The Freelance Files: Issue 8

Last week was a busy week. Before you could say, “Holy Oxford comma, Batman!” it was Sunday night, I had nary an issue of The Freelance Files to show for it.

Anyway, here’s the installment that should have run on Friday. I hope you enjoy it.

Gigs last week

Kemper Arena sold for $1

Long gone are the days when you could buy a Whopper for 35 cents.* In Kansas City, Mo., though, you can buy an arena for $1.

That’s the deal that was recently reached between the City of Kansas City and Foutch Brothers LLC. The sale will allow the developer to convert the 43-year-old Kemper Arena into a youth sports complex capable of drawing both regional and out-of-state visitors. The deal will also help the city save roughly $1 million a year on maintenance costs, a city spokesman said.

If you want to read more, check out my latest story at Venues Today.

The Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2017

Last week, American Muslim Magazine published my first foray into reporting on national policy. The piece examined the likelihood of the Muslim Brotherhood being designated a foreign terrorist organization and, if it did, what possible implications that could have for Muslim organizations stateside.

Robert McKenzie, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, was kind enough to explain exactly what the Muslim Brotherhood is. Like many people, I imagine, I had heard about the Muslim Brotherhood on the news, but I didn’t know much about it.

According to McKenzie, the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t an organization in the way that you and I might define the term. It’s not a cohesive movement with central leadership. Instead, the Muslim Brotherhood is widely dispersed, and its activities vary widely between chapters. For this and other reasons, it’s difficult to designate it as a terrorist organization per U.S. State Department criteria.

I also spoke with Hazem Bata, secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America, who explained how his organization might be affected by the designation of a group half a world away. It was an engaging interview, and I encourage you to read the entire piece if you want to learn more. AMM is a reader-driven, reader-supported publication. If you like what they do, check out their Patreon page. You can also donate directly to a story already in development.

Jam of the week

Here’s a little gem I stumbled across last week: “Deltitnu” by Aydio. If you like your funky jams infused with some vocal sampling and a down tempo flavor, I highly suggest this track. Pairs well with lazy Sundays and rainy afternoons.

Book of the week

I finally got around to reading the first volume of “The Vision,” the acclaimed comic by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and company. I’d heard good things about this book, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The narrative deftly examines what it would be like to be the cybernetic offspring of an android who decided to make — literally make — a family. It’s a moving story that examines family dynamics and otherness in with a depth you rarely find in realism.

Anyway, enough of me raving. Just go read it, will ya?


Where there is time, there is hope.

This is what I used to tell myself when I was working in newspapers and my deadline was looming near. As long as there’s time on the clock, there’s still time to turn things around.

Have a good week, friends.


*In case you missed that reference, it’s from a 1980s’ Burger King commercial. My parents had recorded some show on VHS — “Alf,” maybe? — and that commercial got recorded in the mix. Even now, decades later, I still find myself singing, “You could get a Whopppperrr!” Well played, Burger King. Well played.


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