Write On


There’s nothing like a little vacation time in the middle of the hassle and bashing of our everyday lives to put it all in perspective.  A condo on the beach in Maui with no telephone can give you the time and opportunity to let you know what’s really important.

Let’s face it.  We all want enough money to be able to say, “the hell with it” and take off for people and places unknown.  Just give me enough “fuck you” cash and I’m there, bud.

Of course, the question is: How much money is enough?  Unfortunately, the answer is always:  A little more than we have right now.

But we can all dream, can’t we?  We can dream about telling the boss to “take this job and shove it.”  We can close our eyes and imagine a scenario where we walk off into the sunset and never have to deal with anyone in this industry again.  We could live quite comfortably with our toes in the sand, our face toward the sun, an ocean breeze wafting across our shoulders as breakers crash just off-shore, the sweet smell of suntan lotion blending with the tropical fragrances of the island flowers, a rum-and-pineapple drink only inches away from our fingers and a beautiful loved one to anticipate our every need.

Makes you want to take off right now, doesn’t it?  The problem is, like me, you’ll have to come back.

For five glorious days and nights, I had most of the above.  But toward the end of my quick Maui vacation, I experienced a vague, uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Was I missing those screaming phone calls from some client whose name had been misspelled?  Was it a feeling of removal since no programmer had refused to take my call because we had listed his call letters in the Overnight Request fax with the wrong logo?  Could it have been a longing for a promotion executive who wanted to scream in my ear just to hear his own voice bounce off the walls?

Actually, it was none of that.  I had just sucked down too much rum, bruddah.

Any vacation will take away your troubles (for a short time) and clear your mind (for a shorter time).  But a vacation to Maui is something special.  I returned feeling (and looking) tanned, rested and ready. It took only a minute to become tuned, wrestled and wretched.

The first message was from a consultant who I had promised to overnight last week’s magazine.  He didn’t get it. The second call was from a Sr. VP Promotion who I had promised a picture on Page 6.  It didn’t run.  The third was someone bitching about last week’s Editorial.  I didn’t even remember what I had written.

The overnight delivery of the magazine I blamed on Josie.  The screw-up with Page 6 I blamed on Jeff.  The dissatisfaction with the Editorial just pissed me off.


It had nothing to do with the Editorial itself, so don’t bother finding it to see if you agree or not.  It is about the general audacity of many of my peers who insist on whining about everything and doing nothing about anything.

For those of you who don’t know what an Editorial is, let me try and put it to you in a way you can understand:  An Editorial is an opinion.  That’s all.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Editorials in publications across the country don’t even have to deal in fact.  (Certainly not at Network 40.  We try and never let facts get in the way of a really good idea!)  Editorials are usually one person’s thoughts on one particular subject.  At Network 40, I write most of the Editorials so most of the opinions are mine.

The person who disagreed with the Editorial didn’t upset me.  It was the question, “Why did your write this thing?”

Does the answer, “Because I can,” ring a bell? A better, unasked question was, “Who the hell read it to you?”

Editorials should be controversial.  Editorials should cause readers to stop and consider.  Editorials should cause people to agree and disagree.  That’s why Editorials are written.

So, it wasn’t this guy’s opinion that pissed me off; it was his unwillingness to share his opinion with anyone except me that got me off that euphoric “Maui Wowie” ride in a hurry.

I welcome your agreement with my Editorials.  I welcome your disagreements.  I most welcome dialogue these Editorials cause.  Whether you agree or disagree with the opinion, it’s the conversations that arise from the Editorial that makes the time and writing all worthwhile.

However, there are more opinions out there than mine alone.  True, much of the information in most of the Editorials I write comes from conversations with others.  Still, the opinions are mine.  It was never the goal of this Editorial page for these opinions to be written exclusively by me.  Network 40 is biased.  We want to share opinions, problems and solutions with those in our industry so we can make jobs easier and people more productive.  I particularly welcome those who wish to espouse their philosophy.  It means I don’t have to write an Editorial that week!

If you have an idea, a belief, an opinion or a bitch, do what we ask our radio listeners to do:  Write it down.  You write it, we’ll run it.  Then I can take the week off and you can get your share of the accolades on how smart you are…and all of the grief.

There are too many in our business with opinions who refuse to take a stand.  It’s easier to criticize people for attempting something you’ve never done.  We all have specific opinions.  We all have loud voices.  We are quick to critique others.  Yet we all want a shield of deniability.

“I didn’t say that.  It was someone who looked and sounded like me.  But it wasn’t me.  Maybe it was my brother!”

I have never met more people of intelligence with more opinions about different aspects of our business who absolutely, positively refuse to have their name associated with their beliefs.


Yet in a twisted, satirical way, one that works.  Especially for me.  If more of you wrote your opinions for publication, where would that leave me?

Out of work.

But living in Maui!

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