Wednesday, August 10, 2005

On The Death Of Peter Jennings


I'm not going to talk about Mr. Jennings. Late in the autumn of my own life, and subject to the same slings and arrows or thousand natural shocks, I'm going to talk about myself.

See, it may come to pass that advances in organ generation/transplantation or stem cell research don't trickle down to the rank and file "hoi polloi." Like Mr. Jennings, I may have to slough this mortal coil someday in my own right.

When this happens I hope it can be said of me at that forgettable little ceremony marking my passing that I aimed high and stood by my tested convictions honorably and intelligently. I hope those in mourning (or celebration) concede at the end that I did not sell out, purposely misinform myself or them, skip to the *shadowman's* conflicted and sociopathic tune or sing a discordant corporate song to maintain whatever small celebrity I might have had at the end.

I hope it can be said of me at this conjectured wake that if I felt something was wrong with my society, my government, or my institutions I spoke out even when it cost me. Moreover, I hope folks who do remember me... remember that I spoke for one perhaps who had no voice, that I didn't prosecute my ignorance for a short term gain... that I tried to take a long view with regard to our place in the multi-verse, and that I was optimistic regarding our potential for advancement in same.

I hope when recollected, at all, that I am considered to have been a brave man who could admit that he was wrong when he discovered he was. That I never got too old to be a student or too complacent to learn something new. That I was always open to new information. That I wasn't mired in 'conventional' wisdom. That I aspired to the authoritative and eschewed the authoritarian. That I lived my life searching for truth, justice and a higher road for humanity. That I walked the walk as much as I aspired to talk the talk.

I hope I'm remembered at the end for sticking to principles that had principles, that I had convictions worthy of conviction, and that I gave of myself at least as well as I got for myself. That I didn't compromise my convictions for a place in a compromised history as contrived as it is convenient ... as fictional as it is fallacial.

Honestly, I don't know that Peter Jennings can be accused of any of the preceding, reader. He may have been as good as the best of his conflicted corporate breed, I suppose... I don't know. But I do know one thing. As his last act he was unjustly instrumental in attempting to smother a sputtering ufological flame, a flame otherwise lighting the path to a more open-ended future for all of us.

See, at the last, he didn't report the news, reader. At the last he denigrated it. He spun it. He misled in its regard. This from a man who would never have even been a news anchor if he'd looked like Yassar Arafat.

I know not how others would feel about this, given the long and effusive eulogies proffered in his memory thus far, far and wide and for days now... But I know how _I_ feel. I feel that every funeral is an improvement, at last, and for some more than others. Additionally, the good that people do is interred with their bones... the evil they have done lives on and on. What remains of Mr. Jennings memory is smudged somewhat, then, at least, by his very last act. A pity.

For myself, I would hope for better. That's the news, folks. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.