Project Update Status, Spring Edition

The first day of Spring was yesterday, and with it comes some significant changes to a few projects I’ve had in the fire. If you’re interested, here’s a few updates.

Fault Lines, a site I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into for about two years, is nonexistent at this point. I will be migrating some of the older material that got better views to MiD, and potentially to Medium as the time comes.  Eventually I may take the lion’s share of what I did at Fault Lines and put it into an anthology.

To every contributor to Fault Lines, past or present, you have my endless respect, love, and admiration for all you did. One day we shall rise again and raise hell together. If you’re ever in my neck of the woods we’ll crack a jar.

The Sit Down with Chris Seaton is my latest project. Originally the fourth hour of “That Midday Show,” The Sit Down is a news and talk program where we discuss all manner of issues from legislators behaving badly to “The Bachelor.” You can find it wherever podcasts are sold or stolen.

The Sit Down also has a YouTube channel where we discuss short topics. Expect me to play more with video in the coming months. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve come up with for YT greatly.

Mediation is Dead will still continue. It will be the primary source for all my writing going forward, so keep an eye on the site because as I have more time to pour into my own personal piece of the Internet I’ll continue to make it worth your attention.

Film: I’ll be releasing the details of a project I’ll be shooting this summer that will capture your attention. Working on “Silenced” and “Un/Convention” was a life-changing experience and I don’t see that going away any time soon. This new project, code named “Miranda,” will see probably a turnaround in the fall depending on how the start of funding goes.

Stay tuned. Stay frosty.

I am Chris Seaton.
Mediation is Dead.

Stupid People Doing Stupid Things, Wrestling Edition

Preface: This is a post about stupid things in pro wrestling. You may find it enjoyable. You might not. Either way, you’ve been forewarned. Terms not familiar to the layperson explained at the end of this post.

There’s been some truly head-scratching moments in recent days for pro wrestling fans. If you’re anywhere near the business, you can smell the stupid coming off major companies and those with decision making authority. The smell, of course, isn’t pleasant.

Guilty Party number one is Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, or Impact Wrestling. Currently under new management with Anthem Sports, a division of Canada’s “Fight Network,” TNA is going through the difficult measure of figuring out who to hire and who to fire in an effort to save the struggling promotion.

One target no one saw on the chopping block were the Broken Brothers, Matt and Jeff Hardy. Veteran tag team wrestlers, Matt recently revived his career with the “Broken Matt Hardy” gimmick that turned him into a wealthy lunatic with a Mexican gardener, a menagerie of zoo animals containing the souls of great warriors, and a lake that revived wrestler gimmicks long retired.

Broken Matt would feud initially with Jeff, who he called “Brother Nero,” in a singles program for the rights to the Hardy family name. The two would then team to face a group called “Decay.” Finally, an entire episode of Impact Wrestling with incredible amounts of lunacy was taped at the Hardy compound in Cameron, North Carolina.

These three bits, “The Final Deletion,” “Delete or Decay,” and “Total Nonstop Deletion” are best termed pro wrestling’s “Sharknado” trilogy. You will love them or hate them, but the general consensus is each is so bad it’s good. Regardless, each of the segments produced impressive ratings for a struggling pro wrestling promotion on Pop TV.

Contract negotiations didn’t go well with the Hardys. They felt so insulted by Anthem’s offers they didn’t even counter. They just finished out their dates, offered to drop the TNA Tag belts at a taping*, and then moved on to Ring of Honor, where they quickly won the Tag Titles.

Anthem countered by serving the Hardys with a Cease and Desist, claiming intellectual property rights in all of the Broken gimmicks, and demanding the duo cease using the Broken gimmick immediately.

This is not a good look for Anthem or Impact Wrestling, as Matt’s wife Reby Sky recently pointed out on Twitter. Among the organization’s egregious sins, “Senor Benjamin,” the gardener in the Broken universe, is Reby’s real life dad and was never under contract with Impact or Anthem. Asking him to stop being himself or threatening him with legal action is just plain stupid.

Matt’s more than likely ready to fight this should Anthem decide to make good on the threats of a lawsuit. He’s probably coaching Jeff on what to do in case something goes south. Jeff knows a thing or two about the legal system, so safe bet is he’s not exactly scared of a lawyer.

Anthem, back off. Get some sense. And rid yourself of the owl logo. That suggests wisdom, and picking a legal fight with the Hardy Boys doesn’t display much sense.

Guilty Party Number Two is the big dog in professional wrestling, WWE. In preparation for the Showcase of the Immortals, the organization announced on Twitter today the Undertaker would face Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 33.

This is a hard level of stupid to measure, because it deals with an iconic WWE star, someone the federation has tried to get “over”** with the fans with no success for some time, and a Wrestlemania tradition called “The Streak.”

The tradition at Wrestlemania is the Undertaker never loses. For some reason, The Deadman is able to up his game at the company’s biggest yearly show and come away with a W. That would change on April 6, 2014, when former UFC World Heavyweight Champ and former NCAA Heavyweight Champ Brock Lesnar would end the streak in the New Orleans Superdome.

