Thursday, September 06, 2007


Sam Becket is a far better man than me.

I, looking back into my own past, have lied, cheated, stolen and can barely forgive myself for that. I still lie awake at night knowing that what I have done in the past will never be as good as this fictioanl character.

But then again, fiction is better preserved than our own reality.

I have watched this episode of Quantum Leap more than half a dozen times and even now, with the sound turned off, I can recite the lines like their were my own dialog. My own words that I wish despreatly were my own so I could say that I made a difference.

But don't we all? Isn't that our nature? To be someone who did something, somewhere, somehow...

It is seems almost peverse to think that that someone could be you and you alone. And that somewhere could be a random mining town in Pennsylvania and that somehow could be simply being yourself...doing the same goddamed thing you have done for the last decade even though all you want is to go home.

Here, though, home is not an option.

I have not felt like I have actually been home for the last 6 years of my life. Nowhere, no one here, even, makes me feel comfortable. All I want to do is leap to a time when I felt like I was at home. But that time is gone.

But, maybe, that is not my mission here.

It finally makes sense when one of the greatest teachers I ever had told his less than rapt class that his bigest regret was the feeling that he had ruined the life of on student by telling her that she was not good enough.

In his own immmaturity, he blurted out that, possibly, she did not rise to the level and told her to quit. It had been more than 20 years since that day and he still regreted it.

But then again looking locally and small is not what we are this become incomprehensible for most who read this diatribe.

For that majority who strive for success and amazing things, they see themselves on a level that, somehow, affects everyone around them. Their influence touches millons and their words will fall on the ears of everyone.

But when you mass produce a good thing, there is always someone out to try and make it better and who can come up with better marketing to sell their inferior product. Even if it ends up ruining everyone you set free.

We think too globally.

We assume that everything we do must be given to everyone we see, touch or happen to run into at the corner of 3rd and Grand.

But what makes Becket so much more powerful than the average superhero is not that he saves hundrends from a falling crane or a meteor. Instead he saves ones man from his own self destruction. One woman from abuse. One life from medocity.

he makes a difference locally and on such an intense level that those around him see him as the superhero they have been waiting for all their lives. Where are our local superheros? They were mass produced sold to us as an inferior product. Better marketing outweighed the real saviors and messiahs.

It is just a TV show, but what makes me cry at this episode each time is the fact that I see my own goals relfected here...and I see my own failures gleaming there each time.

I wanted to be local. I wanted to be small town...I wanted to focus my talents and the things I can give on such a small crowd that I would make a difference...not on a scale that would merit award or praise from some natiaonl clearing house.

I wanted to be a lawyer for children, families that had been torn apart by misforuned and greed. I wanted to be a voice for people who had been so torn down by a society of global thought...passed over by people who look not for the small people, but rather the big leage takers. I wanted to make a difference to someone, anyone, anyhow...but did I?

Fuck no.

I went to the "Big Leagues" without any thought of those who pushed me there. I went daily.

I think it is time for a change. I used to dislike, but now I will refuse to write for the daily. Tonight. I will make myself a another drink and remember that I am here becasue I loved being local, small town and simple.

I am not going to muck it up by trying to be something more. Becasue the power to change that does not lie with me. Hell, I would not want it to lie with me.

Tonight, I want to be something more than a voice. TOnight I vow I am getting out of journalism. It is the only profession that lauds and celebrates the big picture to such an extent that it becomes unhealthy and unkept.

Pulitzers and state awards only celebrate those who want to change the global landscape and make a difference in but a handfull of lives. Its is the quilt ladies and the fundraisers in your town of 1,200 that make the difference to so many more...not so much in quantity, but in quality.

I guess you have to deicde what is better for you. This is the decision you have to make. RIght now I am being trained how to produce Quantity and I hate myself everyday for it. I feel dirty. But for now it will pay hte bills as I plan my escape.

2008 will by my recokning. 2008 will hold so many more possibilites and opportunites for me to do something, anything, anywhere.

I am going back down the ladder. I am demoting myself. Hopefully then I can learn what it truly means to help someone and make myself better...make them someone who can take on the mission that I want to continue here.

Maybe then I can at least become something closer to what Sam Becket has become.

1 comment:

James A. Foley said...

after leaving the journalism I find that I am less stressed, I drink less and I write more. Perhaps you need to come to Japan?