Communication skills for the crazy

My Anti-Drama Code of Conduct

by Bill Brenner September 14, 2015 Communication skills for the crazy

Man, there are a lot of hurt feelings out there lately. In my industry, they call it security drama. But it goes way beyond that. Post your political and religious beliefs and someone is quick to tear you apart. I’m not going to summarize the latest examples. A lot of Facebook and Twitter streams are already clogged with all that snot. Instead, I’m going to tell you the behavioral code I try to live by when…  [Read More]

Irish Alzheimer’s Disease

by Bill Brenner May 19, 2015 Communication skills for the crazy

Alzheimer’s Disease is a terrible thing. I’ve known some precious souls trapped within that mental prison over the years, and it’s one of the saddest things to behold. But there’s another mental prison we all find ourselves in from time to time. The late Fr. Dennis Nason, former pastor of my church, described it as Irish Alzheimer’s. Simply put, you forget everything but the grudges. I’d like to tell you I don’t suffer from it, but…  [Read More]

Remorse? I Have It

by Bill Brenner December 10, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

Recently, I started exploring the feelings that EdditTheYeti’s art raises in me. On Monday, I focused on “Prayer” and “Pierced.” Today, I’ll look at “Remorse.” Mood music: “Remorse” This picture was created with ink, wine, lime juice, coffee, tea, cola, soy sauce, hot sauce, and, as Eddie writes, a thought about what has passed. The creature in the picture hangs its head low, eyes too mired in the past to see the present. Regrets? I…  [Read More]

Why I Made That “Boycott United Airlines” Remark

by Bill Brenner November 30, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

This morning I posted a comment from a friend suggesting people boycott United Airlines. A reader told me that if I’m going to suggest boycotting a business, I should provide all the details so they can make a more informed decision. It’s a fair request. Like the person whose post I shared, I’m angry because a friend we have in common was treated badly by United personnel.  Some drunk idiot harassed her in a United…  [Read More]

Cognitive Impairment and Stupidity Aren’t the Same Thing

by Bill Brenner November 11, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

Writers and editors at The Independent had some fun with an article about a virus that, as they put it, “makes people more stupid.” The problem is that they confuse impaired cognitive function with stupidity. The headline may get attention, but it’s irresponsible. Mood music: The article begins with this: A virus that infects human brains and makes us more stupid has been discovered, according to scientists in the US. The algae virus, never before observed…  [Read More]

Gene Simmons Can’t See the Rock Through the Dollar Signs

by Bill Brenner September 8, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

When KISS bassist Gene Simmons commented negatively on depression and suicide, I cheered Nikki Sixx for picking his argument apart. Now it’s my turn to pick apart a comment Simmons made. He said rock is dead. Mood music: Truth is, I like Simmons. He’s given a lot to rock, and I still love listening to KISS, especially the music it put out in the 1970s and early ’80s. I love, too, Gene Simmons Family Jewels,…  [Read More]

Gross Overreaction Still Haunts Kiera Wilmot

by Bill Brenner June 26, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

A year ago, I wrote about Kiera Wilmot, a student at Bartow (Florida) High School who was expelled and criminally charged for setting off an explosive after her science class volcano experiment backfired. Mood music: The trumped-up charges were eventually dropped, but Wilmot’s brush with the law continues to haunt her. According to civil liberties site Police State USA, the charges continue to taint Kiera’s record and impede her chances for success. “All my charges have been…  [Read More]

Loudmouth Politics and the Damage Done

by Bill Brenner June 23, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

I love that we live in a country where freedom of speech is an essential right; that you can call your president names without getting thrown in jail. I also love that people are willing to debate their beliefs fervently, whatever those beliefs are. But there’s a downside. For some people, it’s not enough to state a political belief. They have to judge people who believe differently and resort to name calling. Mood music: I…  [Read More]

Bullied by the Word “Bully”

by Bill Brenner April 28, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

Walk into any school these days and you’ll see anti-bullying posters everywhere. I’m happy to see it, because kids need to learn what it is and how to stand up for themselves. Unfortunately, they’re taking cues from grownups who don’t always know what they’re talking about. Mood music: I was reminded of this after reading a blog post from Brian Martin, A.K.A. Jericho, of attrition.org. Martin got into a protracted debate recently with Elizabeth Weidman, mother of security…  [Read More]

You See a SecBurnout Cult; I See Common Sense

by Bill Brenner April 17, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

Some folks are pissed over my recent posts about efforts in the security community to fight job burnout and depression. I won’t change your minds, so I’ll just clarify a few things and move along. People have made five observations: The data is far too insufficient to declare a problem specific to the security community. Without data, all we have is opinion. The greater InfoSec Burnout movement and I have made it sound like this…  [Read More]