Paul Wilson: All This for Two Stupid Tickets to Carol Burnett

Jerry-Garcia

Jerry Garcia

That this is where it all began, all this KC Confidential stuff. It was last Valentine’s Day when Hearne hooked me up with two tickets to review Carol Burnett and said those now fateful words that I’m sure many of you have heard;

“You owe me”

In exchange for said tickets I wrote the review for KCC. Eleven months and nearly 100 stories later, in the words of the great American philosopher, Jerry Garcia, what a long, strange trip it’s been.

Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett

What have I learned along the way?

Well, for starters I try to keep my stories under 900 words, so there’s no way to answer that question in so short a space. However in summary, it’s been a far more positive than negative experience.

Writing has been a closeted interest of mine since I was briefly the City Editor of The Chart at Missouri Southern University. Hearne forced me out of the closet – so to speak – some 30 years later. Thanks to his prompting, not only have I had the pleasure of writing here, but the columns on my Mom’s death and my Thanksgiving “Silence” piece were picked up by six newspapers.

And as of last month, I have an agent who’s making a kick-ass living representing “B” level celebs trying to put together a syndication agreement for me to do a weekly column for small town newspapers. She’s an old classmate but it caught me totally by surprise when she called.

Apparently not all “dead tree media” got the message that they’re dead.

NPR recently stated that, “In the age of Internet media and 24/7 cable outlets, more than 20 million Americans still get a significant amount of their news from small-circulation daily and weekly newspapers — so much so that hundreds of papers have been targeted by growing national chains.”

My writing style apparently lends itself to that genre; the part Hearne calls my feel good, sensitive guy stories anyway. And having that opportunity would not have presented itself without his prompting, so I thank him for pushing me into doing something I’ve totally enjoyed.

lets-hug-it-out-bitch-t-shirt-400x330I’ve also learned that the more you think you know about your readers, the less you really know.

Stories that you think will have a huge impact don’t register a blip on the radar, at least in terms of the comments section. And ones you wrestle with to write or aren’t very pleased with, go bat shit crazy!

We scooped all Kansas City media in predicting Restoration Hardware would take over the entire Halls Plaza space, but practically zero response comment-wise. I stepped out on a limb and predicted the outcome of the Sprint-Dish-SoftBank merger when no one had enough facts to make the call. I was not only right, but predicted it two weeks before any other media came to that same conclusion. For weeks if you Googled the proposed merger, my story was in the top 5 links.

“The Aleatory Side of Life,” about the death of my Mom, still draws emails from all across the country.

There has also been the lesson of sticking my nose out there for anyone who chooses to lead with an anonymous left hook from the shadowy darkness. Here’s my position on that having borne some scars from doing so:

douchebag4The world we live in is full of cowards, reprobates and lowlifes and I’m not going to change that.

Still I refuse to hide behind an avatar when the real issue is the cowardly commenters who feel self empowered to say things they would never dare say to my face or using their real names. They are the ones with the problem and lack of spinal support.

I’ve never been afraid of cowards and I don’t plan to start now.

You’re free to comment any way you choose until it comes to personal threats on my family or comments so vile they cross the line of legality and basic human decency. Craig’s experienced it; Harley has; I have and it can be over the top. But there just isn’t a point where you can ever say someone “deserves” it when it crosses those lines.

Harley can be a pretty easy target, but at no time do I have the right to say what I’m going to do to his girlfriend while he’s tied to a chair forced to watch, and what I’m going to do to him after I’m done with her!

I don’t care if you think my wife is pretty or dog ugly. I don’t care if you think she has the best or worst voice in the city. You’re free to express either opinion; that’s part of the game. But when it comes to sexual threats or threats of violence, that’s where it stops.

DC_2503722That point was made clear last month to a greasy blog operator.

Appropriate actions were taken, apologies received and stories removed.

That would not have happened if I wasn’t legally in the right is my take.

Out of that experience came a series of overdue stories and posts on how ugly comments sections can get. I appreciated the support of Harley (of all the people), Stomper, Craig, Hearne, Chuck and anyone else who took a stand saying enough was enough and there really are limits.

Thanks to each of you who had the testicular fortitude to take a stand. You are the few.

On the other hand, shame on the cowards who wanted to twist the real issue and make claims that I was going to sue anyone who “didn’t like jazz” or who didn’t like my wife’s voice. Shame on you small-minded, little people who want to pretend to be a friend to my face but made salacious “anonymous” comments as late as this week, while hoping to continue to fan the flames.

Give it up! It’s nothing more than your own self-hatred, self-loathing, turned outward in your lack of ability to cope with your own nothingness.

