Yes, And…

I recently came across this text meme making the rounds on IG stories:

As the world fights to figure everything out, I’ll be holding doors for strangers, letting people cut in front of me in traffic, saying good morning, keeping babies entertained in grocery lines, stopping to talk to someone who is lonely, tipping generously, waving at police, sharing food, giving children a thumbs-up, being patient with sales clerks, smiling at passersby, and buying a stranger a cup of coffee. WHY? Because I will not stand to live in a world where love is invisible. Join me in showing kindness, understanding, and judging less. Be kind to a stranger, give grace to friends who are having a bad day, be forgiving with yourself.

Cringe aside, these are all fine, kind things to do, though they absolutely ring a bit hollow when coming from a strong place of white suburban privilege (as was the case with my source).

What’s the main issue then? Well, it’s that in the year of our Lord 2022, proudly proclaiming that you’re performing a set of table stakes niceties while “the world fights to figure everything out” just doesn’t cut it as an acceptable course of action for a compassionate human being.

As the improv comedy community would say, “Yes, and…”

Of course you should be practicing acts of kindness, and be…

  • Paying attention to voices that are increasingly being silenced and marginalized, then doing your part to amplify them, consequences be damned.

  • Relentlessly calling out organizations that elevate legalism over love.

  • Coming to grips with the fact that the beloved past you long for with rose-colored glasses wasn’t all that great for so many others (or for the planet itself), and that it’s never, ever coming back.

In other words, things are real bad right now, there’s no sugarcoating it. Trust me though, you don’t want to live in a world where others “figure everything out” while you sit on the sidelines. Be loud. Be mad. Be informed. Be clear-eyed, but also be kind.

FOX Reality of My Youth

Back in another life, I worked on the websites for various primetime FOX offerings. While I got to work on some still-beloved classics like The X-Files, Firefly and Greg The Bunny, I also spent a good deal of time on some absolutely mind-melting reality shows and specials.

Since I think we could all use a bit of a distraction right now, here’s a roundup of a few of the “best” selections, may they never fade from our collective memories:

Joe Millionaire

He walked through the office once, and it was quite the event. My favorite part is that everyone wildly speculated about how they’d trick people again for the second season, and the answer was “yeah, we’ll just do it in Europe.”

Man vs. Beast

To this day, I still bring up the hot dog-eating bear to new co-workers. It’s honestly pretty central to my core identity at this point.

Mr. Personality

A true pioneer in the “make them wear masks before agreeing to bang” genre. Hosted by Monica Lewinsky, who I unfortunately did not get to meet when I visited the sweet mansion in Malibu. Sadly, I also think that this (surely invaluable) Cheat Sheet is lost to time:

My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance

Let’s be real for a sec, our belt buckle-centric landing page was groundbreaking stuff:

Celebrity Boxing

Interviewing Joey Buttafuoco and Vanilla Ice on the same day remains a “highlight” of my career.

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As I prepare to celebrate the start of my last year in what I’ll delicately call my “upper-early-forties,” I’ve decided to take a look back at some earlier posts on getting older to see what still holds up and what’s changed (along with adding a few new morsels).

Here’s the older stuff, if you want to catch up:

Let’s check in on a few of them:

Having seen patterns on the Internet repeat over the years, I’m encouraged that people are waking up to the ‘didn’t we learn our lesson from AOL in the ‘90s’ current social media environment, and I’m feeling bullish for what comes next. I should note that my former boss Gina Bianchini has been ringing this bell for well over a decade.

Well, I definitely took this one seriously. 💪

I can no longer be home without immediately changing into sweatpants (my wife is disappointingly unenthusiastic about this).

Changing…into…sweatpants? There are other types of pants?

“Nothing good can come from a webinar.”

Such innocence. Little did 2019 Kyle know that the entire world would soon become a webinar.

Some new developments:

  • I tweeted about this a while back as well, but I’ve become alarmed at the number of tonics and miracle elixirs that are now part of my daily routine.
  • Crappy, cushion-less chairs and I are no longer able to date each other.
  • I’m too old to convincingly say or type any of the following phrases…

    Bio Break: I’m just gonna say “going to the bathroom” (or nothing at all)

    LOL: Yes I’ve hated this for decades, but now I’ve crossed the Rubicon and entered into “tragic grandpa lol” territory

    Partner: I like/respect that this is a clean Gen Z way to refer to your significant other, but the ship has sailed for me being able to say “my partner” without sounding like a giant knob

    Hooked Up: Ditto on this one, I’ll continue saying “slept with” over here at the retirement home
  • Not only am I done with commuting, but the pandemic has taught me that in-person group meetings of many sorts should be treated like live theater: nice, old-fashioned, impractical but endearing “once-in-a-while” events.
  • The past two years have been incredibly illuminating for me in terms of discovering how well people tolerate and adapt to change, and I’ve realized that I most respect those that become more and more curious (actively seeking out new points of view) as they age.