Turns out working for free is not a good economic model

Bleacher-report-logoOver on Deadspin is a ridiculously long essay written by Tom Schreier, a former writer from Bleacher Report, also known as B/R. In it, he details how he wrote and wrote and then wrote some more for B/R, but never made more than $200. He was with B/R for over two years and reached the much coveted status of Featured Columnist III.

Schreier’s B/R sportswriter profile shows that he wrote 551 articles for them. Most, if not all, of his articles were written about Minnesota sports. That’s what B/R usually does, they have an army of writers spread out across the country, writing about local sports teams. His last two articles were posted October 7, 2013.

Bleacher Report is now owned by Turner Broadcasting System. They bought it in 2012 for close to $200 million. B/R is now the official sports portal for CNN. Click on a sports headline on CNN.com and it takes you to B/R. Formerly sports links took you to Sports Illustrated.

I’m not a fan of B/R and almost never read any articles posted there, unless it’s be accident. Too many articles employ the use of slideshows. It’s a cheap gimmick used to get the page view count up. Each “slide” is a new page. The higher the number of page views, the higher the number of advertisements. And B/R has lots and lots of advertisements.

I’ve lived on the planet for close to 50 years (I’m old!) and over that time, I’m learned a few things: don’t use cheap masking tape, don’t order a cheeseburger in the Philippines, and don’t work for free.

I think Schreier was nuts for plugging away so long at B/R without getting paid for his work. People should always be paid for their work, especially when that work is generating revenue.

If Schreier wanted to gain experience writing about Minnesota sports, he should have created his own blog dedicated to Minnesota sports. At least then he could have created his own identity. The problem with honing your skills at B/R is that no matter how good you are at your craft, you’re going to get grouped in with all the other writers at B/R who write for free. Also, if he had created his own blog and wrote his 551 articles there, he would own those articles. The articles he wrote at B/R are owned by B/R. They are still generating revenue for B/R with ads and more ads. Schreier wont ever see a dime of that revenue.

Don’t work for free.

San Diego police moving homeless people away from Comic-Con

hobo-with-a-shotgunThe San Diego Comic-Con kicks off this week and it seems the police are trying to clear the surrounding area of homeless people. Good for them.

From ABC 10 News:

“People on these streets are unsightly to the public, to the general public and certainly to visitors coming in from out of town,” said David Ross.

Ross, who is better known as “Waterman,” is a well-known outspoken advocate for the homeless. He is often seen downtown handing out water bottles and blankets to transients.

Ross says San Diego police are rounding up people to make way for the biggest city event in the city, Comic-Con.

Ross forgot to point out that the homeless are not only unsightly, they usually smell really bad too. He should know this if he spends time downtown handing out water bottles and blankets to homeless people, encouraging them to stay in the area, thus perpetuating the problem. Their putrid, rank smell wouldn’t be a problem if they kept to themselves, but too many of them engage in aggressive panhandling and other forms of intimidation in the attempt to get money they do not deserve, from people they do not know.

People should be able to walk down the street without fear that someone will aggressively ask for money. The reason they do it is because too many people give them money. If everyone stopped giving them money, they wouldn’t hang around and ask for more. They would move on somewhere else.

Oh no, Alan Moore doesn’t want me to see a movie?

Comic book curmudgeon Alan Moore

Comic book curmudgeon Alan Moore

Comic book writing legend and all-around angry weirdo Alan Moore wants people to boycott the upcoming Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson movie, Hercules. Because he feels the late Steve Moore (no relation) wasn’t adequately compensated for his work on the comic Hercules: The Thracian Wars, published by Radical Comics. The movie is reportedly based in part on the comic. That, and of course Greek mythology. I think it’s safe to say that most people think the movie is based on mythology, not a comic book. I also think most people have never heard of Radical Comics.

Alan Moore believes that Radical Comics owes Steve Moore, who died earlier this year, $15,000 for compensation regarding the comic being made into a movie. This is what he had to say to Hannah Means Shannon in an interview published by Bleeding Cool:

But on this occasion when I went down to visit him, he was quite cross, because he had just heard that there was a movie to be made out of this. And he said, “I’ve just written them an angry e-mail asking why I wasn’t consulted in this and when I can expect the something like 15,000 dollars”, which was the paltry amount which Steve thought was the amount that it said he’d be getting in his contract. He was cross about this, and he said, “I haven’t heard back from them. There’s just a deafening silence, so I’m going to pursue this further”.

When I went down to see him a couple of week later, I said, “So, did you get any response from Radical about your e-mail?”. He said, “No, I didn’t. But I went away and dug out the contract, and it turns out that no, they don’t have to consult me and they don’t have to pay me the 15,000 dollars. That must have been in some earlier version of the contract as opposed to the one that I signed. So, I’m not getting anything out of this. The only thing I am glad of is that apparently they’re not putting my name on it. Because it sounds like it’s going to be idiotic shit”.

So Steve Moore thought he was owed $15,000 from Radical Comics for the comic being turned into a movie, but after reading the contract, realized that was not the case. Got it.

Alan Moore went on to say:

I would also ask that anybody out there who gives a damn about Steve Moore or his legacy not go to see this wretched film. It is the last thing that Steve would’ve wanted. And I cannot un-recommend it too highly or anybody involved in it. I think it is absolutely shameful, however, there are also more positive elements of Steve’s legacy.

The problem I have with Alan Moore calling for a boycott of a movie is that if it were up to him, nobody would watch or read anything. He seems to always be against everything.