And keep this in mind; while you abandon your usual comments section monikers for the occasional, ongoing “anonymous” nasty comment, spend some time correcting your poor grammar and writing styles. Make it at least a small challenge to figure out who you really are.

Morons.

karma

I think most readers know what the real issue was.

My advice to the people who made those depraved comments: Muster some intellectual integrity or at least have the courage to say those things to my face. You know who you are and you know how to find me. What’s more, I have a pretty good idea who some of you are.

Karma’s a bitch and she’ll deal with you all on her own.

In a nutshell, that’s the story.

And thank you for the personal emails I’ve gotten from readers offering support as I’ve gone through a handful of difficult weeks with a little too many death, grieving and health issues to explain.

In short, there was no UFO abduction, no mystery, I just needed some time off.

354738836_fbad132072_o

In the wee hours of the morning on October 30, I became the senior patriarch of the “Wilson Family.”

And I didn’t deal with it as well as I might have. Some people claim to be on top of their games 24/7. More power to them. Grief comes in waves. I thought I was soldiering through but I was wrong.

I took a few weeks off, got away, traveled and regrouped.

If you find yourself in a similar place, don’t let it creep up on you. Talk to someone, get some help – it’s part of the cycle of life.

 

Thanks for the welcome back messages, now let’s get this train back on the track.

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30 Responses to Paul Wilson: All This for Two Stupid Tickets to Carol Burnett

  1. chuck says:

    Here at the front, on the kcc battleground, jealous of your absence, we sought your presence throughout the camp.

    Good to know you are back in the fold. Once more into the breach buddy (Is that one too many Henry the 5th refs?).

    🙂

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Chuck, youre among the number who keep me coming back for more; thank you, may I have ANOTHER?
      Question is, can there be too much Henry the 5th?

  2. Attaboy Paul says:

    Paul, I wouldn’t worry about Colonel Slanders over there. His readers are starting to learn that he doesn’t deal in the truth. He operates on only a few general ‘principles,’ and I use the term loosely because he has none:

    “I hate Kansas City. I am against any kind of progress. Change is bad.”

    “I make unfounded allegations against public figures. I twist facts around to fit my anti-everything agenda. I use various manipulate techniques – biased generalizing, garbled cause and effect, and faulty deduction to come to my flawed conclusions.”

    “I lie. I fabricate items and present them as fact. I present the untested and unverified statements of my AWESOME TIPSTERS!!! as inviolate fact.”

    Everyone’s starting to figure it out, however. Prove what you say. Back it up with evidence. The personal attacks are hard to figure, however. Dude’s got issues (and I don’t use the term man here because no grown man would do such things, only behaviorally-retarded little children do).

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Thanks, AttaPaul!
      As a result of the past legal issue, the site now gets scanned for new comments by people other than myself, for future use, let’s say. Its amazing how he’s getting called out more and more by his own readers. You hit the nail on the head.
      Thanks for your kind words, its most appreciated.

    • the dude says:

      Yeah, that site is good for a few LULZ but he definitely pushes his own special agenda pretty hard at his own peril. Are you referring to an article here wilsun, or on the mom’s basement blog?

  3. Stomper says:

    Great piece Paul. I have been a commenter for less than a year, jumping in shortly after Smartman’s passing but your contributions were always one of the reasons I started commenting and stuck around. As I’ve said many times already, an intelligent and civil exchange of opinions is what I seek and your efforts have always been on interesting topics, well researched, and you always kept the bar high.

    Guess I’m a little ashamed that I’m one of the commenters without enough guts to use my real name. Got my reasons but I’m sure many of you would think I’m still a pussy. Hearne, Dwight, and Paul all know who I am and I’m guessing that every contributor on KCC that I have commented on knows my name as well as I use my real email address everytime I submit a comment to KCC. Guessing that gets shared with each contributor when the comment comes in.

    Those regular readers familiar with my moniker know I’m a political addict that leans lefts and rarely hesitates to take issue with an opinion or comment from a conservative
    that is unattached to reality from my liberal perspective. I do, however, really try to remain civil and support my positions but I know I can go overboard so I’ll apologize for my intensity.

    Finally, I appreciated the reference to the two tickets HC gave you that got you started. Even though, in my humble opinion, Hearne stills owes me big time for the past 50 years, a few years ago he scored me two tickets, front row and dead center for my all time musical idol, Slowhand. (For the uninitiated, google that name ). I sat closer to him than his drummer. Talk about a three year orgasm. HC, thank you, thank you, thank you !!!

    Welcome back Paul !!! I hope you kept all your research on the education piece (s).

