Paying Your Dues and All Things Newburyport

Jim Roy asked me why I said “all those nice things” about him.

a) They’re true.

b) And Jim Roy has “paid his dues.” This is not someone who has wandered into town for a few months or whatever, and decided to become an expert on all things Newburyport.

I looked up the definition of “paying your dues”–“Respect because you have worked hard.”

And in doing some research on the notion of “paying one’s dues” it became evident mucho quickly, that “paying your dues” has gone way out of fashion, as one article put it, it’s just “so old school.”

Sort of like the “wisdom” thing– another possible antiquated idea.

I like the old adage of “things take time.” (Adage–“A saying that sets forth a general truth and that has gained credit through long use.” There it is again, the time thing.)

But then there are the “having paid your dues” folks, writing, as I perused through one book, how important it is to grasp the concept of “email,” and to beware of “bloggers.” Yes, I understand, gives the “pay your dues” thing a bad name (and rightly so).

The “pay your dues” folks need to keep up and appreciate new technology as it continues to unfold. And a great example of someone like this, is Bill Moyers, someone who has really paid their dues, someone who cares passionately, is wise and also has his antennae up for “new stuff.” And as a result of that combination, is respected by the antiquated and non-antiquated alike.

So, yes, I like to see someone who has paid their dues start an alternative newspaper. But those other things (among many other things) are a good mix to be mixed into the stew. Otherwise it quickly becomes irrelevant, sort of like the buggy whip in the age of the automobile (to steal a line from Danny Devito in “Other People’s Money”).

1991–A long time ago, but still relevant.