If I were to ever start a non-profit organization related to the comic book industry, I think I would create one that helped comic book professionals read and understand their contracts. There seems to be a terrible need for something like this. Too many comic book professionals simply don’t understand the legally binding documents they sign their names to. This includes Alan Moore. The reason he’s so angry at DC Comics is because of his deal over the rights of Watchmen. DC Comics would retain the rights only as long as they were publishing it, and when they stopped, the rights would revert to the comic’s creators, Moore and artist Dave Gibbons. The problem is that Watchmen has never gone out of print. It will probably never go out of print. It’s one of the greatest comics ever created.

The fact that Alan Moore hates something would carry more weight if he actually ever liked something.

Battleground 2014

battleground2014wweTonight WWE is presenting Battleground, this month’s pay-per-view event. I’m not even sure if the term pay-per-view is even accurate anymore since I have to think most people watching it tonight will be watching it over the WWE Network. For only $9.99 a month, you get access to all the WWE pay-per-view events as well as all the archived content. A single pay-per-view in HD is around $59.99. That’s only if you have cable, because DirecTv and Dish stopped offering WWE pay-per-views in retaliation for the WWE offering its own network.

I’m really looking forward to tonight’s event.

Here’s the line-up:

  • Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
  • Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
  • Paige vs. AJ Lee (Divas Championship)
  • Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
  • The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family (2-out-of-3 Falls match for Tag Team Championship)
  • Battle Royal (Intercontinental Championship)
  • Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. John Cena (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

There’s not a single match I don’t want to watch. Normally I’d plan on playing Candy Crush Sage during the Rusev match, but ever since they put him and his manager Lana against Jack Swagger and his manager Zeb Colter, I’ve really been enjoying the bit.

As long as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, or Jimmy Buffett don’t make a special appearance, it should be a fantastic night of sports entertainment.

According to Chris Kluwe, over half of the 2012 Minnesota Vikings joked about little boys getting raped

Jacksonville Jaguars v Minnesota VikingsOne of the things the public learned from the report commissioned by the Minnesota Vikings regarding allegations made by former punter Chris Kluwe in a post on Deadspin, was that Kluwe, heterosexual champion to all things gay rights related, enjoyed joking about boys being sexually assaulted. According to the report, Kluwe cut the seat out of his pants, put them on, and then told Vikings’ strength and conditioning coach Tom Kanavy, a Penn State alumni, that he was a victim of Penn State defensive coach Jerry Sandusky and to stay away from him while his ass were exposed.

What type of person jokes about child rape?

According to Chris Kluwe, over half of the 2012 Minnesota Vikings joked about it:

Chris Kluwe made light of something that should never be made light of, and then when he began to deservedly catch heat over it, he immediately threw his former teammates under the bus. The problem is that because he didn’t specifically name anyone who joked about children being sodomized, it’s left to the reader to guess whom Kluwe was referring to. Was it Adrian Peterson? How about Christian Ponder? Was it Jared Allen?

If I had to guess, then I’d guess none of them did.

Chris Kluwe is a fraud. I used to have a lot of respect for him. Now I don’t have any. It’s clear at this point that he craves attention and will do anything to get it, even it means cutting a hole in his pants and pretending to be a sexually assaulted child. I think he used the issue of gay rights and gay marriage as a vehicle to get that attention. I highly doubt he truly cares about gay rights. Someone who cares about gay rights doesn’t crack jokes about Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting little boys.

Chris Kluwe was a mediocre punter of footballs and he’s an even worse human being.

Chris Kluwe joked about child rape?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Houston TexansRemember Chris Kluwe? He’s the former NFL punter who believed that he lost his job with the Minnesota Vikings because he campaigned in favor of gay marriage. He wrote a really long post on Deadspin where he chronicled his experiences with the Vikings and how they collectively tried to shut him up about the whole gay marriage thing.

He called his former head coach Leslie Frazier a coward.
He called his former general manager Rick Spielman a coward.
He called his former special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer a bigot.

After the Deadspin article was published, the Vikings announced that they would investigate. They hired a Miniapolous law firm to conduct an independent review of Kluwe’s allegations. Their findings were published yesterday in 29-page report.

Among other things, the report details just how much of a sucky punter Kluwe supposedly was. I guess this shows that he was fired not because he was a passionate advocate for gay marriage, but because he “was neither a great directional kicker nor good at placing the ball inside the 20-yard line” (page 13).

One of the most disturbing, and frankly, surprising parts of the report was found starting on page 26:

Kluwe also made fun of the Vikings’ then Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Tom Kanavy, an alumnus of‒and former coach at‒Penn State University, concerning the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State situation. In his interview, Kanavy explained that Kluwe cut the seat out of his pants and then put them on to imitate a victim of the Penn State child-abuse scandal. According to Kanavy, Kluwe said that he was a “Penn State victim” and to “stay away” from him while his buttocks were exposed.

Kluwe responded on Twitter:

There’s nothing funny about what Jerry Sandusky did. There’s nothing funny about child rape. The fact that Kluwe could even go there makes me reevaluate everything I’ve ever thought of him. I admired him for his stance on gay rights. I thought he was genuinely a good person, not someone who was using the issue of gay marriage to bring attention to himself. Now, I’m not so sure. The fact that he could use a child’s rape as the basis of giving his strength coach a “hard time” seems absurd to me.

It sure doesn’t jive with any of my previous opinions of Chris Kluwe.