Just (don't) do it - Shawn Loughlin editorial
We’re not perfect here at The Citizen, but I think we can say with relative confidence that we do a pretty good job. We hear this from many readers and we always appreciate it. Too often, people only reach out to complain, not to compliment.
Having said that, we are always being told about parts of this fine newspaper that don’t necessarily land with everyone. The beauty of that, of course, is that we like to think there’s something for everyone here. If you like sports and don’t care about politics, you’ll be fine. If the opposite is true, you’ll also be fine. The diverse nature of the newspaper aims to be everything to everyone to a certain extent.
Some people, however, have strong opinions about what belongs in The Citizen (things they like) and what doesn’t (things they don’t). For example, we have a new column just to my left in The Chaff by Scott Stephenson. Absurdist humour is at play and Scott is building out a vision, week after week, in a unique way in The Chaff World (I can’t remember if he’s used The Chaff-ter-verse yet) as a conscious departure from what Keith and I tend to cover.
A lot of people like it, while others have found it a bit more challenging. Luckily for the latter, I have the foolproof method by which you might enjoy it. Right here, right now, one time only! Just don’t read it.
In the three years I’ve been writing this column - comprised of musings of my life and day-to-day goings on - since I became a father, my daughter, and now my son as well, have featured prominently (imagine that!). Well, it seems that isn’t for everyone, either. There’s a way around it, though! Just don’t read it.
Who knew? So simple, yet, so effective.
We have, for many years, featured From the Minister’s Study on a weekly basis, which offers reflections from faith leaders in the community. Not religious? Just don’t read it.
In late December and early January, when I was doing everything on my own (thanks to everyone for understanding), some said there was too much hockey coverage in the paper. Sensing a theme yet? Just don’t read it.
There have been our guest columns over the years that have been met with varying levels of enthusiasm. Local accessibility expert Julie Sawchuk, for example, wrote about her quest to make the world more accessible. Cheryl Peach wrote about pollution, our changing climate and the environment. Paul Nichol revived his grandfather’s magnum opus, The Kansas Farmer, for us for a while. Fed up with accessibility? Think climate change isn’t real, and if it is, it’s the Jews’ fault? Easily offended and not at all interested in humour?
In the film Moneyball, Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane is working to sell his team of scouts on a new direction for the team in which they are in search of people who get on base a lot. Every time Beane is asked why he wants to pursue a player, he points to his new consultant who invariably responds, “He gets on base”. I’m now pointing at my consultant, after asking the questions above. He’s saying, “Just don’t read it.”
Ricky Gervais once compared Twitter to someone who happens upon a flyer on a community bulletin board for guitar lessons. Not wanting guitar lessons, he rips the flyer down, so no one else can have guitar lessons and he calls the guitar teacher to shout about not wanting guitar lessons.
Don’t be the guitar lesson guy. If there’s something here that isn’t for you, just move on. Think of all the other ways you could spend those five minutes you waste on a phone call or e-mail to me. If you don’t like it...