(Originally written 2/6/2005)
1. Who are you and why should I read your blog?
My name is Stephen Joseph Silver, and I was born July 28, 1978 in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, right outside Minneapolis. I lived there until graduating high school in 1996, when I left to attend college at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. I graduated in 2000 with a major in American Studies and minors in Journalism, Film Studies, and Near-Eastern Judaic Studies, and while at Brandeis I was a writer, columnist, and later Arts Editor of The Justice, the student newspaper.
In the summer of 2000 I moved to New York, living first in Manhattan, then Hoboken, New Jersey, and then Manhattan again. Then, in August of 2005, I relocated once again, to Newtown Square, outside Philadelphia. Following my marriage to my wife Rebecca in May of 2007, we purchased a home in nearby Broomall. Our son Noah Michael Silver was born January 15, 2010.
2. What do you do?
I am a professional journalist, and I currently work as an editor with North American Publishing Co., a position I have held since February of 2007, working for E-Gear, Dealerscope and CustomRetailer magazines. Since 2005 I have been the lead film critic for the Trend and Trend Leader, a local weekly newspaper in the Philadelphia area for which I was formerly an editor, and for the Community section of Philly.com. I was a columnist for North Star Writers Group from 2006 through 2009.
Prior to that, I was a reporter with Royal Media Group, a publisher of trade newsletters that produces seven different niche business publications, all of which I wrote for. Previously, I was a reporter with Argus Media, an international news service covering the energy industry, where I covered such stories as the aftermath of the Enron collapse and the 2003 blackout. And before that, I was a copy editor with Professional Sports Publications, a publisher of game-day programs for sports franchises, where I worked on the programs for the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, and the 2001 Rose Bowl.
In addition, my freelance work has appeared in New York Press, Boston Magazine, The Detroit News, The Blueprint, The Hudson Reporter, The American Jewish World, and The Hardball Times.
3. Why do you do this blog thing every day?
I started this blog (originally on Blogspot) on May 5, 2002, as I was an out-of-work writer at the time and wanted to get myself writing every day. And I haven’t been able to stop since… I’ve only ever taken one hiatus, which was when I spent a week in Florida without internet access, but I was itching to start again by the time I got back. Quite often, you’ll find, I’ll promise “no blogging ‘til Monday,” but there’s a post on Saturday or Sunday.
I set out to make the blog a third each politics, sports, and pop culture, and that ratio has generally held up over the years.
4. What are your politics?
I get this one a lot, especially since I pride myself on not making my political persuasions instantly guessable from a singular gander at my blog or, for that matter, my bookshelf. I’ve been called a “lefty blogger” more than one time –mostly around the time I announced I was voting for Kerry- although I’ve also been called “conservative blogger Steve Silver” at least once, around the time of the war in Iraq.
I detest political labels, but I suppose you can call me a “9/11 Democrat”- I grew up as a liberal and partisan Democrat but more importantly a political junkie, yet I’ve had a built-in resistance to out-of-whack leftism going as far back as early high school. I flirted a bit with conservatism before and after 9/11, but I’ve since mostly settled in to a “social liberal/fiscal moderate/foreign-policy hawk” pigeonhole, which I’d say adds up to “centrist.” I pretty much have equal contempt for the far right and far left, and I believe my political worldview can be summed up in an observation I made during the 2004 Republican convention: “I just realized exactly how conservative I feel whenever I watch the protesters, and how liberal I feel whenever I watch the speeches.”
However, I admit my politics have once agan drifted leftward, as the Bush Administration has slowly gone down the tubes, American liberalism has found its voice and, I like to think, I’ve grown older and wiser. I consider myself a stalwart supporter of President Barack Obama, and an opponent of those who irrationally despise him.
5. What are your sports rooting interests?
I continue to support and root for Minnesota’s teams above all others, especially the Twins, who I watched win two championships in my youth. Despite their current dysfunctions, I still love the Vikings and T-Wolves, and while they never existed when I lived in Minnesota, I do (did) enjoy going to Wild games.
While not exactly being a fan, I’ve become utterly fascinated by the Philadelphia sports scene in the short time I’ve spent here. I like to say I probably like the Phillies and Eagles a lot more than most natives do.
I have no particular love for any New York team, and especially have disgust for the Yankees- though as a New York Post reader, I’m quite fascinated by the furor (mostly negative) inspired by the Giants, Jets, Yanks, Mets, Knicks, and all the others.
My favorite sport always has been and always will be baseball, followed closely by pro football and pro basketball. In recent years I have become a huge soccer fan, following the U.S. national team and the English Premier League, while supporting Tottenham Hotspur.
I mostly ignore everything else, with the exceptions of the Stanley Cup finals, the NCAA tournament, and a couple of bowl games each year.
6. Are you related to Ron Silver? Nate Silver? Joel Silver? Speaker Sheldon Silver? Long Dong Silver?
The only remaining male Silvers on our family’s line are my father, my son and myself, so I’m related to none of the above. But I love Nate Silver’s writings and analysis on both politics and baseball, I am a great admirer of the late Ron Silver both as an actor and political commentator, and am impressed that Long Dong Silver managed, late in life, to figure prominently in the battle over a U.S. Supreme Court nominee. But I would never vote for Sheldon Silver for anything, and Joel Silver’s films, with the exception of the original “Matrix,” pretty much all suck.
There is another Stephen Silver who frequently has letters published in newspapers in relation to Israel and other subjects often covered here; while he and I correspond often, we are not the same person. Ditto for the Steve Silver who was a production associate on one of my favorite movies, “Harold & Maude,” or the Steve Silver who wrote the San Francisco musical “Beach Blanket Babylon.” And I’m also not to be confused with Steve Silva, who runs the excellent Red Sox blog BostonDirtDogs.com. The furniture firm known as The Steve Silver Company has nothing to do with me either.
7. What are your favorite posts?
My most popular post is probably the remembrance I wrote last summer after leaving Hoboken after three years. I’m also partial to my reports on the Republican National Convention in New York last year (excerpted here, here, here, here, and here, as well as the commentary I wrote on the racial-slur scandal that took place at my old college paper, the Justice, in the fall of 2003 (highlights can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
In addition, my February 2005 post “In Defense of MSM” was linked and discussed throughout the Blogosphere.
(Originally written 2/6/2005)