News From Around the World

The past four days have been an interesting stretch. I’ve actually been down the rabbit hole for much of three of them, piecing together the most ambitious short-term freelance assignment that I’ve landed to date. The payout for giving up my weekend is about a month’s worth of income. After the year I’ve had, any ka-chingle at this point is welcome. I’m actually in the throes of a decent late-year rally.

Up from the rabbit hole.

Up from the rabbit hole.

While in the course of my work, a major international event occurred, too—a terrorist attack in France—but I literally couldn’t stop to ponder or pay much attention to it (save for about 5 minutes on Saturday morning when I checked my social media feed). I did see that many “friends” were acting like lemmings.

It got me to thinking (although not too deeply—I didn’t have the luxury of time to do so), if I don’t stop to inform myself about the details, does it really affect me?

All I really know about it comes from events on Friday night. After kicking up my heels to catch the final quarter of the Celtics/Hawks game, a real barn-burner, the power went off around 9:30. WTF?

Feeling around in the dark for my smartphone, I managed to put in a trouble order to CMP while discovering it was likely the cutout fuse at the end of my road. That’s when I saw on my news feed about the attacks in Paris.

My deadline for eight articles worth of New England-centric content was yesterday at 5:00 p.m. I filed the final one with a minute to spare. I can’t describe how good it felt to know that I had delivered on what was an extremely tight window.

Interestingly, all the decisions I made were the right ones. I cut out something on Friday that pissed off someone who had no right to cop an attitude with me. The three hours I gained allowed me to then step out on Saturday for a pre-planned Wine Wise “date” with Miss Mary. Then, it was a sprint through the final 48 hours, grinding out content.

Where did this intuition come from? Experience mainly, always the best teacher. Probably having some of my prior swerve back, too. It helps me over the doubt and gets me past not being able to solicit validation. I have to trust my instincts and what I know from the past.

I still haven’t read any analysis on what went down in Paris. During yesterday’s content slog, I did allow myself to listen to Quilty 3000’s show while streaming KEXP. She played an Ultravox song called “Dancing With Tears in My Eyes,” referencing the attacks. I’ll allow myself some reflection during the song’s refrain.

2 thoughts on “News From Around the World

  1. Neil Postman discussed this notion of “if I don’t stop to inform myself about the details, does it really affect me?” in the context of news in the “pre-telegraphic era.” Prior to the telegraph, transcontinental news arrived weeks and months after happening. Farmers would read an old paper after plowing their fields and say “dadgum, a big earthquake all the over on the other side of the world. Huh…”

    After a moment of reflection, perhaps a thought towards how small we really are in the grand scheme of it all, and sip of coffee, the farmer would return to the plow.


    The weather is the news. Not sure it mattered to those who starved to death that year what caused the ground to freeze every single month of the year.

    Here’s the rub. Speaking of the war in Paris, you already know all you need to know. It is up to the French to deal with their self-created problem. You can clearly see the same thing coming in your future, needing to look only at the Portland police blotter to see how these immigrants commit murder, armed robbery, drug trafficking and rape at a rate far, far exceeding their numbers.

    So what should you, with your hand to the plow, do?

Comments are closed.