We've got issues.

That's not exactly breaking news.

A sneaky big contributor to those issues is the sheep mentality on social media.

Case in point: In the last week, rap music star Kanye West took to Twitter in support of President Trump.

His opinions were, like most from folks with as big a platform as West has, either praised or parsed.

In the first poll conducted after Kanye praised Trump, A Reuters poll showed that the president's approval rating among black men doubled, up from 11 percent to 22 percent.

At that rate, if Kanye's wife Kim Kardashian West started praising Trump to her tens of millions of social media followers, he'd be in line to be elected Supreme Ruler of the Universe.

Dress down

It's almost a weekly part of Saturday's shorts around these parts, so let's review the next chapter of "That's Outrageous; I am so offended."

Meet Keziah Daum, a Utah high school student, who like many her age has been making big plans for her prom.

She picked a dress that has the look of traditional Chinese gowns, and by the backlash, you thought she would have spray-painted "Made in the USA" on the Great Wall.

The 18-year-old high school senior wore a red qipao — a traditional Chinese outfit dating back to the 17th century.

And while she said she would do it again, she admitted to "Good Morning America" she was shocked by the overwhelming blowback online.

Let's get this straight: A girl picks a Chinese dress because she likes the look of it and thinks it fits her style becomes a social media target for her lack of sensitivity. If one of her male classmates had picked that same dress, he would be a social media hero for his brave decision to be himself.

Yes, we have gotten to a place where a girl picking a certain dress is culturally insensitive and a boy picking any dress is a statement of courage.

How does that make any type of sense, especially during prom season when we should all have hands clasped and eyes closed praying that those teenagers who believe this is the biggest night of their lives find a way home safely so they can see 1,000 or more bigger nights in their lives?

Thank you, Mr. Beck

Sitting in the Hamilton County Commission meeting Wednesday as the announcements came, Greg Beck asked if the audience had a minute.

His unofficial goodbye from the dais after losing in the primary last Tuesday was eloquent and smooth.

Delivering his thoughts have always been one of Beck's strengths.

So have integrity and a nobility of purpose to serve.

Beck's words were about "fading away" and "retirement." He talked about how his desire to help young people drew him to elected office.

And the lasting message from his words in particular and his legacy in general were clear. Colleagues and citizens could have disagreed with Beck's position or his politics, that's part of the job.

But there was no debating his intentions and that his heart was in the right place.

Thanks for your service, Mr. Beck.

Final word

We wrote earlier this week about the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web and how far away we are from inventor Tim Berners- Lee's original vision.

Well, we have more than a few regulars who think this column is either delightful or distasteful. And all feedback is appreciated.

This one — from regular emailer Pat — however was worth sharing after Tuesday's internet column:


I don't know who this Berners-Lee guy is, but everyone in Tennessee knows that Al Gore invented the web. I hope to see a correction in tomorrow's edition.

Thank you.

No, thank you. All of you, for reading.

Contact Jay Greeson at and 423-757-6343.