Ever since that year, the Undertaker has beaten his Wrestlemania opponent. Lesnar remains the 1 in 23 and 1, but Vince McMahon, the WWE’s top dog, wants Roman Reigns to get over with fans badly. He wants “The Big Dog” to get some sort of traction with the WWE Universe***, and it smells like Vince is considering asking ‘Taker to “do the honors”**** for Reigns this year.

If that happens, there will be riots. If there’s a person liked less than John Cena in WWE, it arguably has to be Roman Reigns. If there’s one person the WWE fanbase resents having shoved down its throats repeatedly, someone who can’t cut a promo without a Hollywood script writer handing him his lines hours before airtime, it’s Roman Reigns. A win over the Undertaker at Wrestlemania does no favors for Reigns or WWE.

First, it tarnishes Brock Lesnar’s beast-like credibility. Part of the beauty behind Lesnar’s status as the 1 in the 23-1 is that Brock is such a huge animal of a human being, he could have legitimately “gone into business for himself”***** during that match, beaten the piss out of the Undertaker, and cemented a legacy he shouldn’t have.

After the conclusion of their match, The Undertaker stumbled through the curtains before passing out. He left with Vince McMahon in an ambulance to a nearby hospital for concussion testing and an injury evaluation. Vince didn’t return to the Superdome that evening and watch the finish of his show. That’s unprecedented.

If Reigns defeated the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33, doubling the Deadman’s losses, it doesn’t give Reigns any extra heat******. It just makes Taker look a little bit older and ready for retirement. It also takes the wind out of the excitement normally reserved for the Undertaker’s moment at Wrestlemania. He doesn’t make many appearances beyond that date, and fans pay good money to see him work.

WWE is on the verge of doing something very stupid with Roman Reigns and the Undertaker. I hope for the sake of the company, the boys in the locker room, and those who shell out their $9.99 a month they don’t double down on stupid.

*”drop the belts”=losing the titles to a team the promotion wants to have the belts

**”over”=successfully getting a desired reaction with fans. If you are a good guy, being “over” is getting cheered. Bad guys are “over” when they’re booed.

***WWE Universe=the name the promotion gives its fans

****”do the honors”=lose to the other wrestler

*****”going into business for himself”=deviate from the expected finish with the express intent of making yourself look good at your opponent’s expense.

******”heat”=forward momentum, alternately negative reactions to things you say or do.

Fault Lines version 2.0

When Fault Lines first blasted onto the Interwebs, it was devoted as a place for those in criminal law to provide the best legal insight possible. The intention was for Fault Lines to be the place that you got legal news and analysis from people working in all areas of the criminal justice system.

So far, we’ve got the goods when it comes to “all areas.” Right now our contributor base includes defense attorneys, a prosecutor, a badass Chicago SWAT cop, a former cop turned defense attorney, and Article III judges. We pull no punches and do nothing to massage your personal feelings on the law. It’s been such a great ride that we’ve made the ABA Blawg 100 two years in a row.

Like any great endeavor, there’s always room for improvement. While Fault Lines is eternally grateful to have birthed as a corner of Mimesis Law, it needed its own shiny new home. And because our managing editor and contributing staff always think bigger and better, we asked the question “Why can’t we be an educational non-profit? We’re the ones on the web actually educating people about the law.”

Today I am proud to announce two great new developments to Fault Lines.

First, we have a new home at www.faultlines.us. This is our new, standalone, online legal magazine tasked with our original stated mission, “Monitoring the Cracks in America’s Criminal Justice System.” From this point forward, all Fault Lines posts will appear here instead of at Mimesis Law. The site looks infinitely better, and for those of you who get your Fault Lines Fix on mobile devices you’ll find the site a far easier read.

Second, we have confirmed status as a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization. That means if you like the content we provide you weekly, you can hit that sweet Donate button on the side of the website and make a tax-deductible contribution to Fault Lines’ continuing efforts to make the public smarter when it comes to issues in criminal justice.

Now that we’ve gotten the announcements out of the way, there’s a couple of things you can do to help us that don’t take much time or effort. Or even money.

First, if you were previously accessing Fault Lines through Mimesis Law, take a moment and update your bookmarks to make www.faultlines.us the place where you get your Fault Lines Fix. Without that, you’ll be missing out on the best legal analysis the web has to offer. You don’t want that, do you?

Second, if you were a previous subscriber to our newsletter (and why weren’t you, if not?), go to www.faultlines.us and re-subscribe. It takes a few seconds, and we won’t sell your information to anyone. All the goodness we put on the site will simply be delivered to your inbox daily, ad-free, spam-free, no bullshit.

Finally, tell a friend about the move! If Fault Lines is a site that enriched your life in some respect (or if my dumb jokes are amusing to you) then tell someone we’re now at www.faultlines.us. Encourage them to sign up for our newsletter. It’s available for the price of Free-99, we promise to never sell your information to anyone, and we won’t spam you. It’s just the best legal insight you’ll ever find on the internet every Monday through Friday.

