Stupid things: Clapton, Bumble & Grindr

Get vaccinated already!

Stupid things people did this week:

For years, I’ve been ranting a simple truth: if you don’t want people to know about something dumb you did, keep your mouth shut on social media. Or, if you have an opinion that is sure to crater your career if you say it aloud, keep those thoughts hidden.

This week:

—A Houston man was arrested for his role at the Jan. 6th insurrection. How did authorities know of him? Because he bragged about it with a photo on the Bumble dating app, to a stranger he had never met. She sent the image right off to authorities. Bumble, Tinder and Match have clear policies banning users from sharing images from the riot on their apps. (Good for them!)

—Once beloved rock guitar god Eric Clapton opened his big mouth again and said he was so anti-vaccination, he wouldn’t do any concerts where the audience had to be vaxxed to attend. The furor brought back to light racist comments the composer of “Layla” and “Tears in Heaven” had espoused to concertgoers in the past. Gee, this is a great way to sell tickets to an upcoming super spreader tour few people will want to attend. And more selfishly, how to put a serious dent in your ticket sales. Eric, you’ve ensured your shows won’t be “Wonderful Tonight.”

—A closeted Catholic Church official lost his job when a holier-than-thou religious website discovered his use of the gay hookup app Grindr and set out to destroy him. Pillar used location data captured by Grindr to publish the man’s whereabouts. The publication is the bad guy here, but the church official wins the stupidity department award. What was he thinking? That he could have a private life on a public social media app? Folks, wake up to 2021, please.

When president Joe Biden said “they’re killing people,” in response to social media’s allowing anti-vaxxer disinformation to pollute the pages of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the social network responded with a big whine. Facebook insisted it was the good guy, and that it was being bullied by the president. Instead of owning up to the problem. Because we know what the reality is. Facebook historically has a hands off approach to disinformation on the site, and while the public pages are filled with positive messages, they’re also home to massive anti-vaxxers like Joseph Mercola and Robert Kennedy Jr., who are allowed to preach their conspiracy theories to millions of people. We are paying the price for their idiocy.

Shut up, clean up the site and save some lives, Zuck & Co.!

Back to Clapton again for a minute. This week it was announced that best buds Bruce Springsteen and former president Barack Obama are writing a book, based on their popular Renegades Spotify podcast.

Pretty cool association, right?

Meanwhile, Clapton, 76, to the Boss’s 71, found himself in bed with another politician this week, far-right Texas senator Ted Cruz, one of the leaders of the fight to not certify the election results of Biden. Cruz, who is one of the most despised members of the Senate (former House majority leader John Boehner famously referred to him as “Lucifer”) threw his support online to Clapton’s ranting.

Beatles fans will remember who played the solo for a certain song, whose title is so appropriate for many of us, in thinking of Clapton and Cruz.

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

That’s how I’m feeling about Clapton this week. How about you?

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In happier locales, it was great to leave my Manhattan Beach bubble this week for a visit to Silver Lake. We had lunch in nearby Los Feliz, at Fred’s, and this only in Hollywood mural across the street really caught my eye. The great silent movie genius Charlie Chaplin next to the great actor and narrator Morgan Freeman. I don’t see the connection, but was happy to capture it.

Accident of the week

I thought it was odd to see this river of water barreling down Sepulveda Blvd. in Manhattan Beach, and even stranger to have to walk through it. As I got closer, it became apparent why. Some poor guy smashed his car into a hydrant and the force of the water was so strong, he couldn’t even back away. Multiple police cars and fire trucks swiftly came to the rescue.

Tweet of the week

I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to podcasts this week, and have re-discovered Marc Maron and his WTF show on YouTube, where savvy fans cut out the 15 minutes of long introductions by the comedian, and head straight to the interviews. I’ve loved hearing him with the great film/TV producer director James L. Brooks and (no relation) comedy legend Mel Brooks.

This line from the podcast hit me in a big way, so I pulled over from my walk to write it down. I kinda feel the same way. Laughs and Grilled Cheese. Is there anything else?

Question: where can you get the best grilled cheese in L.A.? My pick is Greenblatt’s, but I’d love to hear what you think.

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We had a sunset on Thursday!

We had a terrific crowd Thursday for our under, over and around the Manhattan Beach Pier Photowalk. And we got a sunset too.

As often happens, the sunset itself was nice, but 10 minutes later the fun stuff happened when the cool pinks and reds of the sky came by to say hi.

Our next live Photowalk is set for Thursday 8/19 at 6:30. You can sign up here.

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