Sitting here, on Scarborough beach, I started to ponder. I thought about whether my cat is getting pudgy, how I’ve been wearing the same flip-flops all week, about the smell of the sea when the air is cool and misty, and then, as passers-by smiled and winked and nodded over at me, I had a thought about journalism.
Journalism has transmuted tremendously since my childhood nights and lecture days spent hungrily dissecting Rolling Stone and National Geographic articles that made me feel as though I was a member of The Doors or a remote tribe in the Amazon).
In all its forms, the media has such a poignant way of connecting us even when we aren’t on the same continent, in the same tribe or band. There are many things haywirey and soul-crushing about it. Journalists have been called terrible names, not only by Hunter S and my own writery father. Many of them get things wrong, they sensationalise, they invent fake realities. But the good ones, they’re what pulled me.
I’ve never seen the world come together to collaborate in the way we are now, working to protect one another (sure, partly because we realise helping others means helping ourselves – as it always has and will mean). There are problems that we could nitpick about this collaboration but still, as much as we are physically separated more than ever, it feels as though emotionally and mentally and spiritually we are closer than ever.
Little else can occupy our minds now and the singularity of that makes it easier to unite. It’s not Apartheid in one country or pulling troops out of another or offering asylum to refugees from yet another. We’re all in this.
Many other important causes will suffer and be neglected during this time, but we’ll never forget how we came together in such a widespread way. With the media being the link that kept us together.
I can sit on this beach, feeling my feelings, knowing that someone on a beach in Australia or Hawaii is feeing the very same thing. (Even if it’s sometimes about our cats being pudgy or our flip-flops being over-worn.)