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Stomper, first, thank you. Second, there are about 100 GOOD reasons for NOT using your real name, and if youre on the positive side of common decorum, it doesnt matter to me if you want to comment as mini mouse! The rub comes when someone wants to engage in the most vile of comments you know they wouldn’t have the balls to say to your face.
      That divides caring about your privacy from just being a first class chicken shit!
      Besides knowing you, I know a hand full of top execs in town who do the same thing, for the same reason and its smart, its not being a pussy.
      Aren’t we past due for that drink?

      • Stomper says:

        Probably are, and I promise I’ll touch base. As you know, I work in an industry that is 99% GOP. I take a huge amount of grief here at work for my positions. They can’t believe I take positions that would result in me, and them, losing income. I also am anxious to hear more of your stories about Big Cedar lodge. Did your cabin/chalet whatever , look like a taxidermists workshop ?

        • paulwilsonkc says:

          It did, Stomper, but it was first class all the way. I’ve gotten to know the GM and I think I’ll do a small story on them.
          We had a two bedroom cabin, overlooking the lake and marina. Huge stone fireplace, endless supply of firewood delivered each morning. Four star dining, impeccable service and an all round great time!

      • expat says:

        The bottom line is that this is the internet and what you post will last forever, searchable under the name you used to post it. So you can’t throw off comments that would be forgotten like in real life – a little brotherly ball busting or heated political disagreements will be remembered on the internets forever and disinterested searchers are unlikely to understand the context. It behooves everyone but the most anodyne of posters (or people who are making a career out of it) to use some kind of alias. I wouldn’t be terribly upset if I was ‘outed’ as expat but on the other hand who needs the hassle of a paper trail.

        Re: TKC, some of the posters there are intentionally pushing buttons IMO to force Tony to change his moderation policy. Kind of a blogging false flag.

        By the way Paul if you really walk the walk you should go to the local MMA gym and tell those guys they’re posers! (Just busting your balls ;))

        • paulwilsonkc says:

          Expat; not all people drink because they are poets; some drink because they are NOT poets.
          Guys in an MMA gym, fighting the good fight, are a real part of that world and are entitled to, or better yet, paid to wear the gear. I was addressing the poser crowd like Danny D-bag Blowdry.
          It’s kind of like these 350 lb slobs and their Jeff Gordon man crush tshirts!
          “Yeah, I get it, you’re a driver too! Hop in your Camaro and head on down the pike, son.”
          Thanks for always bringing it, Expat; even if it comes at the occasional expense of my nether-region.

  4. Nick says:

    Stories that you think will have a huge impact don’t register a blip on the radar, at least in terms of the comments section. And ones you wrestle with to write or aren’t very pleased with, go bat shit crazy!”

    Ze publik…she is ze fickle bitch, n’est-ce pas?

  5. balbonis moleskine says:

    don’t sue me…but relevant

    http://goo.gl/vYuLM

  6. Kevin says:

    Glad your back Paul!

  7. harley says:

    YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE MR. WILSON….AND ITS WRONG!!!!!!!

    Your first story back you use some pretty harsh words about some people
    you don’t know. I know many of the people who wear those clothese
    that you judged those people on. And many make more money than you..
    are more religious and faith followers than you…have better morals than
    you…have never been in jail….are good married faithful husbands with kids
    who go to the finestschools….business owners….top people in the community!!!!
    They might just wear those “d bag” clothese you talked about on the weekends..
    or because they like they look
    Yet when you got attacked you hated it….you despised and threatened to sue
    them…you went ballistic…you went balls to the wall when they said
    things about you and your family….blaming the publisher for printing the words.
    Then you go right into calling people “d bags”…you don’t know them…you don’t
    know their story..merely calling them names for what they wore.
    THATS HYPOCRITICAL. these could have been some great people…but you
    chose to publish under your name descriptions of them that was wrong.
    oh…nad in this story…here’s what you wrote…and I quote…
    “My advice to the people who made those depraved comments: Muster some intellectual integrity or at least have the courage to say those things to my face”

    ah….if you had any “intellectual integrity” and actually called those men
    “d bags” to their face for wearing those shirts I think they would have
    kicked your ass right there…..and you[d be on the floor of the BUZZARD
    looking up at the ceiling from the floor.
    Be fair….no reason to call anyone names like that….and I seriously don’t
    think you had the balls to call them names to their face.
    have a great day…and remember we’re all humans.
    your firend
    Harley

    • admin says:

      You need to start reading a little more closely, H Man.

      First of all, Paul was called out by name by anonymous people not using their own names.

      In this instance, he totally uses his real name and he is NOT identifying the people of whom he speaks.

      Huge difference – all the difference in the world.

      Second, he didn’t just size them up by their clothes alone, he sat there for a considerable period of time and listened and observed their words and actions.

