Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Another hot day. My managing editor, Clint, bitched at me for only having one news story today. That's because the drunk politician story fell through and I spent the rest of the afternoon writing a 40-inch feature story about the highest point in Wisconsin, Timm's Hill. I almost think he likes to fight with me, so I indulged him. I understand his position. Bill Barth, the editor in chief, is supposedly on his ass to get more production out of us reporters. What are they going to do, fire me? If I took all the negative criticism in the world to heart I would be a wreck of a person. I've got to let it roll of me.

Strange thing happened to me today. I was feeling negative and pissed off as I was driving from Beloit to Rockford and then to Janesville. I attended a press conference announcing the opening of a collection agency in downtown Rockford. The mayor and all the suited dignitaries were there. It was funny when Doug Scott entered the room. He had a whole entourage with him. Self-absorbed, self-important people. And I knew not a one. Usually I socialize after these affairs, but decided to just book out of there. I was the first one gone. A security guard collected my badge. They wanted to make sure everybody left the building.

But the strange thing wasn't the press conference. Well, yeah, that was strange, all the self-important politicos of Rockford. But afterwards as I was driving to Janesville I was feeling all pissed off and even more negative after the press conference because this world, this journalist world, is not for me. I can't put on the perma-grin and continue to slick back my hair and pretend I'm interested a collection agency is opening in Rockford, even if it will create 300 new jobs. Blah blah blah boring and obvious and bland and party line modern journalism. Whatever happened to the investigative story, the issues story? I don't have time for that. Covering every lame ass press conference to come down the pike. Okay, I got to get beyond that whole scene, even though it is integral to my narrative.

So, regroup, here's the scene. Greg is all pissed about getting bitched out by boss and not fitting in at fake people press conference. And as he's driving to Janesville, he has all these close encounters with vehicles, as if the very forces of vehicular nature were working against him because he was full of negative energy. When a truck almost side-swiped me on the Interstate, it shocked me back to reality and the ephemeral unimportance of all my worries, the existential angst of the unimportance, grand scheme, of this organic struggle. But strange how even the very forces of nature work against you when in a negative frame. The converse is true. With positive energy and great conviction, all the forces of nature work for you. Even on the interstate.

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