Tuesday, June 28, 2016

176. How Shea Serrano Stopped Me from Being Cynical

I had to do it. Shea Serrano was just too much. I bought The Rap Year Book.

 This blog post was originally going to examine why our country could nominate two people for the most powerful job in the world with such high unfavorability ratings. Seriously, Hillary and Trump’s unfavorability ratings are historic.

 As I was scrolling through Twitter prior to opening up Google Drive to type out 500 words pondering on whether we as a country deserved these candidates, I saw something. It was a tweet from Shea Serrano, a former Grantland basketball writer. He now puts out a hilarious basketball newsletter called “Basketball and Other Things,” It’s one of the few highlights in my email inbox. He’s also one of the few people that seems to carry an abundant joy for things on Twitter.

 He recently wrote a book called “The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed.” I had paged through it at different bookstores, but I hadn’t bought it. It looked funny. It didn’t take itself too seriously and it had cool illustrations. And then I saw his tweet. It was a photo of a LeBron as the wrestler Ultimate Warrior.
In his next tweet, he said he’d give them away to the first 50 people who bought the book and sent him a screenshot. I immediately went on Amazon and purchased it. I had planned on not spending a ton of money this week, but this just felt right. I’ve made it a goal to support writers, artists, musicians, and other creators by purchasing their work. It was time for me to throw Shea some money. (Funnily enough, I actually ordered Jonathan Abrams book, “Boys Among Men” due to his recommendation. Those two have a fantastic, positive thing going on on there.

We need to pay more attention to people like Shea. I don’t know him, but he seems to be a pretty open person and genuine to his legions of fans on Twitter. He’s a person who has found his thing and he’s rolled with it. So, maybe I could have written about the 2016 tire fire of an election season, but I’m glad I didn’t. Politics will be there tomorrow. Hillary and Trump stories will still be ubiquitous for the next four months. And I’ll have plenty of time to write more negative takes.

 But you never know when the next good thing will come around. We miss it so often and we take those positive, fun, and joyful influences in life for granted. Shea, if you’re reading this, thanks for being you. I’m looking forward to reading the book. (And I hope I get a bookmark.)

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