This is part of the annual Year in Review series of essays. It begins with an introduction found here.
Whether the Patriots won or the Seahawks lost, February started with the big event including a Super Bowl ad that got a lot of people (wrongly, I argue) all wound up. The point of the Super Bowl is to put on that one last feedbag before making a sincere effort to drop that magical winter 20 before spring hits. I wasn’t particularly successful, but overeating and over-drinking were the least of the difficulties February visited upon me.
White guys with typewriters
I love working for OceanCity.com because it believes that the Internet is here to stay. It might seem obvious at first, but I invite you to take a look at the other media in the region and guess how seriously they take the Internet as a way to bring news to people. True, most of out news is cultural rather than political, but that’s an editorial choice. In February 2016 I discovered that people still used typewriters (and sometimes paper and pencil) to send letters to the editor. This seems like a very lonely project.
What depressed me most about it was that there is sort of a desperation to be heard that I totally recognize in myself. The paper I worked for covered things like high school sports, boards of education and zoning issues. Our correspondents sent multi-page tirades about foreign policy that tended to be as ill-informed as they did copped from talk radio. Being ignorant is one thing, being unoriginally ignorant is quite another.
More difficult than learning to deal with the fact that these old white guys still could find places that sold typewriter ribbon, was retyping their vitriol so they could see their name in the paper. Those were dark days for me. I didn’t rise to the challenge of leaning to understand or to embrace the kookiness, although I got some Twitter mileage out of them.
Finally, an office mate
In February, I welcomed Carl to my office. Carl was one of the Walking Dead figurines I got for Christmas. In face, he was the only one, although I’ve since gotten more. I knew I wasn’t going to be at the paper for long, but it was nice to have company I could pose and have adventures with, without leaving my desk. I would text Carl’s adventures to various friends and family members, mostly my daughters.
The other thing that I had was my new commitment to covering the cultural aspect of Salisbury. I found Laurel and Seaford mostly impenetrable, not for any reason other than there was a kind of monoculture there that was so dominant it didn’t seem worth penetrating. This was another challenge I failed to meet or accept. Personally, I feel as if we need to put February in the “L” column. And that’s fine.
There’s a quality to the month that has a certain bleakness. In beer news, I began a series of “Women in Beer” stories for the month of March. Although I can take some credit for the idea, no one ever is going to consider me the Nellie Bly of craft beer.
In OceanCity.com news, Anne one of my (now) colleagues labored under the hope that spring would come, but that winter would be endurable. Anne is optimistic, which is a fine quality. For my part, I didn’t get my mojo going until March…