Editor's Notes: End of the world? We imagine we are here
If you were driving through the dark last Friday night, listening to whatever radio station came in, you were bound to be listening to talk-show chatter about the end of the world. Mostly, people were explaining that:
• For the real end of the world prediction, we should be reading various other prophecies.
• The Mayas didn't mean it would end via apocalypse; it was a symbolic ending.
• What they really meant is that a new age is starting; do you feel the new harmony of conscious evolution?
• Guess what: It did end. We're all just imagining that life is continuing.
I was driving a truck at the time — one of the "Big Boys," as the U-Haul guy called it. Earlier that day, as we loaded, we had been watching the weather from our old home in south-central Oregon. It looked like we'd be able to sneak through the weather. "Sneak through" became "crawl through" for me driving the Big Boy, my wife driving the van behind me, our nephew driving the car behind her.
Normally, it would have taken an hour to get to Weed, where we would get on the interstate. It took more than two hours.
There was packed snow on the road, more snow coming down and high winds. We inched around a jack-knifed semi at one point, drove past a tipped over truck and pulled into the parking lot at the Weed Subway shop thinking we'd get a hotel room.
But it seemed like good sense to take the advice of the 17-year-old behind the counter.
As she took our orders and started slicing bread, she told us she'd just checked her iPhone, and it was the northbound lane where all the problems were; we were going south and would get through OK.
Besides, she said, there weren't many hotel rooms left because of all the people expecting the end of the world who had commuted up to Weed so they could be near the "portal" they believed existed somewhere on Mount Shasta. (As she folded the salami into my club sandwich, she said she just wished those people would stop by and leave off their billfolds before they climbed the mountain and jumped through the hole in the universe.)
So we left and crept along several more hours, through heavy snowfall, slush, high winds, heavy rain and flooding. All the while, the radio buzzing about the end of the world. They had me pretty much convinced.
But, hey, we're here. Or at least we imagine that we are.
Thumbs Down: I heard many comments about the "Year in Review" stories that we've been running the past week (they continue through Monday.)
Some appreciated the review. Some were critical, especially of the tragic stories we reviewed around the holidays. Why dredge up tragedy at any time? We do think it's part of our job to review the news, and we shouldn't censure that review because some of it is very bad.
One critic wanted to know why we don't do more to effect change? Good point, and we'll try to help by reporting in-depth on serious issues, including violent crime.
All that said, we do respect the thinking that review of a tragic killing doesn't have to be done on the front page of the Christmas Eve edition.
We can't, and should never try, to manipulate the scheduling of news because it's bad or for any other reason. But a review? Next time, we'll try to schedule it for after Christmas.
Thumbs Down: I'm not a teetotaler, don't get me wrong. But I advocate for drinking in moderation and responsibly. I've sat in courts as a reporter, proofed court stories as an editor: There is a clear connection between alcohol and trouble. If you abuse alcohol, you're bound to cause hurt or be hurt. Please, be careful.
• We feel good about where we've come from. We've had good friends; did good work. We admit we were looking for a little more diversity, opportunity, things to do.
• Looking ahead, we think we've found the place to be. We look forward to working to make the Appeal-Democrat and appealdemocrat.com even more serviceable to our readership and to learning about and fitting into the community.
Happy new year, everyone.