My computer is working! My schedule is still a little off and might be for a while going forward. I started a Patreon and will be sharing patron-exclusive essays there as well. I’ll also be posting some of my longform essays there before sharing them to Medium. As a result, I’m going to have to tweak my writing and posting schedule. I don’t think it will upend things too much, though.
Colin Kaepernick is back in the news. I’ll be posting about the Madden debacle on Monday. (What a clown show…) My recent piece on him, Colin Kaepernick’s Exile is a Labor Rights Violation, got a fair bit of attention, and I wanted to share this comment from Travis Kellerman:
The IWW picture at the start triggered some multi-generational union defense in me, reaching deep, back to the days of Kay Kluz and the Pittsburgh Steelworkers. I thought of the old telling of my grandfather “the only reason you didn’t wear a hat is because you couldn’t afford one.” Union men and women fought to wear hats. The picture also made me cringe seeing it next to the title.
How is this author going to connect Colin Kaepernick and the players’ “union” to actual blue and pink and even white collar unions who represent real injustice, poverty, and human rights?
What would a professional game-player, a millionaire with a safety net in a privileged position of non-labor protest have to do with the working class and collective bargaining?
Then you called yourself out for the call to unionists — just before you made the connection and made the case. You brought in Jackie Robinson and the modest-salaried labor activists who marched for him with something to lose. You showed how Colin’s sentence shows the disparity and regard between the owner classes and the others.
Like celebrity suicides, we need to have a common cause, a figure and a story to relate and share — a tragedy to realize the greater inequalities and suffering that affect us all, beyond and because of wealth and status and the unsustainable extremes of unchecked systems of power.
Thanks for the kind words, Travis. I’d been thinking about writing about the labor rights angle of Kaepernick’s case for some time, and I had all the misgivings you raised. So, I sat on it. When I came across a tweet from Dave Zirin sharing the information of how labor activists protested in support of Jackie Robinson, I knew I’d found the missing ingredient.
I thought I’d share this because I know a lot of the readers on Medium are writers as well. We’re under constant pressure to be producing more. Almost every piece of advice on how to succeed on Medium tells you to post daily. You do have to produce consistently to build an audience. Volume does matter. But I think a lot of people are rushing through their work, and they end up posting bad takes that aren’t necessarily from a cynical place.
It’s all right to sit on a story you don’t think might be working. It’s all right to screw up your posting schedule. It’s all right not to produce sometimes. What’s often labeled as procrastination or laziness can be the time needed for your ideas to develop fully. There are other snippets of essay ideas I’ve had that I’m folding into the Kaepernick piece I’m posting on Monday. Sometimes it takes a while for things to come together.
Since my computer issues made my posting a little thin, so were my comments, so that’s it for this week. Hopefully, things will pick up next week!
Check out my Patreon to see if you’re interested in the essays I’ll be sharing there.