Edit: New Posts begin below this one!
It’s that time of year again.
That time of year when we ask you to support what you care about.
I know you care. You’re here, you’re reading and commenting and participating and kicking back and talking about the primaries and Pelosi and hockey and Happy Democrats and Gaggles, you’re here pushing to rebuild New Orleans and do it right, you’re here for the crack vans and silly stuff, kittens and chainsaws and baboons, but mostly you’re here because the kinds of stories we tell here mean something to you.
And that means more to me than I can ever tell you.
I was talking to the kids out at the College of DuPage this week, a great crowd, and one of them asked about some of the more difficult stories I’d covered, some of the really nasty stuff, like the priest sexual abuse in the Diocese of Joliet and the hate crimes in the Southwest Suburbs after 9/11, and asked how did you cope with taking all that in? And I told her, honestly, what made it bearable was being able to go back to the newsroom, my community of people who were doing the same things I was doing, and talk to them about it and let them cheer me up with black humor and encouragment and paper airplane fights, and realize that I wasn’t alone in this work.
Not to overdramatize, of course, because it’s not like I had a tougher job than anybody out there, I didn’t, but everybody sometimes feels like nobody else gets it. Everybody needs someplace to come back to, where they can say, “Man, you would not believe this shit” and somebody else can respond, “Yeah, I would, try me.” I do think it’s the same thing, here, it’s the same way we work. You understand what we’re trying to do, you understand the point and the value of it.
Part of what I told the college kids was that if you see a story you want to tell, that story is your responsibility, you can’t shy away from it and you can’t wait for somebody else to do it. That story’s yours and you have to tell it. Nobody will do it for you. That’s frightening, and exhausting, but it’s thrilling, too, in that you can do anything you want to do once you stop hamstringing yourself in advance and start working the problem.
If the stories we tell mean something to you, if they’ve made you laugh or smile or think or made you angry or happy or sad, if you’ve come to this place to be talked down or cheered up or just to be with people who get your story, understand what you’re trying to do, consider hitting up the donate button up there on the right. Consider supporting what we do and how we do it. Consider helping us keep telling those stories, the ones that matter, the ones you want to see.
And thank you.
p.s. The old PO Box doesn’t work anymore (various USPS stupidities). If you need snail mail, send me an e-mail and we’ll work something out.