Well, a time comes when you must consider whether it will be more fruitful to hold forth from the soapbox about your intimate experience with coffee, or consider other options. You usually opt for the latter. You wonder, is at all worthwhile to continue to hold off on a compelling tale of a boy and his pot of coffee, smelling the aroma and lathering it all over himself, rolling naked in the grounds? Yes, it is a good story, but you’re not sure you feel like telling it.
So you try your hand as a newsaper columnist, maybe write about issues that you find compelling. Maybe you’ve tried it before, but weren’t quite sure. Maybe this time you’ll hit on a hot-button topic: should naked boy be allowed in the Smith Center day care? or, What’s wrong with this year’s student senate?
Most likely you’re not going to find these topics compelling, so you choose not to write about them. Maybe the coffee story needs to come out ���� you can squeeze out a drop, c’mon! No, you tell yourself, that coffee story is a book, and you realize, with some sadness and maybe some relief, that the coffee story might not be written for years.
You need something compelling. You jog your memory.
What you find compelling (loathful) are the anti-California billboards from that darn casino with the Wyden and Kennedy account. What is up with bagging on California, you think? Don’t they know that’s so 1849?
Even more compelling (cringe-worthy) is the tragic human moment, the personal degredation felt when you hear the “Friends” song as you push a brimming cart through the warehouse portion of IKEA.
Next thing you know you’ll start wondering aloud (on paper) about such urbane topics as toast. Oh yeah, you already did that.
Maybe you will listen to some coastal easy listening station. The announcer (nee DJ) will come on after playing Henri Mancini’s “Peter Gun,” and regale the audience with factoids on the hit tune and the lowdown on the show. You hope your generation’s sunny day radio, or whatever, won’t rehash the “Diff’rent Strokes” and “Family Ties” themes when the time comes, the announcer giving you a quick reminder of the shows’ premises and overall feel.
You want compelling journalism? How about a report on the big bullies who steal all the bikes at your university. Your fair campus was recently (albeit unofficially) awarded the “Dumbest Place to Leave a Locked Bicycle Unattended” award from the local fuzz. You don’t doubt it ���� to read the Vanguard’s Crime Blotter is to think Portland is a city at the mercy of speed freak, car prowlers and organized bike thievery rings.
You try to be compelling, but you usually fail.