I have had a few addictions in my life; some of them unhealthy, and others rather fun and frolicsome. Blessedly I have steered clear of hard drugs, and I am thankful for that. I have worked professionally with junkies. It’s a brutal curse. As for my other addictions through the years, I won’t elaborate extensively.
I used to drink a whole lot. Now I don’t at all and haven’t for nearly 20 years. I used to smoke heavily. Booze is much easier to give up than nicotine. And I used to be a bit indiscriminate with liaisons. No longer do that. I value my marriage and the choice I made. And the choice she made.
Oh, there are others, too. Bacon and little devilled eggs are right up there along with the dessert section at a buffet, watching reruns of NCIS
and needing to find something to read while on the john. Don’t you just hate it when you need the facilities at another’s home and there is nothing to read but the labels on shampoo bottles?
And, one addiction has never waned, and that is for newspapers. I can go through withdrawal if I don’t have newspaper access. When we travel I must find the local newspaper of note just so I can keep up with what is what wherever I might be. The most fun paper was the local rag on Rarotonga. Correspondents would have vicious arguments in the letters section; really libellous accusatory stuff. I regretted that I couldn’t read the ones that were written in Maori in this bilingual paper. I bet there was some really snarky stuff there.
The most newspaper-oriented place in which I have ever lived was the UK. That was just one of the reasons I loved writing a column there. I mean, I got so many responses to my stuff because folks read me. I was invited to speak at various functions and for different groups and my column enable me to meet a plethora of nice people there. It made me feel I ‘belonged’ in that far-away place.
It actually amazes me in retrospect that in those days I had the creative mojo to turn out two columns a week for that paper, the Great Yarmouth Mercury (while having to remember the niceties of different language usage in the UK, such as ‘curb’ there is spelt ‘kerb’) as well as two columns per week for my home paper in the Comox Valley as well as a number of freelances for the Vancouver Sun, which had given me a guarantee they would run anything I sent them.
Newspapers have become a rather sorry lot in recent years. The quality of reportage has waned, the great columnists have gone by the way, either via retirement or death, and they have, and I hate to say it, become boring. It’s easy to blame the tech revolution for this, and it has a role in that young people didn’t grow up with newspapers as we did, but that is not the only reason. Blame corporate attitudes if you will, because you must. Vancouver, for example, has two daily papers, the Sun and the Province and both are owned by the Postmedia Group. There was a day when those papers would engage in vicious gut-fights as each tried to scoop the other. Ah, them were the days.
And what is the case in Vancouver applies elsewhere. Los Angeles – huge LA – has only one daily paper. Seattle has two, but the old Post-Intelligencer is now electronic, with only the Times remaining.
So yeah, tech is one reason. The other is cost. Cost of newsprint, cost of unionized employees, cost of technology, etc. Etc. Etc. It breaks my heart, it does.
For me, I just keep turning out blogs like this because I must write and yet freelance markets have dried up.