Don’t blame me, they’re are only song parodies

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

And it will probably go on long, despite how strongly readers may feel that I’ve killed music with my song parodies.

But if you enjoyed my humorous approach to dealing with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, here’s an easy way to find (and praise) every song.

It’s hard to believe but I haven’t written a music mash up since last November, when the Lakers won the NBA championship. (Actually, I wrote the song last March but didn’t publish it until after they won the championship.)

But I’ve been inspired to add a new song about the joys of…

Even the President’s feed is a hot mess!

Illustration by William Joel / The Verge

I’ve written what seems like a billion words trying to figure out how to be succeed as an online writer on this platform that shall remain nameless.

Part of the problem is that my experience here is so radically different from my professional life as a copywriter, or my online life writing for that other site where views are determined by the best answer to a question. Even though I don’t get paid on Quora, there is some validation in knowing my work is viewed by thousands¹ of people.

The response from that site shows me the absurd and arbitrary…

An examination of the dangers of certainty for people, families, and countries.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Most of us are creatures of habit who avoid all change and cling to the certainty of our daily routines, no matter how bad our lives are going.

Since the pandemic started, how many hours did you spend playing video games or viewing social media sites? I’m as guilty as anyone, rationalizing that watching every Netflix series from Turkish historical superhero sagas to Spanish telenovela period pieces to Weimar Germany detective thrillers broadens my storytelling perspectives.

We wasted our time because we were bored. Or scared. Because we wanted things to go back to normal. …


A song parody of Africa by Toto

Author illustration using photos by Cameron Venti and Alexander Kaunas on Unsplash

Dedicated to my sweet wife’s practice of leaving the bedroom door and windows open, causing a cold air front that triggers the thermostat and turns the rest of the house into a sauna.


(Sung to the tune Africa)

The sliding door’s opening tonight
But I hear only echoes of an age-old conversation
She’s bedding down around midnight
The howling winds direct the frost that aids her hibernation
I lost that fight back in the day
Hoping to use excessive heating bills or play on sympathies
She looked at me as if to say, “Watch out boy, not putting out for…

Music Mashups Track #1

A song parody of Money for Nothin’ by Dire Straits


(sung to the tune of Money for Nothin’)

Now look at them tech bros that’s the way you do it
You play the keyboard on a new PC
That ain’t workin’, man there’s nothin’ to it
Shekels for nothin’ and your dreck for free

Now that ain’t workin’, man there’s nothin’ to it
They don’t labor or lift a thumb
Never get a blister, codin’ with them fingers
Lemme tell ya mister not so dumb

We got to install microwave ovens custom kitchen deliveries
We got to move these refrigerators we gotta move these color TV’s

Joomla, joomla

We got…


An alternative perspective on the nature of quality

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

That was the defining moment in the life of my Uncle Joe. Technically, he was my mom’s uncle, but if a man lives long enough, he becomes everyone’s Uncle Joe.

Joe was brilliant, but suffered from a lack of education as his family immigrated to New York and lived in poverty.

He could pull apart and repair radios, but was best known for his hilarious malapropisms.

And the “entities” that plagued him until the day he died.

Long before psychologists discovered PTSD, my uncle was afflicted by the memories of murderous Cossacks and the need to hide and escape.


We’re all headed the same direction

Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash

At the time he said this, I was a kid and he seemed way old, so I wouldn’t have trusted him either.

I have friends 6–9 years older than me and they feel like a completely different generation I would never trust. That age group includes the Holy Trinity of liars: Agent Orange, Dubya, and Mitt Romney.

On the other hand, I rarely trust people more than 6 years younger than me. Could you blame me? Group members: Lyin’ Ted Cruz, Sean Hannity, and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

And don’t get me started on millennials.

I don’t even trust…

Dreck in a post-Agent Orange world

(Gutbloom would be proud of me)

Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

I’m so grateful that the guy who bragged “I could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue” and get away with it, tried to hijack our government but didn’t.

Humans are not made to stay in a constant state of stress. Our adrenal system eventually burns out as we alternate between the primitive instincts of flight or fight. The only way to relieve the stress for me was to boycott TV and radio news so I wouldn’t have to hear Genghis Tang’s daily stream of lies.

Although we still confront so many critical issues in this country, it’s a…

The literary equivalent to reminding you to eat your spinach if you want to grow up to be big and strong

Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

While most people will give you their two cents without hesitation, I always try to go that extra step and offer my two-and-a-half cents (which also corresponds to my daily earnings this month!).

Since you followed The Inner Game of Writing, I have to assume you have some interest in peak performance training as it applies to writing, except for those of you who fit in the following categories:

  1. You misread the publication title and thought it was titled “The Inner Game of Writhing,” sort of a buddist’s approach to BDSM.
  2. You reached the end of one of my articles…


The state of the Western Conference at the quarter pole

As I wrote in my Eastern Conference analysis, there were so many unknowns and confusing results, I delayed publishing my season predictions three times.

The West has been just as much of a circus.

Denver started the season 1–4. Houston imploded and had to trade James Harden.

And the Clippers (without Kawhi) lost by 50 to the Mavs (without Porzingys).

The Golden State Warriors exploded out of the blocks with a 115.2 rating after five games! Oh wait, that was their defensive rating. Their net rating of -14.5 was even worse than the Minnesota Timberwolves.

I’ve only got six words…

Lon Shapiro

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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