Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I went to Michigan and came back with a manifesto

Eagle Harbor, MI, skyline, January 1, 2006, 9:09 a.m.

I'd like to take a breather at the beginning of the year to explain a thing or two about this blog and my intentions. For the past five weeks, I've stumbled around trying to decide what to do, where to go with the Daley Show. It started with mostly commentary on politics and local news, but eventually strayed into personal observations and anecdotes. Lately, it's turned into a place to explore different types of writing projects and, once in a while, vent on some personal issue. Lost in the shuffle was the original purpose.

So ... if you're reading today, come back tomorrow for a re-energized and re-vitalized local news blog. It took a trip up to the U.P. to remember what I'm trying to do. I'll put it in writing so that someone might someday hold me to it. I'll put it in writing so that I can point people back to it if there are ever any questions.

Here's what I figured out up in Eagle Harbor: Anywhere you go, you can find intelligent people concerned with the state of affairs in this country and the world. But in day-to-day life, people are mostly concerned with what's going on in their neighborhood. Will the street get cleared of snow? Will the trash be disposed of? What's so-and-so doing these days?

In a town of a couple hundred families, this information gets easily passed down by word of mouth. In a giant city, though, where do people turn to for this kind of news? Increasingly, newspapers and local TV news channels ignore what's going on locally and search for the next big event that will guarantee paying customers. And people end up feeling disconnected, uninformed, and apathetic. Some people who want to know what's going on have to search. Doing this blog for a month has made me realize how hard it is to keep up with what's going on in my own city; you have to sift through a lot of useless information about celebrities and other quote-unquote newsmakers to get the who, what, where, when, why, how of Chicago goings on.

I can't and won't try to make this blog a clearinghouse of everything important that's happening locally. But I will try to focus on some of the things that matter. And I hope to do it in a humorous way. Make fun of the things that really aren't all that serious but are taken too seriously. I know that might sound contradictory--focus on what's important but ridicule it--but the way I see it, people need to be entertained. If I can make someone laugh (or at least smile or shake their head) and think at the same time, then it's mission accomplished. In addition to news, whenever I have extra time or inspiration, I'll take some photos or write some reflective pieces on life, but mostly I'll try to stick to what's going on in this small chunk of the universe that we occupy. And, yeah, I'll try to do this every single day. If it means going on a weekend trip or vacation and spending a couple of hours in front of a computer, then so be it.

Now, you'll have to excuse me, I've been gone for a while and need to catch up on some reading.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good to have a mission statement. It's also inspiring as a reader to see someone being creative each day, something many of us would like to do but just can't seem to for whatever reason.

7:11 PM  

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