One of the things that fascinates me is what really happens in life, and what happens to make things happen, what are the “politics” of the situation, not what is on the surface. Not gossip and innuendo, but the reality behind the veneer.
And in the reporting business, this is almost an impossible thing to accomplish. Advertisers want their veneer kept in place, so that they can sell their product, so that they can make a living. Who is going to buy anything if they know the “real” story behind a company, no matter if it’s probably the story behind almost every average company. Nobody’s perfect, no company, institution, municipality is perfect. There is always a story, and it’s usually a pretty interesting story because the reality is usually so universal.
And like it or hate it, it is what was at the heart of what Tom Ryan did in his political journal of 11 years, the Undertoad, and whether I agreed with Mr. Ryan or not, I was fascinated that here was someone who was interested in the underbelly of Newburyport, MA, not a fluffy outside. Policy and politics were part of it. But exploring what was really going on, from Mr. Ryan’s point of view, was at the heart of the journal.
And I miss it. I know so much stuff about what is happening and making stuff happen in Newburyport, because people talk and I listen, that keeping it to myself makes me itch. But floating it out there, what good would it do me, except make me feel less itchy.
One of the things that I really enjoy are the emails that I get from people wanting to know what the “true” story is. It’s usually from someone who is thinking of or planning to move here. They could be interested about the landfill, the wind turbine, the parking situation, just to name a few things, and they seem to trust a blogger from Newburyport over the realtor that is selling them the product.
And I always email back, and give them my opinion, just my opinion, and if applicable, who else to talk to get a fuller picture. So thank you all of you out there in Web Land, I am honored and touched that you would think of contacting me, and I have enjoyed our exchanges. I love my home town of Newburyport, MA, but I know that it is not perfect, and I know that knowing the reality about Newburyport helps people make wiser and more informed decisions. Just the way knowing the reality or getting a fuller picture about just about anything helps us make wiser decisions in this lifetime.