Reality Check: Readers’ Responses

 I want to thank Sean for his incredible honesty, and sharing his amazing story of coming out to his family with readers of the Reality Check. (THE DISHONEST ARTIST by Sean Barna – Guest Columnist – Issue: 1/30/19) And thanks to you, James, for always being at the forefront of LGBTQ rights long before it became a thing. And I want to say, with many gay friends, I support their journey from discovery to revelation. This is the place where I come to understand more about ideas and people that I have a hard time comprehending, in politics mostly, but to hear this kind of pure expression from what is obviously a deeply thoughtful and articulate young man is so very comforting. Again, thank you both—James, for providing this space where so much truth and bravery comes from, and Sean, for both of those attributes and more.  —Ultra-Denise


Wow. This made me cry! Of course they love him no matter what!! But he had to face his own fears to find that out and I’m so glad he had the courage to finally do so. Thank you for sharing!

—Elizabeth Vengen Esq.


As a fan of Sean Barna’s music thanks to the Underwater Sunshine podcast, which James co-hosts with Counting Crows front man, Adam Duritz, I found it so pleasing to read his personal experience with friends and family on his journey to the honesty of his being. For anyone who wants to hear the courage of a young gay man in these bigoted times led by a horrible man who has gone beyond the beyond to enact anti-LGBTQ policies from the White House, go and find his amazingly moving Cissy, an incredibly dramatic and inspiring EP that I heard for the first time when James gave it a standing ovation and called it one of the bravest expressions by a young songwriter he has heard, and I agree. —H. Freidman


I enjoyed this guest column. Well done, Sean. —Danielle Sariyan


I just want to say that this was such an enjoyable read. The structure of the story and how it comes together in the end was amazing. Sean took the reader on this journey and allowed us to accompany him as he shared his truth, so vulnerably. It was beautifully written and I want to thank Sean for sharing his story. —Leslie Acuna


This was one incredible statement of bravery and self-examination. Wow. As someone who understands Sean I am inspired by his decision on how he has handled his identity, and I know how hard it can be to admit to yourself how the people you love will accept you. The real you. Thank you, Sean. I feel you. I celebrate you and your courage and honesty and taking the time to go public with all of this. —SS0000gassie


Our politicians are gutless and will never let this happen. (WHERE WE ARE ON WEED – Issue: 2/27/19) We have the foresight of 1950s religious zealots in this state. We think we’re so progressive in Jersey and this is mostly a dumb, ass-backwards group of morons. This will never happen here. Ever. —Shooty1155777


I believe that what New Jersey does on the legalization issue will be a tipping point for the entire northeast region, and I think that if things go according to the shifting winds of 2018 and the disastrous Trump presidency and the destruction of bullshit conservative idiocy, it will tip the entire nation. Legalize it! —Aggie Thomas


Oregon is well into its recreational scene. The state coffers are being filled, but an interesting trend is developing. A lot of aged hippies and a creative crop (pun intended) of millennials are cultivating copious amounts of quality weed. There is so much superior herb being grown in backyard hot houses here that it’s hard to believe that anyone would be willing to pay the lofty prices of the dispensaries. Personally, I’m a vodka man. Weed freaks me out. But even a non-participant like myself finds himself presented (on occasion) with handfuls of bud. I keep it in a jar in my shed in case company is interested. Growing weed in Oregon is akin to the home brewing craze of the ‘90s. Because of this unpredicted phenomenon, the concept of state-run dispensaries is proving to be nothing more than an economical flash in the pan approach to solving legislative budget issues. If NJ acts before NY, there will be oodles of cash to be made. In the long run though (which will come sooner than you think), everyone will have a jar of the homegrown in their sheds. Then the topic will become less economical and more sociological. —Peter Saveskie


Thank God for James Campion! (CABLEVISION MONOPOLY & THE MORAL IMPERATIVE – Issue: 3/27/19) Someone had to say this! How does this continue in this country? How can NJ allow this? Cablevision sucks! And we are forced to use it if we want Internet access, which, as James states, is like running water and electricity now. How can one survive without it? One place provides serviceable web service?? It is a crime! It is a monopoly. In 2019? WTF? —Heppa


Hey, asshole, shut off Cablevision. How about that? Shit. Who spends this much energy on this shit? —Gary Stans


Mr. Campion,

I jumped up and down with glee when I read this column. I have never written you before, but I was compelled to now, because I am filled with rage daily against this horrible faceless corporation—greedy, disgusting! I don’t want to give them another dime and yet I HAVE to! Imprisoned by the Dolans! Goddamn it!



Did you use Cablevision when sending this column to press? Just asking (hee-hee). Great ending. We are all hypocrites when it comes to having to swallow hard for the things we want and need but disgusted by how we get them. I love this column. —Jennifer Fischera



Great job, you are your mother’s son. I would also have pursued those money grubbing miscreants. I am VERY PROUD OF YOU!




Do yourself no favors and “like” this idiot at or, if you dare, follow on Twitter (@FearNoArt) and Instagram (@jamescampion)


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, Y, Shout It Out Loud—The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon, and Accidently Like a Martyr—The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon.