To Post, Or Not To Post — That Is The Question

There’s a great story that has been told by many a writer about the Wannabe who comes up to them and says, “I’ve always wanted to be a writer.”

So, the writer answers, “Do you write?”

To be a writer, that’s all you have to do. Write.

And, to be a blogger, I suppose, all you have to do is blog.

On paper — er, on the computer screen, in this case — it’s that black and white. To blog, one must simply blog. Log in, tap away, hit publish. The end.

Simple, right? Yet it’s been eight days since my last blog, which pisses me off.

I can chalk it up to a number of reasons. Line ’em up, one by one.

• I’ve been busy.

• I’ve been bouncing around the state as part of being busy.

• Nothing has hit me with enough to force to want to write about it.

• I’m fucking lazy.

OK, maybe I’m not lazy in the grand scheme things. I work too damn long and too damn hard to be lumped in with that group. But I don’t consider myself a blogger. Or, a writer. Anymore. Not really.

I don’t know what I am.

I’m a journalist, I suppose, but in this day and age of Dying Newspapers and the Give It To Me Now Internet, the description of being a journalist has changed so much — too much — with additional roles and titles, it feels too heavy.

Yes, I still write and report. But I am also a photographer. An editor. A proof-reader. A copy editor. A blogger (This isn’t the only one, this is just mine and mine alone). A podcaster. A planner. A videographer. A director. A producer. A paginator. And, it seems all too often, a baby-sitter for people who don’t quite grasp what the business is really about.

I suppose since the “October Weekend” is mine and mine alone, I shouldn’t be too discouraged when I don’t get to it. Yet I do.

So here’s a post.

Again.

I just hope I can find the time to build on it.

SUNDAY SERMON — Good Morning World; I mean Great World; I Mean Cruel World;

I woke up this morning, slowly shook the cobwebs out of my head and grabbed my iPad; simply to get caught up on everything I had missed for the past eight hours of slumber.

Right away, I came across this video:

It’s great to wake up with a smile on your face, even if a tear of joy is rolling down your cheek and you don’t have to hide behind the lie that something was in your eye.

It wasn’t more than a few moments into my next app when I came across this link:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/expecting-parents-killed-brooklyn-car-crash-en-route-hospital-baby-survives-article-1.1278183

I hadn’t been awake for 30 minutes, yet this world that we call home was tugging at my emotions from both ends.

This is Life 101, I suppose It’s always been there: Good news, bad news, happy news, sad news.

Twenty years ago, we mostly came across stories like this when they happened near our hometown. The good, the bad, the ugly — our local newspaper, local television, and local radio stations would fill us in on what was going on. The national news had to be some major shit for us to hear about it.

These days, within 10 minutes of each other,  without even getting out of my bed, I was reading an emotional happy story from El Paso, Texas, and the the tragic death of two parents in a car accident rushing to the hospital to deliver their first baby.

Yes, I suppose, it’s great news that the baby survived. It is a life saved. Yet is also a life that is coming into this world that I’m scared for. Who knows what kind of life this baby is going to grow up to have: The little boy doesn’t have any parents, so we can only hope somebody within his family steps in, does the right things and raises this baby with twice the love he deserves. Otherwise, he could be lost before he is ever found.

What will the world look like as this boy grows up?

If we’re overloaded with information that can carry our emotions and hearts from end of the spectrum to the other without getting out of bed, then what will it be like for this little boy by the time he’s in high school? Or, out of college? Or in his middle 20s? Or — gasp — my age?

I’d have to live to be 97 for that to happen — fat chance, of that, eh? — to know what kind of world this little boy will be enduring.

Maybe he’ll fly his car to work. Maybe he’ll instantly get all Hollywood blockbuster movies digitally ordered into the wall of his living room. Maybe the first Black Woman President will finally get our political house straight and start turning this country around. If it isn’t too late.

But, I’m pretty sure, in another 47 years, there will be a great, moving emotional happy-ending story for that little baby to discover. If could come from anywhere: Bangor, Dover, Springfield (any one of them), Buffalo, Denver, Phoenix, Walla Walla. Then, within minutes, he’ll hear another tear-jerker of a story, this one a tragedy that rips apart the world of just a small group of people. It might be one state over, or across the country. It won’t matter where, because it will all be at his finger tips.

That was life then and now. And so it will be in the future, as well.

You really don’t know what any day is going to deal you.

You just have to make the most of it.

So this Sunday morning I urge you to go live your life and make the most of it.

Just don’t stop and read about it. Your emotions might not be able to handle it.

