I Just Decided To

When you begin to realize your life has gone in a direction diametrically opposed to that which you imagined it going, you have to make a choice between simply accepting the path you are on or you can get off and do something different.

This isn’t some, “If you don’t like your life, stop everything, move to your dream spot, and start working at your dream job,” touchy feely find-your-bliss idiocy.  In the real world, you still have bills and responsibilities.  However, you do need to decide what you want and that is the simplest and most profound act.

The title of the first episode of The Newsroom is “We Just Decided To.”  It is lifted from a speech Charlie gives Will about why the great newsmen (it is Sorkin so it is always men) did great news.  It is a deceptively statement, almost childlike.  However, it is the necessary first step in changing anything.

Many in the news/media particularly those who take themselves far too seriously (which is most of them) took umbrage at this idea.  Their argument is that it isn’t that easy just to do the news the “right” way.  A news broadcast is too expensive and too much of an investment for the large multinational corporation that owns it to allow its staff to go off and offend people by trying to do news the right way.  You’ll lose ratings (and therefore money) by offending some people and talking over the heads of others.

They are right.  It is hard for people who like paying rent and buying food to do something that will piss off their corporate handlers.  The problems with this argument are this:  one, someone is going to be offended no matter what you do; two, it is OK for a multicam situation comedy to cater to the lowest common denominator but not for the vehicle that is supposed to help viewers be better citizens; third, why the hell should it be easy.

More importantly, however, nothing has ever changed until someone somewhere decided, “What we are doing and what is happening sucks and we can do better.  We know the difference between right and wrong and we must choose to do right, no matter the consequences.”

Yes, that is hard.  If you don’t understand that it will be hard and you will have to sacrifice when you embark on this journey, you are an idiot who deserves to get run over by the powers that be.

That is true whether you are trying to change the nature of television news or live a life of which you can be proud.  They both start with just simply deciding you can do better.

I have noticed things in my life are not the way they should be.  I have decided to do better.  What that means exactly is not clear even to me.  However, I have a good idea of where I want things to go and how to get there.  I know where I want to be in a year’s time.  It will be an interesting journey.

I’m going to disappoint some people by not doing the things they think I should do.  I have done two things that have gotten me to a place where I know I need to change my life:  follow my gut and do what others thought I should do.  The problem is, as related to my life, both have shit for brains.

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