Hope you enjoy Fault Lines version 2.0. Stick around, because if you thought what we did before was good, baby you ain’t seen nothing yet.

*One more thing: Are you a legal professional who’s got the chops to educate the public on a regular basis? If so, Fault Lines is interested in you. Email me at chris at clsesq dot net for further information.

Presidential Dual Reality

The President met with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities yesterday. It should have been a powerful meeting, and I understand the HBCU heads had various items and an agenda for the President to consider. None of this got attention. What set the Internet abuzz was a photo of the President, with the HBCU leadership, in the Oval Office. This photo had Kellyanne Conway sitting on  her knees on a couch in the Oval Office, looking at her phone.

The photo was not well received. Leftists scorned Ms. Conway for not “respecting” the Oval Office. Women called into local talk radio denouncing Ms. Conway’s posture as “unladylike.” Later reports would surface that was a photo of Ms. Conway looking at photos on a cell phone after getting into position on the couch so she could get the best angle possible for the photo.

None of this mattered. People came unhinged at the “lack of respect” for the Oval Office and demanded she resign immediately. All over a photo of her taking photos on a couch.

Last night the President of the United States gave his first speech to a joint session of Congress and the Supreme Court. I wasn’t planning on watching it. Tuesday nights are usually consumed with gaming and trash television (Hearthstone and The Bachelor, not that it matters). Today I wake to find two viewpoints on the President’s first speech to the rest of our nation’s government:

  1. Last night Donald Trump became “President.”
  2. Donald Trump blasted minorities, religious groups, and did nasty things but people are giving him a pass because he sounded “Presidential.”

These are two different realities. One person sees an effect, another sees the same thing, and both come to the same conclusion. There’s a theory behind this in magic called the “Dual Reality” principle, and something tells the deceptive in me Dual Reality is in play at this moment.

Logic and rational thought dictates that whether you cared for the man or not, Donald J. Trump became President on Inauguration Day. Yes, he’s said and done a lot of things since taking the oath of office that weren’t what many would consider “Presidential.” When the American public elected one of the least qualified individuals to the nation’s highest office, someone who has little to no understanding of the law, I gather most of those people understood what they were getting.

That it took a speech before a joint session of Congress to get even those on board the Trump Train to view him as “President” suggests dual reality is at work. Those who were on the fence with Trump’s actions but were committed to his camp now see him as President. The speech gave the effect that despite the “CEO” approach The Donald’s been taking to his new job, he can be Presidential when needed. That’s effect one.

The secondary effect is those who don’t like Donald Trump saw him look Presidential. These are the same people who scream #NotMyPresident, holler about his lack of qualifications, and plot disruptions and protests at every move. Regardless of how they felt about the man last night many who called themselves his opposition reached a point where they were forced to admit this racist, sexist, misogynistic, transohomophobic President Pussygrabber could actually look like the leader of the free world when necessary.

Dual Reality is a powerful principle in life. Some people experience it every day. The fact that we’re seeing it play out in government is astounding. It speaks to the way we perceive our lives, the reactions of those around us, and how we react accordingly.

Did you see Dual Reality at work last night? 

The Work Never Stops

Last night I had a conversation with a friend, colleague, and mentor about the amount of work I cranked out last week.

“The other guys, they’re wondering how you do it. It’s almost like you’re a monster.”

Monster, beast, whatever you want to call it, the remark stunned me. I’ve heard it before, but I don’t really understand why working hard and being productive is a bad thing. If you really enjoy what you’re doing then the “work” isn’t something that’s really seen as work. Moving forward with goals to accomplish what you want in life isn’t something that should be seen as “work.”

In the last week, I’ve launched a 501(c)(3) with an immense amount of detailed paperwork. I’ve cranked out YouTube and podcast content. I’ve written for Fault Lines. I settled a case in mediation with a contingency that will take care of a good portion of my bills. I did all this work and managed to still spend time with my family, cook dinner on most nights, and get in quality time with those I love most.

I even “worked” two days with a sick kid. That’s a feat when you practice law or do any form of business. I’m lucky to be able to work from home most days, so it wasn’t too terrible of an issue, but it did crack down on the amount of work I was able to produce. My various forms of work usually require peak focus, so having to divide my attention between cranking out a brief and doling out the next portion of crackers demanded by a two year old can hamper the work that gets finished on a certain day.

But still I work. I do more in a given day than the average Joe ever will, because I have to keep moving. I have to continually move towards my goal of providing for my family in ways I have yet to achieve.

When I don’t work, I experience a certain feeling of dread or anxiety. I’m comfortable with relaxing, mind you. It’s something that has to happen so the body experiences balance. If there’s tasks that need completion, and my mind actively knows it, then I have to work. There’s no time for playing a round of “Gunman Taco Truck” on the iPhone if even something as simple as dirty dishes are in need of cleaning.

