2021 means fresh new projects for many. And because I am an overachiever, this is just one of many fresh new projects for 2021. But this is one that has been a long time coming, and one I am incredibly proud to finally have the courage (or maybe lack of ability to care) just to put out there.
Unfortunately, as in making decent money doing commentary, the business of political commentary requires you to follow a formula that I do not quite fit.
I am not overly (or overtly) liberal. I do not tick off the bulk of the boxes as a conservative either. I am just barely right of center as far as I am concerned, as I have always been an independent thinker who took ideas from both sides to form my way of thinking.
I love radio and tried to make my way as a talk show host. It should work, as liberal media does not seem lucrative (unless you are on cable news), and ‘Black Conservatives’ are like unicorns that somehow stand out in conservative media ranks.
The problem was the formula I brought up earlier that worked well but would not work for me consistently. You have to give an opinion that falls in line with two of the three following categories of thought: angry, old, and White.
Yeah, I said it.
Conservative media relies on the majority culture (i.e., White) being afraid not so much of change because time will bring change naturally. The majority culture needs the masses to be frightened, specifically of change as pushed by any minority culture.
The majority culture also needs to be afraid of technology that makes them question how they were operating, even if it is a ‘better’ technology. Unless that technology can be co-opted so that people with power and influence can use it to reach the masses to promote its biases and claim that the platforms (or the platforms’ owners) serve the real puppet masters who they are nobly trying to protect the masses from.
The actual problems with abandoning the plan to make it in talk are multiple. Due to the nature of the business (and ironically, technology), the number of outlets to work for are shrinking. The number of voices—conservative, independent, and otherwise—are shrinking as well. Despite this, I had the pleasure of working for radio stations that provided local talk.
But with the craziness that has been the last four years of political intrigue and the insanity that has been the bulk of the year 2020, talking angry, old, and White was not enough. You also had to add crazy, illegal, immoral, uncaring, and possibly treasonous.
So, in 2021, I am starting two new projects to help develop my now defined independent-mindedness.
In a few weeks, I will give more details on an initiative to push a futile attempt to foster non-partisan measures of accountability to elected officials and consistently encourage people to stay engaged with the issues and registered to vote.
And starting with this post, I will produce content under this ‘Citizen Payne’ banner and not care who picks it up.
2020 was one hell of a hard ride, and it hasn’t gotten much easier yet for 2021. But I will guarantee if you are following along with my misadventures, it will get a lot more interesting.