“A writer’s job is to tell the truth.” – Andy Rooney, 1919-2011
We have just observed the passing of a great advocate of freedom of the press. Andy Rooney died on Friday night. What an inspiration he has been to me! These days I think of his weekly tirades on 60 Minutes as his version of a blog. His commentaries brought attention to the many irritating idiosyncrasies of American modern life. That’s what good writers do, but few writers had the opportunity to do before blogs. He spoke his mind without hesitation or trepidation.
I ran into this issue personally when I first started out as a freelancer. I felt the need to talk about what was really happening in midlife, but no mainstream media outlets were even vaguely interested in my reality. They saw their job as glossing over the depression brought on by the death of our parents, our children growing up, midlife divorce or job loss. They chose to avoid the many messy feelings involved.
I remember trying to get the attention of MORE magazine when it first came out. No, they were “more” interested in beauty contests for women who didn’t look their age. They were “more” interested in celebrating “youthful good looks” than acknowledging the divorces, job loss, depressions, hot flashes and mood swings of menopause.
“Freedom of the press is only available to those who own one.”
No one is more thankful than I am for the major changes which have taken place in freedom of the press in the past few years. Blogs were my opportunity to tell it like it is, at least from my perspective. The party line is still that there is no such thing as a midlife crisis, and few of us in our 40s and 50s suffer any kind of crisis or depression in midlife. I know from my own research and the thousands who have come to read this blog, this is simply not true.