My fans chanting for a rant encore. Photo by Nicholas Green on Unsplash

There’s no accounting for taste, especially when it comes to the small number of people who like my writing.

Let’s just say that my sense of humor is an acquired taste… like chocolate-covered pickle ice cream garnished with fire ants.

While most of you out there have the good sense to ignore my rabble-rousing, rants, and ruminations, I am grateful to those who have read and clapped for my…


Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

With all due respect to Don McLean, music didn’t die at all in 1959 (the tragic plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valen), or in 1971, the year he released his historic hit “American Pie.”

And it will probably go on for a long, long time, despite how strongly readers may feel that I’ve killed music with my song parodies, including a great collaboration with Mike Range in which “American Pie” takes on a whole new meaning.

But if you enjoyed my humorous approach to…


The Art Critic’s Response

Art Critic source

Who could have known that deconstructing Medium’s visual messages could become a full time job?

As the s̶e̶l̶f̶-̶p̶r̶o̶c̶l̶a̶i̶m̶e̶d̶ u̶n̶i̶v̶e̶r̶s̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶p̶r̶a̶i̶s̶e̶d̶ resident graphic design professional in these parts, I have taken my role as a̶r̶t̶ ̶s̶n̶o̶b̶ a̶n̶g̶r̶y̶ ̶c̶r̶a̶n̶k̶ arbiter of good taste in corporate communications seriously.

2017

I shined a light on Medium’s technique of using snooty wine descriptions in order to convince you that their sausage…


A RANDOM LONG-FORM RANT

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

For about a minute, this clickbaity gem started as a way to poke fun at Medium.

I hadn’t been writing much the last few months as I’ve been wasting my time on even less important pursuits.

When I came back one day, I saw a big white 5 inside my green notification circle and felt a little thrill — even though it took five days to…


Getty Images

This story was inspired by a line in Bev Potter’s article on the Writers Challenge.

Thanks Bev, for the inspiration.

Bev wrote, “Hemingway could come back to life and write on Medium and he’d have 350 followers and make $0.50 a month.”

But I think it would be so much worse.

I see him becoming the most popular life hacker/self help guru on Medium.

Think…


OBSTACLE SYMBOLISM PART 1

Photo by Brad Barmore on Unsplash

We live in a world filled with accidents waiting to happen and somehow avoid 99.999% of them. Is the universe really out to get us when the odds finally catch up?

Tucked away in a wildlife reserve on the far west end of the San Fernando Valley is a narrow path that contains a rock.

My rock.

The rock is smooth and round, about a foot in diameter, and it only rises a couple of inches above the surface. Given the…


ATHLETES MAKING HISTORY

Frank Franklin II | Credit: AP

If there’s one place in sports where the saying “Republicans buy sneakers, too” might still have power, it would have to be the predominantly white, corporate-sponsored world of professional tennis.

But one woman changed all that.

On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, Naomi Osaka was getting ready for her quarter-final match when the Milwaukee Bucks decided to boycott their playoff game in response to the Jacob Blake shooting.

The normally shy and soft spoken Japanese-Haitian tennis player served up a major…


Getty Images/ATP

In a vacuum, Novak Djokovic might be viewed as the perfect tennis player.

  • He is the Usain Bolt of tennis players. From 2013 to 2016, players at the Australian Open were tracked to determine their speed over a distance of three meters or more. Djokovic topped the list of athletes with a maximum speed of 22.38 mph. That’s not a typo. I didn’t…


Author illustration using the NBA Finals logo and free clip art

With these NBA Finals hot takes, even you non-sports fans can amaze and entertain your friends and family anywhere — except where people are actually watching the game.

One of my fans said he gives me 46 claps although he doesn’t understand basketball. Well, neither does Brandon Anderson, but that doesn’t stop him talking about sports (bazinga!)

Why not join in the fun during these moments when the nation comes together to celebrate?

Here are ten hot takes…


A BACK-TO-RANT LONG FORM BONUS

Jack Nicholson from “The Shining,” photograph by Ronald Grant. I think he’s got a problem with the logo, too.

Like Jack Nicholson, maybe I’d get more attention with a fire ax than a keyboard.

It’s true I haven’t published a piece since my Western and Eastern Conference NBA playoff predictions, BUT I have been reading and commenting almost every day.

If we discount all the bots, ex-subscribers, and people who don’t give a rat’s ass about sports, that leaves a handful of readers. …

Lon Shapiro

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

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