My top 10 stories determined by you, the reader

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

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 stories on Medium.

The crazy thing about art is that sometimes the work you are most proud of gets ignored, while a silly one-off story attracts the most readers.

A few years ago, I listed my personal favorites.

Today, I’m going to list my readers’ top 10 stories on Medium…


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

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

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 dealing with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, here’s an easy way to find (and praise) every song.

I have compiled all of my songs here in one easy listening catalog. Trust me, it would not be such easy listening if I tried to sing these songs.

For your…


THE DARK SIDE OF PUNCTUATION, PART 2

Only the Shadow knows how much of your writing lurks within the shadow

Author illustration using Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Editor’s note: just before Carl Jung’s death in1961, the groundbreaking Swiss psychologist began to study other parts of the human psyche, such as fonts (“Helvetica is boring”), and abstract art (“Why did Picasso give that woman two heads? Which one of them has schizophrenic tendencies?”) before settling in to do extensive research on human speech patterns.

After the world’s first view of his notes on punctuation marks, researchers have continued Jung’s work and published the following paper on additional members of the punctuation universe.

The Ellipsis

When interacting with other punctuation marks and letters, the ellipsis is unable to create a meaningful…


Two more tweaks could fix the NBA’s biggest competitive problems

Source

Mark Cuban and Luka Doncic made a little news when the Dallas Mavericks were the seventh seed and complained about the possibility of missing out on the playoffs.

LeBron James, injured and frustrated after an ugly loss to Toronto, said “Whoever came up with that s*** needs to be fired,” and it has become a media event and fuel for every LeBron and Laker troll.

But the play-in games are a fantastic idea, creating a playoff level of intensity to replace the dog days after the All-Star break where tanking for draft position was the only thing to keep fans…


MUSIC MASHUPS, TRACK 28

A song parody of American Pie by Don McClean

Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

It’s even more unlikely to find a writing partner like my friend Mike Range, who inspired me to parody Don McClean’s classic song “American Pie” while simultaneously writing his own version.

As I wrote back in our comment thread, “This almost feels like a Lennon-McCartney collaboration!” And anytime I approach a subject as sacred to me as song parodies, I’m serious.

A seriousness that takes on 1950s Hollywood biblical proportions.

Presenting a joint venture about joints, a buffet of bon mots, and a passel of puns. We climb the Mount Everests of song lyrics simply because they’re there. …


A Sunday long-form rant

Inspired by the three best things I read this week

Your moms when they were young - Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Sometimes you wake up on a Sunday morning with a terrible urge to let loose.

And I’m not even talking about my usual morning rituals, which you don’t want to know anything about. No, this is just a talk from the heart in reaction to this site and in the country as a whole.

Let the rants begin.

Fuck the world. What do they know?

Britni Pepper knows all about not knowing as she wrote this about the Tao te Ching in “You Don’t Know Shi*t About Anything.”

“If you think you have found the truth, you are wrong… It is only when we open our eyes to a subject that we see something that…


The anti-self help self help program

Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

Why are so many people bamboozled by self-help articles that promise to save time, change your life, or make you unstoppable?

Jim Croce taught us you can’t save time in a bottle, or any other receptacle for that matter.

Speaking of not being able to save time, I spent ten minutes I’ll never get back scrolling through the search results for “Morning Routine” and found 490 stories (with probably a million claps) that contained the phrase.

Not one of them offers to “Save You Big Bucks.”

This is your lucky day!

Getting a couple of more jobs done during your work day will ultimately mean nothing to you when you look back at the end of your life. …


And other accomplishments of the mentally challenged

Photo by Rendiansyah on Unsplash

Now while it’s perfectly acceptable to punch up at privilege, there is an element of truth behind this stereotype.

How else do you explain this?


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 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 nature…


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. …

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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