What Everybody Says
Everybody (network news, frequent flyers and newspapers) says that it's terrible flying these days. Airline companies pack their planes like cattle cars, squeezing too many people into too small seats designed for sardines.
After hearing that often enough to believe it, I left the sunny south last month to attend a Crescent Blues' board meeting. As so often happens, I didn't give much thought to the quality of my plane flight until the second leg of my trip home, when to my amusement, I realized how comfortable I was. Furthermore I'd been comfortable on four different planes, two of them filled with business flyers and their weighty, luggage rack-eating carry-on's.
Pondering this I thought about other things I considered true. Did I know them because of personal experience, or was I listening to "everybody" again? I lived in Washington, D.C. (not very far from the Crescent Blues' editorial offices) about twenty years ago. I left the region for many reasons -- most importantly, because I believed that I was not safe and could never be safe in that area. I was wrong. The metropolitan D.C. area encompasses many towns and places where the residents strive for a better, safer quality of life, and achieve it.
Deciding that, I turned my attention to current events. (It's a good thing the flight wasn't longer or I might have solved all the problems of the world.) Despite the number of months that separates us from the presidential election, election rhetoric invades our homes daily. Dan Rather convinced me, before the New Hampshire polls closed, that the field would be limited to two candidates, and voters in late primary states like mine would have little choice in the matter. (I do so hate a lack of choice.) Now, to be absolutely fair, Dan reported what might happen, and I just flew with it. That made us both wrong, but my error was greater than Dan's.
Am I gullible? Yes and no. Think about the number of decisions you make everyday. Common sense solves some of them but not all. Values, such as integrity, honor and ethics, can solve many more, but again, not all. If you're sitting there wondering if I discovered the secret of life and happiness, or maybe the answer you've been searching for all your life, I haven't. But I learned one thing this winter -- that maybe, just maybe, when "everybody" says something, it might not be true for me.
Which brings me to a subject we at Crescent Blues discuss often: reviews. Being independent cusses, we vet the style and quality of our reviews, but we don't tell our contributors what to write or how to rate the books, movies, CDs, etc., they choose to review. To be fair to the number of opinions out there, we encourage more than one review per title, and we print all the reviews that meet our submission guidelines. We print reader feedback too, only limiting length and personal attacks.
But in the end, a review captures its writer's opinion, no one else's. What a specific writer says might not be true for you. What Crescent Blues says might not be true for you, too.
So if you think we're wrong, tell us. We like hearing from you. And if you think we're right, let us know. We like to hear that even more. Either way, your views are only a "click here" away.