Everything during my day is usually planned out the night before. This is a habit I’ve developed since starting the Best Self notebook mentioned in a previous post. It doesn’t always happen, but the Best Self format encourages you to block out your work in 30 minute slots. Sometimes my work takes more than thirty minutes for a task.

When you block out your work and plan your day, you find you get more accomplished. You move closer towards your goals. You get insane amounts of productivity because your body and mind are actively training to work more than ever before. You keep moving forward.

Even when I’m not working, I’m usually thinking about the next move or the next line of work to pursue. This is a habit from my law school days, when one of the Trial Advocacy professors told me in an inebriated rant “While you sleep, other people are figuring out ways to make your money.” I took from that a notion of never stop thinking about the next way to pursue what you want, especially if it’s a business endeavor that will lead to your success.

Have I reached a plateau of success yet? Not in the traditional sense that most people would think. I’m no millionaire, I don’t drive a Maserati, and I don’t dine at Ruth’s Chris on a regular basis. But I do have a good job, I have friends and family I can count on when needed, and I put food on the table. I have a roof over my head.

I set out to reach goals daily. I work daily to reach those goals. More often than not I manage to hit most of them, but that’s because I plan the work, I execute the work, and then when I don’t accomplish a task on a given day I try to figure out where things went wrong and learn from the missteps.

People don’t want to work in America. This is a fact few are willing to mention. They want to collect a paycheck, sure, but they don’t want to find a meaningful way to fulfill their lives. Some are so desperate they go on the dole, sure, but by and large we are a hedonistic, wage slave society.

Most people would rather count on the security of a paycheck, slaving at something they really hate doing, because they at least know the money is coming somewhere. In the meantime they go to the nine to five, converse with co-workers they hate, put up with the boss telling them to come in on Saturday, and count on those two days at the “week end” when they can put their feet up and binge watch Netflix.

This sort of work produces nothing of value to the person or society. It brings you money, sure, but work that brings you money and fulfills you is far more satisfying. It makes you a success when you can get up each day, do that which you love, and get paid to do it. Most people will never reach this level of work, because catching up on the latest episodes of “Black Mirror” or “Game of Thrones” is more important than creating work that will lead to a successful life.

One of the goals I set for today was to sit down and write 1,000 words about something. I had no idea it would eventually be about work, and the process or views I see as my work.  Yet here I am, at almost eight in the morning, and I’ve already reached a goal.

What will you start doing today to actively work?

WOZO and the Streisand Effect

Yesterday was a fun exercise in watching the Streisand Effect work its magic. By day’s end more eyes were on my little radio show than ever before, and the lunacy at WOZO’s DJ “team” was exposed for the lying nutjobs they are.

Fault Lines Managing Editor Scott Greenfield contacted me Thursday about The Sit Down’s ban from WOZO. He wrote a post about it at Simple Justice on Friday. That post gave the tiny “People’s Radio” show a lot more attention than it’s seen in recent months. The fact the attention was negative, calling their cowardice for what it was, didn’t help much.

So the station launched its “conflict response team” into action. This “response team’s” acts usually involved posting negative comments to my YouTube channel, trolling producer Aaron Campbell’s Facebook page for “That Midday Show,” and blowing my Twitter feed up with repeated at mentions over how I was a “nobody,” a “toxic person,” and an “amateur.”

If that’s the case, why did WOZO’s DJs take so much time and energy to attempt to shout me down?

Let’s look at what happened.

1. WOZO’s DJ “team” objected to the content of the Sit Down and acted accordingly.

From the beginning, it was clear the leftist DJ staff at WOZO wanted The Sit Down gone. They attempted a number of tactics in an attempt to get rid of the news hour broadcast. The first was attempting a straight ban because my broadcasts contained “racist, sexist, transohomophobic, bigoted, ableist, or other “ist” content. Unfortunately, no such content existed, and the one thing the DJ team could find objectionable was the disclaimer broadcast twice during the show, which one DJ found “offensive.”

The second tactic was to frame the narrative of the ban as me wanting “special treatment” from the community radio station. They couldn’t bear the truth shining on their intellectual dishonesty, that they simply didn’t agree with what I had to say, so they came up with a convoluted story about how I was the only show “host” who wasn’t a DJ, hadn’t gone through the steps of becoming a DJ, and wanted to subvert the station’s “rules,” which seemed to apply differently with every DJ at WOZO.

2. WOZO’s DJ “team” launched an all out attack on me and my producers through social media. 

I am told I was “owned” on Facebook. I have no knowledge of this, as I have no access to any social media showing me how I was “owned.” I also have enough adult sense to understand the Internet isn’t real life, and mean hurty words on a digital screen aren’t enough to hurt me or mine.

I am told there’s plenty of “sick burns” of me on WOZO’s twitter account. I have no knowledge of this, because the official WOZO twitter account blocked me.

My producer has no knowledge of this either, as WOZO’s DJ “team” banned him from their listserv, blocked him from their DJ only Facebook group, and blocked him outright from their personal forums for communication. If I or my producer were getting “owned,” it’s WOZO’s DJ team acting out the film “Mean Girls” in real life.

