What I've Learned After Blogging About The Mob For 10 Years

I wrote this to provide unsolicited, anonymous advice to a single solitary individual, and I believe it worked exactly as intended. (Of course this is certainly not the most effective way to communicate with one person, but it does wonders for a blogger seeking writerly inspiration.) This is another story maybe I'll expound on when I write my memoirs in 30 years.

Do something long enough, you would have to be moronic to not learn a few things from your experience. 

The more immediate prompt for writing this: we watched certain YouTubers last night that got us thinking about all sorts of things late into the night. (The "My Blue Heaven" backlash that certain people have steadily [and apparently unknowingly] been begging for arrived a few months back.)  

The following is a list of guidelines and beliefs that we've accumulated from everything we experienced blogging. It is geared to what we're trying to do here. Also, like most posts we publish here, this is mainly for us, but we're happy to share it. Just understand that this list isn’t carved in stone — it can and will be updated. 

Don't think you're hot shit because a former wiseguy or associate will talk to you. And remember, he probably testified against lots of guys—and those guys are brothers, fathers, husbands, sons, uncles, nephews—they have family members, in other words—and those family members are all watching you always.

Another reason you're not hot shit: some turncoats will literally talk to ANYONE, as long as the interviewer has a cellphone--and plans to put audio and video of the interview somewhere online. This is because it has NOTHING to do with you or the truth and EVERYTHING to do with the size of their ego.

Don't make dozens of podcasts trying to convince the world you were once a tough guy who owned Cosa Nostra. Because if you do, you just might awaken a demon in hell who will climb up out of the earth and tear you to pieces every day of your life until doomsday, like the frigging Terminator. You will never ever silence him. I don't know what the solution would be, at that point, but one thing I would not do is make more podcasts threatening him. Because after some time passes and your threats are revealed to be empty, what is next? (You would think no one would need to be told this.)

Don't write or say something not based on or corroborated by facts. Unless it’s an opinion, and if it is opinion, say so.

Always include context, background 

Facts (like some of the items listed here) can be contradictory

I’ll take rational violence over the irrational kind any day of the week

Don’t block anyone ever — but block comments that include unnecessary or excessive profanity or that are  racist or libelous

Give people the benefit of the doubt unless they don’t deserve it 

Facts are facts are facts; they don’t evolve, they don’t change over time, not even slightly, they are very stubborn things and they are what they are 

NO you DON'T know who made that anonymous comment though you think you do 

Anyone can be full of shit

Because of the layout you have to run at least one picture in every story even if you don’t want to 

Every source has a motive — and it’s not always to tell the truth 

The Mafia is very, very different. It's not only about content creation and expanding into an ebook.

Don't seek to profit from or exploit the pain and misery of others, and if you do, never forget it 

The truth will almost always cause someone pain but it has to be told, always

There's more than one side to every story

Just because wiseguys in a case are indicted and arrested and sentenced to prison, it doesn't mean they are necessarily guilty 

Don't believe someone just because you want to or because it's profitable to or convenient

If you put yourself out there, you better have a reason you can explain in detail

You don't/can't threaten me

The Mafia is a criminal enterprise built on the idea: do this or we'll break your legs or snatch your life. That undergirds EVERYTHING.

Admit mistakes 

Saying something a thousand-and-one times doesn't magically transform it into the truth if it wasn't true in the first place 

You are allowed to change your mind 

Someone may be attacking you because they have a good reason 

Legitimate critics help you more than your friend who tells you how great you are 

The Feds can be wrong and full of shit too — and immoral, especially when they oppose certain compassionate release filings 

Protect the innocent with everything you have 

Every story an ex-wiseguy tells isn't inherently fascinating, no matter how many times he tells it

If you start believing your own press clippings, friend, then your downfall has probably begun 

Loyalty has to be a two-way street and if it isn't, it ain't loyalty 

Ok you did help me, but I helped you too, so STFU

When you’re writing about someone being murdered, remember YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT SOMEONE BEING MURDERED 

I admire some wiseguys for their courage and confidence and wit

Don't do anything that will keep you up at night, unless it is deliberate and the right thing to do 

Don't defend a source but definitely defend the truth 

Be very careful how you use Wikipedia, even if you’re only seeking a basic fact like a date. Wikipedia relies partly on old news reports, and sometimes the wiki writer doesn’t read the source article all the way through or doesn’t know some facts are outdated. Or he/she misunderstands something. Wikipedia offers an invaluable public service nevertheless— mostly because of the footnotes, some of which are pure gold.

Don't mock someone just because they flipped 

Remember: without turncoats and law enforcement and surveillance and courts and prisons we wouldn't know jack shit about the mob and the mob would've expanded enormously and be an unstoppable criminal force today that could take control of the government including at the state or federal level 

People will lie for all kinds of reasons, including illogical ones 

Some people just want to watch the world burn —defeat those people

Everyone has an angel and a demon somewhere inside them

I admire some wiseguys who refused to flip and went to prison for life or were willing to 

My respect for and belief in objective truth extends to my personal life. I am vaccinated, that means. I do not support Donald Trump or the Republican party, that means (and I am a registered Republican). 


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