Real Life

I was fired. (And Jeff’s Life: Update)

So, I was fired from my job in TV news on August 26th, 2011. I had porn on my work PC. (But wait, there’s more!)

Over the five years I’d worked there, producing a weekday morning TV show. (About six years before that working in the studio.) I’ve visited a website called 4chan. You may know it, it’s the site that the “hacker group Anonymous” (who shut down Visa’s and MasterCard’s sites in late 2010 over the Wikileaks thing, and hacked Sony earlier in 2011) is often associated with.

Now, porn? Sure, I looked at nude women on the site. It has lots of that, too. LOTS. I actually befriended some of the people who post it. They’re good people. (And at least one has a pretty good eye for photography!) A few others have a good eye for porn, and that’s fine too.

My point in all this? It’s not like I was looking at the porn at work. The site actually has valid uses too, right amongst the porn and foul shit it gleefully offers.

4chan is also the site that, back in 2006 when I first started producing, was (wrongly) targeted for a(n unfounded) bomb threat on NFL stadiums. Though I knew of it before, that was the first time I visited the site; to find info about the bomb threats because of my job. The scary part? Over the years? It’s clued me in on lots of things.

I ran a story on Visa and Mastercard’s websites being shut down the morning it happened. I wrote the story before it even happened, because I knew it was coming. I got the story from 4chan, when they were planning it. Hell, it’s where I heard about Wikileaks years ago before they got that cache of US communications. Back then they disrupting Kenyan elections! (Also soon after I got the producing job in 2006!) It was where I first read about Wikileaks’ initial release of the “Collateral Murder” video and the “Cablegate” releases. The place is an info-feed on steroids. And like much of the Internet, lots of it happens to be sexual, and/or horrible, dark things.

In the UK, I could’ve claimed I was doing research for Page 3. In south Georgia, visiting a site that’s the cultural engine of the Internet, and thus much of Western society (seriously, let that sink in. It really is.) is a firing offense.

And not just being fired, but being told I could not procure (myself, or have provided) material to use for my resume for future jobs. I effectively have to start over in this industry, I’m finding out. I recently had an interviewer tell me that they’d like to give me a second chance, but without resume material, I had no chance. (In my industry, most people require a copy of a show you’ve produced as example of your work ability.)

I hope this doesn’t come off as whining and bitching, at least not too much. I actually liked the people I worked with. And actually? I get that this is a big issue. But being fired for visiting a site that, despite having a horrible “worthwhile:waste” ratio, can be worthwhile depending on the context? Man. That sucks.

I wrote most of the above (minus the last two paragraphs) that day, but never got around to posting it. The same day, my mother was found on the floor of her apartment. She’d been there 20 hours, and was very dehydrated. (She’d been sick, and hadn’t been taking care of herself well.) We almost lost her. She’s better now, thankfully. Got out of the hospital a couple of weeks ago. Oddly, I think that took some of the edge off of focusing on the job thing. First, for having a larger worry, and after the first week, when we realized she was going to be okay.

So, yeah. Busy times. But, I forgot I had this as a draft until today, so, I added and published it.

Anyone out there know know of anyone hiring in TV news? Or writing/editing? Or project management? (Essentially the two parts of TV producing.)

Help I Need Somebody
Help Not Just Anybody
Real Life

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A Return to Writing

They’re called “365 Projects.” The idea is that you contribute to the project every single day, for an entire year. Naturally, what better time to start one than on January first, right? Right. So a guy I know, Nathaniel, blogged a few days back (best summed up on his “tumblr,” whatever that is,) about his intention to make one contribution to Ficly a day. (Ficly being a site where you get 1024 characters to write a story, regularly a sequel or prequel to an existing story on the site.) I can do nothing but applaud the guy; as I do on many fronts. On top of his smarts he’s always seemed an affable gent, so I wish him well.

What does it have to do with me? Good artists borrow, great artists steal. I’m going to steal Nathaniel’s entire 365 Project, from goals of daily short stories, down to his plan to Tweet a link to each Ficly entry, with the tag “Ficly365.” I may even make a weekly post linking to them. Not sure yet.

The obvious question to anyone who knows me: Do I expect to succeed? Well, I intended to write an entry for this blog on December 16th, having that date gone a full year without an entry. A year ago, and still now, I intend to shore up the blog a bit design wise. So, am I actually expecting to pull this off? No; but that’s because I’m a realist. Am I going to try anyway? Absolutely; I’m also a romantic, and what cause is greater than a lost one? I submit there is none. Only knowing full well the result of ones actions can one launch headlong into process without a specter of doubt looming over him, and knowing failure is imminent gives me the ability to proceed into an insane task without flinching.

Who needs opportunity? I want certainty, damn the outcome.

If you like, you can read the first entry here. It’s actually rather important to read the prequel and understand what the original writer was going for, as mine was just a riff on his.

Project X
Re: Other Blogs
Real Life

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Bush Gets the Boot

I’m sure you’ve seen this, and probably with better titles, but Bush recently dodged a shoe in a surprise appearance in Iraq. A journalist peeled his shoes mid-press conference and chucked them at Bush. Becoming President may instantly turn your hair white, but it definitely hasn’t hurt Bush’s cat-like reflexes:
Do you know where I can find some sailors?
I can only hope this spawns a huge surge in QTE gifs.

Real Life
teh Funny

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