[this post has updates below, including a fixed link to SoundCloud]

Sometimes waiting to publish a blog for a day is a happy accident. In this case, the benefit of reporting news comes at a sad price.

Yesterday we lost Prince at 57—the megastar musician-artist who changed the face of music and culture as we know it. The gender-bending rocker might be most known for his pop hits like “1999” and “Little Red Corvette,” but he touched many other parts of the industry as well—including incubating talent and advocating for artists’ rights.


Prince also had a strange-bordering-on-unhinged litigious streak. In 2007, his “takedown order” sent to a mother whose toddler danced for 29 seconds to “Let’s Go Crazy” raised my eyebrows at the time; THR describes the “fiercely protective” Prince and his actions at the time:

When one woman named Stephanie Lenz uploaded a 29-second YouTube clip of her toddler dancing to Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy,’ he let it be known to Universal that he wasn’t happy. The publisher then sent a takedown notice to YouTube, which led Lenz to file a lawsuit in 2007. Nearly a decade later, this litigation is still ticking, with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently handing down a landmark decision holding that copyright holders must consider fair use when sending takedowns.

A resonant thread to this story for us who live in this great town: Atlanta and Fabulous Fox Theatre goers got to be the final recipients of his immense talent. Like David Bowie, Prince was working at breakneck pace right up until the end; it’s clear from clandestine video footage that Prince was on his vocal and musical game until the very last gasp.

I have an e-mail out to Memphis photographer Amiee Stubbs to get a few quotes on her impressions from that show. Stay tuned for more.

He was dressed-down, unproduced, unstaged and raw. It was an amazing moment for Atlanta, and for the world.

The deep irony here is that the very thing that Prince hated (bootlegging other people’s artistic works and then publishing them) is the very same thing that gave us our last glimpses of the genius at work. He was dressed-down, unproduced, unstaged and raw. It was an amazing moment for Atlanta, and for the world.



The Great Barrier Reef has a bone to pick with the polluters of the world. With Prince’s passing, I’m going to move this story to next week. Stay tuned because it’s a critical marker of how climate change, ecological disruption and warming have all started to accelerate… fast.

Also, Poland is on my shame list this week.



ICYMI: I’ve got an exclusive interview with Samantha Clemmey—along with her thoughts on asking John Kasich a question on campus sexual assault that caused a firestorm. National news program bookers would be smart to host her for an interview. She’s super sharp. (read the report)



This week Upworthy profiles a suicide survivor on how to engage empathy after a traumatic event. She’s poised, sober and ready to reduce stigma and broaden understanding.

1-89c483fba7bbc844f6d0fcd901ba21ab“People assume that, to be suicidal, you have to be completely off your rocker. [They say] it’s severe. You’re in a corner, disheveled. No. Most of us look very normal for the most part.”

Read the full interview here. The good: a strong, clear message with the perfect spokesperson. The bad: inexplicably creepy animated gifs that do not help the subject matter.

I also liked how they gave “trigger warnings” at the outset, which itself showed empathy. Well done, Upworthy. Well done Nicolle. 👏

Final note: suicide rates are actually up as of 2014 (the last year of full data). Click over to the WaPo for more on that. It’s up to us to reduce stigma of mental-health services and get people the help they need.

RELATED: Please join our discussion group on Emotional Intelligence in Men on Facebook—the precursor to my forthcoming book on the same subject.



Jason Bourne is back kids… I’m a HUGE fan of the franchise, with a very important caveat: director Paul Greengrass’ coked-up, ADHD scene framing and editing is annoying to the Nth degree. The Bourne-related backroom ego clashes aside, I get headaches because I want to see a fucking car chase in a long shot, not in a series of 18 views of the same action scene shot 700 different times. That’s not storytelling; it’s scrapbooking on film.

For some reason, Matt Damon is loyal to Paul Greengrass to a fault, according to reports. Which might make sense to his acting process, but NOT to the finished result. The very first installment, directed by Paul Liman, is the absolute classic of the franchise. No other film comes close for the above reasons.

I found a rant online in a chat room discussing the director that absolutely nails it: “will somebody buy this fucking guy a steadicam?” Amen. For now, though, enjoy your headache-inducing trailer.



Apple demanded that its new electric car developed with BMW and Daimler sync to iTunes; they said “um, no.” (I’m kidding, but only slightly)… Tesla’s Elon Musk labels his poached employees as turncoat know-nothings… My friend and Atlanta resident Mike McCoy speaks for the first time to The Catholic Messenger about being a victim of gun violence; his position on guns now will surprise you… A new memoir talks about Sean Parker donated $250M for cancer research collaboration between scientists.





With a huge h/t to Creative Loafing, have a listen to the full audio of Prince’s final show in Atlanta.


That’s it from me Cranker Darlings. We’ll see you right back here next Thursday at 2.



Will Pollock is a crabby New York City escapee living in Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist and author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.

Don’t forget to comment below. Cranky loves company.


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