I seem to have trouble sleeping again. This time I am not sure what it is. It could be that I have once again overwhelemd myself. It could be that the last couple of nights I have drunk myself into some kind of retarded stupor.
Or maybe it is just the fear that with all this presaure and heat from above, I am simply being transmogified into something I do not want to become - bitter, mean, irritable.
This weekend was a weird and wild weekend. As I sat here writing to others I started to realize that they simply do not understand what it means to go to the Maneater's 50th anniversery reunion. How could someone from the Cape understand how imporatnt the paper is to both the people who write and create it and the people who read it and fill its headlines.
Christ, they would have no comprehension unless they were there at 3 a.m. as the chancellor was trying to avoid phone calls about athletic departments screw ups or some fucked up curator event. Unles they had to deal with staff writers who had never worked at a newspaper, or an entire black organization prepared to protest and storm your office, they will never know how nearly 200 people came together in a sureal orgy of alchool and war stories this weekend.
By god it was an event. The entire evening was simply summed up by one editor from the 80s:
"If this was for the Missourian, would you be sitting here today?"
Fuck no we would not, there is no comparing the rush you get from writing a story, or editing a headline or even contributing you ever loving soul to this paper to the machine that is the Missourian.
The missourian is a basard child of everything this world of journalism has created. It is an obligation, not a love. It is a requirement to graduate, not something you do becasue you know you are doing a good for the studetns, the city...the fucking world.
Sure, it sounds grand and sometimes a little delusioanl, but that is what the maneater was. It was too big for its own britches, it wanted to burn some bridges and watch them burn while laughing, it was the hemorid on the ass of hte administration.
I kept trying to explain that sitting at the banquett was something that I had to do.
"I thought everybody hated the maneater?" One of hte STRIPES kids asked me - i tried not to hit her.
I used to joke that the Menater was like a drug. Sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down, but there is soemthing that brings you back each time and eachtime you wamnt more, you wnt it stronger. Eventually you get kicked to the curb one too many times and so you try to quit. But it will always be there. It has become a part of you DNA, your ever liuving soul. When you die the last part of what ever it is you hasve left in you will scream out and remember the time Elson FLoyd unexpectedly stopped by the office simply becasue he could.
What the fuck. Who does that to jsut any newspaper.
It was not power were looking for. We did not do it to elevate ourselves. We did it for the voice, the voice of the students. Or maybe our own. hwo knows
Anyway, we are getting off topic. I realized tonight that to be a great journalsit, you need a great newspaper. No, you need a great energy from a newspaper.
One alumni said that the maneater wasz an unstoppable force. It did not matter who was in charge or who was contributing their blood to the program. It was a ship in the night that showed no signs of slowing even as it came crashing ashore.
The menater in its 50 years has become a living and breathing force. It was alive. And nobody, not even the most uptight of bitches could stop it from slowing down. If you did, there were people still aboard that were willing ot crush anything in its way.
But what was important to me wqas the pure enenrgy that exuded from the brown pannles and the gray walls in the production room. It was an energy that no mater what time or what day, you could feel growing each time you walked in.
No other newspaper has that level of force.
A line from Primary Colors seems to fit nicely at this point.
"I can't do anyhting with these people. Sure I shine, but that is only becasue they are my sun and I am like the moon. All I can do to shine is relfect the light and energy they give off."
The maneater was my sun these past three years. Now that sun is setting. What is it we do now. FRom the other sdie of the fence tell me. Is there hope out there. Is there some kind of expectation, no, abiblity to find that great source of power from a single newspaper.
There damn well better be. Becasue without it, I can understand why so many journalists shrivle up and die. Lack of energy. Like a hangover from the free energy we got from college. Unless we find a new source we all will end up like that.
Thatwill be the next challenge. Hopefully then we can turn around at the 75th and say, I was there. I made it out alive. And by fuck you will too. But you will be the better for it.
Don't let the sun set, ever, fuck no.