This has nothing to do with my ADDled brain … but it’s still important

“The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, & to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers & be capable of reading them.”

— Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Continental Congress Delegate Edward Carrington

That famous bolded section of the quote above was repeated recently by the host of a local radio show I recently had the pleasure (and terror) of being interviewed on about the importance of local media. Thankfully, it was not live!

On a chilly gray Saturday, Jeff Milchen and Steve Kirchoff, hosts of “The View From Here” on KGVM brought me and Bob Wall, Operations Manager for the community radio station, into the studio for a lively discussion.

If I sound like I know what I’m talking about, I guess, I do. As a former reporter with the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (among other daily newspapers), a current freelance journalist and a radio DJ on KGLT — a primarily music-oriented local station that intentionally avoids the news — I felt I had a good handle on the subject matter. It helped that I came prepared with quotes and stories from other sources to support the assertions I made.

Here’s a link to the recording.

I’m curious. What are your thoughts about the media and its role in preserving democracy?

Feel free to post your comments. I’d love to know what you think.

Toilet Tawk

“Today you can go to a gas station and find the cash register open and the toilets locked. They must think toilet paper is worth more than money.”       — Joey Bishop

Is it just me and my dyslexic brain?

I just abhor washing my hands in icy cold water. So every time I come across one of these faucets, I get dismayed. You know, the sort of single-lever faucet that you pull up to make the water run. But with no markings to indicate which way is hot or cold, they’ve always confused me.

Befuddling faucet

Befuddling faucet

This is so befuddling to me, I don’t even know how to begin to explain my confusion. Suffice to say I just don’t know which way to turn the lever. So I go with the trial-and-error method (what choice do I have?) and inevitably, I end up with cold water. It’s just irritating.

So to those so-called sophisticated, minimalist industrial designers out there, fashion should NEVER trump function in my mind. And, really, does it need to?

I know, I know, first world problems. But while I’m at it, I might as well gripe about other bathroom-related issues: toilet paper and their holders.

So why is that some people just don’t change the toilet paper roll when the old one runs out? SO notwithstanding (after all, I probably never give him a chance since I use more TP than he does), I guess it’s just easier to prop the fresh roll on top of the empty roll and leave it at that. That is until it gets knocked off into the wastebasket.

I mean, really, is it that difficult?

I think Helen Hunt’s little schtick in an opener of “Mad About You” really says it all.

And speaking of toilet paper holders – again, I ask you, is it just me?

Why do people insist on putting toilet paper rolls on holders that, well, just don’t hold them? You know, the kind that are open on one end?

annoying roll

Admittedly, this makes changing the toilet paper roll IMMENSELY simpler. And, lord knows, we can’t afford to miss two seconds of that TV show or video game or whatever people are wasting their time on these days (including maybe reading this diatribe).

But is this so-called convenience really all it’s hyped up to be? Have you ever torn a section of TP off one of these things and sent the entire roll flying across the bathroom? And so there you are, pantaloons down around your ankles and you’re clumsily chasing a roll of TP around a tiny room before it completely unwinds all over the place?

I mean, really. Can’t we all just slow down for a second and change the toilet paper roll?