Thursday, November 23, 2006

Taking advantage of the passion

Yelling formalities over loud house music in a bar in San Francisco's Castro district is not my idea of a good time. I've got a glass of pineapple juice, vodka and ice in one hand, a backstabber to my right and a two-faced person to my left.

Dishonesty and disloyalty surrounds me and the island bar. The red dim accent lighting in the joint only adds to the feeling that many of the people here have somewhat dark hearts and lack a true sense of integrity.

But has journalism done this to them? Have intense newsroom relationships done this to us all: darkened our hearts and made us cynics?

Perhaps it has. I look around the bar, squinting to make out the shape of folks who made the semester somewhat of a trial for me.

And what do I really have to say to them? I can't say things like: Thanks for making me question your competence as an editor. Thanks for making assumptions about my ability to do your jobs next semester. Thanks for taking advantage of the passion I bring to each and every thing I do for you and this publication.

I sip on my cocktail, scanning the room for allies. I see a few. Uh oh! Wait! Two-faced person, ten o'clock!

Her: So how do you feel about not getting the editor position?

Me: (*shrugs*) I don't know. It is what it is.

Her: [paraphrasing] Well, I think you are a great producer. And I really like you. You just have to learn humility. You have to learn how to take criticism. When people tell you to change something, you just have to change it. Don't ask questions. Just do it. Even if you don't like it or think it adds to your story. Just do it. And then you can be the f*cking master of multimedia.

Me: (*strains to smile*) Okay.


So what I'm learning here tonight, folks, is that in order to be the "master", you've got to be the slave.

Since when has "the master" ever wanted to see a slave succeed? Since when does "the master" base any of his or her decision on altruistic principles? When is any black man who defends his work not "being aggressive" and/or "defensive?"

I'm sipping drinks at a party, thrown by the clique that I was probably never supposed to be a member of. I'm the impassioned outcast. I'm made to feel like no matter hard I worked, no matter how many days I spend working on a story, no matter how many hours I spend in the newsroom, I'm the angry black man who can't "get with the program."

(*extends hand*) Hi, my name is Aaron Morrison and I WON'T "get with the program."

Posted by Aaron Morrison at 12:55 AM | link

Read or Post a Comment

One of my professors (white) told me it is important to question changes. Not argue but DEFINATELY ask why and give your view.
Unfortunately for us. We can be 4'10, barely 100lbs and speak in a whisper. When we question sometHing, it's always threatening.
When I finished at LSU's student media, I received the "Tabasco Award" Get my drift? And since I've realized that they ain't never gonna change their mind set, I say BRING IT ON!!

Posted by Blogger Vdizzle @ 2:11 PM, November 23, 2006 #

That's a tough situation young buck when you are dealing with people like that. I would suggest to never become a "yes" man and stick up for what you believe in. Do understand that there are some battles you will never matter how right you may be.

Posted by Blogger spchrist @ 6:20 PM, November 24, 2006 #

That's the beauty of this field, there will always be a test of your beliefs, your passion, and the least surprising of all, your common sense. People will try to play you to the left one minute and smile in your face the next. It's up to you to discern whether it's worth an argument or not. 50/50 chance it is.

Posted by Blogger Chris @ 11:02 AM, November 26, 2006 #

hey man,

keep focused. you will learn that most times it takes to not win to become better.

i am excited for you. take this time and experience to figure you out and get back out there.

Posted by Blogger *Madosi @ 2:22 PM, November 29, 2006 #
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