      That makes for two strikes on you Mr. H.

      Wanna go for three?

      • the dude says:

        Read the whole story closely Hearne?
        What are you expecting from the harlinator, competence and intelligence?
        Next thing you know you’ll expect Rufus to rise from the dead to give you a no-holds-barred interview.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Harlister, hate to break this to you, but we are all a little hypocritical in at least a couple areas. Six of the twelve disciples were! (Not your dis3iples, readers and followers, the ones the the Bible)
      Also, you may have misjudged what I am and am not willing to say to someone’s face; you’ve missed a couple of predetermined “facts” about who you think I am in a few areas, you may have misjudged that one too.
      I’d be willing to buy you a beer if you’d like details; always open to that option.
      Your friend,
      Juan Pablo

      • Stomper says:

        A blog where a contributor will meet you to buy you a drink.

        How can you not love KCC ???

        • paulwilsonkc says:

          Stomper, it’s a competitive environment, we have to keep up! An opposing linkalicious blog site is offering day-old refried beans to each new anonymous commenter; I had to take my game up a notch.

      • harley says:

        don’t we allwish we had 26 hotties at our beckon call…
        I mean give me a few years backan dI cold compete
        with the Spanish dude.
        so heres a thought…do an over 60 bachelor show….make the
        bachelor……..GLAZA……that would skyrocket the ratings
        !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        I’d put my moola on glaza…..hecould bring it back..
        glaza…get with steve…get it together….put in on the
        military netword where all the old dudes watch…
        but good luck finding some 60 years old babes glaza would
        find attractive…
        or call it SUGAR DADDY…..24 young hotties looking for
        a free ticket in life….glaza get to give out instead of roses
        daisys (more approritate when the women are in late 50’s
        and 60’s)….yan know…push ing daisies….
        relax…smile…its January 13
        enjoy…smile…its janaury

  8. Libertarian says:

    Paul, I read some of the comments made in that greasy skillet you mentioned.

    I didnt have the stomach for much of, given the blog it was on. As someone who loves things done in extremely bad taste, even I found it way over the top.

    I’m glad your coping skills kicked in, and you dealt with to the best of your ability.

    Its nice to be reading your words again.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Wow, Lib, I really appreciate those words. I’m closer to you than you think; you’ve read a lot of my stories, I have a tendency to walk close to the Bad Taste Scenic Overlook! Not always, but a little bad taste can be fun. But this story again promoted more TKC outrage, one person stating I should be sued, lose my job, and adding that said poster just might make that happen!
      And once again, they bypass the real issue and state I just could take attacks against me OR people who didn’t like jazz!
      There was one and only one complaint and legal action I took; you don’t make violent or sexual threats against ones spouse! I’m fair game, I’m fine with that.
      Trust me, coping skills are harder to find when it comes to family.
      Thanks again, Lib; why anyone reads him anymore is beyond me… there’s no explaining bad taste.

  9. A lot of people call a directive to physicians a living will.

  10. paulwilsonkc says:

    Harley, you have a comment waiting to be “moderated” but in the mean time, as much as I support your desire for position statements to ALWAYS find their basis in fact; define this quandary for me only using facts, then report back it.
    You’re always talking hits, numbers and ratings, vis a vi TKC vs. KCC. You always like to claim KCC is behind. It may very well be, I don’t really know.
    But guess what? You don’t really know either.
    Why?
    You do no research that accounts for false hits TKC gets by posting cheese cake hottie picks and their names. I have, not scientifically, but go look at site hang-time. TKC has a enormous number of hits that don’t stick or they stick for less than 5-10 seconds.
    Why?
    If I’m a 16 year old kid trying to get some bathroom material by searching for pics of my favorite Maxim girl, you’re a numbers dude, Harley, you know how it works. I search “Little Suzie Hottstuff,” and among all the sites to choose from, TKC just posted a story “Little Suzie Hottstuff and the Latest KC MURDER RATE!” That shows up in my search for bed time 16yo fantasy material. Little Jr sees a “pic” of her on some site called TKC. Jr. clicks it and lands on some burrito blog in KC with stupid, local news stories, NOT the soft porn he was hoping for!
    Jr. decides in 5-10 seconds he’s been fooled and “X’s” out; on to the next site he goes.
    That’s a hit with no hang time, no stickiness.
    Dig deeper into the analytics, he’s got thousands all the time.
    I’d be willing to wager if you sanitized his numbers, KCC would be bigger, if you want to talk apples/apples. If you wanna leave it at apples/soft porn, you may have an argument.
    But is it a fair one? Lets look at it using real facts and see what the result is.
    Your friend,
    Paul

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