not previously seen that were of interest.

He’s written about his photography, being a trivia maven, obscure musical tracks, the Notorious KGB, and some big life issues, among many other topics.

There were a number of issues that went into the decision to change venues, including the editing of some of his posts in the past few weeks. One of the great tradeoffs of being an unpaid TU blogger, we were told when we were recruited by Mike Huber, the former TU blog herder of cats, is that there would be no editorial interference unless it would fail to meet basic standards – no obscenity, no libel. Chuck found a clever way to work around the former with a humorous grawlix-type graphic.

For his April Fools Day post, he wrote that one Kellyanne Conway would be speaking at commencement at UAlbany, clearly as fictitious as his Collarworld columns. He has written absurdist posts on the 1st of April before without incident. The new piece, though, was not only removed, but Chuck was locked out of his own blog. I’m sure that, if he had been asked, he would have altered or removed the “offending” item.

This became what I call a Popeye moment; “That’s all I can stands, ’cause I can’t stands no more.” So he walked away. It’s not as though he can be fired; as a local band once sang, “You can’t fire me, I QUIT!”

Coincidentally, the TU portal has fallen into disrepair over the past few months. There are bloggers that haven’t posted in almost a year

If I were of the mind to, I’d tell the powers that be at the Times Union that they were CRAZY to suspend Chuck – or whatever it is they call it – over the type of post he had written EVERY YEAR on this date. He has created more visibility for the TU community bloggers than any half dozen bloggers combined.

So I’m going to go follow Mr. Miller over at Chuck the Writer, because the platform is not the thing, it’s the writing.

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind – “The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs.”

To End Hate, We Gotta Walk the Talk – Aristotle on Why Professing Liberal Values is Nowhere Near Enough

Door-Busting Drug Raids Leave a Trail of Blood and When a no-knock drug raid ends in death, is it capital murder or self-defense? Two cases in Texas took different paths

This Is How Your Hyperpartisan Political News Gets Made

Meet The Homeless Man Who Stopped Thousands Of People Becoming HIV-Positive

Is America’s Military Big Enough?

Amazing Disgrace: How did a thrice-married, Biblically illiterate sexual predator—hijack the religious right?

When He Is Ignorant of His Own Ignorance

Elmo From ‘Sesame Street’ Learns He’s Fired Because Of Budget Cuts

“PrOtEsT” – Poet Activists Throughout the Years

How the Choctaws Saved the Irish

Waiter fired after asking Latinas for ‘proof of residency’ at upscale Huntington Beach eatery

War On The Moon

In the Congressional Fight Over Slavery, Decorum Went Out the Door

Scott Pelley is pulling no punches on the nightly news

For 15 Years, New Orleans Was Divided Into Three Separate Cities

This is what happens to your body when you stop having sex

7 Tips to Get Someone with Alzheimer’s to Take a Bath

First-year residents shadow nurses in effort to better understand, foster future communication

List of inventors killed by their own inventions

Lack of Oxford Comma Could Cost Maine Company Millions in Overtime Dispute

Sweden is tackling its throwaway culture

Six Bad Ass Librarians from Pop Culture

The True Story of the Backward Index

Ask A Cartoonist: Women Who Inspire

Rest in peace, Chuck Barris

Rules for the Black Birdwatcher – With Drew Lanham and Extreme Birdwatching

The 21 most spectacular theaters in the U.S.

Vitiligo As Body Art

Troy native making movie about his hitchhiking adventure – Don Rittner

How Jaquandor made Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

Amtrak snow-motion

A STREET CAR NA_ED DESIRE

Now I Know: The Haircut that Went to War (Maybe) and What They Did Not See and Why People Originally Didn’t “Like” Cigarettes and The Invisible Wall Around Most of Manhattan and The Masterpiece Hidden in Plain Sight

Music

Before and After Chuck Berry and 15 great covers of Chuck Berry classics

Makeba – Jain

Bohemian Rhapsody Played by 100+-year-old fairground organ

10 Female Jazz Musicians You Need To Know

K-Chuck Radio: Feeling kinda “horny”

A New Thelonious Monk Album Emerges From the Soundtrack to a Classic French Film

Godsmack Play A Cover Of ‘Come Together’

Paul McCartney’s “Ram” Reconsidered

Lightning Strikes – Klaus Nomi (1981)

Understanding Deal Breakers: The Psychology of Music and Romance

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