Pigeon-holing. We all do it. When I was still in the news biz, I used to divide the world into two categories. Producers and consumers. People who make things and people who use them. Of course, being a producer I kinda looked down on consumers. And I produced more than news…I can hang sheetrock, re-wire lights, build an ordinance compliant chicken house. Even pluck a chicken. I did consume, but was a work-a-holic producer for years.
That time is past…however, yesterday an epiphany hit me. Maybe the two main categories are Creator and Destroyer. Being a newsie, I’ve seen enough of the Destroyer. War…poverty…hate. Senseless crime.
What takes years…decades to build can be destroyed in an instant. A sand castle, lovingly built against tide and wind, kicked down – why? Monuments…cathedrals…destroyed by war. Human lives snuffed out in anger and war. Bullies killing the spirit of youth by forcing it in a corner with no escape but death. You all know these stories. They are the bread and butter of news.
Which in a round about way brings us to my point. Over on thinknews I posted about a senseless crime at a local community college. Two juvies, with spears and knife in hand, brutally attacked and killed a dozen koi in the campus fish pond.
It appears I know one of the youths. Deep sigh.
How to explain this? Too often you see and hear friends, family, and neighbors say, “It was a total surprise. There’s no way we could even imagine s/he did this.”
Pause for a moment.
The Destroyer has struck again.
Why? I don’t know. It disturbs me deeply. The day I shot the video (yet to be edited) workers on campus were ready to lynch the perps. I kind of agreed – it was a stupid act. Whoever did it was the worst kind of animal.
Now I am confused – the youth in question is a good person, polite, honest. Straightforward. What happened? What moved him from a place of respect in my mind to fodder for the daily news? I don’t argue that it is not a story – now that I’m off the road and have time I will edit and post it. Sans video and photos of the perps because they are juveniles – under that 18. My heart will be heavy as I work on it…and I find I need to look around for a change…
So I’m making a plea. Yes, I covered and saw way too much crime and destruction in my years in news. Also – like most newsies, I fought for the occasional feel-good story. Not just for the sake of feel-good, but for the good of the community. We need balance – we need to know the reality of what is going on in our world – but we also need to know that it is balanced by an equal amount of positive force – otherwise we will slowly wither away in hopelessness.
I read NPPA’s monthly online magazine…and have watched for years what seems to be the focus of most in-depth and investigative news. Generally it focuses on The Destroyer in all his aspects. How often do you hear, see, read a story that is about pure unabashed joy…why is news committed to revealing ugliness.
Don’t answer…I know the answer, because I worked that beat. Give a voice to the voiceless…expose corruption. Shock people into reacting to evil.
But every now and then….give yourself a threat. Find a hidden treasure…a jewel…and let the world rejoice in your joy. I know I’ll be out there looking.
NOTE: don’t ask why I am even bothering to post the Koi story. Simply put, it completes the cycle. Not posting is not an option for me at this time…I will be searching for possible answers as I work through this.