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20 Media Links that Changed my Life

20 Media Links that Changed my Life

1 – Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

steve jobs

    For teaching me to stop attributing value to unimportant things, and start trusting my instincts. Before reading Jobs’ speech, I was working a job I hated because it was really the only thing I ever tried. It was what I knew. Jobs says “You’ve got to find what you love.” His speech helped me realize that I was wasting my life living someone else’s dream. If I settled for someone else’s dream, I’d grow old and die without ever seeking my own.

    2 – Hunter S Thompson “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail” June 3, 1976, Rolling Stone

    The real world is exciting, but the news is boring. Hunter S Thompson changed all that. During his stint with Rolling Stone, Thompson wrote some of the most brilliant journalism featured in a news publication. He invented Gonzo journalism, and proved what a man can accomplish with the right perspective. Hunter S Thompson didn’t just report the news; he redefined the media. Gonzo journalism laid the ground work for the modern citizen’s journalism movement.

    3 – Tabitha Soren “Tupac interview” 1995, MTV

    Tupac (2Pac) Shakur is often quoted by members of the hip-hop community, but most of them seem more committed to achieving his fame than his dream. Tupac inspired me since I was a kid. I was taught musical theory and performance at an early age so I understood his music, but I was too young to understand the media. This interview forever preserves the mannerisms of one of the most iconic musicians of multiple generations. Pac knew he couldn’t change the world, but we believed he would inspire the mind that does.

    4 – Gabriella Coleman  “Who is Anonymous?” June 27, 2012, TEDGlobal 2012

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    who is anonymous

      The hivemind of Anonymous is a byproduct of modern life in a surveillance state. The instant you leave your home, you’re in public and lose certain rights of privacy (although never all). Every human being deserves complete control over the privacy in their own home though. Your smartphone or tablet connects your home to the rest of the world, and Anonymous is the internet’s natural defense against it. In this TED Speech, Anthropologist and academic Gabriella Coleman breaks down what she learned from Anonymous.

      5 – Brian Penny “I’m a Bank Whistleblower and You Can Be Too” October 29, 2012, The Huffington Post

      I learned to utilize the media for defense. Social media had proven effective, and I was connected to the right people at the right time. HuffPo invited me to contribute a series of blogs to a political column. I wasn’t really following politics, so I only got 1 boring article cranked out before I realized I was the journalist I needed to tell my story. I spent so much time training regulators, lawyers, journalists, and activists that I forgot to leave a breadcrumb trail. This article launched a successful writing career for me and taught me the power of the media.

      6 – The Beatles – The Beatles Anthology (1995)

      The Beatles Anthology

        By the age of 25, I completely ran out of both new and old music to listen to. I decided to buy the Beatles Anthology and watched it straight through…twice. Whether you like The Beatles or not, this collection of media about them is an amazing story about fame, fortune, and art. This is your brain on drugs. It taught me everything I need to know about the world and the media, and the music is amazing. Paul McCartney is easily one of my Top 10 Concerts of all time, and thanks to the media, the legacy of The Beatles will forever be preserved.

        7 – James Duane & George Bruch “Don’t Talk To The Police “ June 21, 2008

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        do not talk to police

          Watching this could be the best 45 minutes of your life. I’ve spent a lot of time with police officers as a witness, person of interest, friend, and family. I also grew up on Army bases to a mother and father who worked military intelligence. I blew the whistle on the largest bank in the United States. If you trust one thing you see on the internet, trust this speech. It’s your right to remain silent, and anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

          8 – Julian Assange “Why the World Needs Wikileaks” July 2010, TEDGlobal 2010

          why the world need wikileaks

            Wikileaks is a legend. Last month on Mother’s Day weekend, Julian’s mother Christine RT’ed a tweet of mine with a link to a blog about some of the retaliation I experienced as a whistleblower. Assange redefined the media and changed the world. Seeing him speaking on TED opened my eyes to the new world we live in. He explains many yogic ideas being applied to society as opposed to individuals. Assange’s vision of the world is even more chilling now that Bradley Manning is on trial and Edward Snowden leaked a glimpse of big brother.

            9 – Every News Outlet in the World “The World Trade Center South Tower Attack” September 11, 2001

            I was in Ft Benning, GA standing in lines getting my gear assigned for Army basic training. What started as a shot for college money and escape from Ft Huachuca suddenly became a brutal reality. The military restrained information from soldiers, especially those in training. We were cut off, and rumors were rampant as snipers, MP’s, and Special Forces shipped out in dessert combat gear. It wasn’t until a year later after seeing a contractor beheaded online that I finally sat down, read what got reported, and watch the media footage of the WTC attack… Where were you?

            10 – TMZ Staff “Michael Jackson DIES” June 25, 2009, TMZ

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            michael jackson died

              I’m an 80’s baby. I grew up on Michael Jackson. There’s no hard time in your life that can’t be soothed with a little MJ in it. Michael was a genius, an artist, a businessman, an icon, a star. When he died, it was almost unbelievable. We’ll never have another like the King of Pop, and it was the internet that reported it first. We’ll always be faster online. Michael Jackson will forever be preserved on the internet.

