Someone once said that writing was easy. You only needed to stare at the blank page until your forehead bleeds. Or the blank screen, as the case may be. But for anyone who endeavors at the process, the sentiment is not lost, no doubt.
It is also said that if the desire to write is not followed by writing, then the desire may not be to write. Some may have noticed that I have been publishing with some level of infrequency lately. And while it was not by design, it likely had to do with the need for some time off. Some reflection. But rest assured, the desire is to write.
The question of late for me has been just what to write about. I have long contended that a gonzo approach to watchdog journalism is a necessity in a free society. Hell, it’s needed in ones that are not free. It is the cornerstone of free people to have a medium by which to hold those in power accountable.
John F. Kennedy said it like this:
“Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed — and no republic can survive. … And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment — the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution — not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply ‘give the public what it wants’ — but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion. This means greater coverage and analysis of international news — for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security. … And so it is to the printing press — to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news — that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”
Taken at face value, few argue this sentiment. Albeit some insist that anything that does not align with a their predisposed and ill-informed narratives must certainly be fake news. And not to espouse somehow here that stories are generated to sensationalize while devoid of fact, for this is part of the price of a free press, but I am largely convinced that more often than not the reader is egregiously more ill-informed than should be.
But to the point of what to write about, I admit to some level of discouragement in this community.
This is because there have been incidents within the annals of the power structure here that go so far beyond the pale of ethics and decency that it quite literally confounds the intelligent mind that nothing is seriously done about it.
There is an undercurrent here the likes of which exceeds that of the usual small-town good-ole-boy atmosphere. It involves people in elected and appointed power and oftentimes implicates the church here as well.
And the outsider appears so incredulous that another explanation must surely exist, but to the person who has lived here and experienced it, it borders on the terrifying that people simply get away with shit over and over again.
I’ve taken some time away here and there to reflect and regroup. But if you’ve followed some of my ongoing coverage of some of the events I refer to here, know this. I am not finished. Not by a shot.
My faith in humanity is predicated on a root understanding that while it is prudent to believe that all people are basically decent, they are also curiously flawed by self-interest.
See you out there.
Articles related to “A bit absent of late, but not out, not by a shot”
How to submit an article, guest opinion piece, or letter to the editor to The Independent
Do you have something to say? Want your voice to be heard by thousands of readers? Send The Independent your letter to the editor or guest opinion piece. All submissions will be considered for publication by our editorial staff. If your letter or editorial is accepted, it will run on suindependent.com, and we’ll promote it through all of our social media channels. We may even decide to include it in our monthly print edition. Just follow our simple submission guidelines and make your voice heard:
—Submissions should be between 300 and 1,500 words.
—Submissions must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org as a .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf file.
—The subject line of the email containing your submission should read “Letter to the editor.”
—Attach your name to both the email and the document file (we don’t run anonymous letters).
—If you have a photo or image you’d like us to use and it’s in .jpg format, at least 1200 X 754 pixels large, and your intellectual property (you own the copyright), feel free to attach it as well, though we reserve the right to choose a different image.
—If you are on Twitter and would like a shout-out when your piece or letter is published, include that in your correspondence and we’ll give you a mention at the time of publication.