Monday, July 6, 2009

Music, Newspapers, and Quitting: A Medley

Very briefly.... as I feel a great writing day coming on....

About Music: the other day, I was driving to Coeur d'Alene, when "In a Gadda da Vida" (full version) came on the radio. Drum solo and all. It was heaven.

About WaPo: I couldn't figure out why I was so upset about the Washington Post's snafu last week in offering up its reporters to the highest bidding insurance companies for a night of laughter (and not tough questions). Sure, I lived in DC for awhile, so it was a home town paper in my history. Sure, lots of people were upset so I wasn't alone. But it really bothered me.

So then, on Sunday, I figured out a little more about why I was so bothered. That's when I saw Bob Woodward on the Chris Matthews Show. He was talking about the night he and Bernstein came to WaPo editor Ben Bradlee's house, woke him up, and told him that Watergate involved everyone, even the president. They showed a clip of the "President's Men" movie where Bradlee says nothing is on the line except freedom and the Constitution. After the clip, they showed Woodward, who said he remembered Bradlee saying something else was on the line. (ha ha) He then said that he'd gone back to his notes, and there he'd written Bradlee's first words - "what the hell do we do now?" It brought tears to my eyes, listening to the back story, in awe of that moment in time, when they made their choices, and told a story that so many did not want told. Watching all that yesterday, I realized why the Post's behavior last week had hit me so hard.

About Quitting: When I was in my second year of Girl Scouts, I wanted to quit midway through. I didn't like it anymore. But my mother told me I couldn't quit. She said I didn't have to join the next year if I didn't want to, but that I had made a commitment to be in girl scouts for that year and I had to fulfill my commitment. So I stuck it out. The next year, I didn't join. And for as miserable as I was for that year that I wasn't allowed to quit, I have never forgotten the lesson that you finish what you start. You just do. I'm not saying that there's never a reason to quit. I'm just saying that it can't be considered a viable option except under extraordinary circumstances. And we all know what happens to "the tough" when the going gets tough.

This life lesson from long ago is one reason why Sarah Palin's decision over the weekend to quit her job as governor of Alaska is so mind-boggling to me. Didn't her parents teach her that it's not all right to quit?

And now... back to the regularly scheduled program of editing my screenplay all day... and of finishing what I've started...


Ivan said...

I'm just as perplexed. Though I'm guilty of the same, during the election you had to wonder about her credentials when it took a fair too many schools to finish her degree. Cheers.

Beth Bollinger said...

And I guess that's the answer. Look at her record of quitting. It's impressive - in the wrong direction.