My fellow blog readers, before I begin with this week’s “7 and 7” blogroll harvest, I want to address something very important.
And it concerns my relationship – or what was left of it – with the Albany Times Union.
As you know from reading my blog posts over the past year or so – heck, the fact that you’re reading the post HERE instead of on the TU’s blog portal – says that you know my animosity towards the paper. Heck, it certainly earned its nickname “Big Hearst” with flying yellow journalism colors.
That being said … what happened in Annapolis, Maryland last Thursday was horrific, tragic and reprehensible. Five people lost their lives because someone had a vicious and vulgar vendetta against that paper. That disgruntled psychotic did what no one should ever do. He took lives. He took lives because of his own twisted, deranged, disgusting, putrid, pathetic concepts. And I hope that punk rots in jail for the rest of his miserable, worthless life.
Those people at the Annapolis newspaper were doing their job that day. They were covering the issues important to their readers. Their families were planning summer vacations on Thursday. Now they have to plan funeral services on Friday. For what? For a disgruntled reader who, in his twisted, psychotic, wet-brained concept, thought the only solution to solve his issues was to shoot people?
But it’s more than that. We live in a world where, right now, people are going to the last sum option. Discussion and communication are tossed out the window, in exchange for #BBQBecky and #PermitPatty and other “call the cops, there’s someone of color doing something I don’t approve of in my neighborhood” bullshit. Hostility supersedes discourse.
Enough is enough. And it’s time for a change. And however small that change may be, it must be undertaken.
I know I’ve had disagreements with the Times Union in the past. And that’s all they’ve been – disagreements. We don’t see eye to eye on things. And I left the blogfarm because of that. And that’s the end of it. That’s where you leave it. You move on with your life, as I have, as they have. We had a good run together for 8 1/2 years. And we don’t work together any more.
That’s the end of it. I don’t wish harm or illness upon anyone who works or is associated with the TU. That’s now how I live my life.
For all my animosity and my “Big Hearst” derision of the company, these are people that work there. Humans. Men and women. Husbands and wives and fathers and mothers and sons and daughters. They do a thankless job under microscopic wages, they get more doors slammed in their face than did the Fuller Brush Man, and yet they persist in trying to tell the stories of our time. They get called “fake news” and “propaganda machines” and the like. But it’s also their words that are pasted into scrapbooks and saved as memories.
Reporters do their job. Respect them for that. If you don’t like what they’re doing, you’re free to say your piece as loud as you want. But leave it at words. Leave it at discussion. There’s an old Zen koan that says that the man who raises a fist is the first man to run out of ideas.
Ideas are important. Keep them positive and productive.
We don’t need to keep this animosity going in the world. If things happened in the past, let them stay in the past. Sometimes it’s hard for us to remember this. Heck, I have a hard time remembering it myself.
As far as I’m concerned … whatever happened between myself and the Times Union in April of 2017 is done. It can’t be changed any more than you can un-break a plate. But what can be done is that we should respect what journalists do in our lives. Not just the Times Union – but all print and broadcast journalists. Without them, we wouldn’t have as much information as we do now.
So as of today, June 30, 2018, any extended beef between the Albany Times Union and Chuck Miller is over. Finished. Done. They can live their lives, they can do what they want to do. If any ill will is still in the air, it’s not coming from me.
And in an effort of civility to be spread throughout, if every one of my readers took one second to think about someone or something in their lives – someone for whom you’ve still held anger over something you’ve completely forgotten about – maybe it’s time to forget the anger as well.
We don’t get much time on this planet. We really don’t. And when the guy says, “Hey bud, your ride’s here,” you don’t get to say, “No thanks, man, I’ll keep walking.”
Five wonderful people lost their lives on Thursday because of an asshole.
Let’s try to not be assholes any more.
</stepping down from lectern>
And now, let me share some great ones from my fellow bloggers and podcasters. Including:
- Daniel Berman’s “FUSSYlittleBLOG” blog, “No Country for Old Farms.“
- Carl Johnson’s Albany history blog “Hoxsie!”, “Dr. Dodge, Albany’s Harbinger of Spring.“
- Court is Here’s blog, “Nik’s girlfriend from The City?“
- Aaron Bush’s “Aaron Knits” blog, “WIP Wednesday, you say?“
- Amy Biancolli’s “Figuring Shit Out” blog, “Oh Shit.“
- J. Eric Smith’s poetry and writing blog, “South Side Century: Denied.”
- “Robert’s Eye” photo blog, “How to adjust the color of water.“
- The Field Notes from Over The Hill, “Middle Age Apathy?“
- Rob Moses Photography blog, “Brittany and Ben’s Canmore Wedding.“
- Jacquie Robinson’s photo blog, “Shooting Against the Wind.” (NEW BLOG LINK!)
- Roger Green’s “Ramblin’ with Roger” blog, “Music Throwback: Rebecca Parris, RIP.“
- The official BlackBerry blog, “We Need to Set the Bar Higher on Privacy.“
- Rob Hoffman’s “Hoffman Files” blog, “Keith Moon: Those who knew him, and those who wish they did.“
- Frank Robinson’s “Rational Optimist” blog, “Luck and Life.“
There’s your blog reading for the weekend. Go out and enjoy.
And as I said before, if you can take some time in your life to review that long-simmering feud you’ve had with someone… a feud so long in the tooth that it needs a root canal … maybe it’s just time to say “We’re square. Go and walk your own path, I’ll walk mine, and let’s just leave it at that.”
I’m doing that today. And I hope you do the same.