What I do know is during the day random Twitter accounts associated with WOZO came to attack me. DJs at the station left comments on my YouTube videos about how I would find another platform for my “Breitbart trollathon bullshit.”

I screwed with these people as I chose, because I’m a Southerner who enjoys a good fight, even if it’s an online one. However, at the end of the day, the digital conflict amounted to one final result for WOZO.

WOZO now has negative publicity internationally because of their interactions with me. 

One of my Twitter followers, @MachMinotaur, summed the issue perfectly.

This nothingburger would’ve never been a story were it not for two-bit tyrants…at a local radio.

That radio station will still not matter to people not in that area, but now it’s known for its poor behavior. Win?

People as far as Germany came to ask the Twitter eggs that are allegedly WOZO DJs if the continued replays of butthurt feelz were really worth it. The response was a continued double down on stupid, rather than engage in an honest discussion about what really happened. Now instead of being known for honesty, a commitment to free speech, and inclusivity of all ideas, WOZO is seen as a two-bit station with a “team” of teacup pirates behaving poorly when confronted with speech they don’t like.

Here is the truth of the WOZO “ban.”

Aaron Campbell was a dues paying DJ at WOZO who went through their arbitrary process to become a DJ. He came from commercial radio and several of the DJs at the station hated him for it.

He launched a four hour show on Tuesdays called “That Midday Show” which quickly became one of the most successful and listened to shows on the station. In fact, he pulled off a live broadcast at Scruffy City Hall during the Scruffy City Comedy Festival featuring several of the festival’s headliners.

I was a part of that broadcast, as I was a part of many. One of the first people to pitch an idea to Aaron for that Midday Show, I ran the “news desk” and developed the “Headlines” and “Final Thought” segments. During “Headlines” we would riff off stories that I’d find during the week that were funny or unusual. The “Final Thought” was pulled straight from the Jerry Springer show, and we made great fun of it by playing the Jerry Springer music at the end of the segments.

Early January, Aaron came to me to see about rebranding the fourth hour of That Midday Show with a new name, and have me as the “host.” I was never a DJ, and never had any intentions of paying the station’s “dues.” The name change was well within his rights, and as a DJ he had every right to kick me off the air whenever he chose. If he felt like a line was crossed, all he had to do was cut my mic and excuse me from his home studio.

We started the Sit Down. Our listens doubled within two episodes. By Episode three people were objecting to content they’d never heard. Eventually, the station’s DJs concocted a narrative that I was disrespectful to their DJ staff and the station, that I wasn’t a DJ that had ever contributed a single bit of time, money, or energy to their station, and that I was asking for special treatment on their platform.

Yes. I was disrespectful to the people who allowed a DJ to assault my producer, then banned him for being assaulted for the end of calendar year 2016. The way I see it, they deserved what they got. I never had any intention of paying DJ fees. I actually encouraged my producer to split from the station after the assault and subsequent suspension, but he decided to play nice with WOZO and kept broadcasting once the “conflict response team” lifted his suspension on That Midday Show.

Taking “The Sit Down” and repackaging it as deeply conservative was a move on my part to stick it to the people who wronged a friend. That the content struck a nerve with the “progressive” leftists at WOZO meant we were doing something right. They called for Aaron to censor or force me to tone down my social media posts. He refused to do so, being a sensible adult, and pointed out that if I were to tone down my attacks at WOZO for stifling free speech, then WOZO’s DJ “team” should extend the courtesy of not attacking me.

Three episodes later the station now has negative international attention, lost their biggest show, and gifted That Midday Show and The Sit Down the ability to run ads, make money from the broadcasts, and do whatever we want. We are now uncensored, no holds barred, 100% politically incorrect if we so choose.

Every attack WOZO’s DJs take to “own” me simply gives me more attention. Attempting to “blacklist” me from performing “comedy” is ridiculous move as I don’t even do standup or perform at comedy shows. What it does do is expose the Tolerance Police for what they are: cowards who can’t stand ideas with which they disagree.

And I’ve got more eyes on me than ever before. Suck it, haters.

Cease Fire Between The Sit Down and WOZO

As of last night, the war between WOZO in Knoxville and The Sit Down with Chris Seaton is over. WOZO’s top brass indicated they support free speech and the open exchange of ideas. They are to be commended for their support.

The Sit Down’s genesis came from the “Headlines” segment I used to do for producer Aaron Campbell’s flagship show “That Midday Show” on WOZO. It was a four hour long live show dedicated to comedy, geek culture, and entertainment. They had an “open door” policy when the show began and were looking for new ideas.

I picked about four or five stories from the news I thought were interesting and we would riff off them for an hour or so making bad jokes. It was a fun endeavor, and the highlight of my time with the show was getting to do a live broadcast from Scruffy City Hall during the Scruffy City Comedy Festival.

