Thinking about quitting? Wait, hear me out…

Close-up of 100 dollar bill
Close-up of 100 dollar bill
Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

It’s been a crazy year. There have been some good months and some bad ones, a global pandemic and the most catastrophic presidency in the United States in my lifetime. It hasn’t all be great economically, either. I’ve had my $10,000 months and I got lazy for a while and had had some weaker months. That’s how freelancing goes, and it’s especially how it goes when you write for Medium. I’m OK with it and just accept the ebbs and flows as part of the gig.

When it comes to writing, change is the only constant. You win some months, you lose some months. But I’ve performed well enough often enough that $10,000 a month is my monthly goal and that’s where it’s likely to remain for the foreseeable future and I’ll keep it there throughout 2021. If I don’t make that in a month, it’s safe to say I have room to improve, at least in my own mind. …


Three lessons from three million views in 36 hours

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Image by rawpixel.com

Do you know that feeling of excitement, that rush of adrenaline you get when your post first starts gaining some traction? Honestly, it’s addictive. The rush of viral success is akin to the feeling of winning the jackpot on the casino slots in Vegas. I had one of those posts recently. I was astonished when it crossed into the millions of views in an extremely short period of time.

Within 22 hours, I’d crossed the 2 million views threshold. I went to sleep overjoyed and woke up the following day to find I’d crossed the 3 million view mark. My page’s total views shot up a few days after that to 7,355,956, while that post itself had over 4,000,000 views. …


To the immune system, falling in love is like a viral infection. Here’s how it happens.

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Image author’s own creation. Source material, Pixabay and Rawpixel

Love is a fascinating subject to think about. It happens to all of us. It comes on like a rush of adrenaline that knocks us off of our feet. It radically reshapes our lives. It consumes us. Anyone who’s ever experienced it knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Sometimes love drives you literally crazy. Don’t worry, it’s not just you, that happens to all of us. And there are biological reasons for this. Love has the power to make us all a little bit mad. Like a drug, it keeps us up through the hours of the night.

Writers from as far back as ancient Rome have been talking about the powerful, captivating experience of falling in love. The ancient Roman poet, Ovid, wrote about this over 2,000 years…


They silenced hate speech, threats, and violence — there’s a huge difference

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

“Welcome to communism. We will silence you if you disagree with us!” Those were the first words I read today as I woke up and checked my phone. It’s another string of jumbled, meaningless jargon, the only kind of rhetoric coming from Trump supporters all over right now. Great, more drama. Just what I was hoping for today.

And worse than just any drama, it’s senseless drama. It’s drama that isn’t even based in fact. It’s bullshit, too. It’s bullshit-drama that doesn’t even jive with reality enough to circumvent an eight-year-old’s reasoning skills.

Let’s be real about why some people are throwing an adult tantrum. …


Politics | Humor

The President visits the border wall after his Twitter and Facebook suspensions

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Shutterstock

In one of the grandest displays of callousness ever, and a total inability to read the room, the President of the United States will emerge from his bunker on Tuesday to go visit the U.S. border wall with Mexico. In his mind, he’s probably going to visit his beautiful legacy that he’ll bequeath the world.

To the rest of us, he’s going to visit the place where it all began, the monument to white supremacy that let us know what he was really about. Xenophobia, racism, inflammatory language, and locking kids in cages with policies of border separation. …


Trump and his ilk have shown themselves for what they truly are. Now, they meet a foe more benevolent and with much more power.

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Photo by visuals on Unsplash

On January 7th, 2021, the Internet erupted in a firestorm of varying reactions, from sanguine to smug, from sad to celebratory, as they cheered or swallowed their anger in the wake of Trump being permanently banned from Facebook.

For many, this was an important moment in American history, one that signified the defeat of viral conspiracy theories and destructive ideologies that had been signed off on by the highest presidential office in the land over the past four years.

For many others, it was a devastating blow to what they consider to be free speech. They feel like they’ve been deprived of their first amendment right, their president and leader finally silenced after fighting valiantly for their rights. …


Politics

January 6th has come and gone and we must figure out what’s next…

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The United States Capitol just after dawn in 2019. Source: Joe Duncan

This is the fourth or fifth time I’ve tried to draft this story. With a heavy heart, I open a tab, start a new story, type a headline, and then lower my head bowing my solemn head in defeat. The crushing weight of the present moment eats away at my entrails and the spirit of determination that looked toward the future with bright eyes and confidence. My eyes once fixed and determined, now weary and hazy, drooping downward every so often in somber contemplation.

In person, I’ve always looked to all of my neighbors, black, white, yellow, and brown; man, woman, or non-binary, with big smiles and a helping hand where I could offer one. I’ve always looked upon them as my kinfolk, those who belong to the greater society around me, the conceptual group that is the American social structure to which I believed everyone subscribed. …


Race | Equality

Could the end of 2020 signify the end of an era of racism in the United States?

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Digital art — Joe Duncan; source

Right now, as you read the words across this screen, there is a young Black girl out there somewhere with her eyes fixed on a screen of her own, observing the tearing down of a statue that was built to honor a man who lived well over one hundred years before she was born. It’s a moment that’s been long overdue. She’s watching curiously as she takes in the moment she doesn’t quite yet understand.

Childhood is always a time when we absorb information effortlessly, even if we’re not ready to understand it. And that information will shape who we are for the rest of our lives. She’s absorbing the Black Lives Matter protests. She’s absorbing the death of Brionna Taylor. …


The pinnacle is just a few days away.

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Shutterstock

Julius Caesar said the words, “Alea iacta est,” in Latin, as he ordered his troops to cross the Rubicon river somewhere in Italy in 49 B.C.E. Alea iacta est roughly translates to, “The die has been cast,” and the quote is attributed to him through Suetonius, an ancient Roman historian who told of the lives of the Roman Emperors & Julius Caesar.

It was forbidden for Caesar to cross the Rubicon river with his army intact and in doing so, both Caesar and his troops had become enemies of the Roman Republic, traitors, and in the same swoop, had catalyzed the Roman Civil War. …


Relationships | Tech

So, you wanna hook up on a dating app?

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Photo by Vladimir Proskurovskiy on Unsplash

2020 was a hell of a year. Between the brutal pandemic, Trump’s insanity in the U.S., lockdowns and fears of getting sick everywhere else, that year was a handful. For those of us who live in areas that have made it dangerous or even illegal to go outside, we’ve been stuck inside for months on end. We’ve been cooped up in our homes, usually bored and wishing for some contact and good ole fashion socializing.

While the pandemic is still underway, and it looks like it’ll be quite some time before we get a handle on it as a global community, now just might be the time to hop on Tinder and start the conversations, matching with the people who pique your interest, and laying the groundwork for the moment you get the green light. …

About

Joe Duncan

From Los Angeles, California. Life isn’t a series of many moments, but one moment that is always changing. Buy me coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/joeduncan

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