Creating content vs. writing with intent

Creating content is a fuzzy, buzzy phrase that means writing and editing stuff.

backlit keyboardThat stuff might take any number of forms, including news, entertainment, commentary, analysis, scientific papers, technical instructions, training, even clickbait.

Some stuff is still delivered on paper, with ink. Much is delivered digitally in some form: text, video, audio or some combination of those.

Creating content is so easy that we’re awash in the stuff. Just look around.

The more rare good content is different, and the best of that is created with intent.

Creating content with intent is akin to what I call writing with intent. Writing with intent — with a solid grasp of your purpose for writing and disseminating your work — inevitably improves the end result.

Whether your purpose is to inform, instruct, train, sell products, sway votes, incite a riot, make people laugh, or just get clicks, be able to state that purpose clearly before you write a word.

You can’t meet an objective if you can’t articulate it.

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Adore the flag? If only we were all adorable

William Tecumseh Sherman may have asked Coloradans to “love, cherish and adore the flag” in 1889, as Cecily N. Zander wrote here in the Denver Post, but asking us to do the same in 2017 seems a bit much. We love and cherish our families, redundant as that may be. People adore their deities. Others seek adoration for themselves.

us_flag_backlit
Jnn13, US Flag Backlit, CC BY-SA 3.0

Adore the flag? I respect the flag as a symbol of our highest ideals, but despise that same flag when my fellow citizens brandish it like a weapon and spew hate for others while purporting to be patriots.

The flag represents all Americans, and I’m afraid we are not all adorable.

The Trump metaphor for attack on the U.S. Constitution

first_amendment_of_the_united_states_constitution_on_the_facade_of_the_newseum2c_washington2c_dc2c_usa_-_20130922

The video of Donald Trump’s attack on CNN is a visual metaphor for his own vicious assault on freedom of the press. He swore to preserve, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution but clearly does not respect the rights it guarantees us.
He does not respect you or anyone else.
He clearly is unfit to be president of the United States of America.
 
I’ve seen many comments on the video from his supporters, cheering the image of the “president” taking down the media. Some think it is funny. There is nothing funny about it. It is a serious threat and an incitement to violence against American citizens.
 
Speak out against this.

The right to speak out about hate speech

Lee Rowland, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU, overlooked something in her piece about defending speech that we hate.

While bemoaning the outcry that resulted in Ann Coulter’s Berkeley appearance being canceled, she ignores the fact that students and the rest of us have as much a right to free speech as does Ms. Coulter.

To paraphrase Rowland, when the students who wanted no part of Coulter’s hate speech soon graduate, they’ll step into the horrific “maelstrom of civic life,” where homophobic street preachers, avowed racists and others are free to spew what they will.

True enough.

Those students and others who do not respect Coulter, however, have their own right to express themselves, as loudly as they feel is necessary.

If Congress tries to pass a law that infringes on Coulter’s right to free speech, I’ll be right there with the ACLU to fight against it, but that’s not what is happening on college campuses. You would think an ACLU attorney would have a little better understanding of the difference.

 

Nothing silly about Trump, Nugent, Palin

“Silly rural Americans” are the last socially acceptable target for liberal mockery, a guy named Matt Bai tweeted today.

I’m not sure that’s true. I have liberal friends and family who openly stereotype Walmart shoppers, as just one example.

To state the obvious, those rural Americans and Walmart shoppers are all people. Humans, we all have much in common.

Still, Mr. Bai makes a good point, that taunting Trump supporters with a Beverly Hillbillies theme song parody (as @TrumpToons did so lamely) hardly persuades anyone to change their tune, or their views, or their votes for that matter.

Changing minds isn’t actually the objective of such stereotyping. It makes the would-be parodist feel good, I suppose, and gets a few laughs and likes, but it reflects badly on the perpetrator and on the “liberals” that Bai accuses. Conservatives routinely stereotype liberals, of course.

This is not to say that the people photographed with the president* aren’t themselves fair targets of criticism or parody. They are.

There’s nothing “silly” about Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin or Donald Trump. I don’t know much about Kid Rock and nothing about the other women in the photo.

Just lay off the generalizations about large groups of people. Not helpful.

https://twitter.com/TrumpToons/status/855058861119610880