So, unless you are on Facebook much or happen to follow Freeline Media’s press releases, you may be wondering who the heck I am and what I am doing writing a column. Well, let me explain…
My name is Paul Castaneda, and I originally hail from New York City. I’ve been living in Orlando now for the better part of two decades. For a state and city as transient as our City Beautiful is, that’s a lifetime.
In my time here, I’ve worked in many different industries. I’ve written articles for several local media outlets, including Freeline. I’ve also founded and am still Artistic Director of Greater Orlando Actors Theatre, or GOAT.
Michael Freeman and I have been friends for years now and have worked together in several capacities. Recently, we explored the idea of my becoming a partner in Freeline and I jumped at the opportunity.
What does that mean for you, the faithful reader, and for Freeline? For one thing, you’ll be seeing many more articles from me on a variety of topics. Mr. Freeman also wants a column, so there will be that. Finally, Michael and I will be working together to grow Freeline, make it more eye catching and user-friendly and, hopefully, make it your Go To website for all things Central Florida and beyond.
By way of continued introduction, I am one opinionated dude, and proud of it (Mike Lupica, Andrew Sullivan, Matt Taibi are just a few of my favorite columnist/writers). I encourage our readers to write back, engage me in debate, tell me what you think.
And in keeping with what I hope my yet untitled regular column will be, here are a few quick hits spanning a variety of topics:
• No one person or event is the cause of a suicide. Although the events involving the death of a nurse in England following a radio stunt involving the Royals is tragic, the connecting of dots I am seeing is too easy — and wrong.
• The financial restraint currently being shown by The New York Yankees is a slap in the face to their fans. Following on the heels of ridiculous hikes in ticket prices upon the opening of the new Yankee Stadium a few years back, and combined with the team being awash in money from their television network, this comes off looking like greed at its best.
• Anyone shocked at Charlie Crist going Democrat must have been living in a cave. Even as governor, he was always to the furthest left of the Republican Party. Ever talented on knowing exactly what steps to take to maintain his own relevance, becoming a Dem makes all the sense in the world.
• Chavez is dying and Venezuela is in flux. Although his opponents may rejoice that massive change is in the air, I’m afraid Latin strongmen have a nasty habit of leaving succession plans in place that change things very little, if at all (see Cuba).
• If you aren’t holding your breath about what is going on in the Middle East right now, you aren’t paying attention. Potential powder kegs in Syria, Iran, and Iraq (not to mention the Israel/Palestine mess) have the potential to have devastating consequences for both the region and the United States. I know it’s easy to have deaf ears, given the constant drumbeat for decades from that part of the world, but things ARE significantly escalated.
• I believe Hillary Clinton when she claims she is not running in 2016 about as much as I believe Donald Trump has no glue on his dome.
• If the Magic continue winning (or losing) at their current .400 rate, will fans long for the soap opera days of Dwightmare?
Well, that’s enough to get us started.
I’ll see you all soon.
Contact Paul Castaneda at FreelineOrlando@gmail.com.