I’m Sorry, But Peter Cetera and Elton John Hit The Nail On The Head

First and foremost, let it be said that I’m not about to apologize for this latest blog post.

After all, why bother? Nobody accepts apologies these days anyways.

Peter Cetera of the 1970s and 80s rock band Chicago and Elton John of the 1970s, 80s and 90s phenomenon that is known as Elton John pretty much summed things up when they crooned their now infamous words about apologies.

In 1976, John sang, “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.” Six years later, Cetera sang, “It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry.”

Both are so correct, though it must be said that Elton John’s song is 10 times the song that Chicago produced.

I bring this up because it’s been on my mind for a while now. People expect apologies from other people for things ranging from the most serious digressions to the most inane and ridiculous. Then, upon receiving said apology, the most common reaction seems to be “They didn’t mean it.”

So why bother apologizing in the first place? Right?

Earlier this week, a story hit the New York City news cycle about a politician who wound up in black face as part of a Purim party, which we all learned is a costume party somehow related to the Jewish celebration “Purim.”

This being the 21st century, the politically correct people of the world cried racism — even though there was absolutely no hatred and/or malice intended. Now granted, the politician in question might be ridiculed for stupidity. After all, everybody knows with society being what it is, you don’t wear black-face anywhere. Period.

What irked me more than just another stupid politician, however, was the aftermath.

The politician in question, New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind, apologized, saying “Anyone who was offended — I’m sorry that they were offended, that was not the intention.”

He later added, “I repeat, it was not meant to in any way hurt anyone. And those that were? I’m sorry. That was not my intention.”

Following the apology, this statement from New York City Councilman Charles Barron came out in the Wall Street Journal: “Don’t accept this feeble apology. It’s absurd.”

And this is where I bring forth my objection. Why the hell can’t people accept an apology and move on?

I recently had a first-hand run-in with exact issue.

Our local boys soccer team won its first state championship in a long time and as part of our coverage I wrote about a column about how the run to the state title had a Hollywood story written all over it. The local team had 13 different countries represented within one generation and they were playing a Catholic all-boys private school from a nearby rural town. In my column, I wrote about how Hollywood would have exploited the stereotypes between the two teams, the two towns, and two schools.

Some people around the city weren’t happy with this depiction and it caused a little bit of a stir with some people calling for a public apology, and others going as far as saying I should resign. Under the suggestion from upper-management, it was suggested I write a follow-up column, which a few days later I did.

In this follow-up I apologized for the mini-uproar my words had caused. I explained that, if people misrepresented or misunderstood what I wrote as something that I felt, then it was my failure as a writer to clearly state what it was I was trying to say. That column, which was supposed to be part of the team’s accomplishment, took away from a city’s joyful moment and for all that I really was generally sorry.

One parent took the time to write, “Your explanation and apology is insufficient to repair the damage to our City’s image and that of the students that attend our schools … You make a living off the backs, the sweat and determination of our students as they compete in the various sports. You do not deserve the honor to covering these young students any longer.”

Another woman basically called my apology a joke, called me “a clown” and still wanted me to lose my job. I’m so glad she signed her name because it’s not one I’m going to forget anytime soon.

As a strong believer in the First Amendment, though, I had no problem with people giving their three cents. After all, I certainly had my own Free Speech-testing thoughts about these people as human beings, so they should have theirs, as well.

But who the hell were they to question whether my apology was sincere? What made these people — who don’t know me from Brad Pitt, outside of the fact that we both have eight letters in our full name — think they could know what was going on in my heart when I said I was sorry for not finding the right words to best describe what it was I was trying to say?

That pissed me off more than anything else about the whole mess.

We live in a politically correct world that we’ve created, a world in which we’re not supposed to do anything or say anything that upsets or bothers people. The littlest thing can set people off, but when somebody apologies for upsetting the apple cart, they continue to get gruff from the Holier Than Thou People who likely live in glass houses, but with property that also includes a cement bunker for when the shit hits the fan at home.

I’ve been guilty of that, too, I’m afraid. I work in a world where athletes apologize all the time for some of the most mundane transgressions, and, yes, there are times when I’ve heard an apology read on ESPN, and recognized immediately that it was written by some PR person in an office, rather than coming from the apologizer’s heart.

Author Dean Koontz wrote in his novel, Odd Thomas, “the most identifying trait of humanity is our ability to be inhumane to one another.”

Sadly, he’s right. We love to knock a person off the pedestal every chance we get. We love to find fault in others, perhaps because we all know the faults that lie so deep within ourselves.

Perhaps, all of us should be sorry.

But why bother?

Nobody would believe us.