Reality Check: Readers’ Responses

I loved this column. (PRINCE ROGERS NELSON—1958 – 2016—Issue: 4/27/16) And all of your work when someone of this measure of talent and influence on our pop culture dies. You are able to frame it so beautifully. It is quite a gift. And as Prince gave of himself through his music and performances, his fashion and his commitment to spirituality, your writing allows us to celebrate and mourn.

Thank you, Mr. Campion.


—Sarah P.


It is a shame, but until all of these tributes to Prince, I did not realize how multitalented and completely in control of his art he was. There really is no comparison when it comes to his contemporaries, he could dance and sing like Michael Jackson, had a tremendous influence on pop culture like Madonna, and was a far more prolific and deep songwriter than Bruce Springsteen. When you hear Eric Clapton say he was the best guitarist alive or when Dave Grohl says that Prince was a better drummer than him or great songwriters go on and on about Prince’s ability to tell stories and capture feelings in his songs, it is an education for me.

And your piece on all the songs that we didn’t know really gave me pause too. I went out and found those songs and they are every bit as impressive as you said. I am now a fan, maybe too late to see him live, but my appreciation is far greater today than before.


—Tristen Lopez


Wow, that was some tribute to one of the most influential, spectacular artists of this or any generation. He was our Miles Davis, our Beatles, our man of all styles and talents. He is the only artist to have the number one film, song and album all at once in the summer of 1984. He controlled an empire and started the Minneapolis sound, one man. Incredible.




Prince pulled off the greatest feat of the modern era; he was a megastar, who kept his air of mystery. He was never seen in tabloids or no one got behind the walls of Paisley Park. He may be the last of this breed; a true original.


—Darrell Simpson


This is some of your best political analysis in a time when it is sorely needed. (DONALD J. TRUMP, REPUBLICAN NOMINEE—WTF?—Issue: 5/11/16) I am just not sure I get from it how we ended up with a candidate like Donald Trump. It all seems surreal to me, like watching a film about a society that has given up and has decided to merely throw up a mockery of the system and to all that society holds dear. I get people having “fun” with this and wanting to send a message, but in the long run… is this our political legacy—an entire generation of whiners and xenophobes, whose answer to the great problems of a shifting paradigm is to rail against it, find scapegoats, and follow a megalomaniac down a destructive path?

I get it being “ironic” to support a rich, selfish, TV star as some kind of populist demigod, but president of the United States?




—Cameron S45778


Great run down! And I love how the Costco cheesy poofs finally made it into one of your pieces.
—Doctor Slater


I have a question: what percentage of the American populace voted for Obama simply because he’s black? What percentage will vote for Hillary because she’s a woman? In direct contradiction, it seems, to Martin Luther King Jr.’s message about the content of one’s character… Does the supposed idiocy belong only to those voting for a celebrity?

At least the Republican party fielded 17 candidates of various races, gender and ethnic backgrounds, unlike the Democrats, who have nothing to offer but an old white lady and an old white man, both of whom stand for ideologies that have been proven in history not only to fail but to TOTALLY DESTROY HUMANITY AND INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY. Maybe college students should be required to talk to people who escaped from the Soviet Union, Fascist Germany, Bosnia, East Germany, Cuba, etc.

That’s not to say that certain Republicans have also expanded the size of government, and therefore increased the prospects for tyranny, but what Hillary and Bernie have to offer is designed to suck the life out of anyone paying taxes and trying to live their own lives.

And now Hillary wants to hire her husband—a philanderer that she enabled in his assault of countless women—to bring us back to the economy of the ’90s? Which couldn’t have happened without the Republicans before him… Kill me now!! Just like many don’t want another Bush in the White House, neither do we want another Clinton. For god’s sake; ENOUGH of the fucking Clintons. Women’s rights my ass.

I cannot wait until Trump turns 100% of his attention on her. Talk about entertainment!
—Elizabeth Vengen Esq.


It is time for upheaval and wiping many slates clean—that’s WTF. Trump is not some demon conjured up by Wiccans from somewhere deep in the heart of Kansas, he is a very real response to the complete disorganization of our governing body—both Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. Congress is a joke. The senate is filled with self-promoting jack-asses and the president has given up 18 months ago. And this is not about CHANGE either this time. This is about pounding the whole thing into submission, tearing it down, so we can see what we have built is rotting and has no true foundation. And for me, it is not ideology, it is pure passion.

I don’t care if it’s Donald Trump or Kanye West.

Something has to give.

We have had enough of this shit.


—Gene Trader




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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. His new book, “Shout It Out Loud—The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon” out now!