Morning Belz, Jan. 29
Reporting for duty.
Been a little bit of a reset/refresh week for me after the trip to D.C. The two videos we made there didn’t do well, numbers-wise, and Inauguration Day itself was anticlimactic and I personally had a poor outing — walked past a lady who’d ironed shiny red Qs on her puffy white jacket, who was sitting by herself in an empty outdoor eating area. Didn’t interview her, just kept heading to where we were heading! I’ve thought about firing myself over that, and in general I didn’t interview enough people on Inauguration Day, or do a good enough job with those I did interview. I’m grateful for the advice I got in December from Jason LaValley, an entrepreneur in Bemidji, Minn.: “It’s never as good as it is nor is it ever as bad.”
Good things have happened. I’ve worked with and learned from smart people I like: mostly Jay Yates and Jon Schimpf, but also Elizabeth Johnson and Jono Kaufmann. Gonna shoot a video soon with Nancy Vazquez, a go-getting student at Dalton State University. I think the work has been useful, and usually interesting (though most of the videos have been too long — I swear I’m trying to be more disciplined about that). Yesterday was productive. I recorded the hardest part of a forthcoming channel trailer (here’s the link, for Patreon supporters), which forced me to think through the value proposition of Scuffed a little harder. The TikTok audience is growing, even if I don’t fully understand why. I added text slides and re-posted the Dalton video that YouTube took down after the capitol insurrection, and I think it works well. Also made progress yesterday sketching out the sweep of the story of the winery at the wastewater treatment plant in Alabama.
So I’m feeling encouraged. The next six videos may go something like this.
13. Latino grocery, Dalton, GA
14. Virtual school, Nashville, TN
15. Wastewater winery, Rainsville, AL
16. Street interviews about socialism, Asheville, NC
17. Abortion clinic, Jackson, MS
18. Gun show, Louisville, KY
February’s going to be an important month. Please consider supporting Scuffed News on Patreon, which is in fact a way to support this newsletter. Thanks to those who’ve already pitched in. My goal is 500 supporters by the Fourth of July, and I’ve been forced to moderate my hopes of a massive YouTube audience carrying me to the finish line, so I’ll be flogging this. I have not yet begun to fight! Have a good weekend.
Puzzle-solving, dopamine and QAnon: a potent cocktail — Minnesota Reformer
Car thief lectures mom for leaving kid in car, returns car — Oregonian
I was quoted in my capacity as soccer pundit for this bizarre story — NY Post
Good explainer of the Gamestop stock phenomenon — VICE
Rand Paul’s speech in Senate opposing impeachment trial — C-SPAN
Long take on American political violence, emphasis on race — FiveThirtyEight
Europe’s vaccine politics are worse than America’s — Bloomberg
Mike Pence spotted in St. Croix — Virgin Islands Daily News
“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see (not just) whether Republicans stand strong for (the) integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country.” — Donald Trump, Jan. 6, 2021
“Nobody until I came along, had any idea how corrupt our elections were. And again, most people would stand there at 9:00 in the evening and say, “I want to thank you very much,” and they go off to some other life, but I said, ‘Something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. Can’t have happened.’ And we fight. We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” — Donald Trump, Jan. 6, 2021
About: I send this email most mornings to force myself to stay informed and in touch. It’s typically ~8 links, a quote, and an update on what I’m working on. Write me back! And please share the email. If I added you and you don’t like it, please click unsubscribe below. I was a newspaper reporter for 14 years at the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Des Moines Register and Minneapolis Star Tribune. I gave the basic story of why my family left Minneapolis here. You can find my new venture, Scuffed News, on YouTube (please subscribe!), Twitter and Instagram, and you can support the project with your money, in exchange for exclusive video and early access to some of the video, on Patreon.