The show was a drain on my business ventures, though, so eventually I had to scale back what I was doing and concentrate on other areas of my work. I would still pop in occasionally for the odd bit, plug a project like “Silenced,” and then pop out in a heartbeat. Still fun, but not as much of a time commitment.

Something happened to TMS at the end of 2016. A comedian on the show made a joke that was admittedly off color and might have run afoul of FCC standards. The funny thing is the quip was so quiet it can’t be heard on the recording of the days’s events. What can be heard is another station DJ calling in, objecting to the joke, and saying “What that guy said was offensive and inappropriate. I’m coming down to settle this.”

Any reasonable person would think “I’m coming down to settle this” meant “I’m coming down to talk over what was just said.” This “DJ’s” interpretation of “settling” a problem over some words involved an assault and potential multiple FCC violations with live mics.
When I learned of the incident, I encouraged my producer to file a police report and have the two individuals responsible arrested for assault. The vitality of his show depended on it. Certain individuals begged Aaron to not file a police report and instead handle the matter through the station’s “conflict response team” in a “mediation.”

During the “mediation” Aaron Campbell, my producer and friend, got an apology from the two jackasses who assaulted him in the studio. The “conflict response team” also penalized Aaron and That Show Productions by pulling them from the air for the rest of 2016.

To this day That Show Productions hasn’t done a live broadcast at WOZO Radio’s studios.

“The Sit Down” found a home at WOZO when Aaron Campbell agreed to give the fourth hour of That Midday Show to a project I’d been working on, a highly conservative talk show featuring news, entertainment, lifestyle subjects, and in a one hour format. The best part of getting to use Aaron’s home studio for the broadcasts is the beer in the fridge, and the setup is light years better than what WOZO had. In fact, That Show’s production facilities rival those of most major radio stations.

It didn’t take two episodes of an ultra-conservative talk show airing on an incredibly leftist leaning community access network until the station’s “DJs” started calling for the show to get axed. One person at the station said since I was a “host,” that automatically made me a DJ subject to the fees the station’s DJs paid each month. I argued I was talent, not the DJ, and the DJ granting me that slot had the right and privilege to axe the program as he saw fit.

Others objected to content they’d never listened to. At the beginning of each show and during the break a “disclaimer” runs to the effect of “Warning. The following program may contain language or subject matter the listener finds racist, sexist, transohomophobic, bigoted, ableist, or any other “ist” or “ism” you can find. If the listener finds the program offensive, the management would respectfully request you suck it up, snowflake, and find something else to listen to.” It was a poke at the notion words used to silence others in the past didn’t work anymore, and a light hearted reminder that no matter what we said someone was going to get outraged.

The outrage poured in as quickly as Episode 2. “Station DJs” were combing through both hours of the program trying to find something, anything they could label with an “ist” or an “ism.” so they could say the program was in violation of their “station rules.” The DJs were moving to have the program banned from WOZO, my producer banned from the station, and me from ever appearing on WOZO content again.

Outrage poured over to Twitter, where an egg I assume was a station DJ claimed I wanted special treatment and attempted to circumvent the rules. Another got upset that I “disrespected” the DJs calling for the stifling of conservative viewpoints on the station. Another egg started the discussion off the bat by calling me racist and sexist and demanding WOZO pull That Midday Show and The Sit Down immediately. From Canada, allegedly.

The tension came to a head last night when Aaron Campbell met with senior WOZO staff who acknowledged no one at That Show Productions violated any rules. I’m told Margo referred to me as an excellent “shock jock,” which baffles me as I don’t mean to “shock,” but I’ll take what I can get, especially if it’s a compliment from someone who has as much clout as Margo at WOZO.

The conflict brought eyes to the show, and for every new listener we greatly appreciate your support. To Margo and all the DJs at WOZO who supported “The Sit Down,” we appreciate your commitment to free speech, an open exchange in the marketplace of ideas, and tolerance of really bad jokes.

“The Sit Down with Chris Seaton” airs every Tuesday at 4 PM on 103.9 WOZO LPFM in Knoxville. I’m reliably informed that if you can use Winamp you can hear the station broadcast live. Replays go up on the podcast networks like iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and TuneIn on Wednesdays at 8 AM EST.

You can also go to the show website and listen.

If you like what you hear, consider becoming one of our Patreon sponsors.

Cumulus and the Slow Burn of Terrestrial Radio

Last night I got word Cumulus Media, a Knoxville based terrestrial radio conglomerate, fired half the staff in a “cost-cutting” measure. The losses ranged from ad executives, on-air talent, and more as yet to be determined across the spectrum of their stations.

This isn’t something anyone with an eye on the world of radio couldn’t have seen. A local business incubator/startup meeting saw a legendary radio personality glumly admit “terrestrial radio is on its death bed, and maybe it’s time I started looking for work elsewhere.” That’s a grim statement from someone in the trenches and firmly rooted in the radio business.

Cumulus isn’t to be blamed for the decision to cut costs. Fewer people are listening to talk radio, no matter the personality. With the prevalence of satellite radio and podcasts, people are less interested in what’s available over the airwaves locally. That means ad revenue once plentiful to the radio organizations is getting more and more scarce.

