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Liberating and Re-Branding

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For the last few years, I have been lethargic. I am just being honest about it. Perhaps not a total bum - I did volunteer work at charities or organizations like Tikkun, intentionally avoiding anything really professional, along with freelance jobs that were irregular in pay. I skated by and even figured out an elaborate system for myself to make it functional. The closest to a regular job I had was doing transcriptions for Rev, an Uber like transcription company based out of San Francisco.

Then over the last year, someone came in to my life that messed that up. Ignoring all excuses, she reminded me repeatedly that I was basically being a bum without using that word and also saying how intelligent I was and how many skills I knew about. I responded very badly when initially met with this and only got worse and worse as it went on - until I couldn't deny what the problem was.

I currently have two newspaper jobs but that sort of freelance work is not a 9-5 regular job like most normal people have. It's no one's fault but my own that I have evaded this responsibility. My epilepsy or (possible, who knows at this point) autism spectrum disorder has nothing to do with it. I do tasks in private that happen in regular work.

I am going to update the RST audience on how my effort to transform myself goes. I can be alot better than this and the terrible times we live in is no excuse either, just a challenge.


Glenn Beck, the venerated conservative talk show host, recently radically rebranded and changed the face of his operation. Whereas only a few years ago, he sounded like conservative talk radio is known to sound with bellicose and ominous talking points and guitar riffs, his show now sounds a  bit more like NPR. There's quiet jazz and classical music intros followed by conversational talking that is detached and world weary in comparison to Beck less than ten years ago.

In interviews, he said that we can "not continue to do business the way it has previously been done." When I worked for Tikkun, the Jewish magazine founded by Rabbi Michael Lerner, we had some uncomfortable talks where going out and raising money for the magazine, now a dire need, had just not really been thought about before.

It is possible to make money from self-expression and art. People did it for a long time before the internet. The internet made a whole lot of things more accessible, sure - you can now go look at a .jpg of an art piece instead of having to pay to look at it in a gallery. However, tangible things are still not free unless you allow them to be free, just like in the real world. Even an artist could have had a free viewing if he so wanted or just passed out prints for no charge.

So here is how you succeed at publishing online - make yourself valuable. I have had several instances where I helped provide access to artists through this website, giving them hundreds of views and attention to their work. When I asked for a donation, they were usually willing to do so, having valued what I provided for them. I didn't honestly think this would work until I tried it.

This isn't branding yourself in the traditional sense but is not too far away from being an agent. It's a bit odd for journalists to think of themselves as agent but in the tech economy, they sort of are.


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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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