              11 – Kurt Loder “Kurt Cobain 1967-1994” April 5, 1994, MTV News

              Kurt Loder was the most reputable new source I knew of in the 80’s and 90’s. Kurt Cobain was the artist who created some of the most hauntingly beautiful albums I ever heard. Nirvana’s Unplugged set sits in a league of its own alongside Eric Clapton and Jay-Z’s performance with The Roots. Cobain’s death was a tragic one. His fame heralded the peak of the grunge era and the end of the 80’s. His music and subsequent suicide still resonate with generations of music fans.

              12 – Mohandas Gandhi “Non-violence and World Crisis” November 26, 1938, Harijan

              At a time when Adolph Hitler was taking over the world, Gandhi promoted peace. He took a stance and defended nonviolence in every situation. Reading his articles inspires me to think through difficult hurdles. There is always a way. If one man can do it, anyone can. Reading the words of Mohandas Gandhi reminds me that anything is possible if you sit still long enough.

              13 – Alyona Minkovski and Ceynk Uygur  “Anonymous vs Bank of America” March 16, 2011

              I wasn’t just standing at the center of the mortgage crisis. This time I was the story. I had a first-person view of the news. I got to see how skewed the media was just by reading what they wrote about me. I hid behind Anonymous and watched. Alyona and Ceynk were among only 4 journalists who put in the proper research. I beat the banks. I hit them where it hurt, and ignited a revolution. Learn how to be Anonymous here: anyone can do it.

              14 – Brian Knappenberger – We Are Legion (2012)

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              The Story of the Hacktivists

                While living in Clearwater, FL surrounded by Scientology, I downloaded We Are Legion from The Pirate Bay. I was being stopped and searched for my Guy Fawkes mask on a regular basis. Florida is a depressing place. Everyone is drugged out, and not in the good ways. This movie provided me comfort that I was backing the right flag. We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect Us…

                15 – Parmy Olson interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show June 18, 2012, Comedy Central

                Parmy breaks down Anonymous for the masses on the most trusted news source on cable. She did a fantastic job of explaining the movement. Once again I felt relief knowing there’s a culture built around transparency. It was a whistleblower’s dream. The more of us that exist as real people in the media, the harder it is to attack Anonymous. We are the internet’s first defense, and we’re 100% nonviolent.

                16 – Wikipedia “Protests against SOPA and PIPA

                Don’t use Wikipedia for a source. Do use Wikipedia for a story and cite their sources. Everyone will tell you not to use Wikipedia. Everyone has an opinion as to why it’s inaccurate. Yet it’s one of the largest websites on the internet. Why? When Wikipedia and other websites shut down to stop CISPA’s predecessors, SOPA and PIPA, the world fell to its knees and pulled the controversial bills. Clearly everyone is lying about not using the top search result for nearly every search online.

                17 – Brian Penny “30 Best Movies  of All Time” Lifehack.org

                I can’t help but laugh knowing I’ve appeared in the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, and countless other news outlets fighting the banks, and the most controversy I ignited is over a list of the best movies of all time. People don’t like having their opinions questioned. I can’t help but continue trolling by adding myself twice to this accomplished list.

                18 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr “Letter from a Birgmingham Jail” April 16, 1963

                Dr. King sat in Birmingham jail for breaking an unjust law. From there, he wrote some brilliant ideas. One of them was this letter to address the local Clergymen who accused him of being a hypocrite for breaking a law. He brilliantly differentiates a just law from an unjust law and questions their own allegiance to justice by sitting around doing nothing. When I couldn’t find the answers I needed in life, I turned to the Doc.

                19 – Richard Sears “Scientology is a criminal organization…” November 18, 2009, UK Daily Mail

                Scientology is fascinating. To their merit, they are excellent with nonviolent defense. They expertly troll governments and small businesses using attorneys and PR—this I enjoy and agree with. Their financial and technical sense could use a lot of advancement, though. I personally believe transparency is necessary to control corruption, and too many things smelled fishy in Clearwater, FL.

                20 – Matt Taibbi “As Bradley Manning Trial Begins, Press Predictably Misses the Point” June 6, 2013, Rolling Stone

                I’ve followed Taibbi’s pieces on the mortgage industry for a few years now. He doesn’t pull any punches. Seeing him involved in the Bradley Manning trial is brilliant. Manning is a hero, and he deserves our respect and attention. I love that Rolling Stone is covering his trial, and Taibbi especially. Pay close attention to this trial, as a lot of our human freedoms are on the line.

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                Last Updated on September 12, 2019

                12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

                While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

                What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

                Here are 12 things to remember:

                1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

                The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

                However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

                We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

                Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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                2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

                You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

                Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

                Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

                3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

                Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

                Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

                4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

                Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

                No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

                5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

                Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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                Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

                6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

                Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

                Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

                Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

                7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

                Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

                Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

                And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

                8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

                When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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                Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

                9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

                Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

                Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

                Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

                10. Journal During This Time

                Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

                This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

                11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

                It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

                The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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                Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

                12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

                The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

                Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

                When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

                Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

                Final Thoughts

                Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

                Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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                Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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