Yet decisions have to be made, especially in the areas of news and talk. Do you work with local talent interested in showing their chops to the world if given the chance? Or do you keep paying out the exorbitant fees and ad percentages to guys like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to keep your conservative cred? It’s a tough choice to make, as the local talent would have to make an immediate impact and show they could bring their chops to the table.

On the other hand, you have the big names like Rush and Sean who would attract listeners at the right times. The problem becomes that these are national shows, not local, and there’s going to be less listener interaction with Rush and Sean than the local talent. And part of the appeal for the local “call-in” shows is for the listener to have his or her few moments of glory for the day on the radio.

The Cumulus talent let go in the coming days will have some difficult choices to make. Do they go the terrestrial radio outlet and find another station at which to work? The sports guys might be able to land a gig at another station, since their job is to cover mankind’s successes. Someone with a talk show that has an esoteric bent might not fit in the alt rock or country station of choice.

Satellite radio is basically a no-go unless you’ve already got a national platform. The Breitbarts and wellRED types will get a show at the drop of a hat, because the game in town is getting the biggest and best talent at the biggest dog in the yard, SiriusXM. Even there, where the FCC allegedly has no restrictions, the satellite talent still has issues with the “social consequences” of what they say. Just ask Anthony Cumia.

I have a feeling the talent with Cumulus that left will go the podcasting route. It’s an easy barrier for entry, the cost for each would be minimal, and there’s no restrictions on topic, language, or subject matter unless the hosts place it. Monetization of the product would be simple, and those with a dedicated fan base could make a monthly donation or subscription type service work.

Dave Rubin’s done it. He left ORA and went completely fan-funded. It was a big step for him, but now he’s free to talk with whomever he wants about whatever he wants. There’s no reason the highly motivated talent without work now couldn’t do the same. And something tells me un-shackling from the FCC’s restrictions would produce some amazing content you wouldn’t hear from the talent otherwise.

The Internet, podcasting, and YouTube are some of the greatest areas to earn money as an artist, talent, or creator. Guys like Mike Cernovich and Victor Pride will show you how to do it if you just do a bit of research and put in a little bit of effort. Whether the new radio ronin will take their advice is another matter entirely. Sometimes it’s just easier for people to stay in a rut instead of forge a new path and try new outlets.

Cumulus will have some time for reflection in the wake of their cost-cutting. If, as I suspect, it was done to keep the bigger names on the air, was it really worth the measure when local talent would take the spot in a heartbeat and run with the ball in ways the front brass couldn’t expect? There’s no easy answer to this. No one ever said life in any business was easy.

In the meantime, I’ve taken the time to dip my toes into this new world. This is still a formative project, and something I’m really excited about, so stick with us. You can find my newest experiment on iTunes, Stitcher, or TuneIn.

Sit down with me for an hour. I hope you like what you hear.

Understanding MILO, Understanding Donald (Update)

The world learned yesterday MILO, the self styled “Dangerous Faggot” landed a quarter million dollar book deal. A bunch of people lost their collective ever loving minds over this. As of this writing MILO’s book, “Dangerous,” sits as the number two best seller in all of Amazon. The crazy part is his book won’t be out until March of 2017! How does someone who describes himself as a “virtuous troll” achieve such instant success over a book that isn’t in print?

Understanding the cultural phenomenon that is MILO means understanding the America that elected a reality television star President. You may love it or hate it, but you’ll have a better grasp of the America that allegedly rejected “progressive” values. Taking a moment to examine the events of the last twenty-four hours surrounding MILO’s book deal will help you get a better grasp of where America stands culturally as we move forward into the new year.

MILO represents a rejection of identity politics. 

Identity politics have been quite the rage. It’s common to see someone start a social media post labeling themselves “As a” before launching into an argument or stating a position. When your “As a” label is offended, it gives you a chance to express your outrage and call someone a racist, sexist, transohomophobic bigot. That outrage sets the internet social justice posse in motion, silencing you for your viewpoint. It makes you think twice before you hit “post” or say something in public.

MILO is part of the cultural nexus that holds up the viper of identity politics, cuts off its head, and throws both pieces of the snake into two separate fields. His “Dangerous Faggot” college tour holds talks with themes like “Feminism is Cancer,” “Fat Shaming Works,” “Why Do So Many Lesbians Fake Hate Crimes?” and other ridiculously outlandish topics. The stated purpose of each talk is to make people laugh, piss people off, and maybe make people think.

It would be easy for people to dismiss him if he were simply a white guy. Under the mantle of identity politics, he gets a following for being a gay Jewish Briton with a German mother who has a propensity for dating black guys. It also makes him damned near bulletproof from the Social Justice mobs.

People love him for his outlandish antics, and his talks are often to standing room only crowds as a result. When college campuses pull off a stunt that either shuts down a talk or cancels it completely, it makes headlines. Shouting him down only amplifies his voice to the people that want to hear him.

