Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Explainer In Chief Responds

Even us lowly bloggers occasionally receive "letters to the editor." Last week, while my coverage of the Santa Barbara Film Fest was in high gear, this e-mail landed in my inbox.

I simply can't stand it any more and had to email you. Please, Craig - Why are you focusing on this trivia when there is so much suffering and injustice going on in the world and you have (to your credit) established a well-read public forum that you could actually be doing some good with? I don't get it - you are so intelligent. You can still write about this stuff, but PLEASE start covering some meaningful social issues as well. For instance, the local disgusting School To Prison Pipeline. Your "friends" in high places will start to shun you, and it will be difficult in that respect, but if you hang in there, your karma will start to shine (and who really needs them, anyway?).

And they say that I never disappoint a reader.

I wonder if anybody ever went up to Woody Allen and said to him: "You know Annie Hall was a cute movie, but you really ought to be making films like The Sorrow and the Pity."

While I'm flattered that the writer (who is someone that I know in real life) thinks that I'm intelligent, I think she has me overrated in that department. But, I'm at least smart enough to know that I'm no Woody Allen. Yet, letters like this cause me to step back and examine why I blog.

Unless you're Arianna Huffington, blogging doesn't pay much. So, I do it for other reasons. Mainly because I like to write and putting one's thoughts down in writing is cheaper than going to a therapist. Because it doesn't pay much, I still have to work for a living which means, for me, blogging is a hobby which I don't have unlimited time to pursue. While the "school to prison pipeline" is an important issue, it doesn't sound like it's much fun to cover. In fact, it sounds like a lot of work. And I have more than enough work to fill my day as it is.

Every so often I have to remind myself of what it is I'm doing and what it is I'm not doing here on this blog. I'm not a newspaper. I'm not even a reporter. I'm just a middle-aged, cappuccino sipping media junkie who has a laptop computer and a high-speed Internet connection.

I just react to what I see in the world around me and when the inspiration strikes (and I happen to have the time) I throw in my two-cents worth every so often. Any good that I may do along the way is really just collateral damage that I chalk up to the law of unintended consequences.

Yes, I admit, I'm inconsistent in what I choose to write about. The meltdown at the News-Press and the community's reaction to it was and is a serious story. The Desperate Housewives of the Ivy League wasn't and never will be.

But being the Chief Blogger in this one-man operation means that I get to assign the stories and that I get to turn down the assignments that I don't want. And considering what the boss is paying me, I'm not accepting any assignments that I don't have the enthusiasm to tackle.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thank you for your e-mail and I hope you'll stick with me and my stories.
© 2011 by Craig Smith and