Silencing MILO only makes his voice stronger, and people hate that. 

The “Heckler’s Veto” is a common tactic for those who want to silence someone with whom they disagree. Shouting someone down produces no honest conversations that lead to productive exchanges over big ideas. Yet society continues to do this and ask for “honest conversations” at the same time. You can’t have an honest discussion if you’re unwilling to listen to the ideas and concepts you can’t stand to hear.

Silencing MILO, for some reason, only makes his voice that much stronger. It’s the real life equivalent of Obi-Wan Kenobi telling Darth Vader “Strike me down, Lord Vader, and I shall become more powerful than you can ever imagine.” When Twitter suspended MILO’s @Nero account during the Republican National Convention he dominated press row the next day. Every time a campus shuts down or protests one of his talks it’s a newsworthy story.

This is why MILO’s book deal dominated the media world for twenty four hours and put his book at number two on all of Amazon. Announcing an alleged quarter million dollar advance for a book due in March caused an incredible number of celebrities to decry Simon and Schuster for “normalizing hatred.” The Chicago Review of Books announced it wouldn’t review a single S&S release in 2017.

The effect of this was an insane number of pre-orders for a book that’s going to launch with a $26 hardcover price. A comparable hardcover sells for approximately $17. This is what people mean when they speak of voting with their money. People want to hear what MILO has to say so much they were willing to launch money at him three months before his book ships.

Understanding MILO means understanding America in 2017. 

If you take a moment to examine the meteoric success of MILO, you will understand why we have Donald Trump in the White House. Both men represent a group of people tired of being told they were a bunch of things they weren’t, like racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobic, bigoted, ableist, or whatever label you could put on them. Both men listened to the America that was mad as hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore. Both men took time to listen to those more concerned about rising health care costs and lack of employment than discussions of which bathroom or pronoun to use.

Both men were unapologetic in their actions. Both men said and did whatever the hell they wanted without fear of repercussion. When people tried to shut both men down the public that was mad as hell lashed back with time, money, and energy most thought never existed.

Examine MILO. Instead of trying to shut him up, take a moment to understand why he dominates public discourse. When you understand that, you’ll understand America in the coming year.

Watch American Milo here.

MILO is in Silenced: Our War on Free Speech.

His YouTube Channel is a repository of his college talks.

UPDATE: “Dangerous” is now the number one book in all of Amazon. The self-styled “Most Fabulous Supervillain on the Internet” strolled past Carrie Fisher’s “The Princess Diarist.”

Score one for the bad guys.

The Phone Call and Expectation Management

It’s late afternoon when the phone rings in my office. I don’t recognize the number, but I answer.

“May I please speak with Mr. Seaton?”

I identify myself.

“Hi I’m (name omitted). You probably remember me. We went to school together way back when, I wanted to see if you were available for legal services.”

I pause here to let the reader know this line is one every single fucking attorney hears on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s true, sometimes it’s a case of mistaken identity. Sometimes people just lie. Regardless, the line is an attempt to establish familiarity with the attorney, and worm into the lawyer’s good graces.

“What’s going on?” I ask.

“Well I…” This is the point where the prospective client then begins a long-winded spiraling tale about his or her woes, usually at a rapid fire pace in an attempt to get free legal advice on their issue. Phone calls like this happen all the time. Newer lawyers will stay on the phone with the prospective client and eagerly share their hard-earned knowledge. I have shit to do.

“Wait a minute,” I respond. “I want to make the best use of your time, so let me ask you a few questions.”

“Okay.”

I ask the questions I need to determine whether I take the case or not. I tell the caller my policy on consultations, discuss the fee for the consult, and ask when they’d like to schedule.

“Well, I have to talk with my spouse, and it’s almost Christmas, and…”

Again, I pause to let the reader know the Christmas line is just that. A line to signal the quoted price for my time is too high, and an appeal to emotion wrapped in a nice little phone blurb. Again, I cut the caller off. I give the caller three available dates and times, and let the caller know when they speak with their partner and decide a time I’m eager to help.

“Thank you. We’ll be in touch.”

I’ll most likely never hear from this person again.

The caller meant well. They were conditioned through a series of advertisements from bigger law firms about how the consultation would be free, how their problems would be answered with one phone call. They have a false expectation in their minds about the delivery of legal services. It’s all supposed to be free, and the person who takes the case does so because they have a boatload of money and are just in this profession for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

Except we are people who like to get paid for our work too. We have overhead, costs, and sometimes staff to pay. Once all that is paid, we have to put food on the table for our families and pay for our home expenses. Those who can’t or don’t get paid end up finding another line of work. It’s as simple as that.

My time is valuable. So is the person who calls. That’s why I developed a system over the years of learning how to cut through the weeds, get to the point, and let the caller know I’m available when they’re ready to pay. Absent that, there’s no point in staying on the phone when others who have paid, who earned my time and attention, need my help.

When you call, be prepared for a short call. It’s not that I don’t want to hear your problems. It’s there’s only so many hours in the day, and so much work to do.